Projects & Issues Update: Child and Family Service Legislation, Procurement, Support to Practice, CYSN Framework

The one thing I know about our members is that you are doing a lot of things all of the time. Things move incredibly quickly in this sector and a lot is happening all at once—contracts, recruiting, board meetings, fundraising, supervision, and program development. It is a lot to keep on top of. It often feels the same for us at The Federation.

Last week was an in-person strategic planning retreat for The Federation board of directors. Another round of regional meetings begins next week. Our June Conference and Annual General Meeting in Penticton is only a month away. We’re hiring Workplace Learning Coaches to support the sector and we’re meeting with ministers and government decision-makers on a weekly basis.

I can’t share everything we are working on or the details of each meeting I attend, but there are a few important items below that I want to inform you about and encourage you to take part in. And, as always, please reach out if you have questions, comments, or ideas about any of the work The Federation is undertaking or the issues you are facing and need assistance with.

Your board of directors and the entire Federation staff team are working hard to support you and engage with decision-makers around the important systemic changes that will strengthen our sector and improve service delivery. But we are also always here to respond to emerging issues and provide you with support and information.

Rick FitzZaland
Executive Director

Child and Family Community Service Act Reform

The BC government is currently reforming child and family service legislation to improve services for British Columbians and is beginning engagement with the Federation and Indigenous organizations. Our government colleagues want your ideas and insights about what should be prioritized, where you see current issues with the child and family service system, and what changes you think need to be made to transform the system of care.

An online engagement session is taking place over Zoom on May 17th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. All feedback and perspectives are welcome. You do not need to have any understanding of child and family service legislation, policy, or practices to participate. Participation information has been emailed to Federation members. Contact or if you would like it re-sent.

The goal of this initiative is not necessarily to make changes to the existing legislation, but rather to re-imagine what the system could look like and then create something new. As such, you are encouraged to provide ideas and feedback about what a supportive, safe, and prevention-focused system would look like to help inform this new legislation. (This will be the first of many engagement opportunities; contact if you cannot attend this date but want to be involved in the future.)

Social Services Sector Round Table

Earlier this week was the latest meeting of the Procurement Sub-Committee of the Social Services Sector Round Table. This particular working group has moved into a research and design phase and is currently designing and developing an engagement plan. We believe that this area of focus will be a lynchpin for the kind of systemic change we have been working toward for a long time. These meetings are something we look forward to and we are optimistic about the potential for more equitable, transparent and sustainable ways of managing procurement as well as government engagement with the sector.

Support to Practice Cohort 10

A new cohort of The Federation’s Support to Practice Supervision Training (offered in partnership with Community Action Initiative and CityU) has just been announced and is open for registration now.

This cohort-based series of workshops teaches supervisors and managers how to understand the spectrum of supervisory responsibilities and helps them develop specific supervisory skills that enhance direct services—ensuring your organizations are supporting your staff and meeting the unique needs and circumstances of your clients and communities.

The cohort will be running through May and June and registration is open now. You can learn more about the training and register to participate on The Federation website.

MCFD CYSN Framework Update

The Ministry of Children and Family Development has released the framework detailing upcoming changes to services for children and youth with support needs. You can learn more about the framework, the major components of the system (family connections centres, Disability Services, and Provincial Services) and what each major service component will look like here.

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, The BC Association for Child Development and Intervention, The Federation, and Inclusion BC have come together to promote a collaborative, community-led approach to the implementation of the framework. Our collective goal is to support a process that harnesses the existing strength throughout the province, community by community, in order to ensure the best possible system of support for children and youth with support needs and their families. We will have more information available soon and we will share information and opportunities for engagement and involvement with you as they are established.

June Conference and AGM in Penticton

For many years, The Federation’s June conferences have been a popular networking event and an opportunity to engage with the issues that you, our members, have told us you want to hear more about. Our tagline Altogether Better holds special significance this year as we prepare to bring the membership together in person for the first time in 2 years for a full day of connection, learning, and celebration. (The Federation turns 40 in June!)

The morning will feature a keynote and Q&A with Dr. Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, and a partner at First Peoples Law LLP—a law firm dedicated to defending and advancing Indigenous Peoples’ inherent and constitutionally protected title, rights and Treaty rights. His work includes both litigation and negotiation and he is the author of the book Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It.

Bruce will discuss and answer questions about why reconciliation has and continues to fail Indigenous people, Canada’s Proposed UNDRIP Legislation, and the problems with allies and allyship. He will also cover approaches for intentionally incorporating Indigenous rights into diversity and inclusion work.

In the afternoon, an interview with Cathy Taylor, the Executive Director of the Ontario Nonprofit Network will explore and reflect on our sector’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, discuss key lessons and takeaways, and identify promising new practices. The conference will also include the always popular Networking Reception hosted by Schmunk Gatt Smith & Associates, friends and partners of The Federation since 1984.

You can learn more and register to attend here. See you in Penticton!