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New report on immigration and integration in Hamilton

Mirna Carranza of the School of Social Work, recently released a report that analyzed the experience of immigrants to the city of Hamilton and considered the role of the child welfare system in their integration and adaptation.

Jul 24, 2017

Dr. Mirna Carranza, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, recently released a report titled, “Examining the Intersection of Immigrants’ Integration/Acculturation and Child Welfare”. In partnership with the Project Steering Committee, Dr. Carranza analyzed the experience of immigrants to the city of Hamilton and considered the role of the child welfare system in their integration and adaptation. The report was a collaborative inquiry between the School of Social Work at McMaster University, the Immigrant Working Centre, Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton and the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton.

There was a definite need for this project as Hamilton is the third most popular destination for newcomers to Canada, and the demographics of migrants are changing.  These changes have put pressure on community service organizations such as the child welfare system.

The research involved focus groups and in-depth individual interviews with child welfare and settlement workers, parents involved with either Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton or the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, and members of the immigrant community. In total, 83 people participated and countries of origin included Afghanistan, Romania, Kuwait, India, Pakistan, Eritrea, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Chad, Burma, Jordan, Somalia, Guatemala, China, Poland, Kurdistan, El Salvador, and Colombia.

The project applied principles of community-based participatory research including: addressing power imbalances between the researcher and the participants, and viewing research as a process that can further the social agendas, resistance and resilience of disempowered groups.

To read the recommendations, download the full report: Examining the Intersection of Immigrants’ Integration/Acculturation and Child Welfare.

This study was supported by McMaster’s First Scholar-in-Community Fellowship.