For Cheryl McIntyre, a Quality Service Analyst in CLBC’s Port Moody Office, the individuals, families and service providers CLBC works with are always at the heart of her work.
“There’s sometimes a perception that as Analysts we’re just the ‘money people,’” says Cheryl. “But from my own perspective, at times funding is not the only focus; there are several areas to explore and coordinate for service.”
“Although contracting and funding guide templates are an important part of the role, there’s more to it than that. There can be significant effort behind the scenes in coordinating and implementing services.” Cheryl feels it’s imperative to develop strong working relationships with agencies and all colleagues, as they all share a common goal: to discover resources and implement service options for individuals.
Cheryl, who is a dog lover, has worked with CLBC as an Analyst since April 2013. After several years, and a diverse range of positions with non-profit agencies that provide services to individuals with intellectual disabilities in Calgary, she moved back to her home town of Port Coquitlam to be closer to family, and joined CLBC not long after.
Supporting individual choice
Although Analysts work primarily with service providers in their day-to-day jobs, for Cheryl, the needs of individuals and families are also at the forefront. For example, Analysts have an important role in supporting individual and family preferences about their service providers. CLBC has processes in place to provide individuals, families, and support networks the opportunity to have an active role in choosing the service provider that best meets their needs.
“When coordinating services for an individual and working with a potential service provider, it’s important that agencies are truly able to fit a person’s service needs,” says Cheryl. “If an agency identifies challenges with providing services within the given funding, an Analyst’s role is negotiating the service/funding and working collaboratively with the service provider to develop and maintain a stable service for the individual that effectively meets the ongoing needs of individuals and families.”
“In some cases, it can include suggesting community resources to complement funded services. It’s really about working in collaboration with a person’s whole support network.”
Managing change is another area where Cheryl takes a person-centred approach. She gives an example of moving a homeshare provider service to be contracted under a service provider. “When having conversations with homeshare providers, the emphasis was on the importance of this change for the individual. The key message was the individual’s choice and their right to have an association with an agency and have support and resources in place for both the individual and homeshare provider. ”
There are some opportunities for Analysts to connect with people CLBC supports and their families, notes Cheryl, particularly during the monitoring process that takes place once contracts are set up with service providers.
“I’m currently completing site visits; part of this process is meeting service providers and individuals that receive services. A significant part of the process is the conversations with the individuals and the employees supporting them. At this time, I have the opportunity to speak with individuals and hear first-hand exactly how they are supported. Part of the process for me is to ensure service delivery and service quality for people receiving CLBC-funded support is being met. There is a review of further support needs, and discussions on the agencies’ challenges and successes.”
Not just a contract to be signed
Gertie Johnson, who coordinates the Supported Volunteer Program at Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Community Services, can attest to Cheryl’s person-centred focus. Cheryl has worked with Gertie over the past two years to match people CLBC supports with supported volunteer opportunities in the community, including with organizations like Meals on Wheels and the SPCA.
“She does a really great job and it has been a huge pleasure for us as an agency to be working with her in that role,” says Gertie. “Cheryl does take a keen interest in people. We’re not just a contract to be signed. She’ll ask lots of questions and listen to success stories of people who are doing well, and really enjoying what they do. It’s great.”
For Cheryl, there is satisfaction in getting a contract signed and services in place, but the biggest reward is seeing the positive impact. “There can be so many intricate pieces. It’s a real team-effort to get everything in place. Whether it’s community inclusion, employment support, home sharing or any other program, it’s very rewarding once we get the services started and the person can start being active and contributing in their community.”
Learn more: Individual and family preference in procurement
The process of finding the right service provider for an individual and then negotiating what they will provide and how much CLBC will pay them, is called procurement and contracting.
CLBC’s goal is to ensure that contracted services are the best possible match for the disability-related needs of each people we support. Individual preference is a way for an individual and/or their family to take an active role in expressing preference for the service provider that best meets their needs.
To learn more, click the links below: