SAFSS is a trusted not-for-profit social services agency that has been serving and advocating for newcomers, refugees and victims of all types of violence since 1989. The need to address Violence against Women was the seed of the organization's establishment. However, while the organization was initially founded to support women and children who were victims of domestic violence, it has since evolved and expanded its services to support other identified needs. Our trained staff provide a range of services to a diverse, multi-cultural and multi-lingual community in a responsible and professional manner in a safe non-judgmental and confidential environment that fosters trust, respect and collaboration.

SAFSS makes a difference in the lives of approximately 13,000 persons each year serving them at four locations within Scarborough. Its operations are supported through grants from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Canada (IRCC); the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services (MCSS); the City of Toronto; and through its annual fundraising efforts.

What We Do

Counselling Victims of Violence
Starting in 1989, SAFSS was founded to address the epidemic of violence against women. Today, it continues to provide supportive counselling for victims of domestic and other types of violence on a confidential one-on-one basis and holding group sessions in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner. The support group for domestic violence model is based on sharing information about basic resources in the community and how to access them. The program teaches coping and survival skills in a culturally sensitive manner to help victims relate to each other and practice skills imparted during one-on-one counseling sessions. As of July 2017 we also conduct classes for men who have been referred to us or who wish to learn about domestic violence issues.

Settlement Services for Newcomers
SAFSS provides settlement services under two programs: the federally funded Orientation Program, and the provincially funded Newcomer Settlement Program (NSP)

Orientation Services
Starting in 1993, SAFSS began to address the settlement needs of immigrant and convention refugees. This program provides settlement and integration services by providing the information and guidance they need to better understand life in Canada and feel empowered to make informed decisions about their settlement needs; provides referral assistance to acquire basic material needs and assist in finding employment that corresponds with their skills and education; and helps them to establish networks and contacts so that they are engaged and feel welcomed in their communities.

This program enables the newcomers to have timely, useful and accurate information that they need to make informed settlement decisions and helps newcomers understand life in Canada, including laws, rights, responsibilities and how to access community resources.

Newcomer Settlement Program (NSP)
NSP provides similar services to the Orientation program but has more flexible client eligibility criteria. Services are available to permanent residents; Canadian citizens; convention refugees and refugee claimants; newcomers admitted under Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program; foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver Program; and Minister's permit holders who have special permission to remain in Canada.

Language Skill Development Programs
The Language/Skills Development Program was initiated in 1992 and provides language instruction and training to adult newcomers in English to facilitate their social, cultural and economic integration into the Canadian society. It offers a Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) program from literacy level to level 6/7. Care for Newcomer Children (CNC), transportation assistance, field trips and information sessions are also offered as part of the language training program. These programs are offered at three strategic locations across Scarborough.

Other services are offered at these sites as well. In partnership with the TCDSB, ESL evening classes are offered at our Finch location. These classes serve beginners, intermediate and advanced students. We also provide language-specific parenting programs for the students after class hours in partnership with Toronto Public Health at the Finch Centre.

Volunteer Development Program
The Volunteer Development Program is an effective training program to enhance the skills, knowledge and behaviour which is essential for job performance and is directed towards practical and experiential learning, tailored to the individual needs of the volunteer.

This program is designed to benefit the volunteers, the organization and the community. Under the guidance of our Volunteer Coordinator, the program includes tools to help the volunteers understand the tasks involved, skills required, other important details about the job and accomplishments to be achieved.

Support for Isolated Seniors and Women
The purpose of the program is to break down social isolation through interaction and information sharing and respond to seniors' concerns through developing life-skills/coping strategies.

The goal of the program is to improve the well being of this client group and to facilitate enhanced access to social networks. Another goal is to help avoid and prevent senior abuse.