Point in Time aims to lead region in mental health services

By Elizabeth Bate

Staff board members and community members for A Point in Time Centre for Children Youth and Parents came together to congratulate each other and celebrate another year at their annual general meeting June 8.

Speaking about the value of their volunteers Point in Time honoured several of its members for their years of service including Kelly Harrison who has spent 20 years with the organization.
“I’m really lucky to get to work with such a talented dedicated group of people who are really passionate about what they do” said executive director Marg Cox.

An auditor’s report revealed a financially healthy organization with no abnormalities that was accepted unanimously by the voting members present.

The report showed that the not-for-profit agency’s largest single expense for last fiscal year was salaries and benefits which total more than $1.3 million. The organization has 31 full- and part-time employees. That financial output exceeds the amount received by the organization’s largest single contributor the Ministry of Children and Youth services by $20000.

Other expenses included $59000 for staff travel to 22 conferences nearly $25000 for staff training and recruitment and nearly $166000 for a category titled “allocated central administration” which is a category the province funds providing for the agency’s expenses such as liability insurance administration expenses and building maintenance and repairs.

Building accommodation expenses exceeding the amount covered by the province were $125000 and itemized separately. Comparatively program costs totalled $129700. Total expenditures for the year were just more than $2.1 million.

In the president’s report co-authored by president Marie Gage and Cox a statement reads “We continue to strive for efficiencies to keep as much funding as possible directed to service in our community.”

Gage lauded the hard work of the staff volunteers and community partners of the centre.
“I really feel proud of the strength of those partnerships” said Gage. “I wish to thank the community partners and our staff for making sure those partnerships are well-nourished and looked after.”
In the written report Gage says the centre served 800 children and youth during last fiscal year an increase of 14 per cent from the year before.

The report also said agency has completed four new documents  – the Strategic Plan 2015-2019 Operational Plan Scorecard and the Performance Measurement Framework – meant to outline its future plans and initiatives and measure its effectiveness within the community and the effectiveness of its services.

The agency has applied to be the lead agency for Peterborough City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton service area during the “Moving on Mental Health” system transition an initiative by the provincial government to make mental health services more accessible for youth and children and provide increased support for that age group. The written strategic plan presented was a portion of the plan that outlined operations and the scorecard for 2015.

The scorecard part of a new focus on metrics and the plan to increase effectiveness measured how close to completion or implementation each review or new initiative is. Of the 49 initiatives identified by the agency 33 are expected to be completed on or before June 30.

“We’re now able to really benchmark and measure how we’re doing on all of these things” Cox said.
Initiatives include establishing new partnerships with children’s or mental health services in Peterborough and the Highlands training staff in LGBTQ and diversity issues creating updated youth engagement and communications strategies for its programming and developing a youth suicide prevention strategy and structure to be completed by Dec. 31. Point in Time said that it was at or ahead of completion targets for all 49 initiatives as of March.

Cox outlined the three strategic directions of the organization: to be rooted in client service to advocate in a strong voice for the community and to be committed to organization effectiveness and sustainability.

“These are the three things we’re going to focus on over the next while” she said. “We’re really pleased we’ve been able to submit this plan as part of our lead agency application.”

The evening’s keynote presenter was Veroncia Beynon 9 the author of a children’s book about her family’s experience with autism.

Beynon offered insight into the life she shares with her autistic sister and acceptance of children with autism in addition to reading her book My Sister has Autism – And That’s OK!

Beynon a Bancroft resident co-wrote the book with her mother when she was just six to help other families affected by autism.

“It’s not just a story” Beynon said. “It tells people about autism and how it can just be amazing.”