Dear Home Sharing Providers,
We want to begin this update by expressing our gratitude once again for all you are doing for the individuals you support.
This message provides you with an update on the work of the Home Sharing Working Group which met on January 15, 2021. The Home Sharing Working Group was established to work on issues home sharing providers have raised in past consultations. You can find some background about the group, its plans, and past info bulletins on CLBC’s web site here.
In this update you will find these topics:
- B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan
- Reviewing CLBC’s Home Sharing Plan
- Home sharing projects
- Referral and crisis response
- Home sharing handbook
- Standards for coordination of shared living
- Studying a possible new home sharing entity
- Ongoing COVID resources
- Next telephone update with Dr. Behn Smith
B.C.’s COVID Immunization Plan
In January the Province of B.C. announced its COVID-19 Immunization Plan, which will happen in four phases. Eligibility for all phases is based on the age you are turning in 2021 and you can find more details here.
CLBC has posted information about vaccinations on its web site here, including how we are working with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer to share the priority needs of our sector. We have been assured that Dr. Bonnie Henry is fully aware of the risk of those in our sector and others. Initially vaccine supplies are very limited, and therefore plans focus first on those most at risk – the elderly and those in “congregate” settings.
Phase 2 (February to March) includes individuals supported by CLBC who live in group homes. We expect these vaccinations to begin very soon. Phase 3 (April to June) includes adults with significant developmental disabilities who are clinically very vulnerable. Depending on vaccine supply, we expect many individuals who live in home sharing will be eligible in this phase.
Planning for this very large, complex immunization plan is being done right now, and more details about this will be coming soon. Everyone in B.C. who wants to receive the vaccine will have the opportunity to get it. You can also read more about B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan on the BC Centre for Disease Control website here.
Reviewing CLBC’s Home Sharing Plan
CLBC recently reviewed planning needs to determine if we have the right priorities for improving home sharing. In particular, CLBC is assessing whether activities are properly aligned in three areas: home sharing is a vibrant, sustainable service; home sharing supports people to live quality lives; and monitoring and oversight supports the delivery of the quality home sharing services. This process was discussed with the Home Sharing Working Group.
Home Sharing Projects
Referral and Crisis Response
Due to COVID-19, the Referral and Crisis Response project timeline has been extended. Although the timeline to complete this project has been delayed, the project team is still working on completing the online survey data analysis that was collected in November 2020. The next step is to integrate all data collected including the data taken from in-person consultations to identify themes. Findings will be presented to the Home Share Working Group members. Key findings will be then shared with those who participated in surveys and consultations, followed by work to find solutions.
Home Sharing Handbook
The Home Sharing Handbook project team continues to work on a universal and collaborative approach to developing an improved handbook to support home sharing providers and service providers. Testing was completed in December 2020. The next step is to create a mock-up, conduct another testing cycle and write the content. The project team expects the Handbook to be complete and available for use by the end of March 2021.
Standards for the Coordination of Shared Living
CLBC has completed consultations on the draft set of shared living coordination standards with service providers and CLBC staff. Many in the sector told us that they welcome this effort. CLBC is currently in the process of refining these standards based on feedback.
CLBC embarked on this work because the coordination of shared living across the province looked different from one agency to another and there was a need for better clarity on what the expectations are of the coordination of shared living services both from service providers and how it was monitored by CLBC staff.
The goal is for the standards to support greater fairness, consistency and alignment across shared living as a whole. This includes clarity in coordination of the service and the way it is monitored by CLBC staff.
The draft standards will be presented to the Home Sharing Working Group Members who will continue to be informed on this project and its outcomes.
Studying a possible new provincial home sharing entity
CLBC is now gathering information to determine how an independent provincial body could best support home sharing service quality, home sharing providers and other stakeholders. The model being explored might be compared to how the BC Federation of Foster Parents supports the delivery of foster care.
CLBC is in the preliminary phase right now and has formed a Task Force that will gather information and make recommendations to CLBC on how such an entity could support the betterment of home sharing.
Group members all have a strong home sharing background, are strongly committed to the model, and include self-advocates, family members, service providers, home sharing providers and CLBC staff.
We have asked the group to provide a report with recommendations to CLBC within the next four to six months. CLBC will make the final report public.
Ongoing COVID 19 resources
Many groups are organizing weekly online connection activities, and CLBC has also provided grants to five self advocate groups around the province to organize connection activities from now through the summer. You can find these opportunities on the Calendar for Connection hosted by the Family Support Institute.
Home sharing providers can find all of CLBC’s COVID information and resources on our web site here.
Next telephone update April 1, 2021
You can find the recording of our February 23 telephone update for service providers and home sharing providers with Dr. Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO, at this link.
Our next telephone update with Dr. Behn Smith is planned for Thursday, April 1, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. An invitation with details will be sent out in the coming weeks.
Next meeting: The next meeting of the Home Sharing Working Group will be in March.
If you are not already a member, please join our mailing list if you would like to receive updates on home sharing initiatives and invitations to COVID telephone updates. Click here to sign up and feel free to share this link with other home sharing providers.
If you have any questions, please contact Margaret Medina at Margaret.Medina@gov.bc.ca.
Home Sharing Working Group Members
Jack Styan, CLBC (Co-Chair)
Brenda Gillette, The BC CEO Network (Co-Chair)
Janice Barr, Community Living Society
Tracy Charlton, CLBC
Reta Derouin, CLBC
Karey Degenova, Home Sharing provider
Mike Jensen, Community Living Victoria
Debra Koecher, Home Sharing provider
Selena Martin, BC Home Share Providers Association
Bonnie Nelson, Home Sharing provider
Joanne Norquay, Home Sharing provider
Karyn Santiago, Communitas Supportive Care Society
Nancy Thibeau, CLBC
Julie Unger, Chilliwack Society for Community Living