Welcoming Community

A project to promote the recruitment, integration and retention of French-speaking future health and social services professionals in communities in Central Southwestern Ontario.


Recruiting, integrating and retaining a health workforce with language competencies to provide services in French are major challenges faced by many health organizations. The 2013-2018 National Strategy for Société Santé en français has endorsed community-based initiatives to build collaborative and supportive processes to ensure better integration and retention of health and social service professionals in Francophone communities.

What is our goal?

Welcoming Community (2014-2021) promoted the integration, recruitment and retention of bilingual health and social service professionals in five southern Ontario communities. The project supported groups of organizations and communities of practice in implementing strategies and initiatives to raise awareness of their communities among students in health programs and bilingual professionals and to encourage professional networking opportunities, community engagement, internships and recruitment opportunities within the organizations.


How is this done?

  • Supporting the identification of future professionals enrolled in health and social services programs.
  • Implementing and promoting welcoming community strategies and activities to foster the recruitment, integration, and retention of professionals in the communities.
  • Promoting strategies to increase placements and recruitment of bilingual professionals among health and social service providers.


Who does this project target?

The Welcoming Community project is aimed at

  • Communities of practice and/or groups of agencies wishing to attract Francophone and bilingual workforce to their region.
  • Bilingual students and professionals from nursing, social work, medicine, psychology, speech-language pathology and other targeted programs in the communities.
  • French language or English language colleges or universities offering health and social service programs in Southern Ontario.
  • Bilingual health and social service professionals who wish to learn about community resources and career opportunities in Southern Ontario.


Who are we?

The Welcoming Community project was developed by the French Health Network of Central Southwestern Ontario (aka, Réseau franco-santé du Sud de l’Ontario) in collaboration with five regional groups of organizations and communities of practice:

Communauté de pratique pour les professionnels bilingues  also known as the CPPB (English-French)

la Table de concertation de Waterloo, Wellington, Guelph also known as WWG Round Table

Niagara Interagency Table’s Health Committee

Mississauga Halton LHIN French Language Service (FLS) Community of Practices (CoP)

North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN’s FLS Community of Practice (CoP)

The initiative was funded by Health Canada under the Action Plan for Official Languages – Destination Health 2013-2018 and Healthbound 2018-2023.



If you want to benefit from the advantages offered by the Welcoming community project:

The training Communities of practice: a collaborative approach to increasing French language services, based on the experience of the French Health Network of Central Southwestern Ontario, was developed to support health partners who wish to work in communities of practice to increase the provision of French language health services by creating strategic projects that address identified issues and needs.

eQUITY Link access to training resource


Learn more

Learn more about the five groups of agencies and communities of practice and their community welcoming strategies and initiatives:

  • Communauté de pratique pour les professionnels bilingues’’ site also known as the CPPB (English-French): 
  • la Table de concertation de Waterloo, Wellington, Guelph also known as WWG Round Table:


Documents to download:

Rapport d’évaluation sommative du projet Communauté accueillante 2.0, 31 mars 2020 (Available in French only)

To view:

Mississauga Halton Welcoming Community English (English versionFrench version

Fireside chat with Erick Gonzalez, new bilingual professional in the Niagara region (French version

A bilingual social worker shares on the advantage of having access to French and bilingual placement opportunities. (English versionFrench version)

Systemic Social Worker discussed how to better integrate bilingual (French-English) students in Francophone communities. (English versionFrench version)

Rendez-vous Carrières Santé 2022 event -presentation of agencies in the Niagara region (French version, scripts-translation anglais


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