June 24, 2010
Media Release

York Regional Council endorses guide to foster community collaborations to address far-reaching challenges

Based on study of 14 government-community collaborative initiatives across Canada
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York has released the Community Collaborative Planning Guide: Weaving Collaboration into a Tapestry of Change, a step-by-step educational tool for communities desiring to create collaborative groups or advance existing collaborative endeavours.
“Collaborative approaches and collective leadership are required today to address the challenges and opportunities that go beyond the ability of a single organization,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “The Community Collaborative Planning Guide is a valuable tool that will support York Region’s new Human Services Planning Board as it tackles a mandate to build the ability within our communities to help address the needs of our residents.”
York Region faces continuous population growth, increasing ethno-cultural and socio-economic diversity and a rapidly-expanding senior’s population.  The demand for existing and new human services is greater than ever.  In addition, human services are interrelated, and changes in one service impact on other services.
“The benefits of the Community Collaborative Planning Guide will accrue to our local municipalities and our residents,” said Town of Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath, Chair of the Region’s Community and Health Services Committee.  “Agencies and groups will be better positioned to work together and develop locally-based solutions.”
The guide identifies best practices for establishing and sustaining effective collaborations.  It includes 12 key elements required to build a collaborative group and a summary checklist for establishing and maintaining effective collaborations, examples of organizational structures and testimonials and advice from individuals who were involved in the collaborative models that were included in the study.
“We welcome this guide and will use it to advance our mandate to help build the capacity of community groups, advocate for York Region’s human services and develop strategic partnerships,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Co-Chair of the Human Services Planning Board of York Region.  “We are grateful because a single blueprint for local collaboration and coordination of efforts did not previously exist.”
In 2009, York Region commissioned a study of best practices in collaborative planning across Ontario and Canada.  The study examined 14 models of collaborative planning across Canada.
“We want the community to benefit from York Region’s research,” said York Catholic District School Board Director of Education Susan LaRosa, Co-Chair of the Human Services Planning Board.  “By using this research, we will all be more successful in our collaborative change endeavours.”
The guide will be posted on the website of the Human Services Planning Board (www.york.ca/hspb) and will be distributed to the broader community and local municipalities.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 4016 / After-hours Cell: 905 251-5553
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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