While both refugee sponsors and settlement professionals are invested in assisting privately sponsored refugees to a positive settlement experience, there are differences between the roles of sponsors and service providers. One of the main differences is related to accountability. Service providers are almost always publicly funded whereas sponsoring groups are not. Thus, service providers are accountable to the policies and mandates of the organizations they are employed by and their funders. Sponsoring groups, whether they be SAHs, Community Sponsors or Groups of Five, are held accountable to settlement outcomes.
Another difference noted is the language used by both groups when referring to newcomers. Service providers usually refer to sponsored as clients in a professional relationship whereas sponsors relate to sponsored refugees as friends.
How important do you think these differences are? Or, are they even important at all?
Despite the differences in roles and responsibilities, it is important that the roles of both sponsors and settlement professionals be understood as complimentary to each other. Both sponsors and settlement professionals are key partners during the settlement period for privately sponsored refugees.