City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

PPC Public Report.
PPC20-5
Approved as Amended
May 19, 2020 2:00 PM

Community Safety and Wellbeing
(Tabled March 18, 2020)

Information

Department:Parks, Recreation & Cultural ServicesSponsors:
Category:Not Applicable

Report Body

 

ISSUE

 

In November 2019, City Council brought forward a motion regarding Community Safety and Wellbeing (MN19-21, Appendix A), directing Administration to return to Council in Q1 of 2020 with a proposed approach to a Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan (CSWB Plan) for Regina. 

 

MN19-21 outlines the need for a CSWB Plan in Regina, linking the municipality’s current level of crime and violence to a variety of underlying social issues such as poverty, addictions, mental health, and inequality within vulnerable populations. Across Canada, CSWB Plans provide a strategy to align the work and resources of diverse sectors and agencies, ensuring coordinated prioritization of issues and interventions, and improving the effectiveness of the response. 

 

This report outlines Administration’s proposed approach to develop a CSWB Plan, highlighting a collaborative process that includes community leadership, data collection, engagement with stakeholders and individuals with “lived experience”, and collaborative planning.

 

IMPACTS

 

Accessibility Impact:

Accessibility and inclusion will remain at the forefront of the proposed approach to ensure the strategy and plan will meet the diverse needs of our community.

 

Financial Impact:

The development of the plan will be funded through the Strategic Innovation Fund. Administration is utilizing this fund as the innovation of this plan is an investment into the health and safety of our community. The allocation of $50,000 will allow Administration to contract a facilitator that will lead City of Regina (City) staff and partners through a process of developing a plan to address City Council’s motion. The funding requirement is based on similar initiatives in Canada, where cities have hired experts to lead development of a CSWB Plan.

 

Through organizational restructuring that took place in 2019, Administration is well positioned to assign inkind resources (staff) to development of the CSWB Plan. Recommendations for new investment or reallocation of resources by the City or other levels of government may be identified through the development process and can be considered by Council when the completed plan is brought back in 2021.

 

Policy/Strategic Impact:

Design Regina: The Official Community Plan Bylaw No 2013-48 (OCP) recognizes that over the years, the social and economic gap between residents and communities has widened, creating social challenges such as poverty, food insecurity, homelessness, and other issues relating to inequality. As the development of a CSWB Plan in Regina progresses, the OCP Social Development policy provides direction and guidance.

 

Specifically, the OCP includes a range of policies and direction relating to long-term solutions to social challenges in our community. The development of a CSWB Plan for Regina will have strategic outcomes relating to section D11 - Social Development of the OCP, including social sustainability, food security, community safety and security, vulnerable and marginalized populations, and overall social inclusion. Addressing these focus areas is vital within a comprehensive CSWB Plan.

 

OTHER OPTIONS

 

An alternative approach is to not approve funding or proceed with the development of a CSWB Plan (status quo):

 

Under this option, Administration will continue to make incremental improvements to its programming, granting, and capacity building efforts to target the root causes of crime and inequity in Regina. The opportunity to engage in an inter-sectoral approach where clear priorities are informed by data and consultation could be lost.


 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

There are no specific communications requirements for this report.

 

DISCUSSION

 

CSWB Planning:

 

CSWB Plans study local social issues and identify solutions through a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach, with an emphasis on integrating human services, sharing data, and continued evaluation and measurement. While it is common for municipalities to play a leadership role in the creation of CSWB Plans, involvement of leadership in health, social services, justice, child and youth, corrections, education and local non-profit organizations is key for success.

 

CSWB planning takes a holistic, social determinant approach, which strategically focuses on areas such as early childhood education, food security, and access to quality housing. By doing this, local partners can collaboratively address social issues relating to wellbeing, and prevention and reduction of crime, ultimately leading to healthier, safer, and more socially inclusive communities.

 

As first introduced by the Province of Ontario, The Community Safety and Well-Being Framework (Appendix B) provides the guidance to support establishment of local plans. In a multidisciplinary approach, four main priority areas ensure the local plans are efficient and effective, addressing a full continuum of services within community. The priority areas are:

 

·              Social Development:

o              Collaborative, long-term social determinant approaches in addressing complex social and community issues. This could include programs that address community health, graduation rates, and youth employment opportunities. 

 

·              Prevention:

o              Addressing and eliminating locally-identified priority risk. This could include the establishment of safe and inclusive programming spaces that increases community engagement and belonging for our diverse community members.

 

·              Intervention:

o              Mitigating and intervening in elevated situations of threat and risk. This includes situation and hub tables, including the Violent Threat Risk Assessment Protocol, which is a multi-sectoral collaborative approach to reducing risk and violence.

 

·              Incident Response:

o              Immediate response to critical incidents. This is the traditional response to crime and safety, such as police, fire, and other emergency services.

 

In applying the framework to CSWB planning, communities acknowledge that an effective response to crime and community safety goes beyond policing or other immediate and reactive solutions. Partners working collaboratively can identify their individual role within the framework and how it complements the work of others. Ultimately communities are working to align their response across the priority areas in a way that meets the needs of their community and begins to address underlying social issues.

 

Roles: 

 

To be most effective, CSWB planning prioritizes a collaborative and multi-sectoral approach, focusing on public engagement, community mapping, and the mobilization of key stakeholders with authority to make decisions within their respective systems. As discussed, these include sectors that are critical to community safety and wellbeing including health, social services, justice, child and youth, corrections, and education, among others. 

