Building the 211 Directory – It takes a Village!
The launching of 211 in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador came about in only a few months. There were many moving parts including setting up contact centres, working with local telephone providers, hiring local staff and much more. One of the biggest tasks has been pulling together a data set of community services that 211 staff can use to refer callers to local resources.
We have been lucky in both new regions to have partners that were eager to help us build the collection of services.
In New Brunswick, we worked closely with the Human Development Council (HDC) in Saint John. The HDC have been big proponents of the 211 model and were a big reason we have been able to bring 211 to New Brunswick in under 4 months. The HDC provided us their entire collection of community services to use as a base for the our record set. Over 2000 records in English and French have been uploaded into our 211 system and are already being used by 211 navigators. HDC has also been contracted to provide updates to the NB data to help ensure local services are updated by people who know the region the best.
Newfoundland and Labrador
In Newfoundland and Labrador we worked with Kids Help Phone (KHP) to kickstart our collection of resources. Kids Help Phone resource data focuses on services for youth and includes hundreds of records that are relevant to callers of any age. The KHP collection is currently being supplemented by a team of 211 Editors to ensure the full array of service topics are covered.
Information and referral is best when leveraging networks and partnerships. We are very appreciative of the many groups that have been part of this initiative! Thank you!!