We are well into the new year and, as you may suspect, The Federation remains hard at work on a number of important issues that also demanded our attention through 2022. Our board of directors and staff team are continuing to support you, our members, while also advocating on your behalf across a range of important sector issues—procurement, systems of care, collaboration, and reconciliation.
As always, we encourage you to reach out to either of us (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.
Social Services Sector Roundtable: Compensation
Earlier this week we circulated a letter indicating the Province’s commitment to non-union compensation increases and funding for other cost pressures for the sector related to the tentative three-year agreement in collective bargaining and identified through the course of bargaining.
This commitment was not unexpected, but it is very welcome and, in some ways, goes beyond what we anticipated. There are still details to work out in terms of how the funding will all roll out across different provincial funders, but we are very pleased to have the assurance that these funding commitments are in place.
This funding is another example of the important role the Social Services Sector Roundtable can play in advancing issues of sector sustainability—in addition to over $60M previously allocated to non-union wages and over $30M for recruitment and retention activities (including the Community Social Services Technology Fund, the Community Social Services Training Fund, and the Reconciliation Framework hosted by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres).
We continue to work with our colleagues and partners at the Roundtable on procurement reform.
Social Services Sector Training and Education Plan
The engagement phase of the Social Services Sector Training and Education Plan (SSSTEP) project is now wrapped up and we are immersed in data analysis. The next step will be preparing a draft plan to submit to the province in March. We would like to extend a huge thank you to those Federation members and partners who contributed and/or promoted the surveys and focus groups!
The SSSTEP is a key part of our long-term strategy to address recruitment and retention issues in the social services sector. This plan will help to ensure that available training and education better meet the needs of our workers and provide what is needed to deliver high-quality, culturally safe social care.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement and is being undertaken in partnership with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.
Specialized Homes and Support Services
In January, the Specialized Homes and Support Services sponsor team began discussing the Call for Response (CFR) and draft communication with service providers and then, in February, began user testing the IT portal and connecting with the finance team within the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
The Youth Services Working Group and Federation members have been provided opportunities to provide input on website materials for the Provincial Caregiver Recruitment and Retention campaign.
Another Specialized Homes and Support Services information session for all communities will take place on February 23rd. Participation information will be emailed to Federation members.
Children and Youth with Support Needs
Despite the pause on the Children and Youth with Support Needs (CYSN) Transformation, The Federation continues to be a part of the community-led collaboration project with Inclusion BC, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), and the BC Association for Child Development and Intervention (BCACDI). This group is, among other things, considering how we can best serve the process going forward.
We will be hosting an information session on Friday, March 10th from 11:00–12:30 for anyone who wants to learn more about how our community development approach will progress under these changed circumstances. More information and registration details will be sent out soon. Stay tuned!
Supports for Youth Transitioning to Adulthood
Over the past couple of months, we have been meeting with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to discuss the creation and implementation of youth transition workers, their integration into communities, and the way this initiative is being communicated to the social services sector.
In February we are discussing ways to improve collaboration and communication, engaging with members regarding the proposed changes to the youth transition legislation, and continuing to meet with government decision-makers about the rollout of these important changes.
You can also view the slides from an MCFD briefing given to Federation members on February 10th as well as an MCFD infographic detailing the changes. If you want more information about this process, please contact email@example.com or visit the BC Government’s Youth Transitions web page.
Support to Practice Management Training
The Federation is excited to announce a new iteration of our popular Support to Practice Supervision Training. Program design is underway and we are hoping to open the program to the sector in the spring of 2023.
This new version will include and expand on the existing Support to Practice Supervision Training curriculum and reflect the Federation’s commitment to reconciliation and decolonization. Participants can expect comprehensive training on the human elements of managing staff in the social services sector—cultural and emotional intelligence, coaching approaches, understanding power, hierarchy and influence, managing conflict, organizational culture, and more.
Bookmark the Support to Practice page and watch this space for pilot cohorts and program launch in a couple of months!
Rebecca Lang, Associate Executive Director
Michelle Bell, Director of Child, Youth & Family Advocacy