The following is taken from a presentation that I made at the Community Connections Conference this month, sponsored by the East Central Ontario Training Board and Employment Ontario. CYSN members and community partners may also find this brief summary informative.
The Children and Youth Services Network (CYSN) is comprised of 54 community organizations that serve children, youth and families in HPE.
Membership includes organizations that provide services in the areas of basic needs, education, employment, health, justice and legal, prenatal to 12 supports and resources, safety and protection, social and recreation, and transportation.
WHY ARE WE WORKING TOGETHER?
Our mandate is to create an effective, integrated and seamless community service system that maximizes resources through collaborative and informed planning.
Our vision is for children, youth and families to have easy access to a responsive service system that meets their needs.
WHAT PRIORITIES AND ISSUES ARE WE COLLABORATING ON?
Service Pathways and Community Engagement
- Provide training and resources to members to promote a system-wide approach to information and referral through a common No Wrong Door philosophy and practice.
- Participated in a regional Family Engagement project and are currently looking at ways in which member organizations can share best practices, policies and tools.
Community Indicators and Measures
- Developed a community report card to promote awareness about red flag issues and establish benchmarks so that change can be monitored
- Applying for grants to create a data repository that will provide our member organizations with a comprehensive resource for collaborative planning and outcome measurement
Red Flag Issues:
- Second Helpings Food Reclamation Project
Kindergarten Students who are Developmentally at Risk
- Early Childhood Development Community Awareness Project
- A plan was developed by “mainstream” and Aboriginal providers and approved by the membership in June/July to engage and strengthen relationships and deliver more integrated services for Aboriginal children and families in 2014/2015.
HOW DO WE WORK TOGETHER?
- All members sign a partnership agreement and work within a team, committee and working group structure that is accountable to and engages with the larger planning table five times a year.
- Processes are in place to help member organizations bring opportunities and issues to the table; i.e., Partnership Connections, Community Issues, Infomercials, etc.
- Participation is open to directors, managers, supervisors and front-line.
- Considerable effort is made to ensure effective communication throughout the Network, with and between member organizations and the community.
VISIT THE CYSN WEBSITE REGULARLY TO STAY CURRENT WITH NETWORK ACTIVITIES, WORKSHOPS AND TOPICS THAT MAY BENEFIT YOU, YOUR ORGANIZATION AND YOUR CLIENTS
Photo taken by Theresa Kennedy, CYSN Co-Chair, on June 26, 2014