Leadership 2020 updates: new cohort, new program, new website

Last week in this space I briefly touched on some new developments with the Leadership 2020 program. This week, I want to go into more detail about what the future holds for The Federation’s custom-built leadership development program.

Program Background

The Leadership 2020 program began over five years ago. It was The Federation’s response to what we (and many others) saw as a leadership gap in the community social service sector. Many long-time employees were retiring and organizations were concerned that no one wanted or could fill the vacancies.

The Federation talked to our members and to thought leaders around the world, we reviewed the research, and we inventoried the existing supports for sector leaders. What we came up with as a result of this work was Leadership 2020—a leadership development program for the sector, by the sector.

Today, the growth of Leadership 2020 remains one of The Federation’s four strategic priorities. In addition to our ongoing advocacy efforts, the Youth Education Bursary, and our commitment to reconciliation, I believe this program is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal for creating the kind of change we want to see in our communities.

New Cohort

As such, I am excited to announce that we will be issuing a call for applications for a new Leadership 2020 cohort in a few short months. This new blended cohort will begin with a 4-day in-person residency the week of March 5, 2018, and will conclude with another in-person residency the week of November 19, 2018. Participation will be open to Federation members, Federation partners, community members, and government employees.

This fall, we will offer a series of online information sessions about the program and the new cohort. I encourage each of you to take the time to learn more about Leadership 2020 and consider participating in this upcoming cohort.

New Graduates Program

One of our goals for the next five years of Leadership 2020 is to better support program graduates. Some of our graduates have continued to host learning groups among themselves over the past few years. While these self-organized groups have been a success, The Federation has also recognized the interest in a more formal support structure for graduates.

To this end, The Federation will be launching a new two-year graduates program in the spring (thanks to a grant from an anonymous donor). The program will continue to use the cohort model and will offer an opportunity to delve more deeply into the tools, processes, and theories used in the Leadership 2020 programs.

This graduates program will also include a community-based group project to translate learning into practice (within the supportive structure of the program) and will offer apprenticeship opportunities to foster connections and collaboration while helping us grow the Leadership 2020 facilitation team.

Stay tuned for more details over the coming months.

New Website

As part of the re-launch of The Federation’s website, Leadership 2020 participants now have dedicated cohort pages where they can view past webinar recordings, connect with other members of their cohort, and view some of the most popular leadership readings, reflections, and resources.

Emails with dedicated links and passwords have been sent to all past participants. As you can see, we are very excited about the future of the Leadership 2020 program. Watch for dates and details about information sessions in early fall!

Project Updates: MCFD Contracting, CLBC Funding Guide, Caregiver Screening Standards, and the Leadership 2020 Program

This space is often devoted to The Federation’s goals, our strategic priorities, and our responses to the news and issues that affect our members. And many of these goals and priorities involve shifting attitudes—the attitudes of our political leaders, government staff, the general public, and those we work with in the social services sector.

To make this happen, The Federation staff team and I spend a lot of time on conference calls, in meetings with government staff, and following up with our working groups, and sector partners.

These efforts may not make the headlines, but day in and day out, The Federation staff team is engaging with our allies and our government colleagues to inform and influence the delivery of accessible and sustainable community-based social services. And I believe that it is important to share updates about the ongoing projects and initiatives that The Federation is focused on and the areas where we have seen progress and successes.

If you have any questions about these initiatives, please let me know. You can call or email me at any time.

MCFD Collaborative Contracting Reference Group

This reference group continues to be a valuable forum for raising issues about equity and the community social services sector.

During Social Work Week in March of this year, MCFD announced hiring incentives of $3000-$6000 to recruit social workers to MCFD offices in the north. At that time, this group mobilized quickly and advocated on behalf of our sector, arguing that community-based services should be given equal support since they experience similar (if not greater) recruitment and retention challenges. Their voices were heard loud and clear and MCFD has committed to follow-up on this matter.

I should also point out that this group has successfully advocated for increased inclusion of the community sector in planning around Quality Assurance. We will have more to share on this work over the coming months.

CLBC Funding Guide Template

Continued effort and attention by our partners and Federation members has led to a positive shift in attitude, increased understanding about our perspective, and more productive and collaborative discussions. At this point, I don’t anticipate a significant change to the Funding Guide Template which—while this might sound strange—is actually a good thing as we had become very concerned about some of the changes being proposed.

These efforts have been undertaken in collaboration with the CEO Network and PARCA and much of the progress we have made is a result of this collaboration. Such an approach requires time and trust and The Federation is thankful for the strong partnership between our three organizations.

Caregiver Screening Standards

The Federation has also continued to work with MCFD on changes to Caregiver Screening Standards. We are advising the Ministry and providing recommendations on how best to adapt the criminal record check process so it can be done in-house by community organizations contracted to provide residential care. Federation members currently sit on several working groups and are bringing the perspective of the community sector in planning the next steps of this transition.

I would like to specifically thank the Federation members who have been involved in this work and provided valuable feedback. This is a strong example of the importance of including the community sector in policy planning and implementation and The Federation very much values the efforts of our members and the MCFD staff involved in this process.

