09/23/2021: Member Support and Information Recap

Hello Federation Members,

Thank you for joining us for our second Member Support and Information Exchange call this month. To honour each of us on the call, we began with a check-in question. Below, please find topics for this week:

  • Member Discussion
  • Proof of Vaccination program
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
  • Training Dollars
  • Youth Bursary Donations
  • Help Improve Child and Family Service Delivery
  • Accreditation Circle

Our Member Calls

Name: Member Support & Information Exchange
Date: Every second Thursday of the month (usually with a guest and specific topic)
Time: 10:00 am to 11:00 am

The fourth Thursday of the month will be held in the event that Federation Members want a second call for any given month to ask questions and/or share ideas and practices. We invite your ideas for future topics. Please note that recordings are no longer uploaded to the website. Upcoming calls:

  • Oct 14 with guest Satvinder Basran, CSS Health and Safety Council
  • Nov 18 with guest Jonny Morris, CMHA BC to focus on CSS mental wellness for clients, staff and leadership
  • Dec 9 with guest Dr. Brian Emerson, Deputy PHO on staying healthy through the holidays

Member Discussion

Before our introduction circle, we began with a minute of silence in respect of the ongoing findings of the unmarked graves at past Residential Schools. Our discussion involved sharing answers (from Dr. Brian Emerson, Deputy Public Health Officer) to member questions. If you have more questions for the Public Health Office regarding COVID-19, please email them to Sherry Sinclair at sherry@fcssbc.ca. We are grateful to Dr. Emerson who will keep us informed as we move through the fourth wave of the pandemic and into Phase 4 of BC’s Restart plan.

Q: Neighbourhood Houses are under the social services banner and run classes such as choir and art. Do staff/participants require proof of vaccination?
A: Yes, if over 50 participants in a class.

Q: Booster shots: will PHO be following other provincial guidelines around offering booster shots only to immuno-compromised people or will there be a plan for annual boosters for everyone in 2022 and onward?
A: I anticipate we will be following the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). We recently announce that boosters would be offered to a group of clinically extremely vulnerable people, per NACI’s recommendation.

Q: Is the BC Proof of Vaccination going to merge with the Canadian National Proof of Vaccination program?
A: That is yet to be determined.

Q: Is there a FAQ document for the Proof of Vaccination?
A: Please see this page. In particular note:

Personalized information for:

On this call, members also discussed:

  • Proof of vaccination regulations and ideas on how to manage that within the organization
  • What organizations are doing with their recruitment & retention one-time funding
  • Transformative Reconciliation in Accreditation Circle

Vaccine Card

BC’s Proof of Vaccination program is now in effect. You can register for a QR code that can be saved to your smartphone or printed. This is temporary until the Federal Government develops a national proof of vaccination program. According to the program, 2 vaccine shots will be required by October 24th. You can learn more about the program and what events and facilities are affected here.

Dr. Penny Ballem, working with the health authorities, has confirmed that community social services clients, volunteers, staff, and leaders are not required to show proof to attend or deliver services or activities. This includes training, programming, and all manner of business (on- or off-site).

If a person does not have a computer or smartphone, you can order a paper copy by phone at 1-833-838-2323 from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM 7 days a week. Telephone for the Deaf: Dial 711. Video Relay Services (VRS) provides sign language interpretation and is free for registered deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired people.

Vaccination Promotion Continues

In an effort to increase vaccination rates, the BC government has introduced an escalated plan implementing Walk-in Wednesday Clinics, along with vaccinations for youth aged 12 years and up. You can call or register online for a walk-in appointment on August 8 or continue to get registered for the first dose and follow-up second dose. Check these web pages out for a collection of most things COVID-19 related or Vax for BC.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Next week, the province of BC will recognize September 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in alignment with legislation passed by the federal government in June 2021. This date coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which began with Phyllis Webstad in 2013 and involved wearing orange shirts to honour Indigenous children forced to leave their families to attend residential schools.

We encourage everyone to take time on this new holiday to participate, reflect, and learn more about Canada’s history of colonization and the impact we see today. To support this work, The Federation has launched a new initiative, Reconciliation Dialogues, that we encourage you to learn more about. If you are looking for ideas to commemorate September 30, please check out this update from Riley McKenzie, Federation Indigenous Advisor, and Rick FitzZaland, Federation Executive Director.

A National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support to former students. This 24-Hour Crisis Line can be accessed at: 1-866-925-4419.

Wellbeing Web Support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions (MMHA) has a new website to support mental wellness to add as a resource for your organization. One other fantastic resource is the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Workplace Mental Hub. You will see a specific page for Community Social Services. Jonny Morris, CEO of the CMHA BC, will be our guest on November 14th to discuss mental wellness in the sector and answer member questions.

Training Dollars Available

Last year, The Federation helped to launch the Community Social Services Training Fund. Currently, organizations are able to apply for both the Support for Certification/Education Individual Grant (now with funding of up to $15,000 for multiple employees) and the Organizational Training Grant (funding of up to $10,000) within the same fiscal year.

We ask you to help us spread the good news that these training dollars are for all community social service organizations. The recipient does not have to be a Federation member and we would appreciate you sharing this information with your colleagues.

If you are searching for a way to decolonize and transform your organization, please apply to the Transformative Reconciliation program. All community social service agencies may apply to the Community Social Services Training Fund to cover the entire cost of the Transformative Reconciliation registration fees, regardless if you have applied for Training Fund monies previously.

Help Get Donations for the Youth Education Bursary

The Federation is pleased to announce that our Associate Member, Sincron HR, is offering members a unique way to help support the Youth Education Bursary fund. When any Federation member sets up a meeting with Sincron HR to review their recruitment and onboarding needs, Sincron HR will make a donation to the Youth Bursary Fund. We encourage you to reach out today.

Help Improve Child and Family Service Delivery

Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey for the child and family service mapping research coordinated by the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy and BC’s Representative for Children and Youth. To increase participation, the cut-off date for receipt of questionnaires and participation in case studies has been extended to Friday, October 8th.

If you would like to participate in a one-hour case study interview, please contact Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director of Governance & Institutions at the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca. Completed survey PFDs can be emailed to helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca. Thank you very much for your support in this important work!

Accreditation Circle

If you are looking for support for your virtual accreditation, please join Federation members on the active virtual accreditation monthly calls. They happen on the 3rd Friday of each month. The next call is Friday, October 15, from 11:00-12:00. Please contact Pam or Stephanie for more information at pam@fcssbc.ca or stephanie@fcssbc.ca

Please let us know how we can support you. We love hearing from you! We look forward to seeing you on our next call, Oct 14, from 10:00-11:00 AM. The dates and log-in information for future member calls can be found on our Webinars page and all past notes are on our Member Support and Information Exchange page.


Wishing you a lovely September 😊

Stephanie Martin, Program Assistant
Sherry Sinclair, Director of Programs and Services