Who We Are

COSTI's Commitment to Equity

COSTI is a multicultural organization committed to equity, and employs staff who are reflective of the communities that it serves.

COSTI is committed to creating a community where there is respect and equity for all.

The integration of non-discriminatory and anti-racist principles and practices is fundamental to operationalizing principles of social justice and support of COSTI's Vision and Values. COSTI's investment in anti-racism organizational change is an extension of the agency's leadership and commitment to providing high quality services to immigrants.

Non-Discrimination Policy

COSTI's Non-Discrimination Policy states that the organization prohibits discrimination and harassment, and protects the right to be free of hate activity, based on age, ancestry, citizenship, creed (religion), colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership in a union or staff association, political affiliation, race, receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, sexual orientation, or any other personal characteristics by or within the organization.

Anti-Racism

COSTI incorporates and follows anti-racism principles in its policies and practices. The organization's Anti-Racism Policy and Protocol applies to all current and former staff, clients, volunteers, student placements, employees of partner organizations working on joint projects, and Board Members.

Established in 2000, COSTI's Anti-Racism Education and Training Team, is a staff-led advisory team responsible for Education, Training, Evaluation, and Communication on the existence, complexity and many forms of racism; and provides anti-racism leadership to COSTI and its Community. ARE-ATT undertakes numerous activities that educate, sensitize and train staff and Board. Its mandate is to:

  • Meet the anti-racism education and training needs of COSTI and its Community on an on-going basis through the development of intervention strategies and skills necessary to effectively address incidents of racism.
  • Deliver specialized training and/or workshops focused on identifying racism, developing strategies to deal with racism and practicing interventions.
  • Review the organization's policies, procedures, and training programs to ensure anti-racism principles and practices are integrated and effective.
  • Communicate with COSTI and its Community on an ongoing basis.

Accessibility for Ontarians with a Disability Act

Accessibility for Ontarians with a Disability Act COSTI strives at all times to provide goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. COSTI is committed to ensuring that customers with disabilities receive accessible goods and services with the same quality and timeliness as others do.

COSTI will make reasonable efforts to ensure that policies, programs and services, including procedures and practices, are established to provide accessible service to persons with disabilities: We will endeavour to do our best to communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability. This includes serving people who have assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. We welcome people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal or support person.

Our staff have been trained to serve persons with a disability as indicated by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services. Concerns or suggestions to may be provided to COSTI’s privacy officer at privacy@costi.org.

A copy of COSTI’s Accessibility for Ontarians with A Disability Policy may be obtained via email at info@costi.org.

Other Policies and Initiatives

In addition to anti-racism training, front-line and management staff, volunteers, and Board Members, participate in professional development activities such as information sessions on mental health illness, conflict resolution, etc. This training enhances the organization's ability to identify, and more effectively deal with the needs of equity seeking groups.

In addition to the Anti-Racism Protocol and Non-Discrimination Policy, COSTI has also developed a Sexual Harassment Policy and manual, Wife Assault/Woman Abuse Protocol, and Child Protection Protocol.

COSTI is presently developing a Client Rights Policy for the settlement sector that will be standardized agency-wide for clients accessing COSTI services on-site or off-site, offered by COSTI staff or by partners in service delivery on behalf of COSTI. The long-term objective is to work towards the promotion of Clients' Rights and a Standard of Professional Conduct in the settlement sector at large.