Request for Proposals: External Consultant, Safety Network Co-Design

The City of Toronto Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) works directly with local safety networks and a diverse set of stakeholders to coordinate trauma-informed and culturally responsive crisis response and recovery supports for those most affected by violent and traumatic incidents. CCRP has co-developed and supported over 26 informal and formal Safety Networks across the City of Toronto. The purpose of this enhanced safety network model is to have a community led network that is geared towards preventative measures of safety initiatives. The size and composition of these informal and formal networks varies across neighbourhoods, with many of them relying heavily on the support and coordination from the City’s Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) Community Development Officers (CDO’s). 

Building off the work and lessons learned from the Safety Network Development Pilot, the City of Toronto’s Community Crisis Response Program has engaged Social Planning Toronto to design and deliver a co-design process with 26 Safety Networks to develop a community-centred model that will include 4 pillars: 

  • Accountability 
  • Structure and Governance 
  • Sustainability 
  • Capacity Building 

The new model for Safety Networks will aim to: 

  • be flexible to meet community needs and priorities; 
  • be community-driven and prevention focused; 
  • be place-based; 
  • be co-led by local leadership (i.e., residents) and community agencies, with the CCRP playing a supporting role, where needed;
  • include CDO’s in the co-development of safety network structures, capacity building strategies, support with local safety planning, and the development of community crisis response protocols; 
  • identify and implement culturally appropriate responses and trauma-informed strategies. 


Social Planning Toronto is seeking a consultant with expertise and experience in community-centred co-design processes. The consultant will bring expertise and the latest developments in the field of community-centred design to this project, along with competencies in anti-oppression and trauma-informed approaches. They will work with the SPT and City staff to develop a resident-centric co-design plan, process, activities and communications that will maximize full engagement of Safety Network stakeholders and CDO staff in co-designing a new model for CCRP supported Safety Networks. The co-design process will include training on how community-centred design works, consultation with stakeholders on what kinds of activities, meetings, sessions and communications are most appropriate, and accessible sessions and products to fully engage participants.

This work will be supported by a Project Manager and part-time Senior Researcher from Social Planning Toronto. The Project Manager is responsible for the implementation and reporting for the entire project and the administration of the Safety Network Grants.

Scope of Work & Deliverables

From February - July 2023, the consultant will work with Social Planning Toronto, the City of Toronto’s CCRP staff, and local safety networks to:

Design and lead the co-design process to develop a community-centred model for city-supported local safety networks that includes:

  • Governance & Priority Setting 
  • Sustainability and Succession Planning 
  • Grant administration 
  • Communication models 
  • Capacity-building & knowledge sharing 
  • Accountability & decision-making 

Activities include: 

  • Design and lead a robust co-design process and plan in collaboration with SPT staff, City staff and members of the local safety networks 
  • Hosting a workshop with CCRP staff and managers to introduce the principles and practices of community-centred co-design and the role that stakeholders play, including city staff;
  • Work with SPT’s research team to complete a mapping of best and promising practices in other jurisdictions and share results shared with safety networks and other stakeholders; 
  • Review past and current Safety Network Grant model, approaches, practices and build into co-design process; 
  • Work with the Project Manager to coordinate & participate in meetings with representatives of local safety networks, the project advisory committee, and other stakeholders to introduce the co-design process; 
  • Assessing & implementing additional consultation needs, such as key informant interviews & surveys to ensure a wide set of community voices are included in shaping the enhanced model for safety networks;
  • Design & host a minimum of 6 co-design workshops / sessions with representatives from safety networks; 
  • Support the design of an evaluation framework for the co-design process and recommended monitoring and evaluation of the new model for safety networks;
  • Participate in regular check-in meetings with city staff, as needed;
  • Participate in a city-wide Safety Network event to solicit feedback on the new model;
  • Solicit feedback on draft findings with stakeholders, advisory group, and CCRP staff;
  • Submit a final report that includes:
    • A co-designed template/model & draft terms of reference for a community-driven structure for City of Toronto funded and supported Safety Networks that is comprised of at least 60-70% residents;
    • A set list of criteria needed to be a city support community safety network; 
    • Recommendations for implementation and evaluation of the Safety Network structure; 
    • A recommended process that will determine how Safety Network priorities are identified; 
    • Recommended approach for safety network grants.

Timelines for Deliverables

This co-design process will take place between February 2023 and June 2023, with the final report submitted to Social Planning Toronto by June 30, 2023.


The cost of the consultant’s work shall not exceed $30,000 not inclusive of HST.

Proposal Submission Deadline & Process

The proposal should include:

  • relevant information about the consultant’s experience in doing similar work in the non-profit sector, a draft work plan, a clear list of deliverables and proposed costs, and 
  • at least two references, with full contact information.

Proposals are due by January 31, 2023, at 4:00 PM. Please submit to [email protected].

For further information, please contact Kanaka Kulendran, Project Manager, [email protected]

© Copyright 2017-2020 Social Planning Toronto. All rights reserved.