New Westminster, BC— Mosaic’s Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Program is now available to newcomer families with children enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the New Westminster School District 40.
The SWIS Program provides settlement information and referrals, orientation to the school system, and orientation to provincial and community services. This includes an introduction to health, housing, immigration and government services. The SWIS program also assists families to integrate into their new communities by offering activities introducing them to community resources.
“We’re pleased to offer newcomer families access to services which will help school-aged children adjust to their new learning environment”, said Khim Tan, Mosaic’s senior manager of Settlement Services.
Mosaic was awarded the contract to operate the SWIS Program in School District 40 in August 2014 and is only one of four non-school district providers to deliver SWIS services to newcomer families in B.C. It is the organization’s expertise in working with immigrants and refugees which contributed to securing the contract from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
New Westminster has a rapidly growing population of newcomer immigrants, with 61% of growth between 2006 and 2011 being attributed to new immigrants. Immigrants make up a total of one-third of New Westminster’s total population.
For greatest accessibility and convenience, families can meet with SWIS staff at any one of the 12 schools in the district, or at the Mosaic SWIS office at Fraserside Community Services Society.
Sherman Chan, Mosaic director of Family and Settlement Services, is looking forward to the opportunities provided by the contract. “We’re excited to partner with the New Westminster School District and will work hard to ensure that the needs of newcomer families will be met. Mosaic has a long history of empowering newcomers and we will work hard to support immigrant parents/families in navigating the BC school system so that their children achieve their full potential at school,” he said.