February 5, 2020

Community Living BC message on death of individual receiving home sharing services

Community Living BC (CLBC) staff, agencies and home sharing providers are deeply concerned by the charges announced by the Coquitlam RCMP on January 29 against a caregiver and local non-profit society.

We are devastated by the death of someone receiving services and extend our heartfelt condolences to family and friends.

CLBC learned of this tragic death shortly after it occurred in October 2018. At that time CLBC took immediate steps to ensure safety of others. CLBC fully cooperated with the police. CLBC also conducted a review together with the agency that led to important changes in its management of home sharing. The agency is now under enhanced monitoring and will receive no new funding until the matter is resolved in courts.

The wellbeing of adults who live with developmental disabilities is central to our work. We are drawn to this work because we feel strongly about building safe, inclusive communities.

There are currently more than 4,200 individuals in B.C. who receive home sharing services. It’s a service that has been shown to be a safe and successful model in building community inclusion and a better quality of life.

CLBC funds local agencies to contract home sharing providers and monitor their services. CLBC has a suite of standards that agencies must meet including requiring criminal record checks, conducting home studies and reference checks for potential home sharing providers, onsite monitoring visits and the requirement that all incidents involving health concerns, abuse and neglect be promptly reported and followed up on.

CLBC also works with families and service providers to encourage efforts to help people have friends and relationships. We are all safer and healthier when a network of people cares about us.

As you know, CLBC is working with the sector on improvements. In 2018, CLBC led a provincial consultation that heard from more than 700 home sharing providers on areas of improvement. We are now working with a Home Sharing Working Group that includes agencies, home sharing associations and individual home sharing providers to improve supports.

As well, last year the Auditor General informed us that given the growth in home sharing, it would focus its planned audit on CLBC’s monitoring of this program. We welcome this and findings that will help us to identify more improvements. CLBC fully supports this audit, which will occur over the coming months.

While we cannot comment on the specific case before the courts, if you have a question about home sharing in general, please contact CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca.

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