The Listening to One Another to Grow Strong (LTOA) project is transitioning from a phase focused on program development to a phase oriented around scaling up our implementation capacity. With this transition in mind, we are in the process of a) expanding our partnerships with Indigenous communities and organizations that service our collaborating communities, b) optimizing our material to be both easily accessible and adaptable, and c) designing a condensed, school-based program that will be made widely-available. We are also establishing infrastructure and connections to support the sustainability of LTOA, such that communities can continue to offer our program after funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada expires, in 2018.
Expanding partnerships with health and social service centres
In order to make LTOA more accessible and relevant to communities, we've established partnerships with Indigenous health and social service organizations that will collaboratively manage the coordination of our program in their respective regions. Working in partnership with health and social service centres affords our program significant advantages: these organizations operate in accordance with local protocols, employ local people, are well positioned to offer timely and effective support to program staff, and are well connected with the constellation of political and community organizations that exist in their regions.
Our parterned Indigenous health and social service organizations manage a range of program-related tasks. At a fundamental level, they support the delivery of programs in their respective regions. The nature of their support varies depending on the phase of program deliveries, and includes facilitator and elder training, week-to-week support and the organization of feedback sessions after program delivery is complete, to evaluate the program's effectiveness and identify areas of potential improvement. These partnered centres will also serve as ideal hubs for the expansion of the program to new sites in the regions they service.
Optimizing accessible and adaptable material
Our research team is dedicated to improving our program materials and making them more widely-available. With this objective in mind, we intend to develop comprehensive generic materials as well as a set of tools that will permit these materials to be thoroughly culturally adapted. In order to make this material accessible, we are creating a resource base on our website dedicated to current and prospective partners. Our resource base will host core program materials and program delivery guides, as well as complimentary activities, videos, and tips and tricks from our veteran staff members.
Our research team is in the process of developing a school-based version of the LTOA program. Exploring a model of program expansion proposed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, we intend to engage schools and school boards as a path to scaling up. The school program will be designed flexibly, allowing it to be implemented in schools on and off reserves, with Indigenous as well as mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous student bodies. Compared to the classic version of the LTOA program, the school program will be comprised of fewer sessions, creating less of a time-demand on already over-burdened teachers and curriculums.