This paper reports on the Making Ontario Home study – a province-wide survey of immigrants and refugees, addressing their use, satisfaction, and challenges with legal services. Survey participants included refugees, refugee claimants, migrant workers, and those without legal immigration status. The objective of the study was to understand what needs are being met, which groups are well served, why some newcomers don’t use settlement services, and how settlement needs can be met. The paper first gives some core concepts of settlement and integration, an overview of immigration, settlement, and integration trends in last 20 years, and a brief review of the literature. Study data were collected through a 2011 online survey available in multiple languages to adults who arrived in Canada from 2000 to 2010. The study also included small focus group discussions and interviews with immigrants and service providers. 2530 respondents’ surveys were included for analysis.
Key findings showed that participants were most concerned about employment, language training programs and services were rated high, counselling and advice were highly used as well as settlement support services, and there was high satisfaction with program and service areas. Immigrants and refugees arriving after 2006 had higher satisfaction with services and were more likely to have used them. Those with higher education were more likely to use services, and those who didn’t use services were often simply unaware of them. Transportation and distance to services was also cited as an issue to access. The study also showed that services for immigrants living with disabilities need to be better coordinated. The paper includes informative tables with demographics as well as a comprehensive bibliography. These data are useful for legal service providers and PLEI, and they reveal areas for further research to improve policy development and program review.