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SWIS - Settlement Workers in Schools
Abbotsford School District is one of several school districts in the province that are part of an innovative program to help new immigrant families settle effectively into the community including our schools.
Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, SWIS is an outreach program that helps immigrant and refugee students and their families. The SWIS workers assist new families adjust to the new culture by::
- Reaching out to new arrivals, including visiting hard-to-reach families
- Providing information and orientation about Canadian culture and service systems
- Referring students or their families to appropriate school or community programs, workshops or support groups organized by school districts, community agencies, social services, health authorities and other groups
- Providing cultural interpretation and services for health authorities and other groups, and
- Providing cultural interpretation and facilitating culturally sensitive communication for school staff, immigrant parents and children.
Abbotsford School District partners with Abbotsford Community Services to deliver SWIS services. There are 12 SWIS workers who can communicate in 20 different languages when facilitating communication between home and school. The languages offered are:
Support can also be provided in languages other than those above if requested.
SWIS workers also inform parents of various district programs available to them such as: Strong Start, IPALs (Immigrant Parents as Literacy Support ), preschool programs.