September 23, 2010
Media Release

Community and Health Services Department sets directions for Regional human services with multi-year plan

York Regional Council approves goals and actions of five-year plan
NEWMARKET ??" To better address crucial needs and issues impacting on social and health services provided by The Regional Municipality of York, York Regional Council today approved Investing in Our Communities: A Multi-Year Plan for the Community and Health Services Department 2010-2015. 
 
The Multi-Year Plan seeks to better integrate the planning and delivery of services within the Region’s Community and Health Services Department, which serves residents through a range of housing, health and community programs that are primarily guided by provincial and federal legislation and policy. 
 
“York Regional Council is committed to this five-year planning exercise because it will help York Region meet our long-term goals,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “When vulnerable people receive appropriate supports, we all take a collective step forward to strengthen our neighbourhoods, maintain our healthy communities and contribute to the Region’s vitality.”
 
York Region’s population will continue to grow, age and diversify in terms of cultural, ethno-racial and socio-economic characteristics.  The Multi-Year Plan is a new planning tool to help ensure the Region’s human services are able to adapt to changing policies and emerging needs. 
 
“Those consulted expressed a desire to help residents who are vulnerable, particularly children, low-income families, seniors, recent immigrants, people with disabilities and individuals who need help finding and keeping a job,” said Town of Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath, Chairman of the Region’s Community and Health Services Committee.  “The plan gives everyone a clearer picture of the many impacts on our community and health services, plus enables us to respond more effectively to our residents’ changing needs.”
 
Throughout the research and development of this five-year plan, nearly 900 participants, including Community and Health Services staff, community service providers, residents who use our services and local municipalities provided valuable feedback on the complex and changing needs faced by York Region residents.
 
The plan highlights key issues and challenges that the Region faces along with principles, goals and actions to guide the Region’s investments in human services over the next five years.  Following is a list of six goals:

1. Contribute to Regional economic vitality by helping low income residents with access to basic needs and with finding and keeping jobs
2. Support healthy communities through a broad range of housing choices and supports to meet the diverse needs of residents
3. Optimize the health of the community for all ages and stages through health protection, prevention and promotion initiatives
4. Strengthen our neighbourhoods now and in the future by supporting children, families and youth to fulfill their potential
5. Foster social inclusion and economic opportunities by addressing the needs of a growing and diverse community
6. Deliver a more integrated human service system that supports effective community planning and quality services
 
The consultation and planning process for the Multi-Year Plan confirmed the interdependence of human services.  Vulnerable residents commonly require multiple services to improve their outcomes and those services often are delivered by different areas or even different levels of government.
 
The Multi-Year Plan is not an operational plan but rather focuses on additional or enhanced programs, services and initiatives.  Implementation of the actions identified in the plan will be approved by Regional Council through the annual budget and business plan process. 
 
The Multi-Year Plan has a five-year planning horizon, during which time it will be updated.  The plan will be formally reviewed in 2015.  It can be viewed online at www.york.ca
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Specialist, York Region
                       Phone:  905 830-4444, Ext. 1238, 416 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
                       Cell:  905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

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