Get Settled

Refugee Support

ISANS has several different programs to support government-assisted refugees during the first year of settlement in Halifax.

Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)

GAR_2012Our Resettlement Assistance Counsellors welcome you at the airport, help you move into the temporary accommodation, and assist you with immediate needs such as:

  • 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.

Settlement Counsellor continues to provide services over the next two years.

Life Skills Support Program

During the first year in Canada, our Life Skills workers provide orientation and support for government-assisted refugee families. Life Skills Workers and Youth Workers are trained staff from over 20 different ethnic communities. Life Skills Support helps 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 who speaks the same language. Staff provide:

  • help to families to navigate new systems and daily life
  • orientation and practical support in areas of daily life, including 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
  • enhanced personalized orientation for those with high settlement and health needs

Youth Life Skills

Youth Life Skills services provide newly arrived government-assisted refugee youth (aged 15-25) with guidance and support as adjust to life in Canada by matching them with a peer youth who speaks their language. This program is offered within the first three months of arrival. Youth Workers provide orientation sessions, address questions on settlement and provides access to local youth-oriented programs and services. Staff provide information on:

  • the education system, employment and future plans for school
  • public transportation and neighbourhood orientation
  • the healthcare system
  • community and recreation resources
  • shopping
  • life in Canada

Immigrant Health

Health Fair 081Immigrant Health staff meet each family shortly after arrival to assess healthcare needs and provide support for those with challenges accessing services and resources. Staff provide:

  • orientation to the Canadian health care system, Interim Federal Health Program and Nova Scotia Health Card coverage, patient rights and other services and supports
  • links to the Newcomer Refugee Health Clinic for primary healthcare screening and services
  • referrals to dentist, ophthalmologist and other specialized health services in the community
  • individual case-management
  • problem solving and advocacy for access to specialized services and coverage

In addition, Immigrant Health staff works closely with health service providers to build better access to cultural sensitive services for immigrants.

Additional Support

Government-assisted refugees with complex health, disability or settlement needs may receive additional support through ISANS Settlement, Immigrant Health, Family Support and Crisis Intervention programs. Staff provide:

  • case management and targeted supports
  • specialized and individualized orientation to clients with high settlement, disability and health needs
  • referral and links to appropriate supports and resources
  • case conferences with government institutions, community organizations and relevant service providers
  • access to support services such as Family Support, Community Wellness Services and Crisis Counselling
  • accompaniment, interpretation, transportation, home visits and other special resources

Disability Support Services

During resettlement, persons with disabilities often find they must change how they live their daily lives and may be overwhelmed as they face new systems of support. We provide services to help immigrants living with:

  • physical impairment
  • cognitive impairment or intellectual disability
  • mental health diagnoses or presence of symptoms indicating the potential for mental illness
  • chronic conditions that requires multiple resettlement supports and affect their ability to navigate the community or care for themselves (e.g. chronic/acute mental health condition, rare genetic condition, sensory impairment)

Our Disability Support Services help you access services, such as Immigrant Health, Settlement and Life Skills programs, and outside health and disability agencies. We provide:

  • needs and risk assessments
  • referrals to appropriate services
  • information and orientation for public and private healthcare services
  • information about federal, provincial and community resources and supports
  • individualized support to help you with medical appointments and health information, community navigation, self-advocacy
  • access to specialized supports associated with federal and provincial health and wellness programs (e.g. Interim Federal Health, Departments of Health and Wellness and Community Services)

We work in partnership with stakeholders at all levels in healthcare and community services, to reduce barriers to supports and to increase knowledge of immigration-related policies and systems. Through engagement, partnerships and advocacy, the program aims to support community and government agencies to develop culturally safe services for immigrant families.