These elements of a Coordinated Community Response have been identified as a result of more than fifteen years of experience with capacity building to address abuse in BC. Since 1995 more than 70 BC communities have been invited to develop networks and undertake activities to work toward a Coordinated Community Response.
This list of elements is a result of the independent process that communities went through in the early years to create a Coordinated Community Response. Without contact with one another, they all identified the same key elements.
In this whole community model, a “network” is a diverse group of concerned community members who come together to create a Coordinated Community Response to abuse of older adults.
Many jurisdictions have such networks, although they may be known by other names. Ideally, a local network strives to be a microcosm of the community we want to live in – one in which everyone is welcomed and valued.
Abuse and neglect of older adults affects both individuals and communities. We all, as concerned community members or responders, have a role to play to respond and prevent this complex social, justice and health issue.
This tool can be used by:
There is no right or wrong activity to undertake first to begin developing your local network. Every community is unique. Just invite the people you think are interested and pick somewhere to start.
How we treat each other is as important as what we do together if we want to model non-violence:
Do we want these community development principles to guide us in network development and maintenance?
Who do we want to invite to our network to keep working toward it being as reflective of the diversity of our community as possible?
Provide information about:
What do our various network members/ supporters think is needed with regard to public education – which topics/issues, for who?
Provide information about:
What do our various network members/ supporters think is needed with regard to professional education – which topics/ issues, for who?
What builds solid relationships? How will we build and maintain these relationships to ensure older adults get the most effective support and assistance possible?
Protocols, which can be thought of as commitments or agreements, can cover topics such as information sharing, who will do what when, and when referrals for help will be made to others.
There are three interrelated types:
• agency protocols – internal policies that outline the role, the mandate and the limits that the agency commits to on behalf of the board, staff and volunteers
• inter-agency protocols – agreements that two or more agencies make to collaborate on how they will respond together, often in the most complex abuse situations
• community protocols – commitments that all network members make to each other about how they can be relied upon to respond
What protocols do we have and/or need in our community? What are the pros and cons of having written protocols? What are the pros and cons of having them officially signed by someone who can commit the organization?
In this model, networks as a whole do not deal with individual abuse situations. Rather, networks influence the community context in which people work together to provide help.
Anyone who responds to cases and/or is a member of a case consultation or review team in your community is an integral network member.
Do we have or want to have a case consultation or case review committee in our community? Have we invited a representative to join the network?
It can be very effective to link your network’s work with other initiatives happening in the community, such as:
What is the activity we plan to undertake, and are there benefits to doing it in conjunction with another initiative?
Your network can look at how things are working in the community and work constructively and collaboratively together toward continuous improvement:
What are we proud of? What still needs attention? Have we met the goals we set for creating a Coordinated Community Response in our community? How will we evaluate our network’s impact?
The following structural issues need to be addressed to facilitate the smooth operation of the network:
Many Community Elements can be worked on at the provincial/territorial level. There are also the following additional Provincial/Territorial Elements that can support local networks:
Which community elements are relevant and should be worked on at the provincial/ territorial level? Which of these provincial elements do we already have? Which ones would we like to have? How we can we work collaboratively toward putting them in place?