As an integrated part of the VSB services, the Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Program is available to all eligible English Language Learners (ELL)/Newcomer students and their family members. The SWIS Program is funded by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC - was also known as CIC). Therefore, the service is free of charge.
Currently, the SWIS Program has 18 Settlement Workers (SW) and 4 Youth Settlement Workers (YSW).
The SWs and YSWs assist with:
- Providing newcomers with important information on both school and community services
- Conducting orientation workshops on school and various settlement topics in Canada
- Referrals and service linking for school and community support
- Assisting to complete community and government forms for additional services
- Accompaniment to community and government resources when it is necessary
- Creating opportunities for youth to become engaged and confident in their new learning environment and community, and supporting them throughout their adjustment and transition period
All services are provided in a culturally sensitive manner. In addition to English, the team can provide support in Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Kurdish, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Interpretation is available in other languages when needed.
To enroll in our program, please complete the following information on your child’s school registration form for each family member:
- Legal full name
- Date of birth
- Immigration number, which is also known as a UCI (Unique Client Identifier)
- It is an 8 to 10-digit number
- It can be found on your Permanent Resident Card or official Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada permit letter
- Please enter this number without spaces or dashes
Once you have joined, an SW will provide additional information about the SWIS Program and will answer any questions you may have about the services. This will occur after your child’s school registration has been completed at the Newcomer Welcome Centre (NWC).
If your status in Canada is recognized as a Permanent Resident, Protected Person or Designated to Land in Canada, and you choose to join our program, please know that you are granting us permission to share your information with the IRCC. This process gives the IRCC a better understanding of newcomers’ needs, and the impact of the SWIS Program in our communities, which in turn informs their decision to fund future services.
All personal information is managed in a strictly confidential manner and is under the guidelines provided by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the Province of British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA). FOIPPA governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by public bodies, as well as recognizes the rights of individuals to protect their personal information. More details about the Federal IRCC guidelines can be found here and in the following languages: English, French, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Dari, Farsi, Gujarati, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu.