Sign up for our Labour Market Strategy Focus Groups!

Over the past few months, The Federation and our partners at the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) and the Community Social Services Employers’ Association of BC (CSSEA) have been conducting labour market research to address critical information gaps about our broad sector.

The goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of the issues related to organizational capacity in BC’s community social services sector—recruitment and retention of staff, workforce and labour market needs, volunteerism, training, and HR capacities.

Project Background

This initiative was developed as a direct result of the work that Federation members and sector allies accomplished at The Federation’s 2018 Social Policy Forum (an event that was focused on issues related to the strength and sustainability of our sector). Recruitment and retention challenges were a central theme that emerged at the forum. Participants recognized that these challenges, while not necessarily new, had become harder to address due to a lack of data about the sector. As a result, our members made clear that a priority for The Federation would be to develop a mechanism to understand and address these issues.

A labour market research project was identified as our first focus. And now, thanks to funding from the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement’s Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program (administered by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training), we are entering phase two of this project.

Creating a Social Sector Labour Market Strategy

This phase of work involves a mixed-methodology study which will collect a large amount of data through surveys (one for managers and other leadership and one for frontline staff), individual interviews, and focus groups in eight different communities across BC. (If you haven’t already completed the above surveys, please do so now!)

We are currently inviting leaders involved with BC’s social services sector to participate in focus groups and share their experiences of (and struggles with) recruitment and retention. We are encouraging people from umbrella organizations, post-secondary institutions, research bodies and think tanks, Delegated Aboriginal Agencies, and any other people (or organization) with extensive experience and knowledge of this sector.

With your help, by this time next year, we will have in hand the information we need make our case to the provincial government about why and how the complex recruitment and retention challenges facing BC’s the social care sector need to be addressed.

Focus Group Dates and Locations

Focus group sessions are being held across BC over the month of May. Find one in a community near you and use this registration form to sign up to participate. Please note: the location for the Nelson focus group has been changed.


May 6th Kelowna The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM *
May 7th Nelson Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-op 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
May 13th Terrace Coast Mountain College 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM *
May 16th Fort St. John Community Bridge (NPCRS) 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM *
May 21st Surrey PCRS Whalley 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
May 27th Vancouver/Richmond Marpole Oakridge Family Place 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
May 28th Prince George Sources 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
May 30th Nanaimo NARSF 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

* Sessions taking place over the noon hour will include a light half-hour lunch.

Please click here to register for your session of choice.

Street addresses for each location can be found below. Participants will also receive a confirmation email with the address and parking instructions one week before their session. Please contact Kathy Powelson at if you have any other questions about the sessions.

Travel Support

We have a small budget to support travel to attend these sessions which can include mileage and meals. Please contact Kathy Powelson at if you require this support in order to participate.

Location Addresses

Kelowna: The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society
#8 – 2604 Enterprise Way, Kelowna

Nelson: Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative
125 Hall St, Nelson

Terrace: Coast Mountain College
5331 McConnell Ave, Room 200 Spruce (Upstairs in registration building)

Fort St. John: Community Bridge (North Peace Community Resources Society)
10142-101st Ave, Fort St. John

Surrey: Pacific Community Resources Society
10453 Whalley Blvd (2nd Floor) Surrey

Vancouver/Richmond: Marpole Oakridge Family Place
8188 Lord Street, Vancouver

Prince George: Sources
1596 3rd Ave, Prince George

Nanaimo: NARSF
190 Wallace Street (2nd Floor) Nanaimo