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Community Safety and Well-Being in Halton:
A Plan for Collaboration and Action

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Halton’s Community Safety and Well-Being Plan brings together community partners to work on issues that impact the health, safety and well-being of residents.

In 2017, Halton’s Community Safety and Well-Being Plan: A Plan for Collaboration and Action was introduced. The Plan sets out how the Region works with community partners to improve the safety, health and well-being of Halton residents.

Community Safety and Well-Being updates

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Community Safety and Well-Being Framework

Halton’s CSWB plan aligns with the Provincial CSWB Framework which highlights four key areas that work together to make communities safer and healthier, including:

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  • social development to improve the social determinants of health (the things that make us healthy) and reduce the probability of harm and victimization;
  • prevention to proactively implement programs to reduce risks to community safety and well-being before they result in crime, victimization and / or harm;
  • risk intervention to prevent an incident from occurring while reducing the need for incident response; and
  • emergency response for immediate and reactionary responses that involve a sense of urgency.
 

In addition to the Provincial CSWB Framework, Halton’s CSWB Indicator Framework is organized into three domains:

Health

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A community where everyone is supported to reach both physical and mental well-being.

Safety

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A community where everyone can go about their daily activities without risk or fear of harm.

Community Well-Being

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A community where everyone is connected and engaged, with a vibrant, healthy environment and strong social supports.

Community Engagement

The community helped to shape the plan and focus on key issues. More than 500 people answered our survey or came out to public meetings held in Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville.

Who leads the plan?

The System Leadership Group has been created to lead the ongoing implementation of Halton’s Community Safety and Well-Being Plan and direct Halton’s model for collaboration, planning and action. The group contains representation from:

  • Halton Region
  • Halton Regional Police Service
  • Ontario Health (Central and West Regions)
  • Local hospitals
  • Local boards of education
  • Local municipalities
  • Halton Children’s Aid Society

This group and specific Action Tables (working groups) continue to work with the community to identify key issues and find the right solutions to priority issues.

What are the priority issues and what actions have been taken?

Community partners from across Halton are working collaboratively on the following key issues and initiatives:

The Action Table is working together with the goal of creating a more coordinated approach to addressing homelessness.

A framework has been created to strengthen how Halton Region and service providers identify and support individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This work includes:

  • A centralized model of intake and referral,
  • A common assessment tool and,
  • Greater connectivity to mental health services. 

As of November, 2021, a total of 151 chronically homeless households have received an offer of housing through the framework for coordinated access.

The Action Table is working to create a Halton framework to support children and youth with both a developmental and mental health diagnosis (dual diagnosis).

Central West Specialized Developmental Services was awarded with a 2020 Halton Region Community Investment Fund grant of $70,598 to support action planning including consultation with service providers, training and knowledge mobilization and the design of a Halton framework to more effectively serve children and youth who have a dual diagnosis.

The Action Table’s work has included providing a Dual Diagnosis training event to over 200 community partners. Further implementation of the Dual Diagnosis framework will take place in collaboration with community partners in 2022.

The Action Table is working together to develop a more coordinated and effective food security system in Halton in order to ensure that all residents have access to the healthy and culturally appropriate food they need.

The Action Table is meeting regularly to improve communication across the food sector and to establish a common action plan among partners.

The Action Table is working together with the long-term goal of reducing social isolation among at-risk older adults in Halton.

The impact the Action Table aims to achieve is that by 2025 older adults who have been identified as at risk or experiencing social isolation in all Halton Communities, will be aware of, empowered and able to easily access supports, resources, and strategies to increase meaningful connections.

In 2020, Community Development Halton received $88,183 through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund to provide backbone support for the Older Adult Isolation Action Table. In May 2021, a Community Engagement Lead was hired to deepen community knowledge and mobilize a collective response to older adult isolation with funding continuing into 2022.

In June 2021, the Older Adult Isolation Action Plan was approved by the CSWB System Leadership Group. This included funding for the Connection in Action initiative, which has the goal to increase connectedness for older adults, 55+ at-risk of isolation. A Halton Region Community Investment Fund investment of $79,356 was made to July 31, 2022, for the Connection Specialist role. The functions of the role include: access to meaningful supports to those at risk of isolation through proactive system navigation and to improve system efficiencies through a tiered approach to referral and connection.

The Action Table is working together to support youth transitioning from the care of child welfare services. It is a collective impact initiative to support youth with education, employment and training goals in addition to mentorship supports.

