Media Releases

U of T study finds that cuts to local immigration partnerships may negatively impact newcomers to Toronto

October 30, 2012

TORONTO, ON – Cutting funding and amalgamating the Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) — the network of organizations and agencies working together to coordinate settlement services for recent immigrants — will likely negatively affect the estimated 75,000 newcomers to Toronto each year, a University of Toronto study has found.

Although LIPs are facilitated by non-profit organizations, they are federally funded through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Funding cuts in April 2012 resulted in a 75% staff reduction and an amalgamation of 17 LIPs to four regional offices.

“This report reveals that social networks among professionals were a magic ingredient for effective government-community partnerships within the settlement sector”, says lead author and U of T PhD student Raluca Bejan. “It shows that dedicated staff were making a difference in coordinating and integrating Toronto’s complex settlement system.”

“Amalgamation reduced the number of staff positions that were key in keeping the partnerships between agencies strong and productive”, says the report’s second author Chris Black from Meta Strategies.

The report, entitled Balancing the Budget but Who’s Left to Budget the Balance: A visual Representation of Professional Networks Within Toronto East Local Immigration Partnership, was conducted by the University of Toronto’s Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work in partnership with consulting firm Meta Strategies and WoodGreen Community Services. The study examined delivery of services for Toronto’s newcomers in the Toronto East neighbourhood, which includes the eastern portion of the Old City of Toronto and the district formerly known as the City of East York.

Among the report’s key findings:

• Paid LIP staff played a vital role in connecting settlement service providers.

• Following the removal of paid LIP positions, 50% of the Partnership’s collaborative relationships were no longer sustainable.

Among the report’s recommendations:

  • • Reinstate funding for the LIP neighbourhood-based operational model.
    • Make use of evidence informed evaluation research to guide the LIPs future developments.
    • Adopt a long term perspective on the settlement and integration process.

“It shows that collaboration happens when staff resources are dedicated to it, as better information-sharing makes the system work better for everyone”, says Diane Dyson, Director of Research and Public Policy at WoodGreen Community Services.

Download the full report:

• Meta Strategies: http://www.metastrategies.com/portfolio/
• Woodgreen: http://www.woodgreen.org/Resources/Publications.aspx

-30-

 For more information, please contact:

Raluca Bejan
PhD student, report lead author
Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto
Email: raluca.bejan@utoronto.ca

Chris Black
Meta Strategies
Tel: 514-518-6942
Email: chris@metastrategies.com

Diane Dyson
Director, Research & Public Policy
WoodGreen Community Services,
Email: ddyson@woodgreen.org