 

The following highlights current resources that will be vital during the process of developing a CSWB Plan in Regina:

 

·              Community Leadership: Regina Human Services Partnership (RHSP)

 

The Regina Human Services Partnership was established to collaborate on human service initiatives in Regina. Currently co-chaired by the Chief of Police, and Director of Education with Regina Public Schools, member organizations include Regina Police Service, School Boards, University of Regina, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), Ministries of Social Services and Justice, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Regina Treaty Status Indian Services (RT/SIS), the United Way, Regina Public Library, and Regina Open Door Society. The City is also a member of this Partnership group and is represented by the Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services and the Fire Chief.

 

This group has had several successes in guiding and advising on projects and initiatives relating to community safety and wellbeing, including guidance and support for:

 

·              TRiP; a program that focuses on coordinated service support, and reduction of barriers to pro-social activities for the under 11 and over 12 age populations.

·              VTRA (Violent Threat Risk Assessment); a multisectoral collaborative approach to reducing violence and risk, and prevention of traumatic events

·              Grade Level Reading, Attendance Matters Campaign; Supports students to be at a grade level or above in reading, writing, and math

·              Regina Region Local Immigration Partnership (RRLIP); Aims to strengthen the community’s ability to welcome, settle, and integrate Newcomers by providing information, education, and connection to services

 

To ensure a collaborative approach in design and development, and a successful implementation of a CSWB Plan in Regina, Administration has met with the groups co-chairs, who are supportive of an approach that would involve the RHSP in the development of the CWSB plan. 

 

·              Project Management: City of Regina Administration

 

Through a recent corporate reorganization, Administration developed the Social and Cultural Development Branch within the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department. The purpose of this move was to group related services in one branch to enable the strategic alignment of work with broader social and cultural development objectives, as outlined with the OCP, and other strategic plans. The branch now encompasses a more diverse focus, including social inclusion, housing and homelessness, cultural development and heritage preservation, and overall community wellbeing.

 

Through this change, Administration is better situated to play a role related to social development, prevention, and intervention initiatives through our inclusive sport, culture and recreation programming and services. Within the Social and Cultural Development Branch, the Community Wellbeing and Inclusion unit takes a community development approach to building capacity within social development agencies, through grants, consultation services, and policy development. The unit also delivers inclusive recreation programs for children and youth aimed at fostering skills and healthy relationships. A Regina CSWB Plan will be a key document to guide the work of the Community Wellbeing and Inclusion unit.

 

Other Administration support will be identified through the initial stages of the planning, but should include other branches within the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department, and other City Departments such as Fire and Protective Services (F&PS). F&PS currently play a vital role in community safety, particularly through their comprehensive public education programs that provide relevant fire and life safety education and awareness to the community. Further, F&PS operates an all-hazards emergency preparedness program that coordinates multi-agency response plans designed to protect the community from large scale emergencies and major disasters. The role of F&PS will be vital in development of the CSWB Plan.

 

Proposed Approach and Deliverables:

 

Administration will initiate a Request for Proposal (RFP) to hire an expert with experience in CSWB that can facilitate a process of developing a plan to address City Council’s motion. This process would be a collaborative approach, leveraging the experience and expertise of the successful facilitator, the leadership of the RHSP, and building champions and a framework that will support implementation of a CSWB Plan in Regina.

 

Selection will be based on expertise and experience in facilitating the development of CSWB Plans through collaborative processes that engage local stakeholders, public, and community-based organizations. Further, the facilitator will be able to identify and respond to unique local issues through evidence-based solutions.

 

Key elements to the proposed approach for Regina include:

 

·              Data Collection

o              Assessments of local data. For example, this could include police and health data, and Statistics Canada information relating to crime and violent incident trends

 

·              Systems Mapping

o              Mapping of current community systems, programs, services, and community resources to identify gaps and areas for potential growth

 

·              Community Engagement

o              Engage community-based organizations that currently work with vulnerable populations, as well as people with lived experience.

 

·              Collaborative Planning

o              Development of solutions in response to the gaps and opportunities identified through research and consultation phases.

 

The proposed CSWB Plan will provide overarching direction to the City and other agencies on priorities and roles, including a framework that will guide and support a collaborative approach to enhancing community wellbeing, health and safety, and social inclusion in Regina over the next five years.

 

Specific deliverables include:

·              A data resource that advises on the current environment in Regina (i.e. crime and health statistics) and assists in understanding the community’s diverse social needs, and current areas of risk.

·              A community asset map that outlines multi-sectoral programs and services, identifying gaps, strengths, weaknesses, and priorities to ensure future alignment across the system

·              A summary of engagement with community-based organizations, residents with lived experiences, and other service providers

·              A framework for future communication and collaboration amongst other levels of government, service providers, community-based organizations, Regina Police Service, and City of Regina

·              Recommendations on how to restructure existing resources or identify new investments to better respond to social needs within the community

·              A plan for strategic program and service delivery that responds to local conditions and applies social development, prevention, intervention, and incident/crisis response approaches.

 

DECISION HISTORY

 

In November 2019, City Council directed Administration to return to Council in Q1 of 2020 with a proposed approach to a CSWB Plan for Regina (MN19-21, Community Safety and Wellbeing).

 

Respectfully submitted,              Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Prepared by: Dave Slater, Coordinator, Social Inclusion