|A 2009 study found Regina children to be behind their Saskatchewan peers in early development. In response, the Regina Police Service developed the 11 and Under Initiative (11UI). 11UI is a collaborative partnership aimed at supporting children under the age of 11 who are exhibiting behaviour that puts them at risk for criminal involvement or who are at increased risk for victimization. School personnel identify children at risk and refer them to the Early Intervention Officer (EIO) of the Regina Police Service. The EIO does an assessment, and 11UI personnel work with families to develop a plan and refer the child to appropriate services and programs. The goal is to optimize the children’s health, safety and development.
This initiative began as a one-year pilot project with one dedicated officer. A coordinator was added in May 2012.
|The 11UI has several key objectives:
- improve communication and collaboration among service providers to strengthen the early identification of challenges faced by children and their families;
- create a process for seamless referrals to the appropriate service providers;
- identify family members demonstrating behaviour that may put them or other family members at risk; and
- connect children and families with appropriate services and programs.
|A formal external evaluation of this initiative is planned but has not yet taken place; however the Regina Police Service has received anecdotal feedback and compiled statistical data. With this initiative in place, youth are more involved in positive social activities. At-risk families have been connected with professional social services. School attendance and engagement have increased, with more children staying in school. Better coordination of services has reduced service gaps and reduced the number of children in care and the number of families needing social assistance. There is more evidence of effective parenting, safe and stable home environments and stronger family structures. Youth are less involved with the criminal justice system, and anti-social and criminal behaviour have been reduced.
|Financial contributions, including the salaries of one Regina Police Service constable for five months, one full-time constable and one coordinator, came from the Regina Police Service, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Services and totaled approximately $260,000. Other financial contributions are currently being sought. A number of community groups provided in-kind contributions such as personnel time for members of the Working and Steering committees, office and meeting space and administrative support. The value of these contributions is estimated at approximately $300,250.
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