Foundry is a network of Integrated Youth Services (IYS) in British Columbia, Canada.
Our service model offers a seamless experience from the moment young people and their caregivers walk through the doors to when they are connected with a service provider best suited to meet their needs at that moment in time. When we say integration, what we mean is that our role as leaders is to take a close look at systemic internal processes and consider whether these are conducive to creating a seamless experience for young people and their families. Integration is about removing systemic barriers and servicing young people into care. One of the means of achieving this is to offer services that are flexible and responsive to the presenting need. Integrating existing health and social services in the community is critical to ensuring the sustainability of Foundry’s service model. It is not a simple, linear process given Foundry’s complex adaptive system. Creating this seamless experience requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a commitment to integrating with intention. It also requires facilitative leadership and a coordinated, collaborative approach, and has an impact on resources, relationships, and practice. To better understand the work involved to achieve integration of services, Foundry has adopted a framework known as the “Fulop Typology” (Fulop et al, 2005) which categorizes integration into six domains and outlines key elements to effective integration. Findings from our development evaluation support this approach and illustrate the complexity involved in establishing and sustaining systemic change through integration.