Cultural Competence workshops hosted by the New Immigrant Support Network

Following a federal grant in 2009 to support new immigrants,  SickKids setup a New Immigrant Support Network.  The NISN is an important family centered initiative and was highlighted in the 2009-2010 year in review under "improving access for newcomers" to Canada.  The work is currently focused on translating family support guides and cultural competence education workshops for staff.

Parents volunteering on SickKids committees and members of the Family Centred Care Advisory Council are encouraged to consider attending a workshop on Cultural Competence.  Please see the workshop descriptions below provided by Karima Karmali, the NISN Director. Jan/Feb schedules will be forwarded to the FCCAC co-chairs and Karima is hoping to meet and present to the FCCAC  in early 2011.  

Cultural Competence workshops at SickKids Hospital

Session A examines the settlement-related stressors experienced by new immigrant families and the difficulties they face when a child is ill. The social determinants of health are reviewed in this context and a cultural competence framework and cultural assessment tool are presented. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on how personal values, assumptions and biases can impact on the healthcare provider-family/patient relationship. Learners will gain an understanding of how cultural competence links to patient safety and family-centred care.

Session B will focus on developing skills in collaborative communication and cross cultural communication with a particular focus on working effectively with medical interpreters. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about cultural differences in parenting practices, mental health perspectives, and the expression of pain. A cultural competence lens will be applied to clinical case studies.

Session C will focus clinical cultural competence in situations related to the use of complementary and alternative therapies as well as bereavement and grief. Participants will have an opportunity to apply and enhance cultural assessment and cross cultural communication skills with Standardized Patients.

Cultural Competence for Non-clinicians examines the challenges that new immigrants face as part of the settlement process and the difficulties they encounter in the health care system when they have an ill child. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on personal values, biases and assumptions and learn about how all hospital staff can play a role in providing culturally competent service.


  1. Do you know if family volunteers from other hospitals might be able to attend? These workshops sound amazing!

  2. Hi Kate, happy to hear you are interested and I don't know so I asked and you can also email her directly to introduce yourself and make the request. Karima is the director of the NISM. Thanks for popping by.


  3. Kate, Karima confirmed capacity for some family volunteers from other hospitals. If you wish to share a bit about what you are working on, my email is