2022 Edition

Refugee Resettlement Services (CA-RRS) 6: Resettlement Services

Service recipients receive bi-cultural information, assistance with making connections, and help obtaining private and public services to ease their entry and foster maximum stability, independence, and self-sufficiency in a new culture and community.


COA recognizes that the types of services and timeframes for service delivery may vary based on contractual agreements.




Refugees acquire the cross-cultural information, skills, and social support network needed to gain stability, make a positive personal and social adjustment, maintain family connections and well-being, and achieve educational, economic and civic participation goals.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Pre-arrival and reception procedures
  • Housing hazards procedures
  • Cultural orientation curriculum/written information
  • Procedures for collaboration with child protectionagencies
  • Documentation of cultural orientation (schedules, sign-in sheets, etc.)
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records


CA-RRS 6.01

The organization provides or arranges for pre-arrival and reception for service recipients, including:
  1. coordination of initial arrangements for practical necessities, including culturally appropriate meals, seasonal clothing, and safe housing; and
  2. referral to appropriate benefit programs.
Examples: Benefit programs can include publicly sponsored food, cash, medical, housing, disability, and child care assistance programs.


CA-RRS 6.02

The organization documents and notifies landlords in writing when health or safety hazards in refugee housing are observed or reported.
Examples: Health and safety issues can include but are not limited to: insect and vermin infestation; uncollected refuse; missing smoke detectors, doors, or locks; electrical wiring hazards; and leaking water.


CA-RRS 6.03

The organization provides language assessment and education directly or by referral.

Fundamental Practice

CA-RRS 6.04

Service recipients receive cultural orientation, as appropriate, to navigate unfamiliar and potentially challenging aspects of living in a new country, including information regarding:  
  1. Canadian laws;
  2. personal safety;
  3. public transportation systems or other viable transportation options;
  4. tenants’ rights and responsibilities; 
  5. employment; and
  6. local cultural norms and practices.


CA-RRS 6.05

The organization collaborates with formal and informal networks among settled and resettling members of the community to help service recipients:
  1. make connections to both their local ethnic community and the predominant community; and
  2. meet mutual social, religious, recreational, vocational, and educational needs.


When possible, organizations should connect service recipients to activities that foster preservation of their cultural heritage and ethnic identity.


CA-RRS 6.06

Services are responsive to resettlement dynamics, including: 
  1. the variation in family members’ adjustment, depending on age, health, skills, personal qualities, role in the family, and family history;
  2. a “back-and-forth” adjustment that can make it difficult to assess gains; 
  3. a focus on the service recipient’s greatest and basic needs; 
  4. the need to establish predictability and consistency; and 
  5. the value of complete, accurate, dependable information provided in a way that fosters self-support and maximum self-determination.


CA-RRS 6.07

Programs that support cultural adjustment are appropriate to the person’s age, gender, and cultural background, and include: 
  1. opportunities to explore, understand, and cope with cultural differences; 
  2. support of the person's values, beliefs, and ethnic and religious identity;
  3. recognition of the person’s coping skills, flexibility, and ability to make good decisions; 
  4. group and individual support; 
  5. group and individual opportunities for conflict resolution; and 
  6. information about how to locate and use community resources.


CA-RRS 6.08

Organizations serving refugee families involved with child protection agencies work collaboratively with the child protection agencies and other providers to develop permanency goals that take into account cultural factors and all available community resources.


The organization should be able to demonstrate participation in the development of a culturally responsive permanency plan when they are working with a family that has been separated due to abuse or neglect. This participation may include involvement in permanency planning meetings or providing support at court hearings.
NA The organization does not serve families involved with child protection agencies.


CA-RRS 6.09

The organization builds positive relationships between service recipients and community members and providers by: 
  1. preparing each party for their initial meeting with one another; 
  2. serving as a resource to other organizations involved in resettlement and reunification efforts; and
  3. facilitating effective communication between service recipients and critical service providers.
Examples: Critical service providers include schools, law enforcement, and healthcare settings.