Advocacy and Engagement Updates

Procurement, Labour Market Development, CYSN Systems Change, Youth Justice

One of the things that all of our members have in common is that you are doing a lot of things all of the time. This sector can be hectic and it often seems like a lot is happening all at once—contracts, recruiting, board meetings, fundraising, consultations, and program development. It is a lot to keep on top of. It is the same for us at The Federation.

This week, we have (in partnership with our colleagues at the Social Services Sector Round Table) provided feedback to the Ministry of Finance on BC’s Core Policy and Procedures Manual for Government Transfers. We launched a new section of our website and released a new survey on sector stress and burnout as part of our ongoing labour market strategy work.

You can learn more about these efforts and initiatives below as well as updates and engagement opportunities for the CYSN Systems Transformation, MCFD’s Youth Service Justice Framework, and a new (free!) workshop offered by The Federation’s Workplace Learning Coach.

As always, please reach out to either one of us if you have questions or want to know more about any of The Federation’s programs or advocacy efforts.

Rebecca Lang, Associate Executive Director

Catherine Rana, Director of Programs and Services

Government Transfers Round Table Review

The Social Services Sector Round Table, as per our charter and priorities, has a sub-committee focused on procurement reform. Through this sub-committee, we have been asked to provide feedback to the Ministry of Finance on government transfers and we have done so in collaboration with our provincial partners.

You can read what we have said and recommended here. We were asked to provide feedback on the current policy and procedures but you will see that we have done more than that. We have proposed (and provided guidelines for) an entirely new model for the planning, funding, and evaluation of social services that prioritizes sector sustainability, continuity of quality services, improved outcomes, and decolonization.

We will keep you, Federation members, informed as this work progresses. If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other work of the Round Table, please feel free to contact Federation Executive Director, Rick FitzZaland ( or Associate Executive Director, Rebecca Lang (

Upcoming Surveys and Engagements

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres and The Federation are working on a labour market strategy called the Social Services Training and Education Plan that will support the critical needs of our workforce while increasing equity, diversity, and Indigenization in our sector.

The first opportunity for sector engagement is a survey on the stress and burnout that community social service workers face in an increasingly complex and demanding world. This is an opportunity to share your experiences, feelings, and opinions about what it’s like to do this work. Tell us what’s working at your job, what needs to change, and what actions the sector can take to make workplaces healthier, more sustainable, and more responsive to your day-to-day reality.

The survey findings will inform the recommendations we make about training and education for community social service employees and is part of our broader strategy to address recruitment and retention challenges in our sector. Please take the time to complete the survey and forward this invitation to your staff and colleagues and encourage them to participate. This survey will be open until November 10th.

The Federation has also been working with the Community Social Planning Council on a research project that will compare the current administration funding model (and its outcomes) to other models that are possible (and their outcomes). An initial survey will be sent out next week and focus groups will follow in the winter.

Admin funding has been a focus of our advocacy and engagement work for many, many years and having data and research in hand will help us move forward—as it has with other agendas and issues.

Regional Meetings Page

The Regional Meetings are a place for sharing and learning—about our decolonization efforts, Federation advocacy, emerging issues, and engagement efforts). They are also a place where we introduce and welcome new Federation members to colleagues in their region.

And there is now a new space on The Federation website where members can quickly and easily see when their next Regional Meeting is happening as well as contact information for their Regional Director and a list of other Federation members in their region. Click the link above or use the ‘Regional Meetings’ button under ‘Events’ in our website menu. More features and information will be added to the page in the coming months.

CYSN Community-Led Collaboration Project

The Community-Led Collaboration Project is a collaborative effort based on the partnership of four organizations: The Federation, The BC Association for Child Development and Intervention, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and Inclusion BC. You can learn more about the project and its phases here.

As a team, we have identified four communities we would like to support through phase 1 of our project:

  • Campbell River
  • Castlegar
  • Kamloops
  • Port Alberni

We will be working closely with an Aboriginal Friendship Centre or Indigenous organization in each of these four communities to co-host engagement sessions early next year. As a part of this process, we would like to invite you to join the community engagement team in your community. The community engagement team members will include Indigenous leaders, service providers, community members, families, people with disabilities, and local organizations.

The community engagement team will be asked to participate in the co-planning of the local engagement sessions and the debrief after each meeting. Your input as a community engagement team member is essential to making sure the engagement sessions truly meet your community’s needs. There will be an honorarium for the members of each community engagement team. The time commitment will be:

  • Two to three Zoom meetings (90 minutes each)
  • Two to three in-person engagement sessions (3 hours each)

If you are interested in joining a community engagement team, please email Federation Communications Manager, Marshall Watson ( by November 9th indicating which of the 4 community teams you would like to be a part of. Please put “Community-Led Collaboration Project” as the subject line.

Indigenous CYSN Transformation Engagement

MCFD is continuing its engagement with Indigenous Peoples about the Children and Youth with Support Needs Transformation.

Phase 1 is focused on early implementation areas (Northwest and Central Okanagan) and there are multiple ways for Indigenous peoples to participate:

  • Focus groups taking place in November
  • One-to-one interviews
  • Online survey  (available to any Indigenous Peoples who wish to complete it, but primarily being circulated in early implementation areas at this time)

All the information about participating in upcoming engagements can be found on the new CYSN Engagement Updates section of the MCFD website.

Phase 2 will bring engagement opportunities to the whole province and is expected to begin in early 2023.

Youth Justice Engagement

MCFD is creating a directory of key sector partners to take part in the development of the Youth Justice Service Framework. The Federation is collecting contact information of members who are interested in being added to this directory and participating in this engagement process.

If you would like to be added to the directory, please fill out this form. Your information will be passed on to the Specialized Intervention and Youth Justice Branch of MCFD which is leading the engagement and development process.

Strategies for Dealing with Stress and Burnout

The Federation is committed to strengthening and supporting our members and their staff teams. This new workshop—offered free of charge to Federation members—will help to address a long-standing and increasing challenge facing our sector.

A one-hour, online learning session will explore strategies for dealing with stress that can help prevent job-related burnout for those working in the social services sector. It will also examine behavioural and cognitive methods of coping with stress to help bring the body back to a baseline after a stressful event.

Over the course of this workshop, participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the link between chronic stress and burnout.
  • Examine the different types of stress and what that would look like for them.
  • Look at the stress cycle and what it means to complete it.
  • Explore evidence-based methods of coping with stress and reflect on which ones resonate with them.
  • Consider their own values as a road map to incorporating stress-reducing methods so that it becomes more meaningful.

Our work can be very stressful. Add more coping mechanisms to your toolbox and learn some preventative skills and practices that can help to prevent burnout—learn more and register here.

This workshop is currently available to Federation members only. You can view a list of all Federation member organizations here.