|Organization Name:||City Kidz|
|Project Name:||Community Engagement Program|
|Purpose of Investment:||To create a new program role to enable better linking of sponsored children in Hamilton, Ontario with community supports.|
At present, CityKidz impacts 2000 children and youth from the lowest income neighbourhoods of Hamilton each week. This is done through a network of 24 teams, each led by a volunteer (or a staff member who is volunteering in this role). These volunteers visit the children in their homes, encourage, mentor and supervise them during programs and build relationships with the families. Independent research has validated their program theory and impact. Presently their Home Visits program could best be described as participant management. City Kidz believes that by moving to a household & case management structure, they can better support or home visit volunteers and increase our impact on the children, the families and the community, as well as enhancing partnerships with other organizations working within those communities.
This proposal is to create a new role within CityKidz, a new staff position called the Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC) and, with the support of Stronger Together 2017, we would like to pilot the first of what we expect to be three staff members in this role. The CEC would be expected to work closely with all other organizations reaching out to low income children and families in the portion of the city to which they are assigned. They would seek to build relationships, join in common efforts, serve on committees and learn about opportunities through these activities. They would then share the appropriate information with staff and particularly with the 6 to 10 teams which visit children and families within their region. Teams would then be in a better position to schedule Home Visits at the best possible times, communicate information about community activities to children and families and plan their own activities.
Part of this initiative includes a case management, cloud based database, increasing the efficiency of recording and updating data and, over time, reducing organizational administrative costs.
In the pilot stage, approximately 650 of 2000 children and 6 to 9 of Home Visit teams would benefit. In the following years (likely by mid 2020), as two more positions like this are added, the benefit will extend to all children, families and Home Visit teams. Their research suggests they would benefit organizationally with reducing administrative costs and programmatically with deeper impact.
While this project, and it’s short term impact will be entirely occur within Hamilton, City Kidz currently has branches in Ottawa and Regina and has a vision of building a network of programs across Canada. In the long run, what they learn through this project will impact these other locations as well.
- A staff member, for this new position, the Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC) will be hired with a start date by January 31, 2018.
- The responsibility for the management and encouragement of the volunteer team leaders of at least 5 teams will have been transferred to the Community Engagement Coordinator from the program and volunteer departments by July 1, 2018. This will be evidenced through monthly Work Plan reporting and communications with the volunteer teams.
- Beginning in September, 2018, have purchased and uploaded all existing information into a new database which has the ability to manage the community aspects of this project and have updated related policies and practices in place.