Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 6-18-2015






Despite an extensive history with immigration, structural barriers and health inequities for immigrant and refugee populations continue to be widely documented within Canada. As a result, attention to particularly vulnerable subgroups such as newcomer children has become increasingly paramount. However, large gaps concerning newcomer children’s wellbeing persist within previous literature. In response, this study examines newcomer children’s issues, the roles of family and community support systems, and the impact of sociopolitical factors from the perspective of key stakeholders. A total of 15 newcomer parents and community professionals were interviewed in order to illuminate the current context of support for immigrant and refugee children living in the Waterloo Region.

Throughout stakeholder discourse, large, structural factors such as neoliberalism were documented as having a strong impact on the lived experience of newcomer parents, children, and community organizations. Newcomer children were established as an invisible population whose needs were largely overlooked on account of a preoccupation with adult concerns and the expectation of childhood resiliency. Lastly, a paradox regarding newcomer parenthood was documented, in which newcomer adults were simultaneously responsibilized for the care of their children and faced with structural barriers that restrict their parenting capabilities. Overall, this study demonstrates the importance of the critical, multi-level analysis of newcomer children’s support systems, with particular attention to the diverse perspectives of key stakeholders.