Immigrant Parents’ Experiences Engaging with Schools when their Children require Specialized School Support

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Chater, Raquel M.
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Canadian schools are becoming more diverse due to increasing immigration rates. With the influx of immigrant children in schools, school staff must recognize their experiences and help facilitate a positive transition, especially when they require specialized services. Research has identified barriers related to communication challenges and knowledge-based obstacles for immigrant parents with a child who needs specialized support. This study adopted a case study approach to examine immigrant parents’ experiences engaging with schools when their children require specialized school support. Two case profiles were created based on interview data with mothers in Nova Scotia. The barriers experienced differed greatly depending on the support they received, highlighting inequities across the schools in the province. When barriers exist, parents may have difficulties connecting to school staff. On the contrary, when communication is accessible to immigrant families, school staff can achieve higher levels of parent engagement.
Immigration, children, school, school support