This space is often devoted to The Federation’s goals, our strategic priorities, and our responses to the news and issues that affect our members. And many of these goals and priorities involve shifting attitudes—the attitudes of our political leaders, government staff, the general public, and those we work with in the social services sector.
To make this happen, The Federation staff team and I spend a lot of time on conference calls, in meetings with government staff, and following up with our working groups, and sector partners.
These efforts may not make the headlines, but day in and day out, The Federation staff team is engaging with our allies and our government colleagues to inform and influence the delivery of accessible and sustainable community-based social services. And I believe that it is important to share updates about the ongoing projects and initiatives that The Federation is focused on and the areas where we have seen progress and successes.
If you have any questions about these initiatives, please let me know. You can call or email me at any time.
MCFD Collaborative Contracting Reference Group
This reference group continues to be a valuable forum for raising issues about equity and the community social services sector.
During Social Work Week in March of this year, MCFD announced hiring incentives of $3000-$6000 to recruit social workers to MCFD offices in the north. At that time, this group mobilized quickly and advocated on behalf of our sector, arguing that community-based services should be given equal support since they experience similar (if not greater) recruitment and retention challenges. Their voices were heard loud and clear and MCFD has committed to follow-up on this matter.
I should also point out that this group has successfully advocated for increased inclusion of the community sector in planning around Quality Assurance. We will have more to share on this work over the coming months.
CLBC Funding Guide Template
Continued effort and attention by our partners and Federation members has led to a positive shift in attitude, increased understanding about our perspective, and more productive and collaborative discussions. At this point, I don’t anticipate a significant change to the Funding Guide Template which—while this might sound strange—is actually a good thing as we had become very concerned about some of the changes being proposed.
These efforts have been undertaken in collaboration with the CEO Network and PARCA and much of the progress we have made is a result of this collaboration. Such an approach requires time and trust and The Federation is thankful for the strong partnership between our three organizations.
Caregiver Screening Standards
The Federation has also continued to work with MCFD on changes to Caregiver Screening Standards. We are advising the Ministry and providing recommendations on how best to adapt the criminal record check process so it can be done in-house by community organizations contracted to provide residential care. Federation members currently sit on several working groups and are bringing the perspective of the community sector in planning the next steps of this transition.
I would like to specifically thank the Federation members who have been involved in this work and provided valuable feedback. This is a strong example of the importance of including the community sector in policy planning and implementation and The Federation very much values the efforts of our members and the MCFD staff involved in this process.
The Federation will be launching a new cohort of the Leadership 2020 Blended Program in March 2018. Stay tuned for more details next week!
I am also excited to announce that The Federation has received grant funding to prototype a 2-year program to support Leadership 2020 graduates. This program is also slated to start in spring 2018. It will offer a deeper dive into the concepts and methodologies used in Leadership 2020 and will include community projects and apprenticeship opportunities.
We are very happy to be offering these two programs and we are excited to share more about these plans and other leadership development opportunities that are in the works.
A final note about the BC Wildfires
I would like to close by acknowledging that many of our members, their staff, volunteers, and communities have been affected by the fires across BC. Our thoughts are focused on everyone’s safety.
For those members that are affected, remember that you are a part of a broad, strong network of allies and friends. If you need something from The Federation, do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help however we can.