NEWMARKET – Human service providers in York Region are increasingly faced with the challenge of serving a growing population and at the same time, trying to maintain services accessible to all individuals regardless of their origin. Recognizing this, the York Region Human Services Planning Coalition (HSPC) is sponsoring the creation of an ethno-cultural inclusivity plan for the Region called The Road to Inclusivity: An Action Plan for York Region.
The HSPC is a partnership between representatives of government, service provider agencies and corporations, the non-profit sector and consumers of human services. Such services include those that support a safe, healthy community and maintain and promote its quality of life. They include the police, schools, hospitals, housing providers, social services, public health, municipal recreation departments and religious organizations.
“The rapid growth and vast diversity of our region pose real challenges to planning for health, social services, faith and culture needs, mobility, education and employment of this and future generations,” said Vaughan Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Co-Chair of the HSPC. “The HSPC is responding to this challenge by encouraging human service providers to be even more inclusive of the many communities that make up our Region.”
“With the creation of The Road to Inclusivity: An Action Plan for York Region, we are building an understanding of the issues we face and co-ordinating our efforts to find collective assets and solutions,” said Bill Hogarth, Director of York Region District School Board and HSPC Co-Chair.
In the spring of 2004, the HSPC established the Inclusivity Plan Action Group, comprised of a group of diverse human service providers, and began reviewing existing and recent studies on diversity in York Region.
Targeted at human services providers, the ethno-cultural inclusivity action plan will focus on three themes: improving communication, promoting ethno-cultural representation, and creating ethno-cultural awareness. The action plan will:
• Provide tools and best practices that human service providers will be able to customize to fit their own organizations’ needs and policies
• Generate greater cohesiveness among human service providers and ethno-specific communities
• Reduce duplication of services
The HSPC is currently at the stage of gathering input from human service providers, ethno-cultural communities, residents and all other stakeholders. An information brochure has been produced as a tool to facilitate discussion and includes a questionnaire to be completed by individuals or groups by September 30, 2004.
A draft action plan is expected to be released in November.
For more information about the York Region Human Services Planning Coalition’s Road to Inclusivity: An Action Plan for York Region, contact Susan Taylor, Director, Human Services Planning Branch, York Region, at (905) 830-4444 or toll-free at 1-877-464-9675, Ext. 1514, or visit www.region.york.on.ca
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To find out more about the Human Services Planning Coalition, The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at www.region.york.on.ca
Contact: Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1238
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