Community Poverty Reduction Strategy Report

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), in partnership with UBCM, has released a report on their joint Community Poverty Reduction Strategy. MCFD, with UBCM support, has been working for approximately 2 years in seven communities across BC to help families and develop community strategies to address poverty.

MCFD Family Consultants have been working on half-time in seven BC communities basis to connect with families living in poverty and help them access provincial and community-based resources. The seven pilot project communities are Cranbrook, Kamloops, New Westminster, Port Hardy, Prince George, Stewart and Surrey. The Family Consultants have also been working with community partners to strategize on poverty initiatives.

Findings from the report include a need to work with local government partners in ways tailored to each community, that the basics of food, health and housing continue to be the most important needs for families in poverty, and the need to standardize data collection while respecting families' privacy.

While there MCFD is not planning to expand the pilot projects at this time, next steps for the Community Poverty Reduction Strategy are outlined in the report. Two key next steps include a second Community Poverty Reduction Strategy Stakeholder Forum (the first was held in February 2013) as well as working with the provincial cross-ministry Assistants Deputy Ministers' social policy steering committee to profile the issue of poverty. The Strategy will next be assessed in July 2015.

For more information, please feel free to contact Maria Stanborough, Senior Policy Analyst, UBCM.

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