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System Perspectives

What are the Key System Issues?

The Community social services 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 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. In particular, SPARC BC and its research partners have identified key system issues that merit further consideration. These system issues include public engagement in community social services; recruitment, training, and labour force attachment; community engagement for system planning; and the role of integrated service delivery models.

System Perspectives

There are numerous community social service system issues and perspectives. This research initiative has highlighted a few that stood out prominently and may inform the sustainability and growth of the sector in the future.

Public Engagement

Over 1 million people use community social services in BC, but many others may not know if or how to engage services. Engaging the public about the sector is important to build awareness and understanding.

Career Pathways

Experience with social services and a desire to help others can motivate people to pursue careers in the sector. Strengthening training, education, and employment transitions into the sector are critical areas for development.

Community Engagement

Engaging with communities, particularly those that may be rural and/or remote, is important for developing a social service system that is responsive and aligned to the needs of service users.

Integrated Service Delivery

Integrated service delivery models (‘one-stop-shops’) composed of multiple providers can be highly adaptive and effective in supporting sensitive populations with complex needs.

System Perspectives Research Articles

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…