VANCOUVER - Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Social Development Stephanie Cadieux unveiled a comprehensive plan to address issues and concerns around Community Living BC (CLBC) and the government-wide system of supports for British Columbians with developmental disabilities.
The plan comes as a result of a rigorous and wide-ranging review of CLBC and the network of government supports available to adults with developmental disabilities. To ensure adequate funding is available to implement the recommendations within the plan, the Province is providing an additional $40 million in funding to increase capacity and improve services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
"British Columbians with developmental disabilities and their families can have confidence that their government has listened," said Premier Clark. "Our plan will ensure that these individuals and families have the support that they need from their government to lead full, rich lives."
"After spending the past months meeting with the individuals and families served by CLBC, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to come back to them with a plan that addresses their concerns, provides them with the help they need, and demonstrates that they're not alone in meeting the challenges before them," said Minister Cadieux. "They can feel confident that this government is here to help them."
The plan, which government will begin implementing immediately, includes:
- Ensuring that families play a greater role in planning for their loved ones, while providing more flexibility in the supports available to them and supporting ongoing innovation in communities.
- Improving planning and collaboration across government to ensure that individuals' needs are at the centre of all decisions.
- Improving transition planning and processes for youth turning 19.
- Maintaining CLBC as a crown corporation.
- An increased focus on employment and training services to allow adults with developmental disabilities to lead full, rich lives as members of their communities.
- The creation of a permanent appeal mechanism, modeled on the Client Support Team, for individuals and families who have concerns about the services that they're receiving.
- An expansion of the representative for children and youth's mandate, allowing her to follow youth involved with her office after they transition to CLBC.
A cross-ministry team is being established with CLBC to begin discussions on the best way for the Province to implement these recommendations. As part of that process, they will consider and soon identify the steps for government to engage with individuals, families, service providers and advocates on key actions.
"CLBC began as a collaborative effort between government, families and advocates," said Cadieux. "In order to succeed as we move forward, we need to re-commit ourselves to moving forward together."
Together, these steps address the concerns that have been expressed by British Columbians and represent a renewal of the original vision of the advocates and families that drove the creation of CLBC, along with the Province's commitment to British Columbians with developmental disabilities.
The Deputy Ministers' Review of CLBC and the Internal Audit can be found at http://www.sd.gov.bc.ca/pwd/clbc_reports.html
Deputy Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Social Development
Summary of Recommendations
1. Develop a coherent "one government" policy framework for persons with developmental disabilities. As part of this change, families can expect more consistent levels of support when they transition from MCFD to CLBC.
2. Implement a more consistent assessment platform across the Ministries of Children and Family Development, Health, Education, and Social Development, along with CLBC, to ensure consistency and clarity of needs assessment and planning for individuals and their families. This will allow for better identification of individual needs, improving individual planning.
3. Use a coherent and integrated system to track demand, wait times and service delivery across relevant ministries and CLBC. A better system needs to be developed and implemented that more clearly identifies actual, real-time need for services.
4. Improve cross-government planning for individuals who are transitioning through different types of care, to reduce stress on them and on their families. This includes engaging earlier with youth transitioning to adulthood, but also focussing on older adults who may be transitioning to seniors' care.
5. Maintain CLBC as a Crown Agency. Implement changes to address mandate tension created by generational change, and improve approach to and relationship with families and individuals.
6. Implement new government capacity focused on transition supports. New capacity is being identified to focus on the transition to adulthood, to address the gap created when youth leave high school.
7. Increase employment services planning and supports, as well as alternative day programming options.
8. Support greater use of individualized funding. The move to individualized funding will give families a greater say in the way their loved ones are supported and provide greater stability to families over the long term. This transition, which has already begun, will be made possible through the development of community capacity and increasing funding to CLBC.
9. CLBC and Ministry of Health to assess and model needs of the older cohort of individuals with developmental disabilities and develop a three-year plan to meet those needs and ensure early planning with families.
10. Reinforce government's accountability and responsibility for CLBC through more effective use of legislative authorities. The Province will require the development of standards for tracking and prioritizing service requests and identification of assessment tools.
* A permanent appeal mechanism will be established for families.
* The Office of the Advocate for Quality Service will continue to provide support to families and individuals.
* Where the Representative for Children and Youth has been involved in supporting a young person before the age of 19 or their family, she will be given the capacity to continue supporting them through their transitioning years.
11. Recognizing the nature and growth of caseload, and the need to provide different types of programs for a new generation of individuals with developmental disabilities, government has been tracking the funding requirements in the contingency allowance, and will draw down the contingencies vote by $40 million starting in 2012/13 to implement these recommendations.
12. Support ongoing innovation in the sector, and recognize and support the innovations developed, championed and undertaken by families and individuals.
About the reports:
Deputy Ministers' Review of CLBC - Improving Services to People with Developmental Disabilities
The Deputy Ministers' Working Group was created in September, 2011, in response to growing concern about the operations and management of CLBC. The group was directed by the Premier to review CLBC and to make recommendations to improve the way in which adults with developmental disabilities and their families are supported and served in British Columbia.
Internal Audit - Review of Community Living British Columbia
The Internal Audit was launched in September, 2011, by the Ministry of Finance, to investigate CLBC's budget and management. This is the same team that conducted the review of BC Hydro. The auditors reviewed CLBC's caseload, Request for Service List, operating costs, cost pressures and other areas.
Client Support Team Update
The Client Support Team was created in response to concerns raised by British Columbians about the services being offered by CLBC. This team has provided an avenue for individuals and their families who are concerned with the level of supports they are receiving to have them quickly reviewed by experienced case workers who can ensure that the services are in place to meet each individual's unique needs.
Queenswood Report - Report on CLBC's Progress and Efficacy to 2011
In August, the Province began working with the Queenswood Consulting Group to launch a review of CLBC, as a follow-up to their 2008 report on CLBC. Queenswood focused on reviewing and assessing CLBC's operating model; reviewing Government's role in supporting people with developmental disabilities; and analyzing whether CLBC had taken appropriate action on recommendations from its previous report in 2008.
Deputy Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Social Development