Dimensions of Community Social Service in BC


At SPARC BC, we’re committed to building a just and healthy society for all. For over 50 years, we have worked in partnership with individuals, organizations and all levels of government to meet the social development needs of people and communities.

The community social services sector provides an array of services and supports to people across British Columbia (BC). There are thousands of service providers across the provincei that help address, in part, the social development needs of BC residents, on a daily basis. These services may range from early years and family programming to help with dignified access to healthy food as well as housing security.

This study has sought to address key gaps in knowledge pertaining to the social development needs of British Columbians. This includes the need for services and supports through the community social services sector as well as opportunities for volunteering and engagement. This report begins by highlighting how key demographics and health-related social needs relate to these forms of engagement. Information was gathered through an online survey designed by SPARC BC to provide an incremental, yet timely and detailed contribution to our understanding of these topics.

The study findings were derived from the responses of 5,009 adult (18+) British Columbians during February and March of 2023. A series of questions guided the development and analyses of this survey, which has provided incremental understanding of key gaps in knowledge, as stated above:

  1. What are the health-related social needs of BC residents?
  2. Who volunteers their time with community social service organizations?
  3. Who uses community social services in BC?

To learn more about this research project and its findings, view the entire body of work here:

Related System Perspectives Research

Research Synthesis: System Perspectives on the BC Community Social Services Sector

The Community Social Services (CSS) sector is composed of thousands of service providers spanning the entire province and multiple areas of service….

The Taskforce to End Homelessness in Burnaby Video

A case study evaluation of the initiative and assessment of its service model as potential best practice for helping to address homelessness at a community level….

Dimensions of Community Social Service in BC

The community social services sector provides an array of services and supports to people across British Columbia (BC)….

Cultivating Safe Spaces: A Program Theory Overview and Formative Evaluation

An overview of the origins and philosophical underpinnings of CSS, an exploration of current applications of the methodology, a discussion of the need for CSS in modern society, then a presentation of our research methodology, findings, and analysis….

Advancing Community Engagement in Healthcare in Rural BC

In 2020, the Centre for Rural Health Research (CRHR) undertook a provincial survey to understand and document the healthcare priorities of rural communities across BC….

Sustainability of the Community Social Services Sector Through Institutional Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Partnerships

Through the literature review, the research team identified seven factors which formed the basis for good practices and quality WIL across social service organizations….

BCSTH Bursary Fund Program Evaluation Report

Flexible financial assistance is a powerful tool for economic empowerment among gender-based violence (GBV) survivors and is becoming an increasingly common strategy to enhance safety and economic and housing stability…