Literacy Services Planning and Co-ordination
Literacy Services Planning and Co-ordination (LSPC) Process
This process involves all LBS service providers and, where possible, other Employment Ontario and community services, such as Employment Services, Apprenticeship, Second Career, Labour Adjustment, Workforce Development Boards, Ontario Works, and other services related to housing, mental health, probation/parole, newcomers’ services and support. Its purpose is to facilitate effective and efficient delivery of the LBS program within a broader system of education, training and labour market attachment services.
Please note that this module uses the term “LSPC”. In some areas, LBS agencies use other terms, such as Literacy Community Planning (LCP) or simply LSP.
The Literacy Service Planning and Co-ordination Committees
Representatives of the local literacy service providers (community-based, school boards and college) and Employment Ontario and other community partners in each community meet regularly to participate in the local planning and co-ordination of literacy services. These groups are called Literacy Service Planning and Co-ordination Committees or LSPC Committees.
Regional Literacy Networks facilitate the LSPC process for communities within their catchment areas. The committees develop the services required to meet identified needs in the community. Planning considers
- environmental factors in the community (labour market, economic, social, demographic)
- literacy upgrading needs of local adults
- information from community stakeholders about existing and emerging skills upgrading needs of their clients
The service providers at the planning table analyze this information in order to plan literacy programming that is responsive to local needs and priorities, within available resources.
An integrated approach
Literacy is an issue that touches many employment, training, educational and personal goals, and it’s important to talk to community partners about the skills that clients need in order to succeed in employment and educational programs. The range and level of literacy services offered in a community may depend upon what other community services exist.
The LSPC Committees look to community partners and local economic development organizations to help determine needs for services. Having community partners at the planning table helps us plan within the broader context of the Employment Ontario (EO) system, looking to improve and integrate LBS services within the broader system that includes the Ministries of Education (EDU), Children, Community and Social Services (CCSS), and Labour, Training, and Skills Development (LTSD)
This means that the broader realm of Employment Ontario stakeholders (for example: employment services, apprenticeship, Workforce Planning Boards) and other community stakeholders, such as social service agencies, economic development offices, public health organizations, Ontario Works etc. need to play a role in literacy service planning. Literacy intersects with most areas of community development and, as such, it plays a significant role in meeting the essential skills needs of any community.
Literacy Services Plan (LSP)
Each year, the regional literacy network and the local literacy providers funded by the Ontario government to deliver Literacy and Basic Skills training prepare a system service plan for the upcoming year.
The LSP is a product of the LSPC Committee. It identifies the mix of literacy services available in the region and the programming that will be provided. It is an agreement among Service Providers about how they will plan together and which organizations will deliver specific literacy services. More than simply an agreement, this document represents a collective effort towards meeting the goal of providing a comprehensive and accountable system of delivery.
The LSP is a living document that is adapted and revised as required throughout the year in response to emerging community needs and Ministry requirements. Service providers plan collectively, but develop individual business plans based partly on the literacy services plan.
The e-Channel service providers, which deliver training on-line only, plan and co-ordinate the literacy services for their virtual community on a provincial basis.
Service Co-ordination is a measure of how the service provider supports access to and from other education, training and community services, and how this is effectively incorporated into a learner’s plan.
Service Co-ordination tracks how well a service provider works within the LBS and EO delivery system and in the community. It measures the percentage of learners in the LBS program who experience effective, supported referrals into, during or at exit from the LBS program. (See Section 4.3 Performance Management Indicators)
Each LBS service provider should document their referral protocols with various referral partners. Not only is this a best practices for consistent procedures among staff, it is also expected by the Ministry. A formal referral can be made using a common referral form, e-mail, exchange of business cards or whatever works best between referral partners and is easy for clients.
Please see the Literacy Basics module Information and Referral for more details on service information gathering, coordination and integration.
On a broader scale, Regional Networks work with their LSPC committees and local community partners to develop a regional information/referral strategy that includes referral into and out of LBS. This referral strategy is often documented in a table or chart of some kind. One chart can show how referrals are made among LBS agencies (“internal” referrals) while another might show how community partners can refer to LBS agencies (“external” referrals). Check with your Regional Network [add link to the Regional Network contact table once posted] to see what your area uses. In some areas, Regional Networks provide regional referral and information, as necessary.
Questions and Activities for Reflection
- How would you explain Literacy Services Planning and Co-ordination to someone outside the literacy field?
- Which community partners are most important to your agency? How do you identify them?
- Locate and review a copy of the Literacy Service Plan (LSP) for your community. Are you clear on where your agency fits in the plan? If not, talk to your supervisor or regional network coordinator.
Check Your Learning Quiz