“As a result of a chance visit to the MAPS office by a new Edmontonian interested in social mapping M.A.P.S. had the honour of working with some City of Edmonton social work colleagues and 10 women who were survivors of domestic violence. The women were part of a support group looking for a way to use their experience to help our community understand the impact of domestic violence better and to help create a more effective support system for families experiencing family violence. Our team met with the women over 8 months to hear and map their stories and then together we compiled a composite map which consisted of four parts; family and community roots, the abusive relationship, seeking help and rebuilding. The women used the maps to tell their story and to address policy makers regarding their experience using the existing support system. The women expressed gratitude for being able to tell their stories, for being heard, and for having a meaningful way to reflect on their experience. They also appreciated being able to use the maps as advocacy tools and have since had great success in sharing their maps and experiences with leaders in our community, therefore contributing to social change efforts.”
“It is only through working collaboratively and viewing the larger picture that collaborative partners can see gaps in services the way that families and individuals see gaps when navigating the system. We have noticed a trend by agencies and organizations to seek more information and hear from other service providers and partners rather than making decisions based on their current service users needs.”
“MAPS has been instrumental in designing and facilitating processes which engage people with lived experience in social service planning and evaluation. Our human service partners wish to honour and learn from such experience and are eager to include service users in conversations about the strengths and challenges of existing social services within a continuous improvement framework. MAPS has been fortunate to work with many service users in 2017 on behalf of our partners. Participants often express their gratitude and appreciation to us for listening to them and hearing them as evidenced in this quote, “I must say that I am super impressed with the journey map, it really spoke to my personal experience. It is very accurate. I really appreciate that this story is being told and I truly hope it does help change things in the mental health field. I would love to stay on board and be a part of future projects as mental health awareness is something I am very passionate about. Thank you for letting me be a part of this research!”
“MAPS staff team supports the work of our collaborative partners in the ways that they need to be helped. A theme that we consistently notice in our work is that collaborative work requires various kinds of support including administration, facilitation, info gathering and research, writing, community engagement expertise and facilitation and representation. Without this kind of support many collaborations are not successful. While they may be attended by very experienced and informed members it seems the members are already completely committed in their professional roles and unable to commit the required time to the collaborative. When MAPS is able to offer leadership and support it assists the success of the collaborative. On the contrary, when MAPS has to step back due to lack of resources we often see a leadership gap and a decline in the work of the collaborative.”
I was thrilled to find MAPS and understand how they might help us. We are a very new NPO with very limited funding and only one staff. To have this also as a free service was extremely empowering for the SWESA Board. We are very grateful.
We identified that one of the city libraries is right in the middle of a senior’s population where there are risk factors for isolation. The library became an obvious partner for us in reaching out to this group with programming for seniors.
The maps and other tools provided for our community are now the baseline for our work ahead, addressing Intimate Partner Violence at a policy level.
Deborah assisted us in setting up and attending a meeting with three new MLAs to discuss our profile /demographics, facilitate a relationship and have their offices join our monthly meetings.
Many thanks to Deborah for all the efforts made by her and her team to help us connecting with individuals/agencies, we were and are still in need of.
Extremely helpful and creative leadership and staff.