From The Family Support Institute of BC – Family Connections/Support Online – April 2, 2020

The Family Support Institute’s main mandate is to support families any time they need it. Right now we are hosting family support any time of the day/night. We are doing this via teleconference/ZOOM/phone/Facetime/text messaging/email. We are holding ZOOM calls multiple times a day in all regions of the province hosted by our 12 regional staff. They are posted on our website on a calendar, along with any other community partner engagement for families. First, we also created a plain language ZOOM tutorial for anyone who needed it and posted it on our website. Technology is new to some people so we want to help people access how to use online ZOOM engagement so they would not worry, or not come online due to technology as a barrier.

Our website also has up to date information managed daily on a COVID-19 page listed here that we send out to families via a bulletin, email, social media.

FSI Websites/Resources
FSI has several websites created for families that have been adapted to respond to COVID-19. They are listed below. We have done this due to the fact that families have their “go to” resource so while it may be duplication for us, it is better for families.
Findsupportbc is a provincial database f supports and services available to families based on region, city, age and disability. We keep it current. We have added a COVID-19 category.

MyCommunityBC is a community mapping site that we created in partnership with CLBC to map inclusive places in BC. We have created a category for COVID-19. These are mapped by us and by Community and CLBC councils.

Tech Share Facebook Page is site we created in response to family needs identified through our connections with families all over BC. They identified families who have no technology, but are isolated, alone, and wanting to connect. We created a Facebook page where families can donate technology equipment, or identify they are personally in need or know someone in need. There is very detailed information on how to clean the equipment both sanitary-wise and hackware etc. People are encouraged to donate shipping etc. there is also a form where people can submit what they have or what they need and FSI has a staff person who will facilitate matches.

Provincial Family Group
There is a group of Provincial Family organizations meeting daily at 10am, 7 days a week, to share what we are hearing from families across BC, coordinating messaging, brainstorming solutions together, and trying to find supports collectively that we feel will best meet the interest of British Columbian families. It is comprised of family members entirely. It is solution oriented, and collaborative 100% of the time. We are focused on equity of health access (a Health plan for PWD), mental health of families, cross ministry coordination inclusive of family and self-advocate voices, and consistent and timely supports and interventions for families.