As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, we are doing our very best to keep Federation members informed and up-to-date. We are in constant communication with our members, government colleagues, and sector allies and will continue to share updates and information regularly.
Last week, we heard directives from the Provincial Health Officer that community social services should find ways to remain open as much as possible. And we’ve heard the same thing from funding bodies such as MCFD and CLBC. We also have a commitment from the funding ministries that contract dollars will keep flowing across the FYE without interruption and have been told that the community sector is a priority for access to supplies when they become available.
We know that the threat of virus transmission is being weighed against the benefits of continuing to serve your clients who would otherwise lose valuable supports at this stressful time. But we also know that community social services play a very different role than restaurants and salons and we see this reflected in the messaging from the government and the conversations we are having. So if your staff members are wondering why your organizations are staying open, it is because social services are being recognized by the government as a vital component of community health and well-being—a fact, incidentally, that we have been championing for years.
The community social services sector was under-resourced before this crisis and we fully understand the incredible stress this puts you under now. We are doing everything we can to assist you through these trying times. And when this is over, we will do everything in our power to tell the story of how this chronically under-resourced sector responded to this crisis with creativity, grit, and compassion in order to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our communities were taken care of. I am always proud of the community social services sector, but perhaps never more proud than I am right now.
The Federation is hosting weekly COVID-19-related webinars that any and all Federation member staff can attend and we are updating our website with new information, updates, and resources daily. What follows is a breakdown of the different places and ways you can find information, resources, and support.
Our team is working incredibly hard to ensure that you are as informed and prepared as possible during this unprecedented crisis. (And rest assured, this does not mean we have forgotten about the other issues you are facing related to contracting, procurement, screening, and wages; we are continuing to work on those issues as well.) Don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions, concerns, or ideas over the coming weeks. I truly believe that we will get through this together.
COVID-19 Webinars for Federation Members
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Federation is hosting a weekly webinar every Thursday throughout March and April: COVID-19 and your Organization. Rebecca and Sherry will host the space for members to discuss what your organization is doing and to share your ideas with each other. No registration needed; participation info has been emailed to your organization’s Federation representative and is posted on the Webinars page of our website. (Our webinar guide explains how to join and participate.) Feel free to forward this among your staff so they can take part in these discussions if needed.
March 26, 2020 @ 10:15 AM
April 2 @ 10:15 AM – http://fcssbc.adobeconnect.com/covid-19prep2april2020/
April 9 @ 10:15 AM – http://fcssbc.adobeconnect.com/covid-19prep9april2020/
April 16 @ 10:15 AM – http://fcssbc.adobeconnect.com/covid-19prep16april2020/
April 23 @ 10:15 AM – http://fcssbc.adobeconnect.com/covid-19prep23april2020/
April 30 @ 10:15 AM – http://fcssbc.adobeconnect.com/covid-19prep30april2020/
There is also a new dedicated webinars page on The Federation website with dates, times, and participation info for upcoming webinars as well as an archive of past webinars with recordings and resources and notes.
Information & Resources for Members
We have created a dedicated section of information and resources about COVID-19 on the Member’s Page on The Federation website. It contains resources and policies shared by Federation members, HR resources, and recordings of the weekly member webinars we are hosting with Federation members about how COVID-19 is affecting their organizations and the social services sector at large.
Residential Program Supply Form
If your organization offers residential programs, we have created an online supply inventory form to help ensure these programs (i.e., any live-in program where a client/individual receives services and/or support) remain functional in the case of a resident contracting COVID-19. Click here to access the form if you have not already done so. The Federation and our sector allies will use this information as we work with the various provincial funders to help ensure that access to these supplies is maintained.
COVID-19 Information Page
In addition to the member resources section, we have also created a public page with information and updates for our sector allies and partners. The public-facing page can be found here (there is also a link on our homepage) and contains government updates, press releases, resources from CSSEA, WorkSafeBC, and the BCCDC.
- Update from MCFD on child care resource and referral during the COVID-19 outbreak (March 25)
- WorkSafeBC update on the extension of Occupational First Aid Certificates (March 25)
- Update on the Centralized Services HUB and the screening of prospective employees (March 23)
- Letter from Deputy Minister Allison Bond on support to contracted service providers (March 20)
- Letter on support for childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 20)
- Letter from the Provincial Health Officer to BC’s Social Services Sector on COVID-19 (March 18)
- Letter from the Minister of State for Childcare on COVID-19 (March 18)
- MCFD COVID-19 Update Webinar – Click here to view a recording of the March 18th webinar with MCFD Deputy Minister Allison Bond. You can review the notes and questions (PDF) from the March 18th webinar with the Deputy Minister here.
It also includes important news and government websites, information about social distancing, and dashboards and online trackers monitoring the pandemic.
- WorkSafeBC: COVID-19 and the workplace
- BCCDC Info for Employers & Businesses
- CSSEA’s COVID-19 Update Webpage
- Government of Canada COVID-19 Website
- BC Centre for Disease Control—COVID 19 Website and Common Questions
- BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool
- ViriHealth: Canada Coronavirus COVID-19 Tracker