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Youth council hops on needs survey

By April 13, 2022No Comments
Patrick Lancaster, manager of social programs and services with Lloydminster Family and  Community Support Services, teamed up with Rylee Wood, chair of the Lloydminster Youth Council, to help city officials launch the new 2022 Social Needs Assessment with a youth component at City Hall on Monday. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

The City of Lloydminster is refreshing its five-year social needs survey with a new youth component to produce more building blocks for new community programs. 

The 2022 Lloyd Needs: Social Needs Assessment was launched in partnership with Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Lloydminster and the Lloydminster Youth Council (LYC) at City Hall on Monday and runs until May 30. 

“We do have a youth component which we didn’t in the previous assessment, “ said FCSS manager of social programs and services, Patrick Lancaster.

“It is a broad survey that will speak to a lot of different people from a lot of different groups.”

The campaign’s findings will help to provide the City’s administration and local authority organizations with a snapshot into the community’s social well-being. 

Lancaster says FCSS is hoping to get a sense of what kind of things are important to residents and what sorts of things have affected them by completing the survey.

“We want to get some ideas from them about what Lloyd needs and what can be done better in our community,” he added.

The results will also outline residents’ priorities and will help Council and the City’s administration develop policies and programming. 

Additionally, survey responses will help inform the future development of youth council programming and initiatives.

Rylee Wood, chair of the LYC, was stoked to help develop an add-on survey for youth ages 13-17 to voice their opinions and ideas on what the city needs.

“For us, the biggest thing is we reach every youth we can with this social needs assessment. We want to hear everyone’s voices, everyone’s opinions and ideas,” said Wood.

“That was something we were super excited to get started with, and here we are today,” she said, noting they are sending the survey out to all schools.

She says the survey is online and they have a video noting it will take youth anywhere from two to five minutes tops to fill out at school.

Wood says the youth council is seeing a huge increase in mental health needs and was able to modify the assessment to include questions about mental health concerns for youth.

“We really wanted that mental health aspect on the assessment,” she said.

The confidential social needs survey is available at LloydNeeds.ca and contains multiple-choice, drop-downs, text and comment sections.

Lancaster encourages all residents over the age of 17 to complete the basic confidential survey. 

“We don’t intend this to be a report that sits on a shelf somewhere,” he said.

“This is something we want to use for building our plan over the next five years as well as a document our community partners can use in their planning and their grant applications.” 

The information collected through the assessment will be used to create a five to 10-year social policy framework in 2023.

The previous 2018 needs assessment identified priority concerns around mental health, affordable recreation and connection to the community that the city responded to.

The data led to mental health workshops and Project Sunrise, for example, as well as the development of the recreation access program and a revised Lloyd Supports Directory.

Lancaster says they have learned a lot of lessons from the first engagement with the public in 2018 to improve or modify the new 2022 survey.

“There are areas we are digging in a little bit deeper this time such as transportation, housing, economic development and jobs in our community as well as public safety,” he said.

He says they are also hoping to match the engagement they got in the last assessment when 2,100 residents stepped to complete it, calling that phenomenal.

“We’ve seen engagement in city surveys increase over the last few years. We’re hoping we can continue that trend and the opportunity for everyone in the community to have their voice heard is made,” said Lancaster.