(PUBLISHER’S NOTE: All the MLA candidates were asked to comment on the best way forward for the sobering centre in Yellowknife. Go here to see the full question and context.)
Front line service providers often know the best, easiest and most efficient improvements for service delivery. I would encourage regular meetings between different providers of social programs including both from inside government as well as the many non-profit organizations working in the community. For example, semi-annual meetings for Income Assistance service officers, their supervisors and managers with their counterparts in Housing and Child and Family Services along with the community advocates who work with people accessing all of these programs. Also, the existing Integrated Case Management pilot program appears to be a successful way for people to access government programs and services. Expanding the intake to non-profit organizations could reach more people who need these supports.
I support a combination of solutions to better support addiction recovery in the NWT. An NWT-based treatment centre could be part of the solution but whether in the NWT or in southern Canada, there needs to be a post-treatment plan in place for individuals to continue their recovery and build healthy relationships.
- Post-treatment after care that includes culturally-appropriate, individualized relapse prevention plans.
- Community support networks: resume efforts for a mobile team that can travel between communities regularly to shore-up local networks.
- Invest in community partnerships with organizations already doing amazing work like the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation.
- Address the spectrum of housing needs so people have safe, healthy places to live.
- For all programs, maintain follow up statistics for continuous program evaluation and improvement.