Saturday, March 1, 2008

Linkages Committee

This past week, I attended a meeting of the Linkages Committee. This cross-agency, multi-jurisdictional committee meets four times a year to work jointly on issues that affect children. I find this kind of collaborative work very promising. I learned a lot listening to the people around the table, who are all very dedicated to improving outcomes for children.

I would love to see the same kind of work happening on a community level- groups of concerned citizens coming together to identify the particular issues in their neighbourhood and setting out ways to address those issues on a local level. It's only when we start to look at challenges as "ours", that we'll move forward as a society. I firmly believe that the solutions lie within us...not with-out us.

Imagine a city where every child is the concern of everyone.

This thought could transform our way of seeing. Before our eyes, prostitutes could transform from "those girls wrecking our neighbourhood" to "young girls who need help to stay in school". Youth with spray paint cans in their hands would change from "hooligans who need to be locked up" to "kids who need a place to belong."

I'm not naive. I know that social problems are bigger than any quick answer. But I believe that how we perceive issues has a dramatic impact on what course of action we choose and that where we start in our thinking has a profound impact on where we end up.

Check out www.lesslawmoreorder.com for more insight on this idea.

No comments: