Children Youth

CYSN working group moves closer towards a project to reduce vulnerability in our children

A lot has been accomplished since the kick-off on July 5th when Joanne Schroeder, early childhood development researcher, made a presentation to over fifty service providers across different sectors about Hastings-Prince Edward Early Development Instrument (EDI) results and improving outcomes for young children.

As Beverley Bell-Rowbotham, Data Analysis Coordinator for Hastings-Prince Edward, had REPORTED to the CYSN in May 2013, children in HPE are especially vulnerable in the areas of physical health and well-being, emotional maturity, and communication skills/general knowledge.

The working group attached to this action issue, comprised of over 20 service providers from education, health, developmental and community services, has been hard at work getting to the bottom of this issue.

In September, based on what they see every day, working group members looked at each area of concern and listed what they thought is contributing to vulnerability in our children.  They also responded to the questions “how can community stakeholders address?” and “who needs to be involved?”  Building on what is already available and engaging schools and community agencies, the group agreed that increasing awareness and knowledge of child development among parents/community in a manner that tackles accessibility and social isolation issues is a key priority.

In October, working group members filled an entire wall with project ideas which were then voted on and categorized in order of priority:

1.  Awareness of child development issues (22)

2.  Building on existing community resources (16)

3.  Social media/education/engagement (9)

4.  Municipal/policy (6)

5.  Transportation/access (6).

At today’s meeting, the LOVE Talk SING Read PLAY model from New South Wales, which focuses on the early social, emotional and intellectual development of children, was discussed.  This model engages service providers from all sectors, community and policy makers in the provision of parent resources that respond to consistent, key messages.  An example of such a message is, “Anyone caring for a child can promote their social, emotional and intellectual development by showing them love and by talking, singing, reading and playing with them.  These can be part of the everyday activities of caring for a child.”

The idea of developing a community awareness/resource campaign that builds upon collaboration between 48 CYSN member organizations and 40 community partners was born.

Just imagine the impact we as a service community can have on outcomes if we all work together!

During the January meeting (date to be determined), the working group will start to pull this idea together in the form of a project description and work plan.  They will also make a final decision about the name of their group – currently being called the Kindergarten Students who are Developmentally at Risk (KSDR) working group.

If you wish to get involved in this project, please contact:

Wendy Anderson, Coordinator, Children and Youth Services Network

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