Advocating for Grey Bruce Children and Youth first
On November 4, 2004 leaders from 25 organizations in Grey and Bruce signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Grey Bruce Children’s Alliance.
The creation of the Alliance was an important milestone in our continuing efforts to improve the physical health, nutrition, safety, emotional well-being, education and optimal development of all children and youth in Grey and Bruce Counties.
Our intent is to provide the glue to connect the variety of service provider organizations in our two Counties so that collectively we can offer a more seamless, integrated system of supports to young people and their families.
Together we promote fairness in the distribution of resources and local access to services.
Advocating on behalf of our rural communities has meant seeking equity of services in communities with small numbers of people. Transportation, poverty and distance to services are key considerations that remain at the forefront of planning advocacy.
The Alliance has actively engaged the Ontario government to be part of the planning process of programs such as Preschool Speech and Language, Rural Child Care, Child Welfare Transformation, CWT Parenting Capacity Initiative, Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program, Special Needs Strategy and Local Child &Youth Mental Health Community Planning.
Together we collect data to identify and publish trends to advocate for better services
In 2010, we completed a 2 year project on Child, Youth and Family Health and Wellbeing that surveyed agencies, parents and the community. The work laid the foundation for measuring and planning for children’s health in Grey Bruce with the release of Measuring and Planning for Child Health Report in 2008 and A Profile of Child, Youth and Family Health in Grey and Bruce Counties: A Technical Report 2010.
See our Services & Resources for more information on the status of children, youth and families in Grey Bruce.
In 2014, the Alliance identified the need to access vital local rural data and information to better inform our work. The Alliance initiated the creation of the Bruce Grey Data and Information Sharing Collaborative known as BGDISC . BGDISC is a collective of not-for-profit, social service, government, health and education organizations which includes Alliance and Healthy Communities Partnership members.
See the BGDISC Open Data Portal to access local rural data and information impacting our local communities.
Together we strengthen linkages and integrate planning with other Grey Bruce networks and groups.
Working together to improve the lives of children living in poverty, the Alliance has supported a “community of practice” of the ‘Bridges Out of Poverty’© approach. Since 2008, the Alliance has facilitated the certification of trainers across more than 25 agencies and held Annual Poverty Forums to engage all sectors – social services, education, business, health, policy makers and poverty advocates - to apply the Bridges approach in Grey Bruce. We have supported people with lived experience to graduate from the Getting Ahead program and to be advocates in our community.
In partnership with the United Way of Bruce Grey the Alliance supports the Coordination of the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force. The Task Force consists of over 54 social agencies and community members. The Task Force is enriched by the participation of its Community Voices group – made up of people with lived experience - and 6 Action Groups focused on: housing, income security, transportation, food security, health equity and Bridges Out of Poverty programming.
The Task Force submitted a brief in response to invitation to community participation in the development of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy emphasizing the following key messages: