The Social Research & Planning Council (SRPC) will identify local issues and trends, prioritize local research possibilities and collect, collate and disseminate relevant community reports. The Social Research & Planning Council will utilize this community research and information to address community planning initiatives. This may include, but is not limited to, initiating, facilitating, and participating in local planning initiatives as appropriate.
For the purpose of this Council, Social Planning has been defined as: Built on evidence based research, social planning is an inclusive and collaborative process that facilitates the strengthening of communities by promoting positive social change leading to improvements in human service systems and quality of life.
The Social Research & Planning Council operates as a division of the United Way of Perth-Huron. As such, the United Way of Perth-Huron provides an umbrella organizational structure with supervisory support to the Social Research & Planning Council administrative supports (including bookkeeping, audit, marketing, and PR).
The primary objectives of the Council are:
- To conduct and disseminate social research
- To provide feedback and recommendations to the community regarding:
- emerging issues and trends
- priorities for research
- new data and community services
- To ensure public accountability by receiving, reviewing and making recommendations regarding regular reports and by assisting in the development of and participating in the evaluation of research and reports
- To build public awareness regarding social issues
- To assist with the dissemination of information through existing networks
- To identify potential partnerships and funding sources to enhance the work of the Council
RELATIONSHIP TO FUNDERS
The Social Research & Planning Council is funded by the United Way of Perth-Huron, the City of Stratford, Town of St. Marys, County of Perth, and other funders as appropriate.
The Social Research & Planning Council is accountable to the Board of Directors of the United Way of Perth-Huron through its ex-officio representatives.
Membership is intended to be inclusive and broad based, striving to cover geographic and service areas. The SRPC may include, but is not limited to, local citizens and representatives from the following organizations/sectors:
- United Way of Perth-Huron Executive Director and Board Rep (Ex officio)**
- Past Chairperson***
- Local Government
- Designate of Social Services (Ex Officio)**
- Children’s Services
- Youth Services
- Seniors Services
- Developmental Services
- Legal Services
** Ex officio members will have full voting privileges. *** The Past Chairperson who has sat as a member of the committee for two three-year terms can be granted a one year extension past the 6 years with voting rights to have continuity.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Together, SRPC Members will work to generate recommendations to the community or specific stakeholders as appropriate to address the objectives of the SRPC.
Members will be asked to attend a minimum of 75% of scheduled meetings per year. Members who are unable to complete a term will recommend a representative from their organization / sector.
The Council will regularly appoint a Nomination Committee when vacancies occur as necessary.
More specifically, the SRPC Chair / Co-Chairs will be elected from among the council members and responsible for:
- Calling SRPC meetings
- Chairing meetings
- Representing the SRPC, with representatives from the United Way of Perth-Huron as media spokespersons
- Reporting quarterly at United Way Board meetings.
SRPC Members will be responsible for:
- Contributing ideas, expertise and guidance regarding information dissemination, community trends, social research reports, and community planning.
- Serving as liaisons and facilitating linkages between the SRPC and the organizations / stakeholders they represent. As such, they will consult with their colleagues about issues the SRPC is addressing in order to bring advise, expertise and recommendations to the table
- Discussing issues and promoting promising ideas and projects within their communities of interest and with the community as a whole.
SRPC members will be responsible for, from time to time, participating on Subcommittees assigned to monitor work on specific projects. The Subcommittees will consist of 2-3 members for a term of approximately 2-6 months (depending on the size of the project). The Subcommittees will be responsible for:
- Creating the parameters for the project
- Monitoring the work of the researchers
- Ensuring budget and timeline requirements are met.
- Reporting to the broader committee on progress
- Confirming that project mandates are met
Staff support to the SRPC will be provided by the United Way of Perth-Huron to:
- Carry out logistical tasks, such as organizing meeting rooms, providing materials, distributing notices of meetings, agendas, minutes and other background materials.
- Attend meetings to take minutes and provide technical expertise when needed
- Ensure the web site is maintained up to date
- Research, acquire and post relevant research from other organizations
- Prepare reports for the Council and funders as needed
- Coordinate the evaluation of Social Research & Planning Council Reports
- Other tasks as assigned
TIMEFRAME / MEETING SCHEDULE
The Social Research & Planning Council will meet the fourth Tuesday of each month from 1-3 pm, from September through June annually.
Meetings will alternate between Perth and Huron Counties, as possible.
SRPC Members will serve a maximum of 2 consecutive 3 year terms, unless extended by the Council.
Every effort will be made to establish consensus. In the event that consensus cannot be achieved, a simple majority of those present is required, assuming that quorum has been established. The chair may elect to conduct an electronic poll of members between meetings and/or if quorum cannot be established.
Research Ethics Statement
The Social Research and Planning Council (SRPC) expects those who do research for the SRPC to act in an ethical manner. The principles of justice, concern for welfare, respect for persons, privacy, confidentiality, informed consent, and equity in research participation will be respected (as defined in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans) (www.pre.ethics.gc.ca). When researchers are hired, enquiry will be made concerning the ethics and research policies and procedures the researchers follow. Such researchers will be informed that they are expected to follow the Tri-Council Policy Statement.
SRPC will ensure a research ethics review is conducted when warranted of SRPC research projects involving the collection of sensitive data on people. The purpose of such a review is to protect people while facilitating social research
Members of the SRPC will be expected to follow the principles of research ethics including privacy, confidentiality, informed consent, and equity when discussing any research being conducted for the Council.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, December 2010. (www.pre.ethics.gc.ca)