Data and Web Services
Accurate and expertly organized data is crucial to connecting people with the services they need. We have been making information available to citizens and professionals since 1952, once through our popular Blue Book Directory of Community Services, and now through a wide variety of online portals. The database is the core resource for information and resource specialists both at 211 and at many other helpline services.
Findhelp staff research, classify and update most of the information listed on 211Central.ca, in line with North American standards which Findhelp has helped develop over the years.
We process over 200 updates to records each week, with all information verified directly with each agency annually, and ongoing adjustments made through the year as soon as new information comes in. New services are constantly being added, after careful assessment according to the 211 Inclusion Policy. Through consultation and alliances with Francophone stakeholders, we develop parallel French data so that Francophones can search and read about any services delivered in French.
Cost-effectiveness is a priority along with high quality. Through a unique data trading agreement, many health related listings are provided to us by local Home and Community Care Support Services, who in turn rely on Findhelp for non-health related data appearing on their sites. Also, the 900 child care centre listings on our site are regularly imported and customized from the City of Toronto’s Open Data Catalogue.
The Toronto collection is part of a larger provincial database, managed by Findhelp, with data provided by dozens of partner organizations across Ontario. This data is featured most prominently on 211Ontario.ca, but is also provided to other well-used sites such as Find an Employment and Training Service (Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD), Ontario Victim Services Directory (Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General) and Settlement.Org (managed by OCASI, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants).
Search tools include the bilingual Canadian Taxonomy of Human Services (based on the AIRS/211 L.A. County Taxonomy). Findhelp is commissioned by InformCanada to manage the French Canadian version, and to provide day-to-day expertise in developing the English Canadian version.
A long-established leader in the development of data standards, tools and resources, Findhelp is working with Ontario 211 Services to continually enhance data quality, consistency and accessibility.
Findhelp develops and manages complex data driven websites including Find an Employment and Training Service (FEATS), Ontario Victim Services, 211Ontario.ca and 211Central.ca, using a custom-built data application program interface (API) and Drupal as our content management system (CMS). The API also provides access to the database for searches on Settlement.Org, and is available for other non-profit organizations to access the rich data for their own use. All of our sites are hosted internally at Findhelp. If you are interested in accessing our API, or partnering with Findhelp to develop your data driven web site, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.