Projects & Issues Update: Mental Health Budget, Master Insurance Plan, Round Table, Health & Safety Council

Over the past 18 months, the entire Federation team has been focusing a lot of time and energy on supporting you and your organizations through the chaos and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, there are many other very important issues and projects and events that we continue to track and move forward on behalf of you our members.

Things are moving incredibly quickly, a lot is happening all at once. And many of the issues that Federation members were facing before the pandemic continue to have a significant impact. I want to assure you that your Board of Directors and the entire Federation staff team are working on both sides of the equation—supporting you and responding to emerging issues as well as engaging with decision-makers and advocating for important systemic changes that will strengthen our sector and improve service delivery.

As always, I encourage you to reach out if you have questions, comments, or ideas about any of the work The Federation is undertaking or the issues you are dealing with. 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 want and need. Thank you for being a part of this Federation.

Rick FitzZaland
Federation Executive Director

Mental Health Budget Presentation

In June, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions presented to Federation members about the roll-out of investments for mental health and substance use services. The slide deck from that presentation has now been shared with The Federation for any members who were unable to attend that presentation or would like a refresher. If you have any other questions about that discussion, please contact Programs and Services Director, Sherry Sinclair at The Federation at

Master Insurance Plan Info

A few of our ‘COVID-19 and Your Organization’ calls over the past few months have involved discussions about the Social Services Group Liability Program. Our colleagues at MCFD have provided links to the following information for members who missed those calls or have additional questions about the Master Insurance Plan. You can find an overview of the Social Services Group Liability Program provided through AON here. A list of frequently asked questions about eligibility, enrolment, and claims can be found here. If you have additional questions, please contact

Health & Safety Council Updates

Workers and employers in the community social services sector now have a dedicated hub they can turn to for health and safety resources, as well as support on fostering cultures of workplace safety. The Community Social Services Health and Safety Council is the product of five years of dedicated research and consultation with the sector and a first for the sector in British Columbia.

The council will foster and promote safe and healthy workplaces by providing resources and leadership on injury prevention, sound disability management, and return to work best practices in the social services sector. The brand new Community Social Services Health & Safety Council website will be your primary point of connection and information and contains health and safety resources, tools, materials, education and training for the sector.

As COVID-19 safety plans transition to prevention plans, the Health & Safety Council is encouraging organizations to check out the WorkSafeBC Communicable Disease Prevention: A Guide for Employers and the Community Social Services: Communicable Disease Prevention Overview Template for a guide on creating an appropriate plan for your workplaces.

Social Services Sector Round Table

The Social Services Sector Round Table continues to meet regularly and Michelle Bell, The Federation’s Child and Family Strategic lead, now joins me at these meetings and reference groups. The Round Table’s Procurement Working Group has moved into the research and design phase and an engagement plan is in development. The HR and Compensation Working Group established an advisory committee in May (of which I am a member) and meetings are underway.

The Round Table is also considering the need to focus both on operational matters as well as strategic work and members are beginning to share information and modelling on the long-term physical and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to inform future funding and decision-making. Moving forward, reconciliation and discussions around issues related to Indigenous peoples will also be a standing topic on the Round Table’s agenda.

IFDS-RCY Child and Family Services Project

BC’s Representative for Children and Youth is currently working with the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa to research and report on service delivery, outcomes, and money spent on child and family services in BC.

This project has two parts: (1) mapping the service delivery mechanisms and outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in British Columbia and (2) reviewing federal and provincial expenditure data for child and family services and related policy areas.

To support this very important initiative, The Federation and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres are working together to expand the project’s reach and are encouraging you to complete a short survey and/or consider participating in a case study.

A Project Overview PDF (with a description of the case study approach) is available here as well as a short 12-question PDF survey that you can download and complete. If you would like to participate in a case study or have questions, please contact Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director of Governance & Institutions at the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at Completed survey PFDs can be emailed to

Support to Practice Supervision Training

Three new cohorts of The Federation’s Support to Practice Supervision Training (offered in partnership with Community Action Initiative and CityU) have just been announced and are 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.

Three cohorts will be running from September through January and registration for all three is open now. You can learn more about the training and register to participate on The Federation website.

Police Act Reform: Have Your Say!

For its next phase of consultation, the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act is interested in hearing from British Columbians about their experiences and perspectives regarding policing and related systemic issues as well as from individuals who have experience working in policing, public safety, healthcare and social services. Share your input by completing this survey by September 3rd.

Community Social Services Training Fund

Last year, The Federation helped to launch the Community Social Services Training Fund. As of April 2021, two important changes have been made to the funding program. First, the amount for the Certification Education grant stream has been increased to $1,500 per employee for up to 10 employees. Second, organizations are now able to apply for both the Support for Certification/Education Individual Grant (funding of up to $15,000) and the Organizational Training Grant (funding of up to $10,000) within the same fiscal year. You can learn more about application deadlines, criteria, and training topics here.

+ The Community Social Services Training Fund is available to all social services organizations across the province so please share this information and links with your colleagues and community partners.