Letter of Information for Implied Consent

You are invited to participate in a survey for a research study entitled Does Theory Align with Practice? An Evaluation of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society’s Newcomer Wraparound Support Program that is being conducted by Evelyn Kalman.
 
Evelyn is a Master of Public Administration student in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, and she is required to conduct research as part of her Program’s final project (ADMN 598).This research is being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Kimberly Speers, Assistant Teaching Professor. This study is also being conducted for the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS). Please be advised that the primary audience for this study is VIRCS.
 
To protect your privacy, you have received the invitation to participate in this study from VIRCS or another newcomer-serving agency in Greater Victoria with access to your personal contact information.
 
You are invited to take part in this study because you are a newcomer to Canada who is, or has been, a client of VIRCS’ Newcomer Wraparound Support Program.

Before you begin the survey, please read the information below in order to determine whether you need to contact the research team about any questions you may have about this study, and to make a full and informed consent about participating in this research.
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study is to explore whether the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program offered through VIRCS is successfully helping newcomers to Canada deal with any hardships they may face. The researcher wishes to study the Program to see if it is successful and find out whether any improvements could be made to make the Program better for newcomers.
 
The survey will mainly ask about your experience and satisfaction with the Program, and whether you have anyrecommendations for improvement. The survey will also ask some demographic information to help the researcher learn who the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program is helping the most and who is in need of changes. If you feel uncomfortable with answering any of the questions, feel free to skip them.
 
Most of the questions are closed-ended, meaning that you will be required to pick the answer that best reflects your experience.
 
IMPORTANCE OF THIS RESEARCH
This research is important because it will help VIRCS evaluate the effectiveness of the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program. An evaluation of this Program can identify areas that are ineffective and develop the need for additional resources to ensure that the intended goals of the Program are successfully achieved. In addition, examining the effectiveness of wraparound approaches to settlement and social integration could uncover opportunities for improvement and explore smart practices that could contribute to positive outcomes for newcomers to Greater Victoria and perhaps nationwide.
 
PARTICIPANTS SELECTION
Newcomers aged 19 and over who are currently enrolled in the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program or have received services through this Program in the past are welcome to participate in this study.
 
Members of the Settlement Team who administer the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program through VIRCS will also be invited to participate in an interview.
WHAT IS INVOLVED
The research study consists of two phases: (1) Surveys and (2) Interviews.

Phase 1: Survey
If you consent to voluntarily participate in this survey, your participation will include completing a 20-to-30-minute survey. You are currently accessing the link to the online survey. If you do not have access to internet, you can pick up a physical copy of the survey by visiting the reception desk at VIRCS. VIRCS is located at: 1004 North Park Street, Victoria, BC.

If you complete the survey online, please know that information gathered for this research study uses Survey Monkey, which is an online program located in the United States. As such, there is a possibility that the information you provide may be accessed without your knowledge or consent by the United States Government in compliance with the United States Freedom Act.

If you choose to complete a physical copy of the survey, there is a locked, black metal box located next to the surveys at the VIRCS reception desk. You can deposit your completed survey in this box. Only the researcher will have access to the key of this box. There are also pre-stamped envelopes available for you that are addressed to the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. If you prefer, you can mail the surveys to this address. The School of Public Administration staff will notify the researcher to retrieve the surveys once they arrive.

Please complete and submit the survey by March 31, 2019.

Phase 2: Interview
At the end of the survey, the researcher will provide you with her e-mail address and phone number if you wish to participate in the second part of the study, which is an interview that could be conducted over the phone or in-person, depending on your preference. If this is something you want to participate in, you will be required to contact the researcher to organize a date, time, and location for the interview.

If you decide to participate in Phase 2 of the study:
You can expect an in-person or phone interview that will last between 30-to-45-minutes, depending on how much information you want to share. This interview will be audio-recorded so the researcher can code your information into themes and patterns after the interview. In the interview, you will be able to elaborate on the different factors affecting your experience with the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program. Please note that you will be provided a separate Information Sheet and Consent Form if you want to participate in this portion of the study.

INCONVENIENCE
Please be advised that if you voluntarily consent to participate in this survey, having to take 20-to-30 minutes out of your day to complete the survey may be inconvenient. Participating in this survey may also require some travel to public computers, VIRCS, or Canada Post locations. If English is your second language, trying to answer some of the questions in the survey may be difficult. You do not have to answer any questions that you do not understand or cause you unnecessary stress. If you feel that you need additional support, VIRCS has translators on site that can help you, free of charge. At the end of this page, you can find additional translation services with relevant phone numbers and website links.
RISKS
There are no known harms associated with participation in this study. The survey is completely anonymous, and your name will never be linked to your responses.

While completing the survey, it is possible that some of the questions may cause emotional or psychological discomfort, as you will be asked to reflect on your immigration or refugee experience in relation to the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program. You do not have to answer any questions that make you feel uncomfortable or cause you emotional or psychological distress. You can also withdraw your participation at any time, without any consequences or explanations.

