Assisting Immigrant Mothers (AIM)

Program snapshot

Age group: Late childhood (7-11); Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Female only

Population served: Families; Newcomers, immigrants and/or refugees

Topic: Social development

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Residential/home

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

Assisting Immigrant Mother’s Project (AIM) utilizes a two-tier wraparound services approach to build protective factors in immigrant youth and mothers living in Calgary Housing Company (CHC). AIM uses a holistic approach, targeted crime-prevention approach by providing both family and youth-focused services.

As a crime prevention program, AIM engages 6-17 year old girls during critical hours (3-6PM) with: academic support (mentorship, tutoring); skill building workshops (First Aid, self-defence); field trips (skiing, Banff day trip); and community engagement opportunities (Habitat for Humanity’s annual Christmas fundraiser gift wrapping).  Additionally, mothers receive support through in-home visitation, supportive counselling, cross cultural parenting support, employment assistance, English language enhancement and skill building workshops such as ‘How to do your Taxes’, ‘Breast Health’, and ‘Civic Engagement’. These opportunities remove economic barriers to participation and provide a safe and positive environment to strengthen mother-daughter bonds.

The AIM project supports avoidance and reduction of criminal involvement through:

  • Increased number of positive friendships and peer relations;
  • More openness to helping others and engagement with the broader community;
  • Increased parent reporting of children doing better at school;
  • Stronger parent-child relationships; and
  • Greater capacity for mothers to access resources and cope with issues.

Goals

The main goals of the Assisting Immigrant Mother’s Project are:

  • Building protective factors in immigrant children and youth living in Calgary Housing locations: and
  • Reducing factors which place them at risk of engaging in delinquent behaviours.

Clientele

The appropriate clientele for the Assisting Immigrant Mother’s project are 6-17 year old girls during critical hours (3-6PM).

Core Components

To support the positive development of immigrant youth, the project uses two-tiered wraparound approach that works with the following stakeholders:

  • Immigrant mothers (parents): Immigrant mothers receive support in the areas of cross-cultural parenting, conflict resolution, relationship building, community engagement, etc.  If low-income immigrant parents obtain knowledge and skills to parent effectively in their new local context, they will be more likely to support and increase the protective factors in their children;
  • Immigrant children and youth: Youth activities are designed to counter criminal involvement risk factors (early involvement in minor crime, low supervision, and poor academic performance) while strengthening protective factors (problem solving and coping skills, good family communication, positive peer relationships, positive attitude toward school, attachment to the community); and
  • Immigrant families: Immigrant families receive customized family support to meet their unique needs. The project also fosters positive parent child relationships by organizing family outings/field trips into the community. This provides many low income immigrant families the opportunity to engage in the community as a family.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: The lead organization should be able to employ a two-tiered approach that works with immigrant mothers (parents), immigrant children and youth and families. It should have the capacity to bring services to women in their homes, allowing the women to be in a position to freely address their needs.
  • Partnerships: Limited information on this topic.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The Assisting Immigrant Mother’s project has been implemented in Calgary (Alberta) from 2011 to 2014. Funding was provided through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the Assisting Immigrant Mother’s project. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The SROI ratio is 5.29:1 demonstrating that for every dollar invested in the project a social value of $5.29 was created;
  • Social value was created through avoiding social work, family counselling resources; avoiding the cost of reliance on community support workers, reliance on income assistance and food bank; avoiding police call outs; avoiding the cost of high school drop outs, reduction in property crimes; and
  • Eliminating risk factors and engaging youth before destructive patterns emerge, helps them develop healthy behaviours. Society at large also benefits from families having the capacity to cope with and address behavioural issues before they escalate to involve police and social services agencies.

References

Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Assisting Immigrant Mothers (AIM). Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/safe-communities-innovation-fund-pilot-project-executive-summaries

For more information on this program, contact:

Calgary Immigrant Women's Association
Beba Svigir
Telephone: (403) 444-1755
E-mail: director@ciwa-online.com


Record Entry Date - 2018-02-20

Date modified: