How We Work

Together, we are working to improve the well-being of children and youth in Waterloo Region and to move the needle on nine dimensions of child and youth well-being.  We do that by working together in a Collective Impact model.

Our Charter

In 2018, voting members endorsed our charter document that outlines how we work, the roles and responsibilities for our members, and our governance structure.  For details on the charter, including an infographic that breaks everything down, please click here.

What is Collective Impact

Collective impact is a way of working together. It brings together different organizations to solve large complex problems – in our case, children and youth well-being. Collective impact is built on five interconnected components to strengthen alignment and lead to large scale results:

  • We have a shared vision for happy, healthy children and youth – today and tomorrow, and 6 Shared Goals for Children and Youth. We have a joint approach to solving problems through our Shared Foundation for Practice.
  • We have developed a measurement framework to track and monitor our progress using common indicators. These indicators are included in the Child Wellbeing Dashboard.
  • The Children and Youth Planning Table Working Groups are taking action on specific focus areas as identified by the broader Children and Youth Planning Table. Learn more about our mutually reinforcing activities on our “Current Work” page.
  • There are multiple ways to stay engaged with the Children and Youth Planning Table. All members receive an E-News Bulletin every two months. Every member is invited to attend Children and Youth Planning Table Meetings. Members and the broader community are encouraged to follow along and join the conversation on Twitter (@CYPTWR).
  • The Children and Youth Planning Table staff provide ongoing support to all functions of the Children and Youth Planning Table. This includes helping to guide vision and strategy, facilitating meetings and Working Groups, developing shared measurement practice, and mobilizing funding.
  • To read the recommendations from the Children and Youth Planning Table Collective Impact Recommendation Working Group, please click here:  Final Recommendations

 

Shared Foundations

The Shared Foundation for Practice focuses on four pillars (see below) for working together with children, youth and families in our community. Under each pillar, you will find a link to the Extended Version, which includes information and resources to support members with the Shared Foundation for Practice.

The Shared Foundation for Practice document provides an overview of the pillars, general information and examples of how partners are using the Shared Foundation.

 

  • Evidence informed research that fits within our current community and cultural contexts. In our work we collectively:

    • Focus on people’s strengths
    • Strive to understand diverse populations
    • Use a trauma informed lens
    • Decolonizing and anti-oppressive approaches
    • Acknowledge prenatal and the early years as the foundation
    • See children, youth and families as the experts of their own lives
    • Recognize the impact of the Social Determinants of Health
    • Consider an attachment lens throughout the lifespan
    • Strive to understand our personal and professional biases
    • Use self-reflection to improve practice
    • Build on the successes of others

    Click here to access the Informed Pillar

     

  • Approaches that work together to support and surround all aspects of a child or youth’s life. Wholistic approaches include:

    • Social, emotional, physical and spiritual development
    • Supporting children, youth and families in their communities and cultures
    • Respecting and engaging diverse models of community
    • Being present, authentic and human
    • Recognition that each of us define family differently

    Click here to access the Wholistic Pillar

     

  • Sharing resources, knowledge and expertise. We cooperate and collaborate by:

    • Using respectful dialogue and participating in courageous conversations
    • Creating the conditions for inter-agency consultations and joint engagement
    • Promoting and referring to the most appropriate service
    • Ensuring services move with the child and family
    • Creating seamless transitions between programs
    • Providing community wide learning opportunities

    Click here to access the Connected Pillar

     

  • Children, youth and families are the centre of our work. Putting children, youth and families at the centre of services means:

    • Children, youth and families are driving the decisions
    • Recognizing power and privilege inherent in service delivery
    • Authentically engage  children, youth, families and communities and encourage self-determination
    • Giving every child and youth opportunities for quality learning and connections to caring adults
    • Using preventative and proactive approaches
    • Providing help at the earliest stage possible
    • Having flexible supports during wait times and as long as needed
    • Recognizing the impact of family and community
    • Supporting children, youth and families to overcome barriers
    • Ensuring services are accessible

    Click here to access the Child, Youth and Family Centred Pillar

     

Our Shared Goals

In 2019, CYPT Voting Members made the decision to evolve the Shared Goals for Child and Youth Wellbeing to include the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being developed by UNICEF Canada. This shared measurement evolution was officially implemented in January 2020. Members were excited to see so much alignment between what CYPT members had established locally with what children and youth across Canada said mattered to their well-being. The evolved framework benefits from the considerable research done by UNICEF Canada into the well-being of children and youth, as defined by children and youth themselves.

We now measure nine dimensions of child and youth well-being:

  1. We are happy and respected.
  2. We are connected to our environment.
  3. We are secure.
  4. We belong.
  5. We are participating.
  6. We are learning.
  7. We are healthy.
  8. We are free to play.
  9. We are protected.

Together, we are working to improve the well-being of children and youth in Waterloo Region and to move the needle on these nine dimensions of child and youth well-being. These focus areas are key to the well-being of children and youth.

In March 2020, CYPT Voting Members also made the decision to employ ‘We Belong‘ as the lens that would guide the majority of the work done by the collective. You can learn more about this here.

Historically, the 32 measures and six shared goals were named by CYPT Members as a place to start when measuring child and youth well-being – it is these measures that are highlighted in this report.

Snapshot of Child and Youth Wellbeing Report

Snapshot of Child and Youth Wellbeing in Waterloo Region, Report Cover

The six Shared Goals for Child and Youth Wellbeing along with 32 indicators were developed by CYPT members in 2016.  Click here for a full description.