Programs that accept and, where possible, attempt to resolve complaints regarding the quality of service, incompetence, availability, excessive fees, unethical or improper conduct or business practices of either licensed or self-styled immigration consultants or any other individual or company providing services relating to immigration issues.
Programs that provide assistance for non-citizens who are having difficulty understanding, accessing, and/or are unaware of benefits and social services for which they are eligible including housing programs, employment assistance and job training, medical assistance, and other government social programs. The program may help these individuals understand the eligibility criteria for benefits and services, the benefits/services available, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete application forms; negotiate on their behalf with benefits administration and social service staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are benefits counselling organizations that offer a range of advocacy services and legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.
Programs that provide comprehensive support services for immigrants and refugees who need assistance to prepare for, find and retain paid employment. Services may include vocational assessment, job search assistance, professional mentoring programs and other levels of initial and ongoing support. The emphasis is on preparing individuals for the expectations of employment in a new country and in particular, to obtain recognition for professional experience secured in another country and to obtain initial work experience in their new country.
Programs that help international students and others whose first language is other than English or French develop those skills by arranging for people (usually volunteers) to spend time conversing with them enabling them to practice their English or French. Included are both one-to-one and group situations.
Mutual support groups whose members are immigrants, refugees, temporary workers and other newcomers. The groups meet in-person, by telephone or via the Internet; and allow participants to share their experience, strengths and hopes to solve the problems they have in common and to address the cultural transition and quality of life issues that affect them all.
Programs that provide emotional support, information and guidance in a variety of settings for individuals, often refugees or other immigrants, who are experiencing stress, confusion and other feelings which result from difficulty adjusting to the language, customs, values and other aspects of a culture that is different than their own. Counselling may be available in the individual's primary language.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.