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SWK 4658H – Social Work With Immigrants and Refugees - Elective

Open to both MSW and PhD students

This course examines how immigrants and people of colour are constructed/understood in our society in general and in social services in particular. Special attention will be paid to how the intersecting oppressions of race/ethnicity, gender, class, age, sexual orientation, health status, and differential ability affects immigrants and refugees in Canada. The course provides an overview of the history of immigration to Canada and the impact of social policies and programs on the settlement and adaptation of newcomers. The course will also highlight the barriers that newcomers face in Canadian society and emphasis will be placed on access, equity and human rights as fundamental principles that should form the basis of human service delivery for newcomers. Finally, the course examines different models of service provision with a view to developing empowering practice with immigrants and refugees. Throughout the course, special attention will be paid to the integration of theory, research and practice, and the different levels of practice. The students will have an opportunity to explore their specific interests through assignments and the course schedule has built-in time for sharing of ideas and receiving feedback from peers within the class time. In addition to in-class lectures, guest speakers will share their exemplary experiences working with immigrants and refugees, in the areas of direct practice, community-based research, advocacy and policy change.