Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux visited the Cedar Crest Society for Community Living’s Career Centre on June 13 to announce some changes to improve services in British Columbia.
The changes stem from the Client Support Team (CST) created last fall in response to concerns raised by individuals and families about the level of services provided by Community Living BC (CLBC).
Cadieux said the CST was put into place to talk to families that were experiencing problems for which they could not find solutions.
“It gave us a lot of information in government about things that weren’t working right and where we needed to do things differently.”
The CST identified a need for an ongoing mechanism to provide another means of getting help for those who can’t find it through the various ministries, she explained.
Since it began accepting requests in October 2011, 289 people with developmental disabilities and their families have taken advantage of the CST’s services, Cadieux noted.
Of those, 77 per cent of the issues have been resolved and 161 individuals now receive additional services, she added.
Now, a new Integrated Services Support Team (ISST) will take over this work with a dedicated staff from various ministries, Cadieux explained, to provide assistance to people with developmental disabilities and their families who have concerns about the services they are receiving.
Together with CLBC staff, the minister said it will review all of the services provided in each case to ensure these individuals are receiving the appropriate level.
Cadieux also announced the planned formation of a reference committee to provide advice and feedback on the development of a new, integrated service delivery model.
“We’re going to choose 20 people [from those] who volunteer to be on the committee from around the province – people with developmental disabilities, family members, service providers, advocates – we want a really broad spectrum of people.”
Other new service aspects will be added as things move forward, she added.
Meanwhile, anyone can provide related input through a new website.
“We welcome comments and feedback on how to make it better. We’ve done what we think will be useful and helpful … but as we go forward, if there are other things we can do to make it better, then we need to hear about them.”
The ISST addresses one of the 12 recommendations in the Improving Services to People with Development Disabilities plan released by the B.C. Liberal government in January.
For more information on the committee, what changes are going on and how to access the ISST, visit the website at www.sd.gov.bc.ca/pwd/isst.html.