Through discussion among our working group, we verbally collected examples of networks that currently exist. This project also started a network for staff who are interested in gender-based violence issues and responses in working with newcomers, immigrants and refugees.
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR ANALYSIS:
● The idea of a champion network appears to be one of the more unique features of this project. The champion network would connect settlement workers across the country who are championing GBV issues within their respective organizations. It would enable workers to provide peer support and information exchange across agencies.
● Where are settlement workers currently connecting, if at all, to share/exchange information on gender-based violence? So far, we’ve found that workers connect at major conferences e.g. Canadian Council for Refugees consultation meetings which often feature GBV-relevant sessions or speakers; Metropolis (national conference on migration and settlement); OCASI professional development conference; EVA-CAN annual training forum on sexual violence.
- There are also local immigration partnerships (LIPs) and other local committees and networks, which bring together workers across multiple sectors (health, legal, settlement, anti-violence) and will sometimes feature issues related to GBV.
- OCASI and partners have set up an on-line “community of practice” tool where settlement workers across Canada can exchange information, set up sub-groups, participate in training etc. This platform might be useful to this project in using an existing space to connect GBV champions across Canada.
● We don’t know what capacity individual workers have for participating in a champion network. There is some literature on issues of compassion fatigue and other constraints that settlement workers experience that may impact participation or interest in a champion network.
To find out more about our project staff champion network please refer to "IRCC GBV Strategy Partnership" page at settlenet.org