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The CASA program of JFCY supports young people who were brought to Canada as children, and are living in Ontario with precarious or no immigration status. JFCY lawyers provide free and confidential legal services; and CASA staff help with immigration pathways, connections to supports and resources, and access for education and healthcare services. CASA believes that all young people deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their immigration status. 

Legal Services

Do you have questions or concerns about immigration status? JFCY lawyers are here to listen to your story and empower you to make your own decisions.

JFCY’s legal services and CASA’s support services are free and confidential. Services include providing you with summary legal advice, information, assistance, connections to lawyers for ongoing legal representation, and navigation supports. Depending on your circumstances, ongoing legal representation may be available from our clinic. In other cases we will connect you with lawyers at other legal clinics, or on legal aid certificates.

We also give legal advice to parents about registering children in school when immigration status is an issue. We also provide summary legal advice, information, and assistance to people working with young people, and community groups across Ontario.

To be eligible for JFCY’s CASA program services, you must:

  • Be under the age of 25
  • Be living in Ontario
  • Have arrived in Canada as a child
  • Meet JFCY’s financial eligibility criteria (if accessing ongoing legal services and representation)

Call JFCY if you live in Ontario and:

  • You have questions about your immigration status
  • You want to get immigration status
  • You have a legal problem that intersects with your immigration status
  • Your immigration status is preventing you from accessing other services like school, postsecondary education, and healthcare

Educational Workshops

Workshops for Young People:

CASA provides free in-person and online workshops in high school classrooms and community settings that benefit all participants, while sharing important resources and information to those without immigration status. Our workshops are Ontario curriculum-linked and cover issues such as youth rights, social justice, allyship, and more. We can also provide individually tailored workshops for your students.

Workshops for Adults Working With Young People:

CASA delivers free in-person and online workshops for adults working with young people including teachers, guidance counsellors, principals, youth workers, settlement workers, shelter workers, and more. Our workshops explore barriers young people with precarious or no immigration status face, relevant laws, and creating more equitable and inclusive spaces for young people without immigration status.

For a full list of CASA workshops, please view our workshop brochure:

Community Development and Law Reform

The lack of a national dialogue and research about young people in Canada with precarious or no immigration status makes it challenging to identify and address the unique barriers they face and develop effective policies and programs to support them.

CASA engages in initiatives and research to raise awareness, and works with stakeholders including our clients, community members, other service providers and educators, and, in some cases, government, to amplify the voices of young people and bring about positive systems change on issues of children, young people, and immigration. Our projects include:

Borderless Access to Education Project

JFCY along with two grassroots organizations, Sanctuary Students Solidarity and Support Collective and Black Creek Youth Initiative, received a multi-year grant through Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Youth Opportunities fund to launch a new systems innovation project named Borderless Access to Education. The project aims to improve equitable access to education through changing policies and attitudes for students with precarious immigration status in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

For more information about this project, or if you’d like to get involved, please contact Talayeh Shomali, Director of Borderless Access to Education.

The Borderless Access to Education project is conducting a survey in order to identify knowledge gaps and areas for improvement within the school system. If you’re a relevant stakeholder, please find and complete the appropriate survey link provided below:

CASA Art Project

CASA has partnered with visual artist Cindy Blazevic on the CASA Art Project. This awareness raising project helps people understand what it is like to be a young person living in Canada with precarious or no immigration status. The project creates an opportunity for CASA clients to speak up for themselves through visual art – amplifying their voices, reducing stigma, and highlighting the individual capacity and agency of young people living with precarious or no immigration status. Visit the following links to learn more about the project:

For more information about this project, please contact Dennique Lavia, CASA Project Assistant.

OISE CASA Research Project

CASA has partnered with Dr. Arlo Kempf of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE) on the SSHRC funded research project Educational Experiences of Youth with Precarious Immigration Status in the Greater Toronto Area. This research will help us better understand and address the educational realities and barriers of youth with precarious or no immigration status, including CASA clients, and improve our ability to support them in and around educational processes. Research findings will also be used to create educational material for school boards, school administrators, and classroom teachers to help better meet the educational needs of students without immigration status, and to advocate for policy change.

For more information about this project, please contact Dennique Lavia, CASA Project Assistant.

Resources & Outreach Materials:

The following resources are free to download and distribute:

CASA poster for classrooms and guidance offices.
CASA workshops flyer for teachers and people who work with young people.
JFCY Comic Book page for introducing CASA and immigration status to young people.

Visit the Legal Rights section and Publications page for more information on legal rights.

Support CASA:

Here are a few ways you can support CASA’s work:

  1. Let’s have a conversation! Click the link to connect with our Education & Outreach Manager. CASA collaborates with stakeholders from the youth, education, law, and settlement sectors.
  2. Download and share our outreach materials with your network. You can help us reach more young people in need of our services.
  3. Click here to be taken to our donation page. Please select Childhood Arrivals Support and Advocacy Program on the drop down menu. Donations are always welcome to ensure we maintain funds to support CASA clients with immigration application fees and other expenses.
  4. Sign up for our Friends of CASA mailing list to stay up-to-date on our initiatives, events, and calls for support. Friends of CASA is a volunteer group launched in 2020 who are dedicated to friend-raising and fundraising to support CASA’s growth and impact.

CASA in the Media:

CASA is supported by funding from:

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