Projects and Issues Update: Reimagining Community Inclusion & A New Community Social Services Sector Council

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of issues and meetings and consultations at The Federation. We’re continuing to work and advocate on many different fronts but there are two specific initiatives that I want to update members about this week—the Reimagining Community Inclusion initiative and the Community Social Services Health and Safety Council.

Reimagining Community Inclusion

The Reimagining Community Inclusion (RCI) initiative has just released its consensus report and I encourage all of you to read it. The report includes the project’s 10-year vision, guiding principles as well as a road map with key milestones and next steps. You can access the full report here.

The Federation was proud to be involved in this initiative and sent both staff and member representatives to participate in various stages of the process leading to this point. The RCI Partnership Table guiding the work to date also includes self-advocates, families, community service providers, Indigenous organizations, advocacy groups, and government representatives—all of whom showed up and contributed over the course of the 6-month process and all of whom have confirmed their intention to continue working together to give life to this proposed vision and create a better, more inclusive future for BC’s community members with disabilities over the next 10 years.

Relatedly, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction recently announced the appointment of Ross Chilton as the new CEO for CLBC who will help guide the process forward. As such, we anticipate learning more about what the RCI report means for CLBC, government ministries, and the community sector over the next few months.

Community Social Services Health and Safety Council

A number of years ago we began working with CSSEA and WorkSafe BC to address rising claims rates in the community social services sector. I am very pleased to report on some positive outcomes emerging from that work.

A pilot project that explored various factors affecting lower claims rates wrapped up last year culminating in a Summary Report and a Community Social Services Health and Safety Manual (both of which are available to members below).

Community Social Services WorkSafeBC Pilot Project Report

Community Social Services Health and Safety Handbook

Moving forward, a health and safety council is being established to work with stakeholders and sector partners to foster healthy workplaces, improve injury prevention efforts, minimize the impact of illness and injury in the workplace, and reduce the associated costs of such things.

The council will provide support to all employers (union & non-unionized) which are registered within the Counselling or Social Services (CU#766007), Life and Job Skills Training (CU#766010), and Residential Social Services Facility (CU#766017) classification units and will work to promote positive, proactive relations between unions, WorkSafeBC, and the sector (both employers union and non-union).

I often remark about “playing the long game” when it comes to certain issues and agendas and this new collaborative model is one such example of how The Federation is intentionally and purposefully working to improve service delivery while also making our sector stronger and more sustainable.

If you have any questions about either of these initiatives, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Rick FitzZaland
Executive Director