Social Services Coordinating Mechanism
From the Ground Up: Community Social Service Coordination Practices in the OBAC Region - Click Here
Bridging Gaps: Connecting and Coordinating Public and Non-profit Social Services in the OBAC Region - Click Here
The prosperity of the OBAC region has long been reliant on its timber resources. However the mountain pine beetle epidemic is expected to diminish opportunities in the traditional forest sector for several decades. OBAC is developing a number of industrial sector strategies. These include forestry, alternative energy, mining and mineral exploration, tourism and agriculture, which are designed to diversify the region’s economy and create more resilient communities. As well as these industrial strategies, it is also necessary to develop a strategy designed to improve the quality and availability of social services and supports. Community services and supports are important at all times. However, they are particularly important during times of transition. They are critical for the development of stronger and more resilient communities in the region.
The Community Social Services and Supports Strategy is important to the region for a number of reasons, including:
OBAC has worked with specialists with a wide variety of perspectives to develop strategies. This strategy incorporates learning from these sector strategies and a working group of economic development officers, social service providers, educators, and others with specialized insight into the service needs and opportunities in the region.
OBAC communities envision a future that includes robust and resilient economies that are supported by local and regional social services which are accessible to all. This future is also characterized by communities and First Nations in the region playing an integral role working with senior governments and service agencies in determining social service and support priority needs and approaches to effective delivery.
The five objectives which provide more detail on how to achieve this vision are:
Further engagement with and between leaders of OBAC communities and First Nations, in order to further identify regional and local interests and opportunities and make new relationships a reality, is a very high priority for all of the strategies. Mechanisms are needed to ensure full, meaningful and equal participation of First Nations. Although First Nations have been identified as important participants in many of the proposed actions, discussions at the community level are a critical need in order to further shape many of these actions, and to ensure that synergistic opportunities are identified and that priority Aboriginal interests are addressed.
The four recommendations and proposed actions following have been developed to achieve these objectives.