In addition, there are counselling services at VIRCS. You can call the organization and ask to speak with Alfred Okot Ochen, who will guide you toward support services to help debrief your experience. VIRCS’ phone number is: (250) 361-9433.

If you feel that you need additional support, you can find additional counselling services with relevant phone numbers and website links at the end of this document (Appendix B).

BENEFITS
You will not personally benefit from your participation in this research study. However, the potential benefits to your participation in this research include improved social integration and settlement services for newcomers to Greater Victoria and/or Canada. This study may also lead to improved work conditions for individuals administering the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program and better service delivery.

INCENTIVES
In appreciation of your time for completing the survey, you will have a chance to win one of six $25.00 Visa Gift Cards. If you complete the survey online, you will have the opportunity to enter your name and phone number or e-mail address in a draw after you have submitted the survey. If you complete a physical copy of the survey, you will need to travel to the reception desk at VIRCS, where you will find a white cardboard box next to the surveys. You can enter your name and phone number or e-mail address in this draw for a chance to win the gift card. The results of the draw will be known in early April.

If you consent to participate in this study, this form of compensation to you must not be coercive. It is unethical to provide undue compensation or inducements to research participants. If you would not participate if the incentive was not offered, then you should decline.
VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION AND WITHDRAWAL FROM RESEARCH STUDY
Your participation in this research must be completely voluntary. If you decide to participate, you may withdraw at any time without any consequences or any explanations.

However, if you withdraw from the research after you have submitted your survey, please be advised that it will be logistically impossible to destroy the data you have provided in the survey, as surveys will be anonymous and the researcher will not be aware of the identify of individuals who completed the surveys. Therefore, it will be impossible for her to remove your answers from the aggregate results once your survey is submitted.

If you choose to participate in an interview, and wish to withdraw, you will have the option to have your data/information destroyed or to allow the researcher to use the information you provided.

If you withdraw from the study during data collection or any time thereafter and you are the winner of the incentive draw, you will remain the winner of the draw. The researcher will contact you using the information you provided when you entered the draw in order to retrieve the incentive, regardless of your decision to continue participation in the research study or withdraw during any stage.

RESEARCHER’S RELATIONSHIP WITH PARTICIPANTS
The client of this project is VIRCS, particularly the Director of Settlement Services. Therefore, the client of the project is directly responsible for the effective administration of the Newcomer Wraparound Support Program. You may know the client in some form. To help prevent this relationship from influencing your decision to participate, the following steps have been taken: The client has agreed to be excluded from the research. The Director of Settlement Services will not participate in the recruitment process of prospective participants or data collection and will not fund the research project. In addition, the client will not have direct access to the information you provide or learn of who agreed to participate in the research. As such, if you choose not to participate, your relationship with VIRCS will not be impacted. 

You may have learned of this research through an e-mail you received by your caseworker. Please be assured that your caseworker is simply trying to draw your attention to this research. However, it is entirely up to you whether you would like to participate in this research or not. Your caseworker supports your freedom of choice and DOES NOT expect you or require you under any circumstance to take part in this research if you do not wish to do so.
 
You may have also learned of this research through a link in your computer workshop. Please be assured that this research is NOT a mandatory requirement of your computer workshop. If you do not want to participate in this survey, your performance in this computer workshop WILL NOT be impacted.
 
Regardless of how you learned of this research (on your own, through your caseworker, or through the computer workshop), please be assured that nobody expects or requires you to partake in this study. Your decision to participate is entirely up to you. If you decide not to participate in this study, your relationship with VIRCS or the University of Victoria will not be impacted.
ANONYMITY
To protect your privacy, the survey will be anonymous. This means that nobody, including the researcher or organizations that you may be affiliated with, will be able to link your answers to your name. The survey does not ask any questions that could reveal who you are. If you complete and submit the survey online, no one will be able to trace any information back to you. If you complete a physical copy of the survey, please do not include your name, phone number, e-mail address, or any other identifiable information anywhere on the survey. If you choose to mail the survey, please do not include your mailing address on the envelope.

There are some limits to your anonymity:
  • If you complete the survey by hand and provide any identifiable information (i.e. name, phone number, mailing address, etc.) for any reason (whether it be your choice or an accident), the researcher will be aware of your identity, making your survey no longer fully anonymous. Furthermore, if you choose to participate in the survey after speaking with the researcher, your anonymity will also be limited, given that the researcher will have seen your face and will be aware of your interest in completing the survey. To protect your anonymity, the researcher will strip all identifiers from the data, so that no one will be able to link your name with the material provided in the survey. Furthermore, the researcher will destroy any identifiable information that may be provided on any physical surveys.
  • If you choose to enter your name and e-mail address or phone number into the incentive draw, the researcher will have access to this information when the draw is made to determine the winner. However, because the survey does not ask for any identifiable information, no one will be able to link the information you provide for the incentive draw to your survey answers. Once the winners of the draw are determined, any and all identifiable information you have provided for the incentive draw will be destroyed.
CONFIDENTIALITY
Only the information needed for research purposes will be collected. All the information collected during the study will remain confidential as required by law. All research data will be stored in a password-protected computer, which will be in a locked office. Moreover, all the data will be erased and any paper copies will be shredded at the end of this study.

