Posted by Marg Wagner and Carmela Ruberto on Oct 23, 2017
Cory MacKay was honoured to introduce two friends, our guest speakers today who through hard work and dedication have helped many people in our community.  Carmela Ruberto, Policy and Planning Coordinator with Hastings County, Community and Human Services and Marg Wagner (pictured), a retired principal and retired Police Services Board Member and now the Chair of the Community Safety and Well Being Committee.
The Community and Safety Well Being Committee, Situation Table was developed in December 2015 based on various models and best practices in the Province of Ontario.  The purpose of the Situation Table, under the direction of the Hastings County Community Safety and Well Being Steering Committee, is to improve individual lives and find greater system efficiencies by applying a risk mitigation lens to human service delivery in the community.  The Situation Table represents vital service organizations in the areas of Belleville, Central Hastings and Quinte West.  Organizations work together in a collaborative manner with one common objective; to reduce situations of acutely elevated risk in a compassionate and efficient manner.
There are 31 agencies representing primary and secondary roles at the Situation Table.  Secondary agencies support the Situation Table when required.  Primary agencies represent social services, police/justice, health services and education.  Secondary agencies are called upon on a case by case basis and provide support to the Table when required.  Education regarding the Situation Table is necessary for all members in the community to understand its purpose.  The Community Safety and Well Being Steering Committee continues to educate its community partners through presentations and conversations.
Partnerships have been developed and the Situation Table has broken down many of the barriers agencies work within.  Organizations are sharing limited, but necessary information.  Positive feedback such as increased agency communication, increased networking, problem solving and the ability to resolve situations that are not at an acute level but require assistance from multiple services have all been positive results from the Situation Table.
Members from vital organizations in Hastings County meet weekly to work together on situations that require rapid interventions to support individuals and families who are in high risk situations.  Sixty-Five people from community agencies have been trained todate.  There are four filters of information sharing -- individual agency screening, risk is determined using de-identified information, limited disclosure for agency recognition and door-knock intervention.  There are over 100 risk factors that can be identified such as mental health, elder abuse, self harm, alcohol, poverty, crime victimization, unable to meet basic needs.  An acutely elevated risk can be a situation negatively affecting the health or safety of an individual, family group or place where there is a high probability of imminent and significant harm to self or others, including offending or being victimized, lapsing on a treatment plan or an overt mental health crisis situation.  This initiative has broken down barriers and the committee has worked together and formed partnerships to support people in our community.  If you know someone who needs help, contact someone you know on the Situation Table -- Marg Wagner, Carmela Roberto, Constable Mark Hall of the Belleville Police Service, the OPP, Quinte Healthcare, Victim Services, Addictions and Mental Health Services.
To quote Garry Laws, CAO of Addictions and Mental Health, Hastings Prince Edward "the benefits to those citizens of Hastings County who are experiencing significant distress and need, due to the collaboration of this dedicated group of providers, is evident in the positive outcomes in the person's life.  The difference between this type of "table" to the plethora of others, is that this is an action oriented community table that depends on immediate, on-the-ground commitment, versus extensive planning........a job well done!".
Brenda Snider thanked Carmela and Marg for providing this information and spearheading this project in our community.