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Smiling People

Desired Outcomes

What are the potential outcomes , and how will our priorities get us there?

The Desired Outcomes

Building Family Needs Network

A Useful Tool for Improving the Lives of Immigrants and Refugees

The Family Needs Framework will be a useful tool for agencies, employers, and clients to identify and articulate the needs of newcomers and refugees. The Family Needs Framework that we propose in this study will help service agencies to quickly identify the health risks that refugees are facing and guide services to provide effective and immediate preventive procedures to ensure a safe and peaceful integration process.


The focus on the family unit will greatly help guide stakeholders in understanding their clients’ needs in a truly holistic way - accounting for the needs, influence, and effects of their clients’ family members’ needs on their own and the approaches that should be taken to address them. 


Our findings linking frustrated needs with downstream challenges and pathologies will also help guide stakeholders in creating responsive services pathways whereby the relevant agencies can be identified clearly at the outset, and their services mapped out and coordinated such that the support provided to clients are seamless. This may substantially improve service navigation and accessibility and ensure that the right types of services are being offered.

Updating Existing Practices 

Informing practices, impacting services, and implementing ideas

Epistemically, what we learn from this project will update the existing knowledge of refugees and their integration process. With globalization, the instability of international relations (e.g., Afghan civil war, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), and the persistent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, refugees and service agencies are constantly facing changing and increasingly complex and urgent settlement cases.


Maintaining an up-to-date and accurate understanding of refugees’ basic needs is the foundation of successful intervention. Practically, the results of this project will help immigration centres make more informed and systematic decisions about the delivery of their services based on evidence. The Family Needs Framework and services pathway can also guide policy makers’ funding priorities such that the services that are identified as most crucial are appropriately supported.

Academic Sharing 

Building knowledge, developing literature, and publishing evidence

This program of research will also be of great interest to academics working in the areas of diversity and inclusion, refugees, stress, and occupational health. We will disseminate findings through publications in top-tier journals in management and general science journals, including Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Science as well as refugee/immigrant-focused publication outlets, such as the Journal of Refugee Studies. All are peer-reviewed and prestigious, and many with open access options. For academics who do not access the above journals, we will freely distribute the pre-prints of our publications via our professional websites (UofT, Social Psychology Network,


Findings from this research will also form the basis for several national and international conference presentations to ensure that researchers in management and psychology are well informed of the results. These include the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference; the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Conference; the Academy of Management Conference; and the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology Conference.


The Peel Family Pathways Project 

Impacting practices and services



Implement the holistic integration of mental health supports into settlement and employment services.


Improve service navigation and accessibility from the marginalized immigrants and refugees' perspectives and experiences. For example, including access to targeted and wrap-around services to prevent and address issues that create barriers to employment (e.g. worker exploitation, housing needs, obtaining status, etc.).


Implement the holistic integration of mental health supports into settlement and employment services.

With understanding the basic needs of immigrant and refugee clients, we will be able to help improve or create more specific resources to better suit and meet the mental health needs of new immigrants and refugee clients.


The responsive service pathways that we aim to develop will prioritize pathology prevention and consider potential mental health challenges in all stages of their settlement (e.g., lost, transition, adaptation, and integration) and employment services (e.g., identifying job strength fit, boosting job-seeking efficacy, and preparing for application materials).


The pathways will also include a self-adaptive function so that it will dynamically and autonomously respond to changes detected in existing data and any new data collected in the future.


Our pathways will perpetually adapt to up-to-date understanding of the barriers that immigrant and refugee clients are facing. Therefore, our plan connects with the third priority which is to implement the holistic integration of mental health supports into settlement and employment services.

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