Community Action Employment Plan
Community Living British Columbia released a three-year Employment Plan to help increase the number of job opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities who wish to work in their communities. Among other things, the plan sets a target to increase employment of individuals served by CLBC by 1,200 people over three years – from the current estimate of 2,200 participating in employment.
The Plan will be implemented during the 2013-14 fiscal year and includes a number of elements in addition to establishing a three-year job target:
- Employment First – Helping to create a shift in attitude and culture among all stakeholders toward a belief that individuals with developmental disabilities have a valuable contribution to make in inclusive employment situations.
- Local Plans – Employment solutions can be tailored to the unique characteristics of a region. The Plan includes an emphasis on building local capacity, promoting employers as leaders and developing community collaborations.
- Transitioning Youth – Approximately 600 youth leave school and become eligible for services with CLBC each year. Most expect to make contributions in the community as their peers do and many want jobs. The Plan identifies key strategies to help more youth find employment when they leave school.
- CLBC Leadership – CLBC will increase the number of adults with developmental disabilities it employs and contracts with.
- Collaboration – The partnerships developed to prepare the Plan will be maintained and expanded to ensure goals are achieved – employers, schools, service providers, families and the Ministry of Social Development are key partners in implementing the Plan.
- Individualized Funding – While most individuals receive CLBC services through traditional services, a growing number are choosing person-directed services. Resources from the Plan will be devoted to enhancing the capacity of people using individualized funding to find and maintain work.
In addition to supporting recommendations of the provincial government’s 12-point plan to improve services for adults with developmental disabilities, CLBC’s employment strategy reflects feedback from self-advocates, families, service providers, provincial government partners and CLBC staff over the past year and the efforts of numerous community partners who have contributed to its creation.
For more information please see the full Backgrounder below or to ask any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
BACKGROUNDER – CLBC Community Employment Action Plan
CLBC has released a three-year Employment Action Plan (the Plan) to help increase job opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities who wish to work in their communities. Since 2007, CLBC has focused resources and efforts on developing policy, supports and awareness to help increase employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
CLBC believes employment is a critical pathway to achieving a good life for the majority of adults we serve. Participation in employment leads to improvements in numerous quality of life outcomes, including financial well-being, relationships, belonging, contribution, self-esteem and health.
CLBC defines employment as work which pays minimum wage or higher and meets conditions of B.C.’s Employment Standards Act. Employment can be part-time, full-time or self-employment.
Between October 2011 and September 2012, close to 17 per cent of the people eligible for CLBC supports declared employment income – approximately 2,200 individuals.
The deputy ministers’ report released in January 2012 called for increased employment, planning and supports for people with developmental disabilities. CLBC’s 2012-2015 Strategic Plan also makes a commitment to deliver increased employment supports for the people served by CLBC.
During the first three quarters of 2012-13, CLBC engaged individuals, families, service providers, CLBC staff, school and government representatives, and employers to develop a three-year employment plan. This consultation culminated in a provincial employment summit that took place in October 2012, with over 150 attendees from around the province.
Strategies within the Plan have been developed within CLBC’s current and anticipated funding envelope. Its goals are also reflective of available staff and resources.
Input from this extensive outreach process has helped shape the Plan. The strategy’s core planning team was co-chaired by Dan Collins, executive director, Langley Association for Community Living, and Jack Styan, vice president of strategic initiatives, CLBC.
CLBC’s three year Employment Action Plan focuses on:
Employment First – To promote a shift in attitude and culture among all stakeholders toward a belief that individuals with developmental disabilities have a valuable contribution to make in inclusive employment situations. An employment first approach will also help remove employment barriers for young people entering the system and encourage people in inclusion programs to consider employment options if they choose.
Targets – The Plan includes a commitment to increase employment of individuals served by CLBC by 1,200 people over three years – from the current estimate of 2,200 participating in employment. Reliable mechanisms will be established to measure the number of individuals we serve who are employed, the rate of employment and the rate of employment among young adults.
Local Plans – Advancing an employment agenda will require collaboration with partners within local communities. Solutions can be tailored to the unique characteristics of a region because the nature of work opportunities differs in each region. The Plan focuses on building local capacity, promoting employers as leaders, establishing pilot projects and collaborating with community councils, service providers, regional business organizations and self-advocates.
Transitioning Youth – Approximately 600 youth leave school and become eligible for services with CLBC each year. These youth are a priority for employment services because most expect to make contributions in the community as their peers do and most expect their services to support their personal goals, instead of determining them. The Plan will provide funding to help ensure youth and their families are adequately served and experience a smoother transition from school to work – if they choose.
CLBC Leadership – The Plan commits CLBC to becoming a model employer, including an increase in the number of adults with developmental disabilities that it employs and contracts with. CLBC will introduce an updated human resources strategy that will include collaboration with the BC Government and Services Employee Union. Implementing an employment first strategy more broadly across government is also considered in the Plan.
Transforming Community Inclusion – Community inclusion services are working to better meet the personalized aspirations of individuals and their families. Many are expressing a desire to work. The Plan will provide support for individuals, families and service providers to make the shift as directed in their personal plans.
Collaboration – Partnerships made to prepare the Plan will be maintained and expanded to ensure goals are achieved. Ongoing collaborations with the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility, service providers, employers, self-advocates, media and organizations such as Inclusion BC, BCGEU, Family Support Institute, BC Employ Net, BC Centre for Social Enterprise, First Nations, Rotary Clubs and BC Centre for Employment Excellence are proposed.
Employment Program of BC – The Plan promotes stronger co-ordination of roles with the Ministry of Social Development’s Employment Program of BC and its service providers to clarify pathways and assist individuals and their families to navigate employment and related supports as they transition out of school. This collaboration will also include outreach with service providers to help promote and co-ordinate relationships with employers.
Individualized Funding – The deputy ministers’ 2012 report included a recommendation to support greater utilization of individualized funding models. The Plan recognizes a growing number of people are choosing person-directed models of services. Resources will be devoted to enhancing the capacity of people using individualized funding to find and maintain work.
Self Employment – Social enterprise and self-employment have the potential to provide many adults with developmental disabilities opportunities to pursue meaningful economic and community activities. However, many CLBC service providers may not be aware of resources to assist people in pursuing these opportunities. The Plan proposes a review of CLBC’s self-employment policies to better support individuals pursuing this option, promotion of key resources and creation of a supported self-employment program at post-secondary institutions.
BC Disability Benefits – BC Disability Benefits represents long-term financial security for a significant number of individuals and families. The Ministry of Social Development has made improvements to make employment a more attractive option for people to pursue. The Plan proposes CLBC work with the ministry to de-mystify rules around employment and BC Disability Benefits, in addition to evaluating other options that may provide incentives for individuals to pursue work and/or for employers to hire people with developmental disabilities.
A full copy of the plan is available at: www.communitylivingbc.ca.