Alberta has the fourth highest number of newcomer youth in the country. Statistics Canada stated that Canada saw its largest influx ever of international immigrants in the quarter: 86,216. Alberta’s share of that number was 12,050, or nearly 14% of the total (June 2016.)
Studies show that there are significant settlement challenges for newcomer youth. They have a limited time to learn English, to adapt to a new culture, to catch up academically to Canadian-born students and to develop the skills necessary to seek employment. Consequently, they are vulnerable to social isolation, poverty, depression and anxiety, dropping out of high school, unemployment and long-term challenges to integration.
Multi-barriered newcomer youth need information and access to services, social and emotional support, employment support and opportunities for cultural bridging so that they can develop the confidence, self-esteem, positive sense of identity, skills, resources and social capital necessary for them to become healthy, integrated self-sufficient adults.
In partnership with IRCC (Immigration Refugees & Citizenship Canada), Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary is able to offer multiple services to New to Canada Youth through our Building Youth Connections program.
Building Youth Connections works to support newcomer youth to become healthy, integrated and self-sufficient adults by equipping them to meet their personal, social, community, educational and employment goals. BYC addresses the developmental and settlement needs of newcomer youth through a comprehensive and culturally competent service model that includes: needs assessment, referrals, community connections, advocacy and support for system navigation; one-to-one case management with ongoing supportive coaching; conversation clubs and satellite workshops with age appropriate cultural orientation topics; employment related services including employment skills workshops and connection to employment opportunities; cultural and recreation activities with positive adults and peers that promote community connections and building social networks; family events that promote family togetherness and celebration of cultural diversity; and community collaboration to reduce barriers and increase access to a wider range of community supports and resources.
- 244 New-to-Canada youth were served through our Building Youth Connections program
- 70% of New Canadian youth reported that BYC helped them to improve their English
- 92% of New Canadian youth reported that BYC helped them to feel like they belong in Canada
- 100% of New Canadian youth reported that BYC helped them to feel more comfortable living in Calgary