Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario

Many organizations and individuals have used OCASI’s training guide Immigrant Settlement Counselling as a resource and a reference since it was published in 1990 and updated in 2000. In 2018, OCASI proudly released a brand new, comprehensive resource inspired by that manual: a two-part online course, Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario, available at no cost on, in facilitated and self-directed versions in English and French.

This book is based on the content of that course. Part 1 covers history, policy, and laws pertaining to immigration to Ontario, while Part 2 addresses the basics of the immigrant and refugee-serving sector, the nature of settlement work, and ways to support newcomers in working through common barriers and challenges to their successful integration.

With a relatively small and aging population, Canada depends on immigrants to maintain its workforce and tax base, and gains immeasurably from the global perspectives that newcomers can provide on the economic, social, cultural, and environmental issues that define our lives. The full benefits of immigration can be realized only if immigrants and refugees can participate fully and equitably in economic, social, and political life. We must also be mindful of the responsibility
of everyone in Canada to build respectful relationships with the Indigenous peoples on this land, including by dismantling harmful colonial laws and practices, and redressing historical wrongs.

OCASI believes it is crucial that people who work in support of immigrants, refugees, and people with precarious immigration status in Canada understand the factors that determine who is here and why, and the reasons that settlement and integration are relatively easy for some but extremely challenging for others. We are pleased to offer this source of historical context, valuable information, and resources to practitioners in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector, and to the larger community as well.