INCommunities collects, maintains, and disseminates human service information that enables people to make informed choices to improve their quality of life.
Inclusion in the INCommunities database is free, and is completely unrelated to whether an organization purchases separate advertising space in any of INCommunities’ products or is a partner in any collaboration.
Subject to the priorities detailed in the next section, the INCommunities database includes organizations or programs primarily located in or serving Niagara Region that:
- Provide a direct service to the public
- Are networks or coalitions of direct service providers
- Are involved in licensing, planning or coordinating direct services
- Are not-for-profit, community-based or government organizations
- Are organizations (such as churches, social clubs) which offer a service to the community at large, not just their own members.
- Self-help support groups
- Are commercial organizations that provide services not offered by the non-profit sector
- Are commercial organizations licenced by the government or with special contractual agreements to operate long term care facilities, child care centres and certain home care services
- For communities outside of the Niagara Region, INCommunities lists only critical services such as Community Information Centres, distress centres, hospital emergency departments and services for victims of violence and abuse, including sexual assault.
First and Second Priorities
INCommunities sets first and second priorities for most information collection. For first-priority areas, every effort is made to have comprehensive listings of all eligible services. For second-priority areas, collection depends on staff resources, agreements with other agencies, and the ability of other agencies to collect and disseminate information. Rather than collect comprehensive information in second-priority areas, INCommunities may collect representative or umbrella groups, or refer to other telephone or Internet-based services.
INCommunities gives first priority to basic subsistence and survival related services, including:
- Food, clothing and shelter
- Emergency assistance
- Crisis intervention
- Financial assistance
- Legal and correctional services
- Victim services
- Immigrant and refugee services
- Physical and mental health services
- Employment and training services
- Home support services
- Child care
- Access to permanent affordable housing.
INCommunities also gives first priority to services for people who may experience barriers to service because of:
- Language spoken
- Ethnocultural group
- Age, including risk factors associated with infants, children, youth or seniors
- Low income, unemployment or lack of education or literacy
- Physical, mental or developmental disabilities
- Homelessness or social isolation
- Immigration or refugee status
- Fear of violence.
INCommunities gives second priority to the following quality of life services, unless they are for people who may experience barriers to service:
- Consumer assistance
- Peace and disarmament
- International development.
INCommunities reserves the right to exclude from its database any organization that it has adequate reason to believe may spread hatred or have a philosophy that could be hurtful to the well-being of individuals, groups or the community as a whole.
Potential grounds for exclusion or removal from the database may include, but is not limited to, service non-delivery, fraud, misrepresentation, discrimination, or criminal activities.
INCommunities reserves the right to refuse to list or to discontinue listings for organizations that have had serious complaints lodged against them with any regulatory body, with other organizations in the database providing similar services, or with INCommunities itself.
Decisions to include, exclude, or remove a service listing may be appealed by writing to the President of the Board of Directors in care of INCommunities after a reasonable attempt has been made to resolve the issue with staff.
Referral to Other Services
Users should contact INCommunities for services that are not included in the database.
This Inclusion Policy is made available to the public through the http://www.INCommunities.ca website. It is published at the bottom of the website as a link.
It is made available to staff in the INCommunities Employee Handbook and is reviewed when training on the Policy Module occurs.
Inclusion in the database does not imply endorsement by INCommunities, nor does exclusion reflect on the quality of any program or service.
The Information Resource Specialist is responsible for ensuring that the INCommunites database conforms to this policy. This is done by the manager reviewing the addition of all new organizations to the database and confirming adherence to this policy. A periodic check of the database against this policy is done on an annual basis.