Vital Signs 2016 Report Launch
“This annual community report card presents a snapshot of how we are doing as a community in key areas using local data and statistical measures.”
Kingston, ON (October 4, 2016)
Community Foundation releases Vital Signs® 2016, Community Report
A Smart and Caring Community Checkup!
Kingston, Ontario (October 4, 2016).
Today the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area (CFKA) releases its eighth annual Vital Signs® report. This annual community report card presents a snapshot of how we are doing as a community in key areas using local data and statistical measures.
This year’s report continues to focus on the Foundation’s three “Smart and Caring Community” priority areas:
- Getting Started – Giving children, youth and newcomers a strong start to life in our communities.
- Food Security – Ensuring everyone had access to healthy food to fuel their bodies and minds; providing education for food choices and preparation.
- Community Engagement – Inspiring everyone to be active participants in our communities, enriching our society.
The report communicates the health of our community with particular emphasis on the importance of investing resources in children’s early development, and the significance of having collaborative community support programs in place for at risk youth.
Optimum future economic and social progress depends on society’s investment in children’s early development. One dollar spent on enriched childcare saves 17 dollars in future criminal justice costs.
Nicki Collins, Executive Director at Pathways for Children and Youth shared that:
“At Pathways for Children and Youth, we are keen to see the latest version of Vital Signs. As Lead Agency in Moving on Mental Health for KFL&A, we have been excited to work with our partners to ensure all children and youth in our community have a good experience accessing mental health services.”
The Vital Signs® 2016 “Community Dashboard” provides an updated snapshot from the Vital Signs® 2015 report of sharply focused indicators showing, over time, our community’s progress addressing 15 areas of concern, from Unemployment Rates to Voter Turnout. The Dashboard shows a slight decrease in the overall crime rate as community policing models focus on pro-active prevention methods, and an increase of 171 additional meals served to those in need as per the Point in Time survey compared to 2015.
Under the Getting Started priority, the report focuses on early childhood development, child and youth mental health, improving efficacy of the transition to adult services and our community’s reception to new comers.
Within KFL&A there has been a significant increase in vulnerability in Emotional Maturity and Social Competence in children six and under compared to the previous Early Development Index (EDI) cycle in 2011. The Hotel Dieu Hospital, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provided comprehensive psychiatric services to 12,605 children and adolescent patients up to 18 years of age between April 1, 2015 and March 30, 2016.
“The prevalence of children with vulnerabilities and growing evidence reinforces the important of investing in infant and early childhood mental health. It requires being able to see the importance of positive early experiences and to the link between children, families and communities to support optimal early childhood development” shared Laurie Dixon with the Limestone Advisory for Childcare Programs.
Under the Food Security priority, the report shows that over eight per cent of households in the KFL&A live with food insecurity ˗ and that one in three users of the Partners and Missions Food Bank is a child.
Poverty and food insecurity are closely linked and remain a troubling reality in our community. In 2015, Loving Spoonful sourced over 39 tons of fresh and preserved food for distribution in KFL&A.
The report highlights how many local food provision initiatives are collaborating to combat the increasing food security demands and what individuals can do to help.
Under the Community Engagement priority, the report inspires everyone to improve their wellbeing by being an active participant in their community. Thirty three per cent of residents in Kingston (CMA) volunteered in 2013 which was 11 per cent below the national and provincial average.
The report features the KFL&A Community Risk Watch, a new initiative aimed at building safer and healthier communities. This innovative approach to crime prevention utilizes the rapid mobilization of multi-agency resources and service connections at Community Risk Watch ‘Situation Tables’ providing streamlined support to individuals experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk that would put themselves or others at risk of harm.
The report indicates that in the 42nd Federal Election in 2015, the voter participation rate of youth nationally showed the highest increase in voter turnout since 2004. The overall voter participation for Kingston and the Islands in the 42nd Federal Election increased to 70.3% (from 63.4% in 2011). Nationally, the on-reserve Indigenous turnout was the highest ever.