A Practical Guide for Sponsors

Sponsorship Handbook

In response to many inquiries, we have compiled a handbook as a guide for those who are sponsoring refugees to Canada. Lifeline Syria’s handbook focuses on the first year, after the refugee family has arrived in Canada.  It is not about the planning leading up to arrival. Sponsors who are in the early stages will find help from our presentations and from Refugee Sponsorship Training Program’s HandbookThere may be refinements in our handbook over the next few days but we are now pleased to provide you with a draft version.


We welcome your editing suggestions for this working document.   Contact  .

mapleInterim Federal Health Program Coverage for Syrian Refugees

On December 16th the expected announcement was made official.  Here’s the federal government’s announcement, and here’s what you need to know to guide newcomers through the process. Need to know more details about Interim Federal Health Coverage for Syrian refugees?  We can explain.

NEW_Ont_logo_blkEssential Medical Information Downloads

Syrian Refugee Health Care Options in Ontario

Toronto’s Community Health Centres

Female-doctor-by-ILO-in-Asia-and-the-Pacific-Creative-CommonsMedical Clinics for Refugees

Need help to access medical services for Syrian refugees? A clinic operates one day a week at many different rotating locations in the GTA. All services are covered by OHIP. Find out where and when, and how to phone for an appointment. 

Pro Bono Dental Care

dental check upCanadian Dentists for Refugees is a new service that connects refugees with dentists who are willing to offer their services for free. You can qualify if you:

  1. Are a refugee who has arrived in Canada within the last 12 months
  2. Have dental pain or an emergency and
  3. Cannot afford dental treatments

kidsUseful Information in Arabic

Newcomers will find useful information about immigration and citizenship, housing, health, employment, education, community and legal services all translated into Arabic at settlement.org. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has also produced a booklet called Welcome to Canada which is available in Arabic here.

Sharing Forum for Sponsor Groups

Lifeline Syria has set up a Sponsor Forum which allows Lifeline Syria sponsor group members to share information, and encouragement, get and give advice, hear about the experiences of other sponsors and share their own best practices.    Register now

Note: There will be a short delay before you are approved.  ***We regret that the scope of this project can’t be extended to the general public: access to the Forum will only be granted to members of Lifeline Syria Sponsor Groups.*** 

Other Settlement Resources

torontoAs a service to newcomers to Toronto the municipal government has recently launched its Refugee Resettlement Program website.  Here is where you’ll be connected to Information Fairs, Settlement Workers, Housing Support, Health Care, Employment Assistance and a brochure for newcomers.

  sponsorFrom the federal government Department of Citizenship and Immigration Syrian Refugees Population Profile.

The government of Canada also has a site with information about how to welcome Syrian refugees: Donate. Volunteer. Sponsor.  All Canadians can help welcome Syrian refugees. With the suggestions contained in this website you can help make a difference in their lives in a number of different ways – small and large. Let’s all get involved!

ontarioThe Ontario Government has an excellent resource: Syrian Refugees: How you Can Help. Ontario stands with the world, ready to do its part to help thousands of Syrian families displaced by war, settle here safely. With so many generous offers of support from communities across the province — together, we will make a difference.

cknc-logo-enThe Canadian Paediatric Society is aware that there will be children and youth with a range of physical, emotional and mental health needs.  You will find Caring for Kids New to Canada an essential resource for those helping to resettle Syrian families. In addition CMAS has published an online resource called Caring for Syrian Refugee Children: a Program Guide for Welcoming Young Children and their Families with information, tips and resources for welcoming your family to Canada.

We also recommend that you explore the information at the Settlement.org website, in particular the section that allows you to find services located in specific Ontario locations.

rstpThe Refugee Sponsorship Training Program has an excellent resource, Handbook for Sponsoring Groups.  We recommend that sponsoring groups pay special attention to Chapter 7.