Personal Stories - Domenica Dileo
Name: Domenica Dileo
Title: Coordinator, Toronto Regional HSJCC
Organization: Toronto Regional HSJCC
It has been a privilege working as the Toronto Regional and Locals HSJCC coordinator for the past several years. It has given me the opportunity to work collaboratively with cross sectoral members from the justice and human services sector.
The committees use a facilitated model whereby the Chairs lead a democratic, open, transparent, collaborative and engaged decision-making process. This past year we had 35 new members join the regional and local committees. For all the committees we have a membership of 268 people and although not everyone can make every meeting there are 109 people from across sectors who attend on a regular basis and offer feedback when we conduct polls. In addition we have non-members who attend the Lunch and Learns and webinars who also provide feedback. I sometimes wonder what committee members take away from their involvement and what brings them back? Why join the HSJCC at all?
To that end this year we used a member evaluation to find out what members like, don’t like, and what brings them back. This process has provided new opportunities for members to share their insights that illustrate the objectives and goals of the HSJCC. 48% of regular members completed the evaluation.
Their insights validate the values, goals and the recognized collaborative need that brings the cross-sectoral members back to the Regional and Local HSJCCs. The comments below speaks to what motivates HSJCC members to attend and why they keep coming back.
Here is what HSJCC members say:
The Local Perspective:
•I have been so impressed by the knowledge, integrity and commitment of committee members to improve supports and mechanisms of support for those involved in the MH and Justice systems. I also recognize the impact / change that has been affected by the committee's hard work.
•It creates a space for creative discussion and collaboration to inform day-to-day practices as well as a cohesive voice for advocacy among service providers
•Well-organized and excellent communication. Focused, planned and seeks member input and participation.
•The players at the table have a collaborative approach and are committed to client service
• As a new person to the Toronto area, I find these presentations very helpful for acquainting myself with the human services community.
•What brings me back is learning about new initiatives that I may not hear about otherwise, and the opportunities to work together to solve shared issues.
•The fact it feels like people's hearts are in the right place, we all want to make a difference in a meaningful way. I am a probation officer and it is so great to connect with people in person and not just by phone or email i.e. Crowns, hospital staff, etc. I have also learned so much about what IS being done in our system to enact change through the others and the really great speakers.
•Being with people who care about the same things, who are educated, and who are making a real difference in the lives of those who need help.
•The Disability lecture was very informative.
•Sharing of resources/ideas.
•I enjoy the lunch and learns a lot. They are informative in a comfortable setting.
•What brings me back is the willingness for most people who attend to openly discuss important issues
•Sharing of program information (guest speakers)
The Regional Perspective:
•Looking at developing a service resolution process to support those individuals that have been identified as hard to serve. I appreciate being able to exchange information with my colleagues who represent a range of different sectors, but who often jointly struggle with the same issues and concerns in supporting some of the most complex people in the system.
•The moment I was in the Service Resolution Committee meeting and realized that I had witnessed this committee’s growth just after it was created - via the T-HSJCC meetings
•CAMH agreeing to support the service resolution project
It is clear that members value openness and the identification of joint issues and problem solving approaches through the use of a shared responsibility model. Other communication tools like program updates, Lunch and Learns, Webinars and knowledge sharing are appreciated by the memberships and they feel they do not get this opportunity elsewhere. The committees also provide opportunities for networking, promoting diversity and inclusivity, and engaging in service coordination in a unique cross-sectoral environment.
As we move forward, the HSJCC will continue providing a collaborative table to engage in joint cross-sectoral planning, coordination, and integration of services for individuals with a mental health and addictions who are involved or at significant risk of being involved with the criminal justice system. It is clear that HSJCC members find this to be a rewarding, effective and enjoyable cross-sectoral collaborative.