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Settlement Workers in Schools

As a newcomer family arriving in Canada, school is often at the heart of settling into your wider community. Our Settlement Worker in Schools (SWIS) program is designed to help families integrate effectively and also enable students to achieve their potential. 

Once your children have registered with a school, we receive a referral and can begin providing support in accessing the information you need. If your child is in elementary school, we’ll work with you as the parent or guardian, and if they’re older we’ll work with them directly. 

Our services are broad and comprehensive. We’ll connect you with other government services who can help with English language, employment, immigration, health, housing, parenting, community services, and more. 

This program features two seasonal events: Summer Settlement Program (SSP) during the school summer vacation, and Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW), which takes place one week before the autumn school term begins. Both of these events are designed to help students prepare for settling into Canadian school life, with SWIS more focused on practical settlement guidance and NOW on encouraging participation and socialization before term starts. 

Summer Settlement Program (SSP) replaces SWIS during the summer months. It runs for four weeks in July while the schools are closed for summer vacation. It helps set students up for success when school starts in September. During this time we also provide practical guidance to newcomers at a number of our partner agencies and hubs, as well as offering mobile services to those who may struggle to access our support.

Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW) takes place one week before the school term begins and is run by SWIS program workers, peer leaders and teachers. It consists of activities which prepare newcomer children for a smooth entry into Canadian school in a fun and engaging way.

Benefits of SSP

  • Enjoy group sessions on various topics and help us tailor the content to your needs.
  • Benefit from one-to-one assistance, with specific referrals just for you.
  • Learn about settlement services and other CultureLink programs.
  • Understand more about Canadian culture.
  • Discover more about the practical side of settlement with topics like finance, social assistance, housing and tenant rights.
  • Feel encouraged to fully participate in your new life and community.
  • Reduce stress about new school moves.

Benefits of NOW

  • Take part in fun activities to learn about Canadian school life.
  • Learn important information you’ll need as a new student.
  • Hear about the experience of your peers and those who have already settled.
  • Make friends and connections, so you can feel settled before you start.
  • Understand more about the opportunities available to you in your new school.
  • Have the opportunity to train as a peer leader (youth) and help future newcomer students.


  • These programs are open to all newcomer families in Toronto. 

How to join

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