City of Toronto

Raising the Village is an initiative of the Toronto Child and Family Network, a collaboration between the many systems and organizations that serve children and families in Toronto, including child care, school boards, Public Health, Library, recreation, mental health services, special needs services, primary health care, child welfare, among others. Raising the Village has three goals that advance human services integration: 1) Shared outcomes across various systems 2) Pulling together data on child and family well-being from various data sources and organizations 3) Common framework for measuring performance and client outcomes.

Raising the Village is helping drive outcomes-based collaborative planning in Toronto across the systems that serve children and families. The data and information captured through 28 indicators of child well-being supports strategic planning at all levels. At the organizational level, it can be used by individual organizations to ensure programs and services are meeting the needs of clients and the community they serve. At the community level, it supports community needs assessments, to understand not only the outcomes that a particular community is experiencing, but also the broader socioeconomic context behind those outcomes. At the system level, the data can be used to set priorities and focus strategic actions toward areas where we can have the greatest impact. To this end, knowledge mobilization is a key strategy to ensure that the data and information is widely distributed and gets into the hands of organizations and communities. This includes a number of analysis tools, such as the race and gender toolkits, as well as the Child and Family Inequities Score (a composite index of several socioeconomic variables). Engaging children, families and service providers in the data synthesis is another key strategy for deepening out understanding of the quantitative data to include the lived experience of children and families.