In collaboration with a wide range of partners, the Halton Children’s Aid Society (CAS) has received more than $125,516 in 2021 from the Halton Region Community Investment Fund to support enhanced access to education, training, employment and mentorship for youth aged 18 to 24 transitioning from the child welfare system. The Oakville Community Foundation has added an additional $20,000 to the program to support incentives for youth as well as additional funding opportunities to explore research and data.

A total of 26 youth participated in the pilot program in 2020-2021 and a final evaluation was completed on the pilot to inform Year 2 of the program. In 2021-2022 another cohort of 20 youth will enter the program and 10 youth will return from the pilot, for a total of 30 youth in the program this year addressing their goals of satisfaction in employment, education and training.

An Action Table to address opioid use was convened by Halton Region and the Halton Regional Police Service with key stakeholders to explore the development of a coordinated, evidence-informed approach to address opioid use and related harms in Halton.

A series of community consultations was planned for spring 2020 but was deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A leadership committee comprised of Halton Regional Police, Joseph Brant Hospital, Halton Healthcare and Halton Region was convened in early 2021 to explore options to move forward.

As a first step, Halton Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Assessment, Prevention and Treatment Services (ADAPT) was awarded a three-year Halton Region Community Investment Fund grant of $330,475 over three years to address the complex and specialized needs of opioid users and their caregivers. Specifically, a full-time Opioid Therapist will be integrated into the Burlington PHAST (Prioritizing Health through Acute Stabilization and Transition) program to provide awareness, prevention and treatment services.

The Alcohol Action Table has the focus of reducing harmful alcohol consumption and the related health and social impacts in Halton through collaborative action.

Work was started on a community alcohol report that will provide a broad range of perspectives on alcohol consumption in Halton and contribute insights to a strategy to reduce harmful alcohol consumption and related health and social impacts. Other key activities include preliminary work on a Regional alcohol policy and the development of tools and resources to support alcohol policy development at local municipalities. The work of this table has been temporarily paused to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sexual Assault Action Table, or Sexual Assault Advisory Committee, seeks to improve the experience of survivors of sexual violence across the continuum of services, increase accountability of perpetrators of sexual violence, and ultimately eradicate sexual violence.

The Table has completed a review of sexual assault investigations by the Halton Regional Police Service. Recommendations have been provided to the Halton Police Board to make it easier for survivors to come forward.

The Sexual Assault Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the Halton Regional Police Training Bureau, has designed and introduced a comprehensive e-learning program. The program is designed to enhance the ability of all sworn police officers to engage with survivors in the most professional and empathetic manner possible. The training focuses on topics which relate directly to the role of a police officer such as rape myths and the neurobiology of trauma. To-date, more than 800 officers have been trained on how to support and respond to survivors of sexual assault.

Over the course of the past year the new “Survivors Voices” website has been developed, enhanced and expanded. The website was funded by a Halton Region Community Investment Fund grant of $9,040 in 2020. The website has a confidential forum for all survivors of sexual violence to provide their feedback about their experience to the Halton sexual assault service provider of their choice. The site provides up-to-date information about the investigative and criminal justice process, trauma responses, consent, and information about different aspects of sexual violence. Additionally, there are stories and art from women with lived experience of abuse. Essentially the website is a one-stop community platform to receive information, resources and support.

An ad hoc Action Table was established at the outset of the pandemic to support coordination and information sharing between local municipalities, Halton Region, Halton Regional Police and several community partners.

Work of this Action Table included input on the development of a program to provide food and essential goods to vulnerable households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Table has been sunset and will be convened as required.

The Action Table for youth mental health was established to convene service and system partners to improve access to mental health services for children, youth and their families.

Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK) and local providers of child and youth mental health services have established a new model of access and system navigation to make it easier for children, youth and their families to connect to the programs and services best suited to meet their needs.

The Action Table has impacted the Halton community by leading a distinct change in the way children, youth and their families, as well as service provides, experience referral, screening and connection to child and youth mental health services. There is now a clear system of entry and accessibility to child and youth mental health programs, and it is integrated within the larger system.

Community Investment

To learn more about investments in community programs that are supporting the health, safety and well-being of Halton residents, visit our Halton Region Community Investment Fund page.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

As part of a commitment to equity and inclusivity within CSWB, the System Leadership Group endorsed the Halton Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Charter

How can I bring an issue forward?

Community safety and well-being issues can be brought forward by emailing CSWB@halton.ca or calling 311.

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