Enhancing 211 project

Dial 211

A phone call based system across all of Eastern Ontario and most of rest of Ontario.

  • an opportunity for all citizens to have a one stop call for information on all public services and supports.
  • database may provide where to turn for those who find making a phone call a barrier…and youth appear to be one of these groups.
  • database is searched on key words so all service and programme providers need to ensure consideration of key words user might enter.
  • a Chat Line is available during office hours and user communicates with operator by keyboard.
  • Contact UNITED WAY for assistance with 211.  They:
    •   are available to speak about 211 to any group or organization
    • have promotional material available for agencies
    • are happy to share any reports and follow up with any questions people may have about 211


Click on this 211 Q&A 

and you will find answers to some questions that were raised at the September 4 Lead Table meeting.  (CCAC requests for info and 211, how to get information about programs and services into the 211 database etc.)  This Q&A attempts to answer these questions as well as some others.  Add your reflections, frustrations, successes, questions in the comment form below and they will be addressed or responded to by other members and by website manager.

Community Information Centre of Ottawa is the agency contracted by 211 in Eastern Ontario.  They manage the data that is used by the person who answers a call.  The database they see can be found at http://easternontario.cioc.ca/.  Try it out using search words one of your clients or a parent might use.  Try it as a staff member of another organization…maybe a teacher,  looking for services for a youth who could end up being one of your clients.  The data underlying this database is the same as that used on the 211 site at http://www.211ontario.ca/#region:m=QUICK&r=7 even though their functions are slightly different.

Template for Program or Service Entry.

  • Template for a new record in Word format
  • Template for a new record in online entry format
    • create a separate record for each service or program
      • Community Information Centre of Ottawa is the organization contracted to provide 211 in Eastern Ontario
      • To create a separate record for each program or service you offer is, for many, an onerous task.  To have available to a child, youth or parent a clear description of what the service or program is makes the investment worthwhile and may make all the difference for that kid.
      • split screen or two screens and the cut and paste function can make this task less daunting.  Have asked 211 if there is a way to simplify the repeated entry of same data on multiple records so as to allow you more time to focus on the descriptions of each program/service.
          • ANSWER: If you offer multiple programs/services requiring creation of record for each one please contact 211 in Ottawa by phoning 211 or emailing Michel Fournier
            email: Michel Fournier <michel.fournier@cominfo-ottawa.org>.ca to discuss what the best approach is to create or even update your records.

            • message from Michel
                • Never hesitate to get in touch with me specifically if you want to do any of these things:Update a set of records for a multi-service organization
                  • Create new records for a multi-service organization
                  • update a set of records for a multi-service organization
                  • In a case where all services have been placed in one record in the past, I can facilitate the work to have the services separated into multiple records

                  These can be very complicated operations and a good communication is the key to have this work done properly and efficiently, so I would more than happy to work with organizations that request our assistance.Message from Michel Fournier CRS, Data Contracts and Data Initiatives Coordinator

211 Facts

Unitedway logoeverykid logo square

211 logo





211 has the promise of helping our kids and families find out where to turn for answers to the questions they have and to find the services they need.

  • the quality of 211 depends on the information you provide to 211 and right now for many of our members it is not what it could be. 
      • GOING TO www.211ontario.ca
      • Change location in upper right corner to Eastern Ontario
      • Try looking for services by “Find Services by Topic”  or
      • put in a keyword.
      • Try adding postal code to see what you might get.
    • 211 is funded by donations to United Way.  Promotional materials are available through your local United Way.

What is 211?

Every Kid, every parent, every citizen has access to information about any government and community based health and social services…

-by calling 211

An Information and Referral Specialists will connect the caller with the services and answers needed using information on more than 56,000 agencies and services, Phone service is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is available in more than 150 languages.

Though a phone call will likely give the best help the information needed can be found at www.211ontario.ca

211 promo phone