Managing Expectations
Managing Expectations
Download the Managing Expectations sheet here
Download the entire AURA Sponsorship Handbook here

Expectations are perfectly normal. However, unrealistic expectations can have a negative impact on the refugee sponsorship experience for sponsors and newcomers, resulting in disappointment, resentment, unmet needs and in some cases, even conflict.

Refugee Sponsor Expectations:
Take a moment to think about why you are participating in refugee sponsorship.
This experience may not be exactly what you have imagined.

1. Sponsorship is about the newcomers.
2. This will likely be more work than you think.
3. Expect the unexpected.

Sponsors should strive to create a respectful environment that allows expectations to be identified, discussed, and managed effectively through information and explanation.


Maintain Solidarity: ensure sponsor group members approach newcomers with consistency when it comes to decisions or responding to requests.

Many groups draft an agreement or contract with newcomers, which outlines the respective responsibilities. AURA does not provide such a document but we strongly suggest you create one as a group.

Refugee Newcomer Expectations:
Refugee newcomers will also have a set of expectations that may or may not be realistic, and can influence their experience and point of view. These may include:


Planned Conversations:
A conversation shortly after arrival is necessary to introduce/explain the sponsorship. Your job as sponsors is to help identify, explain and inform. Many unrealistic expectations can be clarified by explaining the refugee sponsorship program, the reasoning behind the decisions being made, and the responsibilities of those involved. Effective communication is key.

Take the time to explain the following points:
• Role of sponsors (availability, limits, timelines).
• Sponsor group members, including how/why the group formed.
• Duration of sponsorship and what happens after.
• Temporary vs permanent housing, timing, furnishing etc.
• Importance of privacy and their right to make their own decisions within the framework of sponsorship.
• ESL: Explain the AURA requirement of attending English classes, and why it is important that newcomers spend the sponsorship developing language skills so they are more likely to find quality employment after 12 months.
• Explain that sponsorship is like a job, use the analogy that learning English during this period is their job, and as sponsors you are supporting them so they can do that.
• Explain the budget and how money will work in a separate conversation.

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