If you provide the researcher with your e-mail address or other personal information, this information will also be erased or shredded at the end of this study. If you choose to participate in an interview, after the interview, any and all personal information you provide will be destroyed.
DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS
It is expected that the final report of this study will be completed between August and October of 2019. The researcher will present the research study to a Graduate Panel in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria through an oral exam sometime in the Fall of 2019 as part of the Master in Public Administration Final Project requirements.

The results of this project will also be shared with VIRCS in the form of a report. Copies of the report will be available for the public at VIRCS between the Fall of 2019 and the Spring of 2020. You may also contact the researcher for a copy of the report.

The findings of the study may also be published in scientific journals or shared with other persons during scientific meetings. However, no data that will be published or shared will bear information that could lead to your identification.

DISPOSAL OF DATA
Any data from this study will be destroyed after the completion of the study. Electronic data will be erased and paper copies will be shredded.

RESOURCE PERSONS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROJECT
For further information about this research, you may contact:

Name Position Title E-mail Address Phone Number
Evelyn Kalman Master’s in Public Administration Candidate, University of Victoria evelynkalman@uvic.ca (604) 798-6148
Dr. Kimberly Speers Assistant Teaching Professor and Master’s Project Supervisor, University of Victoria kspeers@uvic.ca (250) 721-8057
Alfred Okot Ochen Case Manager, Adults and Families, VIRCS alfred@vircs.bc.ca (250) 361-9433 ext. 204

In addition, you may verify the ethical approval of this study, or raise any concerns you might have by contacting the Human Research Ethics Office at the University of Victoria at ethics@uvic.ca, or (250) 472-4545.
TRANSLATION SERVICES

Organization Address Phone E-mail Website
Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA) #205-2929 Commercial Drive, Vancouver (604) 718-2780 amssa@amssa.org https://www.amssa.org
Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) 2610 Victoria Drive,
Vancouver
(604) 684-2561 info@issbc.org https://www.immigrantlegal.ca/directory/immigrant-services-society-bc
Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) 930 Balmoral Road, 
Victoria
(250) 388-4728 N/A http://www.icavictoria.org
DIVERSEcity 13455 76 Avenue
, Surrey (604) 597-0205 info@dcrs.ca http://www.dcrs.ca/services/interpretation-translation-services/translation-services/
MOSAIC 5575 Boundary Road,
Vancouver
(604) 254-9626 info@mosaicbc.org https://www.mosaicbc.org
Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC #400-1501 W. Broadway, 
Vancouver
(604) 684-294 N/A https://www.stibc.org/default.aspx#.XEWZai0ZNo5
Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society 1004 North Park Street,
Victoria
250) 361-9433 info@vircs.bc.ca http://www.vircs.bc.ca
WelcomeBC N/A N/A N/A https://www.welcomebc.ca/home.asp

Free Online Translation Services: 
  • Google Translate: https://translate.google.com
  • Multilingual Legal Glossary: https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/resource/4407
COUNSELLING SERVICES

Organization Address Phone E-mail Website
BC Association of Clinical Counsellors #204-780 Tolmie Avenue, Victoria (250) 595 - 4448 N/A https://bc-counsellors.org/aid-syrian-refugees-can-help/
Dragonstone Counselling 3105 W. 14th Avenue, Vancouver (604) 738-7557 info@dragonstonecounselling.ca http://www.dragonstonecounselling.ca/resources.html
Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) 2610 Victoria Drive,
Vancouver
(604) 684-2561 info@issbc.org https://www.immigrantlegal.ca/directory/immigrant-services-society-bc
Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) 930 Balmoral Road, 
Victoria
(250) 388-4728 N/A http://www.icavictoria.org
Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees 3939 St. Peter’s Road, Victoria (778) 404-1777 info@viccir.org https://creativelyunited.org/vancouver-island-counselling-centre-immigrants-refugees/
WelcomeBC N/A N/A N/A https://www.welcomebc.ca/home.aspx
CONSENT
By completing and submitting the survey, YOUR FREE AND INFORMED CONSENT IS IMPLIED and indicates that you understand the above conditions of participation provided in this Letter of Information for Implied Consent. Your participation also confirms that you received explanations about the study, your questions were answered to your satisfaction, and you were given the time to think about it and make a free and informed decision.

Please move on to the next page to begin the survey. If you need more time to think, please feel free to exit this window and revisit the survey at a later time. If you no longer wish to participate, please exit this link. 
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