11/18/2021: Member Support and Information Recap

Hello Federation Members,

Thank you for joining us for another Member Support and Information Exchange call. We were pleased to be joined by Aaryn Secker of the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC) to provide an overview of the Workplace Mental Wellness Hub for BC and to talk about mental wellness for the community social services sector. 

  • Guest Presentation: Mental Health Hub
  • Guest Q&A
  • Burnout & Recovery Webinar
  • CLBC Mandatory Vaccinations
  • Mandatory Vaccine Policies
  • Brands for Canada Masks & Sanitizer
  • Jordan’s Principle Coordination Hub
  • BC Building Code Accessibility
  • FNHA & Booster Shot Info
  • Community Gaming Grants
  • Climate Change, Intersectionality, and GBA+

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
Upcoming Calls: December 9th with guest Dr. Brian Emerson, Deputy Provincial Health Officer who will speak on staying healthy through the holidays.

The summary notes are available on The Federation website under the Blog menu. Click on Member Support & Info at the top of the homepage. We will also email you the highlights with the link tomorrow or early next week. 

The other places you can find current and important information are in The Federation’s Social Services News and Weekly Updates. For example, in recent Social Services News Emails, there were items on the third booster shots and advice and answers on GST for Non-Profits. We encourage you to forward these emails to others in your organization and/or subscribe to these services. 

Guest Presentation: BC Mental Health Hub

Aaryn Secker of the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC) joined us to speak about BC’s new Workplace Mental Health Hub. The hub was completed only a few months ago and CMHA BC will be reaching out again in the new year for feedback. The CMHA BC understands that this information needs to get out in different formats (e.g., media, networking) and is encouraging members to visit, share, and review the site to help improve it over the coming months.

The hub provides divisions for most of the impacted sectors, but not all sectors. There is confidential online chat available to connect you with Care to Chat support workers and/or learning coaches. Registration is also open for the Workplace Care Certificate program. (There has been a high response rate; any registrations received after Friday the 26th will be waitlisted.)

Everything on the site is meant to be free and it is intended to give users the ability to work at their own pace. You can check in with a learning coach at any time and there are discussion boards to complement the learning culture. Site resources will continue to be populated as needs and supports are identified and become available. (And again, ongoing feedback is welcomed.) People can also visit the Care for Caregiver site for additional resources.

Guest Q&A

Q: Can you sign up for notification of upcoming events, training, etc?
A: It’s best to check the hub for updates. CMHA BC hopes to eventually establish a channel to feed these updates through.  For the time being, CMHA BC will do our best to circulate through email. 

Q: Can you sign up as a team?
A: We can offer onsite training with a fee associated with that type of training.  There is value in creating small group support.  Note: the free resources offered through CMHA BC are meant to ensure options are available to all who work within the community social services sector (i.e., free training and educational resources).  Nonetheless, if you have the budget, there are additional training options available. 

Q: Do you have resources that educate on healthy boundaries?
A: If there aren’t any on the site already, they are being developed.  CMHA BC is always open to hearing feedback on suggestions for content to include. (Other suggested topics were healthy boundaries in the context of different worldviews and secondary trauma.)

Burnout and Recovery Webinar 

In response to an expressed desire by Federation members for resources to manage burnout in the workplace, CMHA BC has provided information for an upcoming webinar on Burnout & Recovery specifically for folks in the community social services sector. Participants will recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout, explore the elements of burnout recovery, and find a solution-focused 3-step plan of action to combat burnout.

Date: December 8th, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (PST)
Click HERE to register. 

Community Living BC Mandatory Vaccination

On November 19, CLBC provided notice to staff and agencies funded by CLBC (CLBC) to confirm that they are fully vaccinated against COVID 19, or to provide proof of an exemption by January 14, 2022.  The purpose as listed under the Public Health Order (PHO), is such that the Provincial Health Officer has determined that persons receiving CLBC services in these settings often have health conditions or compromised immune systems which make them particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID 19 and that vaccination is the single most important preventive measure that can be taken to protect those we serve, other staff and caregivers. 

Further, mandatory vaccination requirement applies to: 

  • CLBC funded agencies 
  • Persons centred societies 
  • Microboards 
  • Staff hired by individuals and families who are directly funded by CLBC, including direct-funded respite contracts 

CLBC mandatory vaccination policy does not apply to home-sharing providers where support is provided in a private residence. 

