Increased Safety Supports for Immigrant and Refugee Families: MRCSSI

Jun. 02, 2016

Recognizing the need for increased safety supports for underserved immigrant and refugee families, the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRCSSI) reached out to London Community Foundation. 

Recipients of a 2015 Community Vitality grant, funded by the Smart & Caring Community Fund, a $200,000 grant will support the Culturally Integrative Family Safety Response initiative. This initiative will provide social support services to increase the overall safety for those who experience violence or are at risk of violence in their families. By identifying risk factors at an early stage and providing highly individualized supports, MRCSSI’s Culturally Integrative Family Safety Response assists immigrant and refugee families to reduce family violence, in addition to supporting organizations to provide culturally appropriate responses. MRCSSI will provide counselling, support, case coordination, resource
development, training to service providers, and capacity building for community leaders.

With a growing need for culturally integrated services to ensure families receive the help they need, this grant has the ability to make a significant impact.  Especially with more newcomer families arriving with complex migratory experiences, including pre-migration trauma, this work becomes vital. The Muslim Resource Centre has a goal to provide families with the appropriate intervention strategies, thereby preventing potential violence and strengthening families. The outcome? An enriched community with a generation of Canadians that are emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy. In addition, this initiative will reinforce a sense of belonging within these families by making them feel understood while responding appropriately to their needs. 

Intervening and engaging when there is a risk or an episode of violence that has occurred, the main goal of the program is to ensure the safety of all family members. Furthermore, the program recognizes that violence or abuse can occur across generations, and across non-nuclear boundaries. Working with the Justice System, as well as social services, to develop a customized intervention plan, the goal is to create a pathway of understanding and engage the family in change when their actions present an emotional or physical risk to family members.

“This project is a game changer because it really pushes the key players in responding to family violence a little bit farther beyond their comfort zone.  It will not just be a Muslim Resource Centre project.  It will become a London project,” Mohammed Baobaid, Executive Director, shares. “We are sure we will come up with more positive outcomes that will support the victims, but also at the same time bring long-term solutions, rather than short-term solutions.”  


Learn more about the Community Vitality grant program