• Full Time
  • Ajax

Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre

Job title: Settlement Worker in Schools (SWIS Worker) – Dari/Pashto Speaking

Department: Welcome Centre and Immigrant Services – Ajax

Reports to: Newcomer Community Services Manager and Team Lead, SWIS and Community Connections

Job purpose

The SWIS Worker works in schools and acts as an entry point for newly arrived students and their families to the broad range of settlement services offered by Community Development Council Durham (CDCD) and other community agencies. This individual also provides cross-cultural education and information about schools and schooling. Using Trauma-informed and Gender-equity approaches, the successful incumbent will provide leadership to schools in support of the awareness needed for systemic change for newcomers.

 Company Overview

Community Development Council Durham (CDCD) is an independent, not-for-profit social planning organization that has been working to enhance the quality of life for individuals, families and communities in Durham for over 50 years. We organize a variety of research, community development and social planning initiatives as well as administer and deliver front line social service programs. Please visit us at www.cdcd.org for more information.

 Duties and responsibilities

Conduct client intake, perform needs assessment, provide information and referral services to eligible clients with specific settlement needs to resources, relating to educational, economic, social cultural, recreational and other services that contribute to the initial settlement of the client

·        Outreach, develop and deliver information sessions which will promote welcoming, inclusive schools across Durham Region in accordance with the Operational Guidelines of the SWIS program

·        Work in collaboration with school staff to assist newcomer students and their families with successful inclusion in their school and community

·        Meet with school staff: counselors, ESL teachers, and school-based teams as required to explain program services and to assist with hard to reach families and difficult cases

·        Provide information to students and their families about their rights and obligations

·        Provides non-therapeutic counseling and support for students and their families encountering difficulties within the school system, while adjusting to life in their new community

·        Provide referral to other services when required

·        Build and maintain relationships with clients, by following through on commitments, respecting confidentiality, and demonstrating an interest in their specific challenges and needs

·        Contribute to supporting students in coping with everyday issues related to school, such as how the school system works, bullying, and more

·        Conduct parent and youth group orientation and information sessions on a variety of settlement-related topics

·        Ensure iCARE data entry is up to date

·        Prepares statistical, narrative, activity and other reports as required

·        Keep up to date with changing needs of immigrant communities and modify the services to reflect changes in priorities

·        Accountable for providing information, guidance and referrals to assist clients in coping with issues such as housing, transportation and access to health and social services

·        Participate in promoting a positive workplace culture through agency committee

·        membership and departmental activities

·         Performs other duties as assigned

(Note: In-depth counseling of a social or psychological nature is not to be provided but rather referrals made to appropriate professionals

Core Competencies

Valuing Diversity and Social Justice

Using an anti-oppression lens, supports and promotes an environment that holds opportunities for all, regardless of race, ancestry, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, family status, or disability; fosters a climate of inclusion, where diverse thoughts are freely shared and integrated. Under social justice, all groups and individuals receive fair treatment and an equitable share of the benefits of society.

Culturally-Sensitive Recognizing, understanding, and applying attitudes and practices that are sensitive to and appropriate for people with diverse cultural socioeconomic and educational backgrounds, and persons of all ages, genders, health statuses, sexual orientations and abilities.

Advocacy Interventions such as speaking, writing, or acting in favour of a particular issue or cause, policy, or group of people. In the social services sector, advocacy is assumed to be in the public interest, whereas lobbying by a special interest group may or may not be in the public interest. Advocacy often aims to enhance the quality of life for disadvantaged groups such as individuals recently immigrating to Canada, persons with disabilities, the LGBT community, etc.

Community Participation

Procedures whereby members of a community participate directly in decision-making about developments that affect the community. It covers a spectrum of activities ranging from passive involvement in community life to intensive action-oriented participation in community development (including political initiatives and strategies).

Job-Specific Competencies

Client Service Orientation

Focus on understanding and meeting clients’ needs, makes extra effort to meet the needs of the client, and follows up on complaints/questions/requests.

Relationship Building and Partnering

Developing and maintaining positive relationships and partnerships. Builds relationships with clients by following through on commitments, respecting confidentiality, and demonstrating an interest in their specific challenges and needs.

Empathetic and Sensitive

Has a high degree of empathy and sensitivity to the needs of the clients, and ability to provide assistance to the clients with care and patience as necessary.

Interpersonal Understanding and Communication Skills

Desire/ability to understand others’ attitudes/interests/needs/feelings/nonverbal behavior, incorporating empathy, listening skills, and diagnostic understanding, understanding strengths/limitations of others. Communicates and interacts effectively with individuals and groups in the provision of professional services. Gives full attention to what other people are saying by being active listeners who value the opinions of their workers. Capable of using their communication skills to successfully gather information that they need. They are also people whom are trusted and can build relationships with others.

Presentation Skills

Effective in a variety of formal and informal presentation settings; commands attention and manages group process during the presentation; is cognizant of audience response and able to adapt content and style accordingly.

Ability to work in a team environment and independently

Has a strong capability to work in a team environment and support the separate functions that make a team, as well as work on individual tasks that support that overall program.

Community Knowledge

Ability to express vast knowledge of the Durham Community, as well as knowledge in social, government, and community services.


Post-secondary education in Social Services with a focus on youth or settlement

Two years of experience working with immigrants, newcomers, refugees, and diverse populations

Fluency in Dari and/or Pashto language in reading, writing and speaking required

Superior communication skills, oral and written proficiency in English

Current and up-to-date knowledge of social services and social laws

Experience working with the Durham Welcome Centre Immigrant Services is a definite asset

Knowledge of and sensitivity to the multicultural communities

Knowledge of gender-based violence, anti-oppression principles and trauma-informed approaches

Strong computer literacy (i.e. word processing, databases, and email) and experience working in on-line environments with web-based tools

Additional Requirements

·        The SWIS worker will need to be flexible in the case of attending evening and/or weekend meetings and events as required

·        A valid Ontario driver’s license (Class G), use of a vehicle and insurance with the ability to work in a variety of settings

·        The successful candidate must provide an acceptable Vulnerable Sector Screening and certificate demonstrating proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 prior to commencing employment

APPLICATION PROCESS: Applicants are requested to submit their resume and a cover letter stating salary expectations, while outlining their strengths, experience and aptitude to fulfill the position requirements.

Please submit applications to “Mental Health (Trauma-Informed) Settlement Worker” at: https://communitydevelopmentcouncildurha.easyapply.co

CDCD thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those asked for additional information and/or selected for an interview will be contacted.

CDCD is committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive workplace that represents the cultural mosaic of the Durham Region and the communities we serve. We recognize the value that comes from the different viewpoints, unique experiences and diverse perspectives of our employees, who bring fresh, new ideas to our business. Diversity plays a key role in our ability to deliver our mission.

CDCD is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion within its community and encourages applications from Indigenous peoples, racialized persons/persons of colour, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ2S persons, and others who may contribute to fostering innovative ideas and solutions.

As an employer, CDCD has a duty to accommodate potential candidates throughout the hiring process in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.


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