ISANS has several different programs supporting Government Assisted Refugees settling during first year in Halifax:
- Resettlement Assistance
- Life Skills Link
- Immigrant Health
- Community Connections
- finding and moving into first apartment and providing support with apartment application process, Tenancy Act and apartment living)
- banking and budgeting
- household and grocery shopping
- access to health care
- referral to some internal and external services and program (English Language test, Interim Federal Health)
In addition, the Resettlement Assistance Counsellor works closely with landlords towards affordable housing and build better access to culturally sensitive services for immigrants.
A Settlement Counsellor continues to provide services over the next two years.
Life Skills Link
This program is offered to Government Assisted Refugees arriving in Nova Scotia. Life Skills Link aims to gradually build confidence and independence, while lessening the stress of settlement through a connection with someone from the same country or area of the world. Life Skills Link offers orientation and support for families who are settling into new homes and community, by matching them with someone who:
- speaks the same language and is familiar with the country or culture the person is coming from
- has completed Life skills Link Support Workers Training with Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (25 hours)
- can offer ongoing support and community-based orientation that is tailored to the strengths and needs of the family
- helps families navigate new systems and daily life during the first year in Canada
- provides orientation and practical support in areas of daily life such as: personal and child safety, apartment and city living, life in canada, shopping, getting to know the neighbourhood, public transportation, health and hospital orientation and accessing community resources
- is from the same country or area of the world
- understands where you are coming from
- can help you understand the different ways of life in Canada
- is also an immigrant to Canada
- has had 15-20 hours of training with Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia
- speaks your first (or second) language
- can work with you in that language once you move to your new home
- can help you learn in a way that works for you
- give you lots of support and guidance so you feel confident doing things that seems very new now
- can act as a bridge between the skills that you bring with you and many new skills that you will need to learn to live in this new place
Youth Life Skills Link – Youth Guides
Within the first three months in Canada, Government Assisted Refugee youth (15-25), are matched with a peer who speaks their language. The youth guide offers orientation and answers questions on relevant topics and introduces them to youth-oriented programs and places around the city. Topics can include: getting to school, school culture and system, buying school supplies, discussion of options for school (for those not attending high school), knowing your rights, getting a drivers license, social norms, banking and budgeting, programs they can access at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and other community organizations, the bus system, where to go for employment information, etc. This program is new and is being piloted during 2013-14.
Training is offered as specific languages are needed.
- access to health information
- communication with service providers
- health related services and programs
- Interim Federal Health Program
- medical and prescription coverage
- mental health
- patient rights and responsibilities
- understanding the Canadian health care system
In addition, the Immigrant Health Program works closely with health service providers to build better access to culturally sensitive services for immigrants.