Leanne Dospital has been appointed as the new Advocate for Service Quality by Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell.
British Columbia is the first and only province in Canada with an Advocate for Service Quality. The advocate helps adults with developmental disabilities and transitioning youth with special needs and their families access government supports and services. The advocate’s office can help resolve issues or concerns related to services delivered by government ministries, Community Living BC and service agencies in the community.
Dospital has more than 25 years of experience working in the social service sector in both government and non-profit roles, including five years with the Public Guardian and Trustee as the manager for Assessment, Investigations and Health Care Decisions and regional manager. She was a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross for 20 years and holds a BA in psychology from the University of British Columbia and a MA in liberal studies from Simon Fraser University.
A review of the role and responsibilities of the Advocate for Service Quality position was completed in 2015, following the retirement of Jane Holland, who served as advocate since 1997. The advocate role was created in 1992.
During the review, individuals with developmental disabilities, family members, members of the community-living sector, service providers, advocates and government staff expressed strong support for the advocate position. As a result, the role of the advocate is being enhanced to include more outreach to rural and remote communities and multicultural groups, and it will continue to promote inter-ministry relationships to help advocate for adults with developmental disabilities and their families.
Dospital will start in her role as Advocate for Service Quality in April 2016.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“I look forward to working with Leanne in her new role as Advocate for Service Quality. Her diverse experience and collaborative approach will help government better support adults with developmental disabilities and their families. This is a unique position that truly makes a difference.”
Leanne Dospital, Advocate for Service Quality –
“This role is an exciting opportunity to work with the community-living sector and government to continue to bring positive change for adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Throughout my career I have focused on the rights of individuals who may not always be able to speak for themselves. I look forward to continuing that work as the Advocate for Service Quality. The enhanced role creates more opportunities to collaborate with the community-living sector and help people connect to the supports they need.”
- The Advocate for Service Quality reports directly to the minister of Social Development and Social Innovation.
- The 2015 Advocate for Service Quality report recommendations included:
- Maintaining the office of the Advocate for Service Quality
- Clearly defining the expectation that the advocate will initiate or increase involvement with targeted populations of individuals with developmental disabilities
- Increasing the profile of the advocate through travel to remote communities, social media, and alternative methods of outreach
- Implementing more rigorous accountability measures
- Reinforcing the role of the advocate as an essential element of CLBC’s quality improvement processes
- Enhancing the inter-ministry role of the advocate
- Reinstating the Provincial Advisory Board to support the advocate
- In 2014, government launched the Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities (STADD) program to help youth with developmental disabilities and their families navigate the services and supports they need as they transition to adulthood. The program is an integrated approach to providing cross-government services and supports and came out of the Deputy Ministers’ Review of CLBC in January 2012 to improve services for people with developmental disabilities. This program complements the role of the Advocate for Service Quality.
For more information on the Advocate for Service Quality: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/advocate/
For more information on the 2015 Advocate for Service Quality review and recommendations: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/advocate/docs/advocate-service-quality-report.pdf
For more information on the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi