VICTORIA - The establishment of a new, dedicated Integrated Services Support Team will give people with developmental disabilities and their families a place to turn to for assistance when they have concerns about the services they are receiving, announced Minister of Social Development Stephanie Cadieux.
Also launching today are two resources - a call for volunteers for a reference committee and an accessible website - designed to ensure individuals and their families have the opportunity to be involved and informed.
The Integrated Services Support Team (ISST) replaces the Client Support Team and assists individuals with developmental disabilities and their families when there are concerns about services provided by Community Living BC (CLBC) and other ministries and agencies.
The reference committee, made up of volunteers, will provide advice and feedback on the development of an integrated service delivery model. This committee will ensure that the work being done to deliver on the remaining recommendations meets the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The ministry is calling for volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds to ensure a balance of interests, experiences and knowledge will be represented.
To keep people informed, an accessible website will include information about the ISST, the reference committee, and provide regular updates about the progress government is making towards completing all 12 recommendations in the plan, Improving Services to People with Development Disabilities.
The creation of the ISST addresses recommendation six in the plan. To date, three of the recommendations are now complete and work is underway to deliver on the remaining nine.
Minister of Social Development, Stephanie Cadieux -
"Government has committed to delivering on all the recommendations in the plan, and today we're demonstrating progress. The creation of the new Integrated Services Support Team ensures families will have a place to turn if they have concerns or issues around supports they are receiving from CLBC and government."
"We have designed the new accessible website, with audio and visual components, to assist people with developmental disabilities who are looking for information. I welcome comments on what users think about the website's accessibility as it's one of the many ways this government is improving communications with individuals and families."
Community Living BC Interim CEO, Doug Woollard -
"The Client Support Team provided CLBC with real benefit both from the collaboration with other ministries, as well as concrete ways to improve our work with individuals and families at the local level. With the transition to ISST, CLBC looks forward to continuing to work with cross-government partners, and to support and find resolution for the families who have concerns."
Advocate for Service Quality, Jane Holland -
"The Client Support Team provided an opportunity for individuals and families to express their concerns with the level and type of services they were requesting from CLBC and other ministries. By bringing together a range of ministry representatives, the CST was able to review each individual's circumstances from a number of perspectives, explore possible options for service and reduce barriers that prevented individuals from accessing appropriate supports from the range of ministries involved."
"In my role as the Advocate for Service Quality, I know how important it was to families to feel that their issues were understood, seriously considered and often resolved. My understanding is that the new Integrated Services Support Team is designed to provide the same level of consistency and continuity that is critical to supporting families."
- The B.C. government is providing an additional $144 million in funding over the next three years, plus an additional $36 million being held in contingency, to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. This funding will increase capacity and improve services both through CLBC and government.
- CLBC's budget has increased every year since the agency was established, totalling more than $4.2 billion invested in supports for people with developmental disabilities.
- This year, CLBC will provide supports and services to more than 14,000 people throughout British Columbia. This is a 5.4 per cent increase compared to March 31, 2011 and a 37 per cent increase over the last five years.
For regular updates about the progress government is making toward completing all 12 recommendations, please visit: www.sd.gov.bc.ca/pwd/isst.html
For more information about the Integrated Services Support Team: http://ow.ly/byR08
For more information about how to volunteer for the reference committee: http://ow.ly/byRgL
Ministry of Social Development