Many immigrants and refugees face several structural obstacles including language and cultural barriers, low levels of literacy, racism, professional accreditation issues, and limited awareness of various democratic processes and societal practices. This result in many of them living in isolation.
The Multicultural HIPPY program was primarily developed to support the mother as the first and most important teacher of her child. The program supports mainly newcomer and refugee mothers as well as low-income mothers and encourages them to be fully involved in their communities. The HIPPY program hires current and past mothers in the program as Home Visitors. This, of course, has benefitted a lot of Home Visitors who report that this was their first job in Canada.
Since 2002, the HIPPY program has served over 10,000 families, starting with one site in Vancouver, BC, there are now 17 sites in 6 provinces. The program is offered across Canada mostly by immigrant/refugee-serving organizations.