Leadership 2020

The Federation will be launching a new cohort of the Leadership 2020 Blended Program in March 2018. Stay tuned for more details next week!

I am also excited to announce that The Federation has received grant funding to prototype a 2-year program to support Leadership 2020 graduates. This program is also slated to start in spring 2018. It will offer a deeper dive into the concepts and methodologies used in Leadership 2020 and will include community projects and apprenticeship opportunities.

We are very happy to be offering these two programs and we are excited to share more about these plans and other leadership development opportunities that are in the works.

A final note about the BC Wildfires

I would like to close by acknowledging that many of our members, their staff, volunteers, and communities have been affected by the fires across BC. Our thoughts are focused on everyone’s safety.

For those members that are affected, remember that you are a part of a broad, strong network of allies and friends. If you need something from The Federation, do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help however we can.

The Federation’s priorities for BC’s new NDP government

John Horgan will be sworn in as BC’s next Premier on July 18, the same day his NDP government take power. The swearing in at Government House in Victoria will also include the new cabinet—the size and makeup of which has garnered much speculation.

The Federation is ready to continue working closely with the new provincial government on behalf of our members; we have been preparing for this for a long time.

I have met and communicated with Mr. Horgan on multiple occasions over the past few years under the guidance of the Federation board. Our board members have also met with Mr. Horgan and his shadow cabinet over the last several months and a number of NDP candidates attended our Social Policy Forum in February.

Thanks to all this hard work, we are more than ready to educate and engage with the new social care cabinet ministers once they are named next week.

With the new NDP government taking shape, I feel more confident than ever about The Federation’s position and our ability to speak out (and be listened to) about the things we care about most.

A letter sent to Premier-designate Horgan this week outlined five actions and approaches that we believe are priorities for the children, youth, families, and vulnerable adults of British Columbia.

Improve outcomes for children, youth, and families: We are urging the government to lend full support and the required funding to the implementation of the recommendations in the Residential Review Report.

Encourage and support permanency: We are asking the new government to improve the array of supports and services available so that more children and youth can safely remain with their families.

Meaningful reconciliation: We have emphasized the need for BC’s social care systems to incorporate a reconciliation lens into the provision of services and to increase the emphasis on trauma-informed approaches to service delivery.

Invest in community: We highlighted the utter lack of funding increases over the past 15 years and urged the government to include the community social services sector in all plans for increased funding, wage lifts, and recruitment/retention strategies.

Engage community agencies in the planning of social services: We also asked for increased involvement of the community social services sector in both the delivery and the planning of social care services and supports.

We will share the letter in full with Federation members next week. Look for it in your email inbox and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

I also encourage you to use the letter and the actions and approaches it details when you next meet with your local MLA. We will to our very best to get these items on the agenda in our meetings with government and civil servants and I urge you to do the same.

The more we are all able to pull in the same direction, the sooner we will see movement, progress, and change.



Conference reflections and next steps for The Federation

The Federation’s June Conference and AGM in Penticton took steps down two important paths. On one hand, we endeavoured to create a space grounded in understanding as we imagined new ways of working and considered different paths toward reconciliation. We also wanted to update members on the Federation’s priorities and provide first-hand insight into the initial phase of MCFD’s Multi-Year Action Plan.

I want to sincerely thank all of those who attended and took part in the conference sessions as well as The Federation’s Annual General Meeting. Many different and important conversations took place, new connections were made, and important learning was shared. There was a rich discussion during the AGM and some new member engagement commitments were made which we will be following up on very quickly. More information and next steps will be shared with members over the coming weeks.

I was thankful for the presence of the Indigenous leaders who took the time to share their stories with us and was honoured by the wisdom and graciousness of the community leaders who shared their experiences and insight. I know many of you left with new ideas to take back to their communities.

I was also grateful that we were able to bring Carolyn Kamper from MCFD to speak with Federation members about her portfolio and her commitment to community engagement in MCFD’s Multi-Year Action Plan (MYAP). You can view (or review) Carolyn’s presentation here.

The Federation has been working closely with Carolyn and her team around ways that the Ministry can better engage with the community sector on the elements of the MYAP that are particularly relevant and important to us—residential care, permanency, and mental health supports.

The Federation is continuing to host meetings with MCFD Executive Directors of Service from across the province so that we—and you, our members—can better understand the initial phases of the MYAP in each of MCFD’s Service Delivery Areas. We will be following up with members after each SDA meeting takes place.

If you have any feedback about the conference or the AGM, you can complete an online evaluation here.

If you want updated information about the MYAP-focused Regional Meetings in your SDA, please contact The Federation office.

Welcome your new board members

The AGM also saw board elections take place and The Federation has some new faces on our board of directors. You can view the all of your board members and their bios on The Federation website.

We would like to extend a very special thanks to outgoing board members Ingrid Kastens and Sylvia Ceacero for their hard work over the past years. We would also like to acknowledge Deborah Joyce who ended her second term as Secretary-Treasurer and thank her for her diligence and her ongoing commitment to The Federation.