Multicultural Liaison Officer Program (MLO)
– A Unique and Effective Service Delivery Model
Created in 1991, OCISO’s Multicultural Liaison Officer Program (MLO) addresses the settlement needs of immigrant and refugee families in Ottawa schools. The goal of the MLO Program is to help ensure the successful integration of newcomer children and their families in Ottawa schools. The program takes a three-pronged approach that involves the student, the family and the wider school community. OCISO runs this program in partnership with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
MLO Program Approach
Schools are one of the first services that immigrant and refugee families connect with in the community. The program allows for settlement services to be provided on-site at schools and facilitates the interaction between students, parents, teachers, school
administrators and a broad range of organizations, enabling all involved to work toward shared goals, such as quality of education for newcomer students, increased intercultural competence and awareness, and a smoother integration of immigrant and refugee families.
What makes the MLO program unique?
The success of the MLO program rests on the fact that it’s based on the recognition, to borrow from an African proverb, “it takes a village to settle and integrate newcomers in our communities”. There are two important features that speak to the innovative nature of this program:
- Unique partnership between Ottawa School Boards, OCISO, the Federal Government and newcomer communities.
- Providing settlement services on site (in the past settlement services were delivered in settlement agencies) which makes the program highly effective.