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RFP--Family Involvement Project, Elgin Children’s Network – Service Gaps Subcommittee

St Thomas, Ontario
Deadline May 20, 2011

Background - Elgin Children’s Network
Elgin Children’s Network (ECN) is a committee that consists of a broad range of community partners involved in children’s services who support young families with children prenatally to six years of age.   
In October 2009, Elgin Children’s Network revised its terms of reference and finalized 5 strategic directions:   
Working together to:

  • Identify opportunities to increase awareness, communication, cooperation and collaboration amongst service providers
  • Support quality programs and services for young children and their families
  • Identify service gaps, needs and priorities and advocate for a community response
  • Act in an advisory capacity for specific programs offered in the community including:
    • Family Education Support Program Alymer
    • Healthy Babies Healthy Children
    • Ontario Early Years Centres
  • Plan the local response to government initiatives impacting young children and their families

Elgin Children’s Network has been consistently working on these strategic directions.  As an example, the network consults in the local planning and implementation of the government initiative of Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program.   In November 2007, Dr. Charles Pascal was asked to provide recommendations to the Premier of Ontario on the best way to
implement full day learning for 4-5 year olds.  In June 2009, Dr. Pascal released a report entitled “With Our Best Futures in Mind”.  In addition to recommendations about full day learning, the report recommended the implementation of Child and Family Centres.  Dr. Pascal’s vision included consolidation of the many existing child and family programs into a network of Child and
Family Centres.  The Centres would be a one-stop opportunity for pre- and postnatal supports, parenting resources and programs, playgroups, linkages to community resources, help with early identification and intervention for children with special needs, and other early learning services.
Service Gaps Subcommittee
Elgin Children’s Network has sub-committees established, each with its own terms of reference, which work on key areas and report back to Elgin Children’s Network.  The purpose of the Service Gaps Subcommittee is to identify service gaps, needs and priorities for children 0-6 and their families within Elgin County.
The Service Gaps Subcommittee is run under the leadership of Bev Fellows from the Ontario Early Years Centre (Community Living Elgin).  There are various community representatives on the subcommittee including Family & Children’s Services, Elgin St. Thomas Public Health, West Elgin Community Health Centre and Oxford Elgin Child and Youth Centre.  Input has also been
sought from a School Social Worker, City Police, churches and Elgin Home Child Care.   
The Service Gaps Subcommittee developed a plan in January 2011 that included the following components:

  1. Determine priority neighbourhoods within St. Thomas
  2. Complete a SWOT analysis for each neighbourhood using data available and service provider insight
  3. Complete external research getting input and involvement from the families residing in the priority neighbourhoods
  4. Make recommendations to Elgin Children’s Network for strengthening and improving the priority neighbourhoods.

The first two steps in the plan have been completed.  The priority neighbourhoods are South Edgeware, Balaclava South and Old Courthouse.   
Scope and Purpose of the Family Involvement Project
The third step in the Service Gaps Subcommittee plan is the focus of the Family Involvement Project –getting input and involvement from the families residing in the 3 priority neighbourhoods.   Family consultation will include a description of the uniqueness of each neighbourhood, an assessment of community strengths and need areas and recommendations for improving services within each community.   Following a family consultation process, a report will be completed with recommendations for community service provision.   
This project will help inform all service providers and provide an excellent overview of the priority neighbourhoods for the implementation of Child and Family Centres.   
Family Involvement Project Design and Method
A call for proposals will identify a suitable consultant to complete the project.  The project will include a process to obtain input and feedback from the families who reside in the 3 priority neighbourhoods.  This will involve the selection of appropriate strategies to obtain maximum results and a variety of input from families and may include focus groups, paper or on-line
surveys, an afternoon or evening hosted by Elgin Children’s Network to elicit input and attending places where young families are located.
The input received from families will be summarized into a report delineating the different priority neighbourhoods, their uniqueness, strengths and need areas.  It will also include recommendations for future service provision and development.

There are three broad tasks and suggested timelines identified for this project:
Task / Suggested Timeline

  • Call for proposals / May 20, 2011
  • Selection of a consultant / June 2011
  • Determine plan for each neighbourhood and implement it, 3 neighbourhoods @ 40 hours each = 120 hours totalt/  March 2012*
  • Write the report and present to key stakeholders (neighbourhoods, Service providers, F&CS Board of Directors) 30 hours / April 2012

*The plan may be completed earlier than March 2012 depending on the consultant’s availability.
Expectations of the Consultant:

  1. High level of knowledge and experience in community development and working with families
  2. Ability to design and implement the Family Involvement Project in partnership with the Elgin Children’s Network Service Gaps Subcommittee
  3. Demonstrated exceptional organizational and time management skills
  4. Excellent communication skills  
  5. Ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with Elgin Children’s Network and a variety of service providers
  6. Financial and time reporting by the consultant related to work completed

Structure of the Proposal:
Narrative indicating an understanding of the project

  1. A work plan including timelines
  2. Any value added concepts or resources to be integrated into the project plan
  3. Name of the consultant, background and experience of consultant, rate of pay/fees, primary contact information and other team members, if applicable
  4. Estimated expenses
  5. References for three clients including one you no longer represent

Evaluation and Selection of Proposal:
The selection shall be made to the bidder whose proposal is deemed to be in the best interests of Elgin Children’s Network.  If shortlisted for an interview, the bidder will be required to present to the Service Gaps Subcommittee related to:

  • Credentials and experience of the consultant
  • How the consultant would manage and complete the work
  • Consultant’s vision and plan to attain the goal of the project
  • Proposals will be assessed on the following:
  • Demonstrated understanding of the purpose and scope of the project
  • Innovative ideas for implementing the project
  • Proposed bidder’s experience, understanding and expertise in relevant work
  • Quality of the proposal including methodology and approach to be used;
  • Expected ability to deliver on time and within budget

Inquiries and Submission

Please direct any inquiries and submissions to:
Bev Fellows, Chair, Service Gaps Subcommittee
Elgin Children’s Network
Ontario Early Years Centre
7 Morrison Drive
St. Thomas, Ontario N5R 4S5
Submission deadline:  20 May 2011.

All submissions will be reviewed by the Service Gaps Subcommittee.  The lowest or any submission need not necessarily be accepted.  A final decision will be made by the Service Gaps Subcommittee.  A memorandum of understanding will be required prior to the commencement of this project.