Projects and Issues Update: Subsidized Training, Specialized Homes and Support Services, Adolescent Health Survey

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of meetings and announcements and consultations and issue management at The Federation. We are continuing to work and advocate on many different fronts on behalf of you, our members, while also supporting you through the fourth wave of the pandemic and the rollout of vaccine cards and mandates.

This update contains a few important announcements and updates that we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss—some subsidized training opportunities for members and some important issues we are working on behind the scenes. Rest assured that we are paying attention to your pressing, pandemic-related needs as well as the ongoing issues that you were struggling with before the public health crisis (which continue to have a significant impact).

As always, I encourage you to reach out to me or anyone on The Federation team if you have questions, comments, or ideas about the projects and issues detailed below (or any other Federation work).

Your expertise, time, and creativity are the most valuable resources we have when it comes to building the kind of strong, sustainable community social services sector we all want. You all continue to impress and inspire me and I want to thank you for being a part of this Federation and supporting these important pieces of work.

Rick FitzZaland
Federation Executive Director

New Subsidized Training Workshops

In early 2021, we launched a series of learning and development workshops to complement the two main funding streams of the Community Social Services Training Fund. These were subsidized by the training fund and focused on coaching and human resources. Since then, we have offered new workshops on new topics (such as volunteer coordination and risk management). But due to popular demand, we are returning to those initial themes and once again coordinating workshops, in partnership with CityU, on Coaching for Leaders and HR Performance Management.

The workshops begin later this month and run through October and early November. You can learn more about the topics, the dates of each workshop series, and apply for a spot on The Federation website. If you previously applied in the spring and were put on a waitlist, you can contact the Community Social Services Training Fund Coordinator at if you are able and would like to participate in this offering.

Transform Your Organization’s Approach to Reconciliation

Applications are open for the next cohort of The Federation’s new Transformative Reconciliation program. Our first and current cohort has been a resounding success and we are excited to launch applications for a new group of participants.

The program’s action-oriented design is tailored for leaders and staff who are keen to create real-world approaches to reconciliation that are founded on decolonizing principles and Indigenous knowledge within their specific local and organizational context. Staff pairs participate in the program together and work to create a strong understanding of reconciliation, decolonization, and indigenization, actively translate these theories into practice, and safely explore their own responsibilities in this work.

The program is built to be inclusive of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants from Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations. Everyone is welcome—if you are interested, this opportunity is for you.

Applicants from any community social services organization in British Columbia can also apply to have their program costs paid for by the Community Social Services Training Fund. Learn more here!

Specialized Homes and Support Services

There continue to be changes happening within MCFD regarding new projects and internal shifts, including the Specialized Home and Support Services (formerly Residential Redesign) consultations. The ministry continues to be running this process; The Federation is just a partner. As such, not everyone who wants to will be able to participate in an in-depth capacity.

However, the honest input and feedback from The Federation and our members continues to be heard and appreciated by our government colleagues. And we have established a few areas of focus that will determine the success of these consultations. These include: clearly defining the tangible implementation needs for the specialized homes transformation; supporting the readiness of social workers, front line staff and specialized services and community sector partners; keeping the wellness of children and families at the centre of our decisions; determining how this transformation can support decolonization.

Additional engagement sessions will be taking place in the fall where we will, among other things, confirm design principles and feedback mechanisms.

BC Adolescent Health Survey

The BC Adolescent Health Survey (AHS) is a province-wide survey administered to youth in Grade 7 to 12 every five years since 1992. The survey gives insight into youth health trends, emerging issues, and risk and protective factors for healthy development. Adapted versions of the survey are administered to youth whose experience may not be captured in the main survey including youth in custody, homeless and street-involved youth, and youth in alternative education.

Federation Associate Member, McCreary Centre Society will start hosting community consultations for the 2023 BC AHS this fall and winter. Community consultations are a chance to discuss survey items that people and organizations would like to see included in the 2023 survey.

Please contact for more information, to register for one of the regional consultations happening across the province, or to schedule an additional consultation. In the fall, McCreary will be hiring Youth Health Ambassadors across BC to host consultations with their peers to gather input on what youth see as the key local health issues in their communities.

Register for The Federation’s AGM

The Federation’s Annual General Meeting will be taking place online over Zoom next week on Wednesday, September 22nd from 8:45 AM to 12:00 PM. Join us for presentations and updates, the release of the 2021 Annual Report, the election of new board members, ratification of new members and more! Register to attend and view the board election documents here.

October Event Save the Date

In place of an in-person conference, The Federation’s October Event will be an evening networking event with the Emerging Health Leaders BC on October 14th. Save the date and stay tuned for more details and registration in the coming weeks!

Training Fund Monies for Backfill Positions

As of September 2021, changes to the administration of the Community Social Services Training Fund now allow organizations to include requests for backfill funding in their application. This funding can cover the cost of wages for casual employees so that programs do not have to close or reduce hours when staff training or certification is taking place.

The closing date for Funding Round Two is September 30th. As a reminder, organizations can apply for both the Support for Certification/Education Individual Grant (now with funding of up to $15,000) and the Organizational Training Grant (with funding of up to $10,000) in the same fiscal year. You can learn more and apply for funding on the Federation website.