UBC Graduate Research

Newcomer families with children with developmental delays : experiences with service utilization Morin, Cindy


In this project I explore the literature on newcomer families’ experiences and perceptions in raising children with developmental delays in Canada. In addition, I examine the aspects many newcomers to Canada experience related to immigration which may present as barriers to accessing services, including language and belief systems. Theoretical frameworks that guide this project include socio-cultural theory, ecological systems theory and social learning theory. I also draw on communities of practice framework (CoP) that is grounded on social learning theory. This project explores the extant literature that examines newcomer families’ perceptions, values, and beliefs about their children with developmental delays. Additionally, I draw on the extant literature on health literacy—people who possess the ability to read and comprehend health promotion information. Likewise, I draw on the notion of cultural competency—service providers who practice cultural competency possess the ability to value others’ views of the world. Included in the literature review is an examination of strategies that work for newcomers when seeking-services. Therefore, I point to how early intervention services, education, and government agencies need to become aware of newcomers’ unique perspectives and experiences in order to facilitate and encourage families in seeking early intervention for their children. To address these potential barriers, I propose ways to practice culturally sensitive services at a community level. I include recommendations that early intervention, education and social services adopt the findings from health literacy literature as an approach to address barriers associated with newcomers seeking-services.

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