Refugee Support

Post arrival supports for sponsored persons are offered through Immigrant Services - Guelph Wellington


When should sponsored persons visit ISGW?

Visiting ISGW as soon as sponsored persons arrive will ensure that our staff are able to do a comprehensive needs assessment and identify time sensitive issues such as errors in documentation. Other priorities include applying for government benefits and a social insurance number; opening a bank account; and language training.

Why should sponsored persons visit ISGW?

The experienced and knowledgeable staff at ISGW will help sponsored persons identify immediate needs and gain access to services for which they are eligible. In most cases, sponsored persons can be served in their first language which allows them to accurately convey their situation and helps them gain back some control of their lives.

How can sponsored persons connect with the services that they need?

ISGW staff support sponsored persons in completing an in-depth needs assessment to help plan their immediate settlement and future integration needs.  Staff have a comprehensive knowledge of service providers in Guelph and Wellington County and are well positioned to connect and refer families to health care, education, housing, and employment services. Our Translation and Interpretation Program Services (TIPS)  is available to Service Providers to assist in communicating with their newcomer clients.

As sponsored persons arrive and begin to access services, please know that most service providers in Guelph and Wellington County will arrange for trained and certified interpreters to help with communication. We would like to remind sponsors that using trained and certified language interpreters is in the best interest of clients in order to maintain accuracy, neutrality and confidentially of the communication. If you are making an appointment for a member of your sponsored family to see a service provider in Guelph, let the service provider know that the person will need an interpreter. The service provider will let you know if they are able to make arrangements for an interpreter to be present at the appointment.

What else can sponsored persons access at ISGW?

ISGW is also home to the regional Language Assessment Centre, which is the first step to English as a Second Language classes as well as for information and referral to education bridging and upgrading programs.  

How often can sponsored access ISGW services?

Settlement Counsellors meet with clients as often as needed. We have ongoing programs such as homework support for school aged children, one-on-one support for language and orientation, a women’s peer support  program, youth programs, and support groups for older adults. In addition, we have a program to help newcomers volunteer in the community, which helps build connections and provides the opportunity to become familiar with Canadian norms and values.   

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