We know that poverty impacts children across Canada. At least 1 in 10 Canadian children are living in poverty and in some communities, the numbers are even higher. We see the challenges that children and families face every day. We know that change has to happen.
But sometimes the problem feels so big that it’s hard to imagine that one person, one group or even one organization could make things better. We want to help, but where do we start? What are the things we could do right now that would help children and families living in poverty?
As organizations and service providers we are in a unique position. Our role and our position in the communities we serve provide us with an opportunity to make a difference.
So back to the question: Where do we start? A good place to begin is by looking within. Taking a closer look at how we, as organizations, make it easier or harder for families living in poverty to access our services. We can explore how safe, open, supportive and inclusive we are. We can also find out if we’re inadvertently creating barriers to our services (like high costs, program times & locations, or unhelpful attitudes).
Learning how well we meet the needs of low-income families will help us to make the changes that will ensure all families have equal access to our programs and services.
Learn more about your agency:
- How easy is it for families to access your programs and services?
- What impact do your policies and procedures have on families living in poverty?
- How welcoming is your organization?
- Do staff feel well supported to address client’s poverty-related issues?
- What could your organization be doing to better support children, youth and families living in poverty?
Challenge your organization, team or department to take a closer look: http://www.povertylens.org.
This online tool was developed by the Child and Youth Health Network for Eastern Ontario – facilitated by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario).