BoardVoice began advocating for the creation of a province-wide Social Policy Framework in early May 2013, with the creation of a Community Boards in Action group composed of the five largest Community Social Service agencies in Vancouver.
The working group invited board representatives from the ‘Group of Five’ and collectively drafted the following:
Draft: May 27, 2013
There is a better way.
Social policy affects everyone: young families searching for day care; parents supporting a child with developmental disabilities; victims of domestic abuse, violence, sexual abuse; youth living on the street; new Canadians working to connect in their communities; people coping with sickness, mental health issues, addiction, unemployment, poverty; seniors searching for affordable, appropriate supports as they age.
Virtually every family in this province will access social services at some point in their lifetime, and communities increasingly understand the need to plan for the social impacts of economic development.
Responding to these human needs challenges us all. Services cross ministerial silos, bridge across the government, non-profit and corporate sectors, and lack coordination. The needs are increasing while resources grow ever tighter.
As the volunteer governors of social service organizations, we believe how we as people, as communities, as organizations and governments respond to these needs will define us.
And we believe there is a better way.
We believe that we can contribute to better lives for our children, and our parents, and ourselves.
We believe that we can grow our economy and our communities while improving our quality of life.
We believe that a principled, well-developed social policy framework that builds common understanding, is pragmatic in delivery and is measured by outcomes can streamline delivery of critical services, improve the results for those who need it most and guide decision making into the future.
And we believe that we must begin now.
Board Voice directors call upon community leaders and our provincial and municipal governments to partner with the social services, health care, justice, and education sectors to design a broad based, inclusive consultation that engages British Columbians to shape a plan to meet our social needs now and into the future.
There is a better way. We invite you to join us.
This statement is now being considered by the full boards of those respective agencies.