When your group comes together to meet, there are important subjects that need discussion and decision making. Listed below are subjects and information ideal for each meeting based upon what time frame you are at in sponsoring your family. Please download these documents and make them the key subject of your next meeting.
You have formed your sponsorship group. Now what? How do you prepare for their arrival? How do we create a budget? Where do you begin? Along with the document above, this additional resource allows consideration for all necessary preparations. From forming a budget, to how to find housing, to being prepared for change, this will be helpful to discuss at your first meeting.
This document details all the responsibilities of the sponsorship group, the legal processes the families have undertaken and how to proceed with the first few weeks of arrival. Ideally, this form should be discussed before the sponsored family arrives so that your sponsorship group is supported in how to proceed and manage expectations.
We know that there might be some expectations concerning what sponsoring a family will be like. They might be formed from stories heard. It is important to know that when expectations are not met, it can lead to misunderstanding, hurt feelings or worse, sponsorship breakdown. This document provided from the RTSP, provides great questions for your group to examine your expectations and how to handle them in a healthy, realistic way.
As the newcomer family begins to integrate, special care needs to be given to the needs of the family’s trauma that they have experienced as a refugee. In addition, your sponsorship group may be starting to feel burnt out, over committing and find yourself overwhelmed. We highly encourage you to invite a professional counsellor from the Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees (VICCIR) to your month three meeting. This document highlights the work and service that VICCIR can offer you as you support the newcomer family. Not only will they give you a cultural understanding of how to care for traumatized refugees, but will also give you resources in drawing boundaries for your sponsorship group.
The one year mark is quickly approaching. And just as important as the family's arrival is their first month on their own. This checklist will enable you to fully support them as they begin to familiarize themselves on Vancouver Island. Ideally it is good to have this checklist in mind at month six of sponsorship.
The end of your year has come. An emotional, beautiful journey has been added to your life and you are ready to help transition the family on their own. Use this document to celebrate the end of the sponsorship and continue the friendship you’ve made for a lifetime.
There are many questions surrounding what will happen to the newcomer family once sponsorship ends. We highly encourage you to read this document formed by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) before the end of your sponsorship. It outlines how to maintain healthy emotional support for the family, how to continue guiding their employment, and enabling them to live successfully in their new home. In addition, this document provides questions for your group to reflect, analyze and assess your support for the family.