Immigration and settling in a new country is
one of the most demanding transitions individuals and families have to go through.
The diverse needs of the immigrants, and thus the variety of social service functions to be performed, call for an extensive repertoire of skills. In addition, professionals working in settlement services come from diverse background themselves, in terms of ethnicity, culture, religion, language, academic education, professional experience, and so on. A training program based on a common practice model that can address such diversities will support settlement professionals and facilitate sharing and collaboration among them.
The SSLD model is perhaps the only practice model available that can engage with the diverse service needs in settlement service. It has been applied in clinical settings, educational and training programs, as well as in community work. It can used to help immigrants prepare for the labour market, deal with mental health challenges, improve interpersonal and family relationships, operate self-help groups, master leadership skills, get organized, or simply become more effective in cross-cultural interaction.
The learning and development of new strategies and skills can arguably be considered the key task in immigrant settlement. The new environment poses challenges that often tax the coping capacity of the newcomers. The SSLD approach empowers immigrants by equipping them with an expanded repertoire of strategies and skills, so that they can meet their needs and attain their desired life-goals in the new country more effectively. The mastery of such strategies and skills, individually and collectively, will offer more options to the immigrants, and increase their options and life-chances.
Since 1989, Ka Tat Tsang has been working with immigrant communities. He has created many training programs using the SSLD System, addressing issues in mental health, interpersonal relationship, insomnia and sleep related issues, chronic conditions, community development, leadership training, sexuality, services for older people, and so on. The experience accumulated has been extremely valuable in informing the ongoing development and refinement of the system.
Since 2009, Ka Tat Tsang has participated in the design and delivery of the Certificate Program in Settlement Practice offered through Continuing Education by the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. He has integrated principles and methods of the SSLD System in three of the six modules: Counselling and Social Skills, Working with Special Populations, and the Advanced Clinical Module. The feedback from the program participants has been very positive. Graduates from the program are now working with other SSLD practitioners to develop practice manuals and instruction materials in this area.
Please visit the online Learning Centre for Settlement Professionals for more information.