A multi-sectoral Advisory Committee met on Feb. 18 for the first time, with Mayor Robin Jones (Westport) and Mayor Nancy Peckford (North Grenville) serving as co-chairs and champions.
The work of this CSWB Advisory Committee will be to examine the assets in the community that contribute to safety and wellbeing, and assess where the gaps are. The Committee will assist in the development of strategies that, when implemented, will enhance the community safety and well-being for residents of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and the Town of Prescott.
Members of the CSWB Advisory include invited representatives from the United Counties; OPP; Police Service Boards; all four School Boards (English and French); United Way; Social Services, Family and Children’s Services; Country Roads Community Health Centre; Rideau Community Health Centre; the Leeds Grenville Lanark District Health Unit; Interval House; Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health; Every Kid in our Communities; Kemptville Stress Relief Centre; Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville and the Ecumenical Ministerial.
Over the coming months, community partners will be consulted to identify strategies that can be enhanced and implemented. An online survey will be widely circulated, and identified groups will be invited to a virtual Partner Day in April.
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What is a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan?
A CSWB plan identifies risks and proactively develops evidence-based strategies and programs to address local priorities related to crime and complex social issues. These strategies can then be implemented.
The vision is to work together to support and promote sustainable communities where everyone feels safe, has a sense of belonging, access to services, and where individuals and families can meet their education, health-care, food, housing, income, social and cultural needs.
Developing a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan is about working together to ensure the right services get to the right people at the right time. It involves an integrated approach to service delivery by working with a wide range of agencies and organizations, and to build on the many successful efforts that contribute to a strong sense of safety and well-being in our community.
A Community Safety and Well-Being Plan is about preventive action and identifies areas to promote and maintain community safety and well-being through social development, and proactively reduces risk through prevention programs and activities.
What are the benefits of doing a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan?
There are many positive benefits of developing a CSWB Plan, including:
- Enhanced communication and collaboration across sectors, agencies and organizations.
- Effective alignment of resources and responsibilities to better address local priorities and needs.
- Better understanding of local risks and vulnerable groups.Increased awareness of and access to services for community members, including vulnerable groups.
- An opportunity to keep Prescott and Leeds and Grenville safe and ensure its residents enjoy a high quality of life.
Why are we doing a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan?
The Safer Ontario Act, 2018, requires that municipalities in Ontario prepare and adopt a community safety and well-being plan by July 1, 2021. The Act outlines requirements for an advisory committee, consultation and establishing priority risks. A CSWB plan must show outcomes and measurables, with strategies to meet them. The Framework for planning was provided by the Province.
What are the requirements of the Safer Ontario Act, 2018 for Community Safety and Well-Being plans?
Municipalities are required to engage with partners to develop the plan and are required to consider data from multiple sources across the broad range of issues and factors.The CSWB plan must include the following core information:
- Local priority risk factors that have been identified based on community consultations and multiple sources of data including data from Statistics Canada as well as local sector-specific information.
- Evidence-based programs and strategies to address those priority risk factors.
- Measurable outcomes with associated performance measures to ensure that the strategies are effective, and the outcomes are being achieved.
What are the key factors to developing a successful Community Safety and Well-Being Plan?
Multi-sectoral collaboration is a key factor to successful Community Safety and Well-Being planning, as it ensures an integrated approach to identifying and addressing local priorities. The Province of Ontario identifies seven critical success factors required for CSWB planning. These include:
- Strength-Based: Leverage existing resources, programs and services in the community
- Risk-Focused: Risk-based planning rather than incident-driven
- Awareness & Understanding: Ensuring all understand the benefits of, and their role in, CSWB planning
- Highest Level Commitment: Commitment from local government, senior public officials, and leadership through multi-sectoral agencies/organizations
- Effective Partnerships: Creating meaningful, integrated partnerships across multiple sectors
- Evidence & Evaluation: Using research, data, and performance measures throughout the planning process, and working collaboratively across sectors to identify and address local priority risks to safety and well-being
- Cultural Responsiveness: Effectively collaborating with, and responding to, the needs of diverse groups of people in the community