New Initiative Launched in Port Colborne to assist the Community
In February 2018, the Niagara Regional Police Service, along with 11 agencies representing a variety of human services sectors, launched "Port-all", a collaborative initiative designed to assist persons in the community. "Port-all" represents an ever growing trend in Ontario, known as a Situation Table, which provides a multi-agency response for rapid intervention strategies to assist persons who are experiencing an acutely elevated risk of harm. This project has been made possible by a grant from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
In 2011, a Situation Table known as the "Hub" was initiated in Prince Albert Saskatchewan to provide a multi-agency proactive approach focusing on crime prevention, social wellness and community safety. With the positive results witnessed from the Prince Albert "Hub", communities throughout Ontario began to recognize the benefits associated with the unique collaborative response. With over 50 Situation Tables currently operating throughout Ontario, "Port-all" represents the first Situation Table in the Niagara Region. In February 2018, representatives from participating agencies took part in a 3 day training session with respect to the established methods, best practices, and guidelines to be used during the privacy protected information sharing and discussions in the meetings of "Port-all".
"Port-all" became operational with the launch of its first meeting on February 15, 2018 and continues to meet on a weekly basis. During "Port-all" meetings, representatives from the participating agencies are invited to bring forward persons who may be experiencing an acutely elevated risk of harm for discussion amongst the group. Once a determination has been made that this risk of harm is present, the agencies of "Port-all" in the best position to offer assistance, coordinate a response to reduce the risk. In most cases, the intervention strategy involves a collaborative response which has been coordinated amongst several "Port-all" agencies. Although only operating for slightly longer than 6 weeks, 9 situations have been presented at "Port-all" which resulted in the implementation of services to reduce an acutely elevated risk of harm. These responses utilized the assistive services of 3 to 6 "Port-all" agencies during each situation to provide appropriate strategies to reduce the level of acutely elevated risk of harm.
Currently, "Port-all" consists of representatives from the Niagara Regional Police Service, Port Cares, Bridges Community Health Centre, Community Living of Port Colborne/Wainfleet, Gateway Residential and Community Support Services of Niagara, Canadian Mental Health Association, Pathstone Mental Health, City of Port Colborne By-law Department, Regional Municipality of Niagara Community Mental Health, Community Addiction Services of Niagara, Contact Niagara, and FACS Niagara. These agencies are looking forward to the benefits to community safety and well-being that "Port-all" will bring to the Port Colborne community and it is expected that additional agencies will become involved as the year progresses in order to participate and provide assistance to the members of the community who are experiencing an acutely elevated risk of harm.
Submitted By: Stephanie Sabourin Approved By: Stephanie Sabourin
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