  •  December 3, 2021: Current staff members must report their vaccination status to their employer. 
  • December 10, 2021: Previously unvaccinated staff members must have received and proved that they have had their first dose or have an exemption. 
  • January 14, 2022: Unvaccinated staff members must have received and proved that they have had their second dose before this date. 

CLBC cannot provide HR guidance or advice but urges agencies to draw upon internal HR, legal and professional network resources for questions in this regard.  In this regard, CLBC also encourages service providers to keep individuals and families informed of changes to services provided and to collaborate with them to address any concerns. 

CLBC Update for Families

CLBC wants to ensure the Update for Individuals and Families continues to be a valuable resource. They would greatly appreciate hearing your feedback through a short five-minute survey. The survey is anonymous and no personal information will be collected. If you need assistance completing the survey, please email brianne.samson@gov.bc.ca. 

Mandatory Vaccine Policy Upheld

On November 9th, an Ontario arbitrator dismissed a policy grievance challenging a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. The Employer, a security guard company, had required all its employees to be fully vaccinated by October 31, 2021, or face potential disciplinary measures, up to and including termination. The policy was challenged by the Union as being unreasonable.

The Arbitrator found that the Employer’s vaccination policy was reasonable, enforceable and compliant with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”). The policy was held to strike an appropriate balance between respecting the rights of employees who had not, or did not wish to be vaccinated while respecting a safe workplace for the Employer’s staff, clients, and members of the public with whom the Employer’s security guards interacted.

This is the first decision that we are aware of where a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy was upheld and found to be reasonable. Although the Arbitrator considered unique collective agreement language in this decision, this decision also supports the position that mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies are reasonable as long as it is compliant with the Human Rights Code.

Brands for Canada Masks & Sanitizer

Two PPE opportunities were offered to Federation members through Brands for Canada over the past few months and are now available. If you are interested in participating in this time-sensitive offer, please contact stephanie@fcssbc.ca 

  1. KN-95 Masks. There are 22 pallets (or skids) of masks with a 90″ height. They are available for pickup in the Vancouver area only. Contact information has already been emailed to members that responded with interest.
  2. Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes. The minimum distribution is 10 skids (because the donor will cover the delivery cost). Four Federation Members have agreed to accept 10 skids each and offered to distribute to other members that can accept smaller amounts. Information for pickup will be emailed to interested Federation Members that responded by November 19. 

Thank you to all of our Federation Members for your patience and understanding as we coordinate these deliveries. You are amazing 🙂 

Jordan’s Principle Enhanced Service Coordination Hub

BC Aboriginal Childcare Society, in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada, has launched a new website to provide enhanced support and more accessibility for Jordan’s Principle funding for Indigenous families and service providers to Indigenous families. You can visit the website here. 

BC Building Code Accessibility

The Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility and Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing have a shared mandate to ensure the next iteration of the BC Building Code includes changes to make new buildings more accessible for all people. Until December 9th, 2021 they invite feedback on proposed changes. There are two ways to do so.   

Information about the BC Building Code accessibility requirements is available on the Building and Safety Standard’s websiteIn the second phase of the engagement (planned to occur in 2023) they will provide an opportunity for you to comment on the proposed BC Building Code changes. 

First Nations Health Authority: Resources and Booster Info

This site provides news and public health information about the pandemic. Some examples are vaccine FAQs, Talk to Doc videos, mental health and cultural supports, ways to stop the spread, and vaccination clinic locations. 

You can also find a message from Dr. Shannon McDonald, FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer, with details about what booster shots are and why people need them. 

Community Gaming Grants

The human and social service grant application for 2022 is coming to a close. Members who wish to apply for Community Gaming Grants have until November 30 to do so. 

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. Please contact Pam or Stephanie for more information at pam@fcssbc.ca or stephanie@fcssbc.ca  

Climate Change, Intersectionality, and GBA+ 

On Friday, December 3rd from 10:00 to 11:30 AM, the Climate Action Secretariat will be welcoming researchers from SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, SHIFT Collaborative, and Preparing Our Home to present the findings from their report, Climate Change, Intersectionality and GBA+ in British Columbia. GBA+ stands for Gender-Based Analysis Plus, which is an analytical process for considering how diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. In addition to sex and gender, GBA+ considers all identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age and mental and physical disability.  

The webinar presentation will highlight the report’s key findings, considerations, and recommendations for including GBA+ and intersectional principles in planning for and reducing the impact of future climate events. You can register to attend here. This webinar is open to the public and we would appreciate it if you could share it with anyone you think would be interested. 

The Federation Team