Ontario 2-1-1 Online and Call Centre Services Reach 10 million+ and other Ontario News | Miratel Solutions

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Ontario 2-1-1 Online and Call Centre Services Reach 10 million+ and other Ontario News

August 9, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) decision approving public access to community information and referrals through 2-1-1 online and call centre services. The idea for simplifying the public’s access to social services with a centralized 2-1-1 service was born in the U.S. in 1997. The purpose of the 2-1-1 service is to assist the public in finding the appropriate information available concerning employment counselling, housing assistance, services for seniors, home support, legal assistance, child care, language classes and many other services. Quickly connecting individuals and families with the support service they require could avoid a crisis in some cases.

2-1-1 online and call centre services

2-1-1 online and call centre services image courtesy of 211ontario.ca

The Ontario 2-1-1 website and call centre services officially launched in 2002 in the Toronto area and since that time they have expanded to accommodate over 83% of the province. The Provincial government invested $13 million over a four year span to expand the 2-1-1 website and call centre services to the entire province by March 2012. Areas currently being supported include: Perth, Huron, Kingston, Lennox, Addington, Frontenac, Ottawa, Niagara, Windsor-Essex, Halton, Peel, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Leeds and Grenville, Dufferin County, Stormont Dundas and Glengarry, Simcoe, Bruce, Grey, Muskoka,   Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Northumberland, Algoma, Rainy River, Hamilton,   Oxford, Durham Region, York, Renfrew County, Waterloo Region, Lanark County

2-1-1’s website and call centre services are available 24/7/365. Call centre services are available in over 150 languages and www.211ontario.ca is a fully bilingual website with information on 56,000 programs, services and agencies all in one searchable database. Although 2-1-1 is open to all, the service is especially useful for those who may have language or mobility barriers who are seeking support. Through the 2-1-1 call centre:

  • all inquiries are answered live with a focus on customer service – no menus, no machines
  • all calls are answered by Certified Information and Referral Specialists through the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). AIRS is an international standards body for information and referral services. It is responsible for accrediting an organization and certifying individual staff, both resource specialists and I&R specialists

Click here to read the complete timeline of the expanding reach of 2-1-1 online and call centre services.

Other Ontario News:

In this article, Elections Ontario takes aim at declining federal and provincial voter turnout in Canada and are taking steps to reverse the trend for the Oct. 6 provincial vote.

Taste of the Danforth street festival hits Greek Town this weekend in Toronto. The event has grown to 1.3 million attendees who come to enjoy food, entertainment and culture and a ‘taste’ of what this vibrant part of the city offers year-round. The festival runs from August 5-7th, 2011.

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