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What is Social Development?

Social Planning/Social Development focuses on people, community and the factors that influence quality of life. Social Planning/Development differs from urban planning in that urban planning has a focus on land use, buildings and streets.

In Mission, Social Planning/Development involves working with a Municipally appointed Social Development Commission and its related working groups to effect positive change, education and awareness in the community. Social Planning/Development also involves working with a variety of community groups and needs, building and encouraging community cooperation and providing support to community groups working towards social issues and community development. The terms Social Planning, Social Development and Community Development are often interchangeable, the District of Mission uses the term Social Development to encompass them all.

Come check out a meeting and see what we are all about!

Terms of Reference: Social Development Commission Terms of Reference

Information Feedback Loop: Mission Social Development Information Feedback Loop

Timeline: Social Development Timeline

Check out Fetch – Mission’s community resource guide for everything involving community health.


Manager of Social Development Kirsten Hargreaves 604-820-3752
Human Development: The Foundation Five

The African Proverb, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” speaks to the fact that we do not exist in isolation and that to properly raise a family and interact with other human beings in a safe and healthy way, we depend on our neighbourhood, our community, our village. The District of Mission has an estimated 42,645 residents (BC Stats, 2010).

The percentage of children under the age of 5 is 5.5% (BC Stats, 2010). The percentage of vulnerable children in Mission is estimated at 35%. The estimated number of vulnerable children in British Columbia is 30.9% (Human Early Learning Partnership, UBC). Thus, the community of Mission is challenged with having a higher proportion of vulnerable children than provincial norms, offering these children unfair disadvantages in early life.

Ample research has proven the critical need for a positive environment and attached/attuned care givers in the first five years of life. This time period sets the stage for both brain development and the ability to function as a healthy adolescent and adult throughout life.

Mission SoapBox Community Garden

The Mission Soap box community garden is a partnership between the District of Mission and a local nonprofit agency chosen to manage and run the garden. Currently, Long Term Inmates Now in the Community (LINC) is the nonprofit managing the garden. Six reasons community gardens are a key component to a thriving community include:

  • Decreased Municipal Costs: Gardens require little land, thus developing and maintaining garden space is a lesser cost than parkland.
  • Food Production: Gardens increase access to nutritional produce often unavailable for low income families while also providing land to citizens without adequate green space for growing.
  • Health and Wellness: Gardens provide a free source of exercise and recreation. Additionally stress reduction, inclusion and belonging, as well as Elder mentorship to children.
  • Pocket Parks: Gardens add visual beauty to community while increasing citizen awareness and appreciation for access to greenspace.
  • Youth Education Crime Prevention and Cultural Opportunities: A gardening component to education can include lessons in team work, cooperation, responsibility, environmental stewardship and leadership.
  • Crime Prevention and Community Development: Gardens increase a sense of community ownership and stewardship, sense of community spirit and identity. Gardens increase eyes on the neighbourhood and offer youth a safe space to interact with peers in a positive activity. Multiple studies have demonstrated that there is a correlation between crime decreasing in neighbourhoods as green space increases.