FRP-BC and Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) both seek to bring relevant and current information to communities across the province, albeit in their own and different ways. We are thrilled to highlight an FRP agency and community that is utilizing HELP data, within a coalition, to be responsive to programming and priorities.
The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) gathers population-level data about children’s development and well-being through the Child Development Monitoring System (Monitoring System). Monitoring System data are woven into the fabric of BC — for over 20 years, these data have been used by school districts, health authorities, communities, and governments, as well as cross-sector networks to inform actions in support of children and families.
Michelle Guthrie, Healthy Families Program Manager, attends Comox Valley Early Years Collaborative meetings on behalf of the Comox Family Services Association (an FRP-BC member) where she is the Healthy Families Program Manager. “We have been part of the Collaborative since 2015 when it was first formed and have been fortunate to see it grow and evolve over the years.” As a regular attendee at the quarterly meetings, Michelle sees many benefits of working with the Collaborative including the opportunity to find out what other agencies are offering and prevent duplication of services and conflicts with timing. There is also the ability to see common themes within the community and brainstorm solutions, such as the Building Connections project highlighted here.
“I see part of my role at the Collaborative as an advocate for vulnerable families – many organizations are working towards reducing barriers but it can be easy to forget how circumstances such as lost ID, no access to a computer/printer, lack of transportation, childcare and frequent address changes/unstable housing can make it extremely difficult for families to access resources that we take for granted.”
Feeling connected to others is an important source of children’s developmental health, well-being, and resilience (Oberle et al., 2014; Masten, 2018). HELP’s Data & Connection Series profiles how communities have used Monitoring System data to inform community actions focused on connection – connection between sectors and organizations, families and services, and children and families themselves.
Please take the time to look at how Comox has utilized a community approach and how an FRP agency was an integral part of that.
**This article is part of a themed approach by FRP-BC, to support members to build capacity through collaboration, collective work and partnership. This will continue in our Food Justice Project, our Member Call in September and our in-person training event in November, as well as other initiatives.