As I read through the documentation on the Better Beginnings pilot, two key elements seemed missing:
economic viability and mobility. Some economic measures of the community must be taken as well during the study period, otherwise major intervening forces in family and community life will go unrecorded and unrelated – unless a major shutdown buggers up the results. At least a benchmark of community economic status should be required.
The other issue is mobility. Thinking back on my experience in Flemingdon, it was easy to measure the levels of service; but almost impossible to gauge client impact beyond the immediate time frame. With a mobility rate of >50% the community was more or a resettlement area. I ways felt that we were highly prevention oriented because we intervened with people motivated to make change in their life. Although it is likely less a factor in some Toronto communities, and perhaps other more remote areas, I think the issue of communities and families in transition needs to be acknowledged and addressed.