211 and the Senior Safety Line 1-866-299-1011 join forces in the fight against elder abuse
On February 1, 2013 ONPEA’s Senior Safety Line partners with Ontario 211 and launches a collaborative new service delivery model, to increase efficiency and effectiveness in supporting elder abuse callers and at-risk seniors in the province. This partnership will mean fewer dropped calls, an increase in call handling capacity and improved client satisfaction.
This is the first of many steps that ONPEA is taking to develop a sustainable funding and service delivery model, while forging strong partnerships in the community.
These steps have been made possible through the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s one year grant, that allows continued 24/7 operation of the critically important Senior Safety Line, that since its inception has served over 20,000 callers in over 150 languages, while the resource development plan and growth in public support continues in tandem.
The Senior Safety Line will continue to partner with the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, which has supported the SSL from its start with its existing infrastructure, technical support and dedicated, professionally trained counseling specialists/staff.
By expanding the partnership to include 211, callers will have a choice to obtain information about a wide range of human services and program information in the province, freeing up SSL staff, currently at capacity, to manage more specialized-counseling type calls.
Teri Kay, Executive Director of The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse said she “expresses her gratitude to OTF and 211 for the opportunity and support both through the grant and valued resources being shared. Ultimately it is the at risk senior citizen that benefits, by having access to the help they need.”
Andrew Benson of 211 echoes Ms Kay’s sentiments in saying: “This is an ideal partnership that engages the resources within each organization, to provide elderly citizens with easy, reliable access to information, referral and counseling services as appropriate to make strides in protecting and supporting vulnerable seniors in the province.”
The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ONPEA), a charitable organization governed by a voluntary Board, is dedicated to raising awareness of elder abuse and neglect, through public education, professional training, advocacy, and service coordination. In addition to implementing Ontario’s Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse, ONPEA supports a growing number of vital projects and research in elder abuse
and neglect prevention through regional, national and international forums. For more information visit www.onpea.org.
About Ontario 211:
Ontario 211 is a public purpose body, supported by the Ministry of Community & Social Services, United Ways, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Citizenship & Immigration Canada, to collect, organize and disseminate valuable, trusted information about some 60,000 human services and programs. Since its launch over a decade ago, 211 has served well over 4 million callers. Ontario was the first province in Canada to provide 100% coverage ensuring that each resident could find help in navigating the complex social services network. 211 is a single point of access, by dialing the award-winning (2-1-1) the three digit, toll-free, confidential number or for those with internet access, links to community, social, health and government services. Phone lines are answered live by Certified Information & Referral Specialists, 24/7/365 in over 150 languages who listen and apply years of social service experience to connect the caller to those services most likely to help. For more information visit: www.211ontario.ca.