One year ago this month, as part of the 2020 provincial budget, we were told that BC’s community social services sector would be receiving funds for training and professional development. We were told that the funding, while one-time-only, would be managed by the sector itself and devoted to “build capacity, support recruitment and retention, and improve occupational health and safety training programs” for BC community social services—the largest investment of dedicated training funding that our sector has seen in a very, very long time.
In September, the provincial government announced $10 million of one-time funding, a portion of which has been held by The Federation and specifically earmarked to help address recruitment and retention challenges by supporting access to training and development.
I am very excited to announce that this week applications have opened for the Community Social Services Training Fund (CSSTF). This funding will support broad and inclusive training and development efforts that address foundational knowledge and core skill needs—including leadership and management—throughout the community social services sector.
Applications open now
There are two funding streams that organizations may apply for: the Support for Certification/Education Individual Grant (up to $1,500) and the Support for Organizational Training Grant (up to $10,000). The Organizational Training Grant has three different application windows—each devoted to a different training theme. The application process for the Individual Grant stream will be ongoing.
- All training must take place before May 31, 2022.
- Must be a community social services organization in order to be eligible.
- All recipients of this training must be employees of the applicant organization.
- Eligible organizations may apply only once per fiscal year.
Additional information about eligibility, funding rounds and application windows, training topics, fund disbursement, and reporting requirements can be found on the Community Social Services Training Fund Page.
Please note: Depending on which grant stream you select, different questions will appear on the online application. (The two different grant streams require us to collect different information.)
Support for Certification/Education Individual Grant
Organizations may apply for Support for Certification/Education Individual Grant funding up to $1,500 on behalf of an employee so that the employee can participate in formal continuing education with an accredited body with the goal of obtaining certification or course completion. This grant is for one employee per organization, per fiscal year. The Individual Grant Stream will be accepting applications on an ongoing basis.
You can view a list of eligible certificate and diploma program examples (as well as ineligible offerings) on the Community Social Services Training Fund Page.
Support for Organizational Training Grant
Organizations may apply for an Organizational Training Grant of up to $10,000 to be used (a) for the training of a cohort of two or more employees OR (b) to partner with another organization to deliver a joint training opportunity.
Each of the three funding rounds has its own application window and theme. However, within that theme, applicant organizations can choose the training topic they would like to pursue or propose one of their own. Organizations may only apply for one round of Organizational Training Grant funding and must do so within the appropriate application window.
Funding Round 1 – Organizational Strengthening
Application Window: Feb 2021–Mar 2021
Funding Round 2 – Mental Health & Wellness
Application Window: Apr 2021–Sept 2021
Funding Round 3 – Equity & Reconciliation
Application Window: Oct 2021–Mar 2022
A guiding principle of this training fund is that organizations are empowered and supported to assess for themselves the training and development they most need. That’s why you will see a range of themes and topics available on the application form. Applicant organizations will also have the option of self-identifying training topics and programs that their organizations and staff most need.
When you visit the Training Fund Online Application, you will also see an Application Worksheet that we have created to help you understand the application process and prepare your application responses. It explains (among other things) the two grant streams, the various organizational training topics, and the order in which those organizational training topics have been divided into three sequential rounds.
The worksheet is also a form-fillable PDF that you can use to prepare your answers and responses prior to completing the online form on our website. So, when you are ready, you can just copy-and-paste the answers from the PDF to the online application.
This funding has been provided by The Province of British Columbia as part of an initiative to respond to the training and development needs of those who work with some of BC’s most vulnerable people. (You can learn more about these other initiatives here.) We are very thankful for this opportunity and for the work of our sector partners at the Social Service Sector Roundtable in making this possible.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions, concerns, or ideas related to the Roundtable’s work, recruitment and retention, or the sector’s training and professional development needs.