New Immigrants' Use of Four Social Service Agencies in a Canadian Metropolis

Murali Dharan Nair
Relatively little is known about immigrants' use of social service agencies that are set up to help them. The purpose of this study is to examine the new immigrant's use of social service agencies in a metropolitan city in Canada. Five hypotheses have been developed in relation to the two basic subsystems under study. The dependent variable is the new immigrant's use of social agencies; and the antecedent variables are derived from the characteristics of immigrants. The hypotheses, which this
more » ... heses, which this study tests, were derived from a review of the relevant literature in the field of immigration, the history of social services to new immigrants in Canada, and the present structure of social services to new immigrants to Canada, and are backed by the general characteristics of new immigrants. The study population were immigrants who had come to Toronto less than two years before. Immigrants were divided into (1) those who sought assistance from social service agencies and (b) those who did not. A quota sampling method was used to select immigrants. Fifty immigrants were selected from each of two public social service agencies and fifty from each of two private agencies - agencies that had been set up primarily to provide services to new immigrants. To these 200 cases were added 75 immigrants who had never been to an agency for assistance; they were selected from the membership lists of ten immigrant associations. The author administered the open-ended questionnaire personally in all the 275 interviews with the immigrants. In cases where immigrants could not communicate in even a little English interpreters were used, except where the author himself spoke the immigrant's language. The first 200 immigrants were interviewed at the four different social service agencies; the 75 non-users of agencies were interviewed at their homes. Tabulation of the data shows an equal number of immigrants in the sample who came from the developing countries (53%) and from the industrialized countries (47%). Half of the people in the sample [...]
doi:10.7916/d8z89bhr fatcat:w5uryvxpircwnakne7jijx7nkm