Our Services

First Steps Early Years Refugee Program

First Steps Early Years Refugee Program

The First Steps Early Years Refugee Settlement Program works to minimize the impact of trauma and the refugee experience on the growth and development of children and their caregivers through informational and experiential sessions on parenting in the Canadian context, navigating Canadian systems, and health and wellness. Children and their caregivers are provided opportunities to play together in activities that encourage all areas of healthy early-childhood development.

To be eligible for the First Steps Program, the parent or primary caregiver must be a Government Assisted Refugee, Privately Sponsored Refugee, or Convention Refugee and have children under six years old.

Services provided through First Steps

  • Family Drop-In Program
  • Play-based early childhood education
  • Parenting workshops
  • Nutrition, health and wellness support
  • Crisis counselling
  • Father’s groups
  • Middle years activities for the 6-12 year old siblings with First Steps families
  • Home-visiting service
  • Supported access to community programs and services

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.

Supported access to services is provided to connect families to mainstream services including recreation centres, Strong Start programs, family resource programs, food banks, libraries, settlement services, and more.

For more information or to make a referral, please contact childrensprograms@dcrs.ca or 604-547-2003.