Three BC Communities Chosen to Participate in Systems Leadership Initiative

The Human Early Learning Partnership is pleased to announce the selection of three BC communities to participate in the “Growing Systems Leadership Initiative”. The successful communities are Gold River, Prince George and Surrey. The communities were selected following an extensive application process. Participants from these three communities represent a variety of public and non-profit organizations that providing services to young children and families. Coming together, they will participate in an intensive training program that aims to strengthen capacity in compassionate leadership and systems thinking. The project is funded by the Max Bell Foundation.

The path to healthy development for children in Canadian society is becoming increasingly complicated, and there are reasons to be concerned. For too many of our children, the path to a healthy adulthood has become broken. The systems we have designed to support Canadian children and families are simply not doing an effective job and in many communities our young people are in crisis.
There is not at present an integrated system for children, nor are there mechanisms that effectively bridge the distinct systems that serve children and families. Our challenge is to create a system that reflects children’s developmental needs and provides seamless care from birth to school entry by weaving existing systems together more effectively.

The Training
An intensive, first of its kind, training opportunity for intersectoral groups working on improving outcomes for young children. The training aims to strengthen capacity in compassionate leadership and systems thinking. Participants will be better prepared to work together towards change, as well as gaining a deeper sense of personal meaning in their work.
The training approach draws on the belief that effective leadership requires shifts in how each individual leader, thinks, feels and behaves. It draws from a foundation of building skills in complex systems thinking and in enhancing the social and emotional learning of individuals. It aims to build compassionate leaders who can think and act systemically and who have a collective commitment to change.
The training will be a mix of in community sessions, personal reflection and continuous coaching.

Host Organization and Trainers
The Systems Leadership Centre for Children (SLC2) is an emerging hub here at HELP. Housed at the University of British Columbia, HELP is a collaborative, interdisciplinary research network committed to partnering with communities to improve outcomes for children. Their internationally renowned research explores how different early environments and experiences contribute to inequalities in children’s development. SLC2 will be a hub for research, training, coaching, tools and hands on assistance to strengthen systems leadership.
The concept of SLC2 has emerged from the collective work of many at the Human Early Learning Partnership and in the communities of British Columbia over the past two decades. The pioneering work of Dr. Clyde Hertzman has been the inspiration to imagine a better life for all children.
The lead for the project is HELP’s Senior Policy Fellow, Joanne Schroeder. Ms. Schroeder will be joined by HELP’s Deputy Director, Pippa Rowcliffe as the capacity building work unfolds in communities. The work will draw on the depth of expertise across HELP, in child development research, community capacity building and knowledge translation.

Questions should be directed to Joanne Schroeder, 250-702-0534 or