First Steps Early Years Refugee Settlement Program

First Steps Early Years Refugee Settlement Program

The First Steps Early Years Refugee Settlement Program has been designed to serve both newly arrived refugee children ages birth to five and their caregivers. The project is jointly managed by DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, Options Community Services and Umoja Operation Compassion Society. The project serves families from two sites: a “First Steps” Centre at DIVERSEcity and a “Hand in Hand” site at Umoja. This project works to minimize the impact of trauma and the refugee experience on the growth and development of the children and their caregivers; shorten the pathway of integration and provide information on parenting in the Canadian context; help clients to navigate Canadian systems, health and wellness; and support the children to engage in such ways that prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond. In order to be eligible for the First Steps Program, the client must be a Government Assisted Refugee, Privately Sponsored Refugee, or Convention Refugee.

Services provided at First Steps

  • Parent Drop In program
  • Parenting Workshops
  • Nutrition and Health Support
  • Social Interaction, Bonding, and Play
  • Crisis Counselling (removed Mental Health, changed to Crisis for CIC purposes)
  • Father’s Groups
  • Sports & Me- a sports orientation and etiquette program for children 6-12 years old
  • Resources and Information to provide connections into the greater Surrey community

Please find First Steps Program flyer.

For more information or to make a referral, please contact Jessica Forster-Broomfield, Manager of Children`s Programs at 604-547-2016 or

(Youtube clip)

The project is funded by: Citizenship & Immigration Canada, Ministry of Children and Family Development, United Way of the Lower Mainland, School District #36 (in-kind), City of Surrey (in-kind), Fraser Health Authority (in-kind), and the Vancouver Foundation.