The Bonnyville and District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) are doing their homework to ensure they are working to their full potential for their community.
Over the next few weeks, residents of the MD and Town of Bonnyville are invited to take part in the FCSS Community Social Needs Assessment to help determine how FCSS can better serve the people living in and around Bonnyville.
The 10-question survey asks residents whether they feel connected within their community, have a sense of belonging, have people they can count on, and have access to the resources available when needed. At the end of the survey, there is an area for comments, questions or ideas on what residents would like to see in Bonnyville to help meet the social needs in the area.
“Our goal is to provide services that prevent social issues from becoming a problem for you,” said David Beale, director of community services at Bonnyville and District FCSS.
Beale added the programs offered by FCSS vary and can serve residents from prenatal straight through to end of life care.
FCSS is funded partially through the provincial government, who provides about 80 per cent of their revenue. Approximately 20 per cent is provided by municipal government. The facility also applies for grant funding when appropriate to help finance their programs.
Through the survey, FCSS is hoping to narrow down what services are needed in the area, and where they should be allocating the funding they receive to help fill gaps within the community. Providing more support services for those with mental illness, or to families supporting those with mental illness, are just two options.
Beale said offering that support could vary from children at a young age to seniors suffering from dementia.
Other options could include providing more geriatric support for the community, improving supports for young families, home support, or addictions. The funding may or may not be spread out across multiple programs, however they must first determine the needs within the community before moving forward.
“This particular survey we have not run before,” said Beale, adding it is directed to find out if residents feel connected to their community.
It’s the final question where residents are able to inform FCSS on what they believe could help strengthen that connection.
“We do want to get a sense of how connected people in Bonnyville feel, and also to give them a chance to tell us where we should put our eggs and how we should distribute them.”
Beale noted they’ll be speaking with service providers throughout the community, such as social services and seniors’ centres, asking what they see the trends and issues are in the area.
The deadline is Feb. 15, residents interested in taking part can find the survey on the Town of Bonnyville website. For more information call FCSS at 780-826-2120.