pile of newspapers | photo by utsav srestha

📰 FCSSBC: May 14, 2024 Social Services Update


News, updates, and stories about social care in BC

Unfold the recent happenings and advancements in social services

May 14, 2024

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Table of contents

  • Mental health
  • FCSSBC: June 2024 current and emerging issues conference & AGM
  • Health
  • Youth bursary
  • Communities
  • This week highlights
  • Toxic drugs
  • Reconciliation
  • Disability
  • Housing
  • Good news

Mental health

Mental-health team helps those in crisis on West Shore | Victoria Times Colonist

The West Shore RCMP Mental Health Unit has launched a mobile integrated crisis response team consisting of three officers and two nurses. The team responds to calls with a mental-health component, with two-person teams attending in an unmarked police vehicle. The unit covers calls seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and receives $375,000 a year in provincial funding. The team aims to break down the stigma of mental health issues and crises and has attended 270 of the 500 calls received from January to April 25 this year. Only 14% of calls resulted in apprehensions under the Mental Health Act.



June 2024: Current & Emerging Issues Conference and AGM

Our June (from Thursday, June 13, 2024, to Friday, June 14, 2024) conference is designed to tackle the pressing issues that matter most to our members. Based on feedback from our members, we’ve tailored the agenda to cover current trends and emerging topics. The Federation AGM* on the final morning ensures we discuss these crucial issues and address organizational matters vital to our collective mission.

*AGM is exclusive to members.


Mission Urgent and Primary Care Centre connects more people to services | BC Gov News

The Mission area has a new Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC) that offers team-based longitudinal and urgent primary care. The UPCC provides same-day care for people who need support for their health concerns within 12 to 24 hours but do not require an emergency department. The UPCC is staffed by family doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, clinical counsellors and administrative staff. The new Mission UPCC, at 304–32555 London Ave., will provide urgent care seven days a week, Monday to Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and weekends and statutory holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Youth bursary

The Youth Education Bursary assists young people who are, or have been, in care and want to pursue a career in the field of Human Social Services. Since 2009, we’ve awarded $296,925 in bursaries to 217 recipients to help students with the financial costs of tuition, books, and supplies for post-secondary study. Donations from FCSSBC members and the public are welcome! Bursary applications are open until May 31, 2024.

The FCSSBC Youth Education Bursary


Scrub-Up puts shine on Chinatown and rest of downtown | Victoria Times Colonist

The annual “Scrub-Up” event in Victoria, Canada, is led by former council member Charlayne Thornton-Joe and takes place during the first part of May, designated Asian Heritage Month. The event sees volunteers cleaning and beautifying the Chinatown and downtown areas, removing graffiti, sweeping sidewalks, and undertaking other activities. The work is part of the city’s OUR DWTN revitalization program, which invests almost $950,000 this year to enhance safety, beautify the city, and provide public programming in the downtown core. The event has been taking place for over 20 years and is seen as a way of showing pride in the Chinese community.


This week highlights

International Day of Families (May 15) | United Nations

The 2024 theme for International Day of Families is Families and Climate Change. Climate change has detrimental effects on families’ health and livelihoods, leading to forced displacement and economic disruption. To mitigate its impacts, families must be empowered through education, advocacy, and sustainable practices. Circular economy principles can be incorporated into early childhood education to promote sustainable habits. Families can drive the transition to a circular economy through consumer choices and advocacy. The 2024 International Day of Families aims to raise awareness of climate change’s impact on families and the role they can play in addressing it through education, access to information, training, and community participation.


Toxic drugs

Consider evidence and experience in the war on drugs | Victoria Times Colonist

The province has budgeted up to $2.6 billion for prevention, harm reduction, and treatment, but the number of overdose deaths continues to increase. There is a growing popular belief that abstinence-based treatment is the only answer, but it is not. Harm reduction is the reason the number of dead is not double or perhaps even triple what they are now. Evidence-based treatment programs that are flexible to the needs of the people who participate, medically assisted therapies, and a safer supply can help treat opioid use disorder. Safe consumption sites, realistic prevention programs, and an evidence-based program are also needed.



New clinic offers culturally safe health care for Indigenous Peoples | BC Gov News

A new primary care center aimed at providing culturally safe health care to Indigenous people has been opened in the Greater Victoria area. The Victoria Native Friendship Centre Health Centre is a partnership between the VNFC, the Victoria Primary Care Network (PCN), and the Ministry of Health. It offers culturally safe, longitudinal primary health-care services to people who identify as Indigenous, live in the Greater Victoria area and do not have a primary care provider. The clinic will have 20.3 FTEs when fully staffed in September 2024. The Ministry of Health has approved approximately $2 million in ongoing annual funding through the Victoria PCN for the VNFC Health Centre.



B.C. actor with disabilities awarded $55K in discrimination case | CTV News

A neurodivergent actor named Maurice Kimball was awarded over $55,000 by the human rights tribunal of British Columbia after the Kelowna Actors Studio discriminated against him due to his disabilities. The tribunal found that the theatre company did not meet its legal obligations to accommodate Mr. Kimball’s disabilities before terminating his employment. As part of the settlement agreement, the theatre will pay the actor $35,000 for injury to his dignity, feelings, and self-respect; $18,998 for expenses incurred due to the discriminatory conduct; and $1,200 for lost wages, plus interest. The tribunal also ordered the Kelowna Actors Studio to implement sensitivity training and education in the workplace and adopt an employment equity program to accommodate those with learning and sensory disabilities in its classes and productions.



Young adults at risk of homelessness move into 30 homes | BC Housing News

A new transitional housing building has opened in Surrey, providing 30 affordable homes for young adults between 19 and 24 who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The building provides 24/7 support services, including daily meals, health and wellness services, cultural programming, connections to substance-use services, education, training, and employment opportunities. Residents can stay for two years or until age 25 and partner with a housing worker to prepare to move into permanent housing. The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government, which has delivered or is underway for nearly 78,000 homes since 2017, including more than 1,860 homes in Surrey.


Good news

If you have any feel-good, weird, fascinating or amusing stories you’d like to see included in this section, send them our way to giovani@fcssbc.ca!


The articles included in Federation newsletters are for informational purposes and do not relate to the Federation’s advocacy work. We want our membership to stay informed of news that’s relevant to our sector; the inclusion of a story is not an endorsement.

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