What happened at the Social Policy Forum & GM

Thank you to everyone—our members, allies, and partners—who joined us in Victoria last week to participate in The Federation’s 2023 Social Policy Forum. All of you took time from your lives and your work to spend a day thinking and designing ways to better serve some of our most vulnerable young people and that is a testament to your care and compassion and dedication. It was inspiring to see so many people in the room giving their full attention to the task at hand and your energy and ideas made us hopeful about the work ahead.

The Federation staff team will be spending the next few weeks reviewing and organizing the ideas and insights and questions and concerns that you shared. Proaction Café hosts can expect to hear from us in the next couple of months so we can learn how your initiative unfolded. (We would love feedback regardless of the outcome! There is valuable learning in success and failure, action and inaction.)

The work that took place at the Social Policy Forum will be used to guide The Federation (and others) who are striving to address these important issues. Later this year, we will be reporting to Social Policy Forum participants and Federation members about what was shared and how we (and others) can incorporate those insights and ideas into our ongoing advocacy and activities. The youth stories that we focused on were all drawn from the experiences and lives of young people we know and our commitment to them is to take the lessons and learning from last week and ensure they are used to help improve our systems of care.

Federation General Meeting

Some important Federation business also took place in Victoria. Members were informed that the Executive Director search will take place over the next three months. Leaders International has been contracted to conduct the search along with a board committee.

The Federation Board has also made the decision (on the recommendation of The Federation staff team) to host only 2 conferences in 2023 and 2024. In 2023, these will be the February Social Policy Forum in Victoria (held last week) and the June Conference and AGM at Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos. A plan is currently being developed for 2024 and the schedule will be available this summer. Regional meetings, monthly member meetings, and ongoing training opportunities will continue to ensure there remain many opportunities for Federation members to come together.

We would also like to encourage members to save the date for the upcoming Annual General Meeting in Osoyoos on June 16th. Calls for nominations for Federation board positions will be circulated in the coming months (on odd years such as 2023, the positions for Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Directors-at-Large are up). The June conference will take place the day before the AGM on June 15th in Osoyoos.

The General Meeting also involved the welcome of three new members to The Federation: Inclusion Powell River, Five Behaviour and Education Consulting Services Inc. and Westside Family Place. The Federation board has amended the member ratification process and going forward new members will be ratified as a slate, and will not be asked to leave the room during voting.

In closing, we encourage all Federation members to attend the upcoming regional meetings. Your voice and the perspective of your local community are valuable and help to make The Federation’s advocacy efforts stronger and more informed. Information about regional meetings can be found on the Federation’s website and invites are sent directly to the Federation voting representative for each member organization. If you have an idea for a guest speaker or a topic you would like to focus on, let your Regional Director know!

And if you have any questions about our conferences, meetings, or any other work, please get in touch with us!

Liz Barnett, Interim Executive Director

Rebecca Lang, Associate Executive Director