ALIGN is a network of child and family service agencies, all committed to improving the quality of life for Alberta’s most vulnerable children and families. ALIGN promotes research and continuing learning for over 10,000 agency staff across the province while also ensuring policy-makers at all levels of government understand the issues facing Alberta’s children and families. Our mission is to speak with one voice so children, families and communities thrive. What a busy year it’s been! ALIGN maintained its commitment to our members through many continuing and new initiatives with a focus on Professional Development, Advocacy with Government, Promotion of Research Excellence and Healthy Workforce Initiatives.
A significant component of the nongovernment social service sector, including non-profit and for-profit agencies, enters into contract and grant funded agreements with the Ministry of Human Services to deliver services to vulnerable individuals and families. Most of the agencies hold membership(s) in one or more of 4 associations which commit to supporting their efforts and promoting the delivery of quality services. The group of agencies is identified here as the “Main Associations Contracted” sector and referred to as the “MA Sector” or “Sector”. The 4 associations, their members, and the Ministry of Human Services have a collective interest in describing the Sector…
I am sure you have noticed it has been a busy year. Very busy! Fortunately, it has been
a good busy. Good because it reflects all the work we are doing, how we are engaged,
and how we are contributing to our sector in so many ways, training, planning, and
developing new approaches.
A major undertaking this year has been our rebranding as ALIGN Association of
Community Services. This is a brand which reflects our strength, Together for Children
and Families. We are aligned with each other and those who share our goals the
sustainable delivery of services to vulnerable children and families in Alberta. Our logo
expresses these theme further, star trails in circular alignment, diversity, and the ripple
effect of our work.
Thanks to our staff, partners, and our members for your contribution this past year, and
in the year to come.
ALIGN Association of Community Services
The Highlights 2013/2014
Workforce challenges/ Issues and efforts to date
The Workforce Alliance remains a viable committee. At this time it is considering what a healthy workforce is and what it can do to work towards developing that. Currently a literature review of this area is underway and some data is being gathered to draw a picture of the sector including the agencies that sit within AASCF, ACDS, AWSA, AHVNA. This is collaborative work that is being conducted with government input as well.
Over the past year the focus has been on wage increases, contracting and looking at ways to make contracts more consistent and flexible, and training in various parts of the sector.
Generally speaking in 2012/2013 there were $1500.00 bonuses for front line delivery staff and a 5% increase in wages. There was some variation on this in certain sectors. At the time it included Women’s Shelters, Child and Family services contracted agencies and agencies contracting to provide PDD services, and brain injury providers…
The Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF) represents member agencies that provide services to vulnerable children, youth and families in Alberta. There are over 120 AASCF member agencies with well over 100 providing direct services primarily through contract agreements with Alberta Human Services.
The AASCF conducts an annual survey of members to help identify the trends, issues and opportunities they are currently facing and to help determine their needs and expectations for advocacy, training, information and support…
Publication Ban Regulation
Report submitted to the Standing Committee on Families and Communities on recommendations to inform the draft regulations as it pertains the removal of Publication Bans in the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act as a result of recent proclamation.
Rhonda Barraclough, BSW, M Ed., RSW
Reconstructing Group and Residential Care – The Discussion
Residential treatment has been used as the consequence of ‘cascading failure’, rather than a service or intervention at the right time in order to achieve successful outcomes. Need to rethink how we conceptualize group and residential care from a ‘placement’ to a ‘service’…
Reconstructing GroupResidential Care in Alberta A discussion paper version 2 by Rhonda Barraclough 2013
As part of an effort to examine and evaluate the group/ residential care outcomes for youth in Alberta service providers from around the province have participated in a discussion session at the request of the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF). This paper is a recording of those discussions and is intended to be a starter for further discussion with the Ministry of Human Services.
Executive Summary Report Allying With Indigenous Peoples: The Practice Of Omanitew AASCF/ACCFCR 2013
In early 2012, the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF) created an Advisory Group to discuss the training needs of human service workers who work with
Indigenous children and families. Based on recommendations from the Advisory Group, it was decided to pilot a four-day experiential learning opportunity, a modified version of the five-day
University of Calgary Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) course entitled “Social Work with Indigenous Peoples”. Twenty-two individuals from a variety of agencies across the province
participated in the experiential learning opportunity from October 30 – November 2, 2012…
Evaluation Report Allying With Indigenous Peoples: The Practice Of Omanitew AASCF/ACCFCR 2013
In October 2012, the AASCF sponsored 22 human service workers on a pilot test basis, with a
commitment to follow-up with them to determine what difference the experience had made. What, if anything, were they doing differently in their work with children and families as a result
of their four-day experience? What impact did it have? And what was it about the experience that was making a difference? My role would be to help explore the answers to these questions. When I first asked the question, “what difference did the training make”, it was possible of course that it had made no difference whatsoever. I was open to listening to their stories. What words did they use to describe the experience? Their words ranged from reaffirming, empowering, intense, profound, and transformational. Participants were clear that the experience had made a difference. Change happened at different levels and in different ways, but change happened…
As part of an effort to examine and evaluate the group/ residential care1 outcomes for youth in Alberta service providers2 from around the province have participated in a discussion session at the request of the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF). Two similar sessions have been held, one in January 2013, and a larger consultation group in June 2013. The purpose of both discussions was to:
Discuss current strategies that are working well with youth in group/residential care;
Begin a process to work with the Ministry on reconstructing group/residential care to improve outcomes for youth in care; and
Imagine a better system of care
This paper is a recording of those discussions and is intended to be a starter for further discussion with the Ministry of Human Services.
