Creating Stronger Relationships with Settlement Agencies

Jemima Sabapathy

Jemima Sabapathy

When getting together for problem-solving, sponsors have often focussed on the communication gap that can exist between sponsor groups and settlement agencies.  Sometimes there is a perception that settlement agencies, want to take on the privately sponsored family as a case to settle, as their mandate requires, when private sponsors have that responsibility given to them by government through their sponsorship agreement holder (SAH).

Often when contacting a settlement agency, they are looking for information or advice about finding something or help in their communities. Sponsors are on the job 24/7 and act as trusted coaches to the newcomers they sponsor, empowering them to chart their own course.

PRSN’s Partnership committee wanted to learn more about the communication gap. It wanted to identify opportunities for building stronger relationships that would meet the needs of sponsors. It wanted to determine what kind of role PRSN might play in addressing those needs.  It conducted a survey to both sponsors and settlement agencies to try to determine common ground.  The survey results are now in, a report has been written and an action plan developed to demonstrate how we can partner around post-arrival issues more effectively through increased communication, services and collaborative programs.

Interested in the report, its results and the PRSN soon to be released action plan, contact PRSN administrator, Barbara Sheffield, at info@refugeesponsornet.ca.