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

SPARC 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 (CSS) sector is composed of thousands of service providers spanning the entire province and multiple areas of service. This system provides the majority of social development services in BC. Despite the CSS sector’s scope and importance, questions and concerns about its sustainability have become apparent in recent years. Part of these concerns pertain to the sector’s human resources and staffing challenges, as well as upstream issues of recruitment, training and labour force attachment.

Over a two-year period, SPARC BC and its partners have engaged in research and knowledge development to enhance our understanding of key topics related to the CSS sector’s capacity and future sustainability. These topics include volunteerism in the sector, the role of lived and living experience in peer support, and post-secondary linkages to the sector. At a broader level, the research conducted also presents important system insights and perspectives that deserve further consideration.

This synthesis report describes a few of the persistent and notable system perspectives that emerged from SPARC BC and partner research projects. In particular, this report highlights key issues pertaining to state of public engagement in CSS; recruitment, training and labour force attachment issues; community engagement for system planning; and the role of integrated service delivery models.

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

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