The 15-member Service Pathway/Community Engagement Committee, co-chaired by Terry Swift (Children’s Mental Health Services) and Melanie Dunlop (Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board), has made great strides this year towards its mandate to:
– advance the No Wrong Door/Warm Hand-Off approach to information and referral throughout our community service system, and
– engage the community to ensure that access to programs and services is integrated, seamless and responsive to the needs of children, youth and families.
No Wrong Door/Warm Hand-Off
As a result of requests from members for in-house No Wrong Door/Warm Hand-Off training,15 individuals from seven organizations received Power Training from Theresa Dostaler (Synergy Research and Evaluation Consulting) and Amy McGuinness (Family Space Quinte) at the Belleville Public Library on March 27th. These 15 individuals are now equipped to train colleagues in-house through a series of short sessions that are customized, flexible and more cost-effective than the community training option. It is the hope of committee members that these organizations will incorporate No Wrong Door/Warm Hand-Off training into their orientation packages for all new hires. For more information, please view our Video and Brochure.
The Service Pathway/Community Engagement Committee was involved in last year’s regional action research project, funded by MCYS, to study family engagement, generate a common definition of family engagement and develop community-specific plans to engage families at the planning table level. The committee acted as liaison between the Network and the project team, comprised of the four southeast Ontario planning table coordinators/planners, including yours truly, and consultant Theresa Dostaler.
Four committee members contributed their time and expertise towards refining the material gathered at two family engagement symposia held in January, and led a consultation exercise with the Network on April 24th. These members were Melanie Dunlop (ALCDSB), Donalda Simmons (Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board), Bianca Sclippa-Barrett (Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre) and Danita Norton (Community Living Prince Edward). Support was also provided by CYSN Co-Chair Kelly Mathieson (Family Space Quinte) and Data Analysis Coordinator Beverley Bell-Rowbotham. Please see Consultant’s Report – April 11, 2014.
What’s Next in 2014/15?
No Wrong Door/Warm Hand-Off resources are being updated, along with other materials that provide easy access to information and referral not only by our clients, but by our members as well. The need for future training sessions will also be determined.
Family Engagement will keep the Service Pathway/Community Pathway Committee busy as they proceed with approved recommendations to:
- Ask Network members to commit to a common philosophy of family engagement through a revised CYSN Membership Agreement.
- Ask Network members to identify ways in which organizations can share best practices, policies and tools with each other.
- As a Network, determine how to involve families in the community-specific planning stage of the project.
Never a dull moment!
If you are considering becoming a member of the Service Pathway/Community Engagement Committee, please contact Wendy Anderson, Coordinator, Children and Youth Services Network.