On a rainy evening on October 23, 2018, twenty individuals and families from all walks of life gathered at the West Vancouver High School Learning Centre for the fourth time to learn about Community Living BC. They were part a group of nearly 200 people who have attended one of the 39 CLBC Welcome Workshops held to date across the province to learn about how CLBC serves adults with developmental disabilities. The fourth and last Welcome Workshop, CLBC: The Real Deal, follows on other in-depth, two-hour sessions called Getting Started, Community Connections, and Planning Choices that are part of each workshop series.
“My son is 17,” said one parent who was attending in West Vancouver. “The workshops were very helpful. We now have more information about how to plan for his transition into adulthood, and the options available to him.”
At the West Vancouver High School Learning Centre session, youth and their families did an activity to understand how funding works, learned about CLBC funded services and how CLBC decides how to allocate funding. The conversations were lively around each table, and the activities sparked questions as well as sharing of personal perspectives and experiences.
Bringing individuals and families together to learn from each other, providing a selection of new options to plan for adulthood, learning about community options and getting a behind-the-scenes look into how CLBC works are part of a revamped welcome and planning process CLBC adopted this fall. Hundreds of individuals and families across the province helped design this new approach, which includes the four part series of Welcome Workshops.
“Breaking all the information down into four sessions is great,” was the feedback received from a participant in another region. “It’s nice to come back home with a manageable amount of information, and have a week to process before learning, and receiving more. We like the informal and friendly atmosphere, and see relationships developing within the group. Thank you for providing such a great way for families to learn about the steps available to help them during the transition into adulthood.”
An opportunity to connect
Welcome Workshops are open to people who are already eligible for CLBC services or who think they might be. The workshop content supports individuals and families to understand CLBC’s role and funded services, and provides an opportunity for people to connect with each other. Each workshop is led by a team that includes a family member and self advocate who have already experienced working with CLBC, and a CLBC facilitator.
“People from all means and backgrounds really come together, make connections and learn together,” said family member, Anne, who is part of the North Vancouver workshop team. “This is a great process.”
Individuals and families attending the workshops are being asked to provide feedback which CLBC will use to help fine tune the workshop approach and content over time.
Depending on the community, the workshop series may be held in a school, community centre or a CLBC office. Each office schedules their own workshop series, and the frequency of when series are offered is based on local demand. Individuals and families who already know they are eligible for CLBC services also have the option at any time of year to be welcomed one-on-one by a CLBC facilitator.
- You can find out about the schedule of a Welcome Workshop series in your area by contacting your local CLBC office. Find contact information for all CLBC offices here.
- Learn more about CLBC’s Welcome Workshops on our website here.