CLBC Update – April 23, 2020

CLBC and Government Updates

Emergency supports announced for home share and support service providers

Yesterday, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction announced provincial emergency funding that will be distributed through Community Living BC to ensure people with developmental disabilities stay supported and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the B.C. Government’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan, up to $35.6 million will be available over three months from CLBC to support service providers to continue delivering residential services, including group homes, home sharing and supported independent living.

You can click here to read the full news release.

Information on how to access applications for support will be posted on the CLBC website in the coming days at:

Teleconference audio and plain language summary now available

Last Friday, April 17, a third teleconference for individuals and families took place. Minister Shane Simpson and Deputy Minister David Galbraith of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and CLBC CEO Ross Chilton provided the latest updates and answered questions about services and supports.

You can listen to the audio recording on the CLBC website here.

Click here to find a plain language summary of the call, with questions and answers that were discussed.

We will share information about future teleconference calls as soon as it is available on the information page for individuals and families here and via email.

Support Worker recruitment campaign begins

One of the challenges that individuals, families and service providers are experiencing is a lack of available support workers. For service providers, support staff who work in larger group programs have now shifted to individual and small group support, often working with one individual and family. For individuals who are living independently and families who are now supporting their loved ones at home throughout the entire day, finding people to provide support and respite is an increasing challenge.

Seeking to alleviate this, the Family Support Institute, Vela Canada, and Community Living BC are partnering on a recruitment campaign to bring more people – particularly those who now find themselves without work – into the community living field to work with individuals and families. The campaign targets potential support workers from the education, allied health, arts and culture, recreation, leisure, retail and service fields and directs them to, FSI’s online portal for connecting individuals and families with support workers.

Downloadable copies of recruitment flyers are available by clicking the links below:

These can be printed and posted in your community, for example at local grocery stores or pharmacies. Individuals and families, along with those interested in working as support workers, can register for free at

Plain language posters from Fraser Health

Fraser Health’s Developmental Disabilities Mental Health Services has created a series of plain language posters with helpful information and tips to help individuals, families and caregivers during this COVID-19 pandemic. You can click the links below to see each of the posters (which can also be downloaded and printed):

Staying connected and supported

Family Support Institute’s online resources

The Family Support Institute of BC (FSI) has embraced technology in a variety of ways. FSI has put together a great online set of programs, tools and supports specifically in response to families’ needs during the COVID-19 Crisis, which you can find on their website here.

FSI also hosts regional Zoom hangouts every day, which are safe spaces for families and caregivers to come together for support, camaraderie, inspiration, sharing challenges and trouble-shooting. Whatever you might be feeling right now — overwhelmed, sadness, fear, anxiety — you are not alone.  This week’s Zoom hangouts will explore fun and “out of the box” ways of practicing self-care at home and virtually in our communities. Click here to find the full schedule of regional Zoom video calls, including the links to join. All are welcome to attend.

For those new to using Zoom, FSI has also created a plain language tutorial which you can access here.

Fostering resiliency with Kim Barthel

Kim Barthel and The Relationship Matters team have been working with CLBC since the fall of 2017. Kim and the team have provided the series of Trauma Informed Practice Workshops (TIPI and TIP II) across the province, along with continued support to the many communities of practice which have grown out of the TIP workshops.

They will be facilitating a free Zoom session next Tuesday, April 28 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the topic: Fostering Resiliency – Staying Connected During These Turbulent Times – Trauma in Practice (TIP) in Action. (Future sessions are scheduled for May 12, 19 and June 2 and 16. We will share information about these on CLBC’s Facebook and Twitter channels as they approach.)

Meeting details are below. Grab your lunch and join in!

Call-in: 1-647-558-0588
Meeting ID: 547 125 860

Self Advocate Corner

We’ve added this new section to the Update as a place to share useful resources and information based on suggestions and input from self advocates.

Plain language emergency plan

Semiahmoo House Society’s Self Advocate Leadership Network has developed an emergency plan template in plain language which can be downloaded here. Completing the different sections in this template helps people to plan ahead for any emergency situations they may face during the COVID-19 crisis.

Take your best shot

As a way to stay connected while we are currently physically distanced from each other, BC People First is holding a photo contest this month. Share a photo with an idea or advice on how to have fun and stay active at home. Just post a photo on Instagram or Facebook and tag @BCPeopleFirst to enter the contest. You can find more information and contest rules here.


Stories of hope and encouragement

Sharing recognition

Social media has become a great place to recognize the hard work of essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s a recent tweet from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam doing just that:

Wishin’ and hopin’

A wife and husband musical duo, who are both support workers with BeConnected Support Services in Victoria, have recorded a catchy tune inspired by the residents they support who are having a tough time coping with all the changes to their routines. Click here to give it a listen and we’re sure you’ll be humming along in no time.

Offline fun

While computers and smartphones are great tools for staying connected during this time of physical distancing, there are many activities that don’t rely on these at all. Here’s a great list of things to do at home, put together by the Burnaby Association for Community Living (BACI), many of which can be done without the internet. There are even some spaces to come up with your own ideas.

Getting in the habit

The current pandemic has caused many of us to adopt new habits. While many of these are out of necessity, here’s a reminder that some these habits may be worth holding on to, even when life starts getting back to normal. Until next time!