Public policy refers to decisions taken concerning the selection of goals for society and the means of achieving them. It consists of the approaches agreed upon by governments, as the custodians of the collective resources and rules, to address particular problems
Sometimes these are explicit (i.e., they involve a commitment of resources, the introduction of legislation, the setting of limits on harmful materials, etc.).
At other times they are implicit (i.e., a refusal to act that ensures a continuation of the status quo that many have been arguing against, or a series of separate decisions that add up to a policy approach even though it is never articulated as such).
Issues to be addressed by public policy are identified in many different ways. Sometimes the issues they touch upon are seen as the core business of governments, and policies on how to deal with these issues are always there in some form but shift over time in response to changing circumstances, the need to reduce costs, the need to respond to pressure/criticism, fresh information, or for some other reason.
Other public policy issues are put on the public agenda (“get on the agenda”) after months, years, or even, decades of research, mobilization, and/or public awareness campaigns by non-profit or labour organizations, business, or major institutions of our societies such as universities, colleges, and healthcare providers.
Contributing to Public Policy is embedded in West Neighbourhood House Mission and Guiding Principles
West Neighbourhood House has, as its central purpose, the enabling of less advantaged individuals, families and groups in the community to gain greater control over their lives and within their community.
• Build bridges within and across communities
• Promote access to full participation in society by addressing barriers like illiteracy, inadequate incomes, unaffordable housing, and discrimination of all types
• Assist people to meet individual and family needs
• Provide the tools and opportunities for people to control their own lives and to take on leadership in the community
• Advocate for changes in social systems that will ensure dignity, quality of life, and equal opportunities for all.