A Safe Path of Integration for Syrian Refugees: Examining Social Integration and Collaborative Services/Supports for Families at Risk of Family Violence

Dr. Lynda M. Ashbourne, PhD, RP, RMFT of University of Guelph – Targeted Research Syrian Refugees

This research project makes timely use of an opportunity to collect data alongside a currently operating program supporting social integration and family safety for Syrian refugee families. It provides an opportunity to formalize measures and begin tracking processes (family members’ participation in social networks and response to program outreach, collaborative and coordinated practices of the program) as well as program outcomes (family members’ levels of social integration, service providers ’cultural capacity, frequency and quality of interactions between services/supports, refugee community members’ leadership). Advanced measurement and further model-testing based on this data collection will provide more detailed evidence of the program’s operation and effectiveness and establish a baseline for ongoing data collection to assess the program interventions over time. Understanding the key elements of this program will enable transfer of these practices to other communities. Similarly, knowing more about the process of social integration in the early stages following arrival in Canada will contribute to enhanced support services for newcomers in the future.