Families helped reshape crown agency’s approach to planning for disability supports.
Bringing individuals and families together to learn from each other, providing a selection of new options to plan for adulthood and getting a behind-the-scenes look into how Community Living BC (CLBC) works are part of a revamped welcome and planning process that CLBC has adopted this fall. Hundreds of families helped design the new approach.
A series of four new CLBC Welcome Workshops are now being held in 20 B.C. communities in October and November, and going forward on a regular basis for individuals applying for disability supports.
CLBC funds services to adults with developmental disabilities. Families have told CLBC staff that concern about the future for their loved ones can feel overwhelming. Each year about 1,000 new people apply to receive support.
To help families feel better supported, CLBC worked with hundreds of them over the past year, as well as community and government partners, and CLBC staff on the ground to design changes that include:
- A new user-friendly web site, as well as post cards and welcome materials with plain language information
- Four new welcome workshops, led by individuals receiving CLBC supports, family members and staff and held at area schools or other community venues
- A range of new options to plan for adulthood with a person’s support network, with community partners, with independent planners, and with CLBC and government partners like STADD (Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities) Navigators
- A partnership with the Family Support Institute to promote programs and resources such as the PATH training project, MyBookletBC and the www.FindSupportBC.com online database to help families find resources in their own community.
“I want to thank the many people we serve who saw a genuine opportunity to help us strengthen our relationship with individuals and families,” said CLBC CEO Seonag Macrae. “They gave much of their time to an extensive testing process, and we learned so much. I am grateful as well for the collaborative input from service providers, schools, and government partners.”
Individuals and families from across the province met weekly over several months to help CLBC build four new welcome workshops which bring people together to talk about getting started, making supportive local community connections, developing goals, and hearing “the real deal” about CLBC: how it is organized, what supports and services to expect, how it is funded and how decisions are made about services. Find information about the workshops here.
“I found the workshops to be a great value to all the participants, parents, self advocates and the CLBC staff. I felt everybody had something to contribute and learn,” said Wendy Hall, a Nanaimo parent of an individual receiving CLBC supports, and a participant in the testing. “I believe this format of the four workshops will give parents and self advocates more understanding not only about CLBC but also becoming an adult. The information that the participants are given will be consistent across B.C. The parents get to share experiences and see the possibilities for their adult with diverse abilities and to know they are not doing this alone but have a community around them.”
Each new workshop is led by someone currently receiving CLBC supports, a family member and a staff person. Families asked for opportunities to learn from others’ experiences, and get information about CLBC and their options in ways that are easy to understand, including how things really work. Workshop exercises are designed so any individual or family member can attend and share information with each other about their own community, including welcoming local businesses and accessible social activities. In a partnership with the Family Support Institute, a family-led network that provides help for disabilities, new community resources identified in the workshops will be accessible on an online database through www.FindSupportBC.com so that everyone can benefit.
“The Family Support Institute is pleased that CLBC collaborated with us and families all over B.C. to promote and support the PATH training project, MyBookletBC, community mapping and FindSupportBC resources to new families as part of their new approach,” said Angela Clancy, Executive Director of the Family Support Institute. “We applaud all efforts to inform and engage with families as early as possible.”
For more information
If you would like to register for a workshop, or if you would like to receive workshop information because you live in a remote area and cannot attend, contact your nearest CLBC office by using the office locator feature found here on the CLBC web site or call 1-877-660-2522.