We would like to congratulate Detective Brian Smith and Toronto Police Service for being the 2020/21 Community Partnership Award Recipient at this year’s Annual General Meeting and Recognition Night, held on October 27th, 2021.
As the FOCUS Toronto co-chair, Toronto Police Services is a prime example of how law enforcement agencies can work in equal collaboration with social service agencies and municipalities to help people struggling with mental health issues. FOCUS Toronto is a highly effective approach in successfully assisting individuals connect to the supports and services they require in a timely way.
Leadership and commitment are vital cornerstones in effective systems building. Yorktown is pleased to recognize Toronto Police Services and Detective Brian Smith, who coordinates FOCUS Toronto, for his investment in growing FOCUS Toronto to what it is today. Since the launch of the pilot almost 10 years ago, FOCUS Toronto has expanded to include over 154 Community Agencies that meet six times weekly at six Situation Tables across the City.
About the Furthering Our Community by Uniting Services (FOCUS) Approach to Services
Collaboration is the foundation on which the Situation Table model of service delivery is built and effective inter-organization communication is the key to its success. FOCUS stands for Furthering Our Community by Uniting Services and exemplifies Yorktown’s philosophy of collaboration. FOCUS Toronto is based on the Situation Table model; it is a profound counterpoint to a siloed system and is led by the City of Toronto, United Way Greater Toronto, and Toronto Police Services. FOCUS Toronto includes Situation Table sites of multisystem, multiservice, cross-functional teams that rapidly address Acute Elevated Risk (AER) situations in communities. Acutely Elevated Risk refers to situations where imminent harm is present. Without immediate intervention, these situations will escalate, and a negative outcome such as criminalization, victimization and/or harm is likely to occur.
Piloted in Ontario in 2013, the aim of FOCUS Toronto is to reduce crime, victimization, and improve community resiliency and well-being. Yorktown has been an active member of FOCUS Toronto since 2015.
Once again, thank you Detective Smith for helping to bring positive change to our communities!
Yorktown Family Services provides free mental health counselling, services and programs for children, youth, young adults and families. To connect with one of our therapists, please call 416-669-3521, or visit our website for more information. For ongoing news and updates regarding programs and services, please sign up for our newsletter.