When self advocates and their families receive Community Living BC’s (CLBC) funded services, they want to know they are safe, reliable and will help support their family member to achieve their goals in life.
Whether someone is participating in a day program or community inclusion, residential, employment or respite services, safety is a top concern for those we serve who may have personal vulnerabilities.
That’s why CLBC’s web site has a page that explains the many measures that are in place to help families feel safe about your services. You can find safeguards web page here. In response to recent questions we have received, CLBC is pleased to provide an overview.
A system that prioritizes safety
CLBC funded services are delivered through roughly 300 agencies and 340 person-centred societies and microboards. The foundation of this system is a commitment to the well-being of those we serve which is established through qualification and accreditation requirements. Many of these agencies also belong to professional groups like Inclusion BC and the BC CEO Network.
Qualification and accreditation requirements
Service providers must meet a range of qualification criteria before they can be funded by CLBC. This includes demonstrating their qualifications, skills and experience when they apply to CLBC to be a service provider. All agency staff must also complete criminal record checks.
Agencies that receive more than $500,000 in funding must be accredited by an international body like CARF, and those that are smaller must meet unaccredited standards.
Monitoring for service quality
Once an agency receives funding, it must meet three categories of requirements through its contract terms and conditions:
- To support individuals to achieve quality of life outcomes in areas like emotional, material and physical well-being, social inclusion and rights.
- To meet a range of standards related to health and safety, transportation, emergency preparedness, and recruitment and training of qualified staff.
- To meet service requirements around matters like behavioural supports and reporting critical incidents
CLBC staff conduct annual onsite visits to confirm agencies are meeting these requirements.
Responding promptly to safety concerns
If at any time an individual, family member or government partner raises a concern about quality of service provided by an agency, CLBC can initiate a review. If CLBC launches the review, it will typically work with the agency to notify families who are receiving the service in question about the review and keep them informed of its findings. Due to privacy requirements, CLBC will not communicate about the review beyond the families that are immediately affected or with families for whom there isn’t a direct impact or safety concern.
If concerns relate to leadership and policies, communication with families, or specific staff, CLBC will work promptly and directly with the agency and inform families as required. Often in such situations there are staff and families who have many different viewpoints, and this process takes some time to complete.
Whenever there are immediate safety concerns, CLBC works immediately to ensure affected individuals are not at risk of harm. Where needed, CLBC has the authority to terminate a contract.
What you should do if you are concerned about something you have heard
If you have heard something concerning about a service you should:
- Talk directly with your agency to learn the facts
- If you aren’t satisfied with the response of the agency you should also talk to your local CLBC office. You can find your local office information via the CLBC web site office locator here.
- You can also reach out to the Advocate for Service Quality or support groups like the Family Support Institute.
More information about safeguards
Finally, visit CLBC’s web site to find many safeguards resources here. This includes documents about protecting against personal vulnerabilities through planning, building personal support networks and plain language guides on rights and safeguards for self advocates.