Residential treatment has been used as the consequence of ‘cascading failure’, rather than a service
or intervention at the right time in order to achieve successful outcomes. Need to rethink how we
conceptualize group and residential care from a ‘placement’ to a ‘service’.
2013 Boland survey data shows the average turnover factor for the 32 AASCF members is 45.8%. For comparison the 2011 value reported was 38.3% (recognize that the samples were not the same) The average vacancy rate for 2013 is 6.8% versus 4.3% in 2011…
The Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF) conducts an annual membership survey to determine trends, issues and opportunities facing members and to identify needs and expectations for advocacy, training, information and support.
The 2013 survey results tend to confirm that AASCF membership is diverse and representative of the nongovernment sector that delivers social services to children, youth and families in Alberta. The results are presented here in a manner that will aid in making comparisons with past and future survey findings while maintaining the quantitative and qualitative balance of information evident from earlier survey reports.
Representatives of member organizations completed the on-line survey between the months of December 2012 and March 2013. 50 valid participants were identified, resulting in a response rate of approximately 45%…
Currently, the AASCF is responsible for the administration, payment and oversight of the bursary. The Bursary committee determines who is eligible, and ensures applications are appropriate. That committee has members from Alberta Council of Disability Society (ACDS), Alberta Home Visitation Network (AHNA), AASCF, GoA (Children’s Services), and until recently a members from the Senior Advisory Council of Alberta.
Applications are received throughout the year for the non-accredited training courses and program. The accredited degree/certificate applications are reviewed twice per year. The application process includes the application form, letters of reference, evidence of support from agency, proof that the applicant is considered an emerging leader. All applicants are screened based on the identified eligibility criteria and approved or not. The eligibility criteria are attached as appendix A…
Thank you to everyone who completed this survey. AASCF will be developing new strategic directions throughout the end of 2010 and early 2011…
This document captures the situation as of September 2008. It is an accumulation of responses as they
were sent into the AASCF
Child and family service agencies funded by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services (hereby referred to as “funded services”) are increasingly unable to attract and retain qualified employees due to the low compensation they are able to offer relative to other sectors. High staff turnover has contributed to poor program continuity and has necessitated that large amounts of time be spent on training rather than program development. There are rising concerns about the ability to provide quality services to Alberta’s children. Agencies have reduced service delivery in order to ensure that standards of care are being met. The need for increased financial support is the result of historical insufficient funding seen in the 1990s and again in 2002 – 2005. At the present time, up to a 45% pay gap exists between equivalent positions in the non-profit and government sectors. We would like to recognize in 2008/09 that funded agencies received a 5% compensation increase and the Ministry committed the same amount for 2009/10. This funding will prevent the gap from growing further but still needs to be sustained. There is an urgent need to invest in strengthening and sustaining contracted services so that Alberta’s vulnerable children and families receive help when in need…
Data from four public sector organizations:
AADAC (Government of Alberta)
Calgary Health Region
Calgary Health Trust
City of Calgary
Data were gathered on the same 14 positions on which we reported selected 2007 Boland
survey data to you recently. For consistency the Public Sector organizations matched to
the same survey descriptions as were used in gathering the 2007 Boland Survey data…
The Administrative Efficiency Project Report completed by Jim Taylor of Rolyat Corp. Ltd.
(2008) presents some interesting recommendations, challenges and questions for the Alberta
Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF), its member agencies and for the
Alberta Ministry of Child & Youth Services (ACYS). This AASCF report is a response to those
recommendations. It helps us ask questions about the role(s) of AASCF and how we can assist
with some of the efficiency and effectiveness challenges to create greater value in the non-profit
sector and for government and especially the children and families we serve…
This survey was completed after the contracted sector received a 5% increase in wages and
salaries from government (announced in April 2008). These are general themes that presented
in the survey…
The need for increased financial support is the result of historical insufficient funding seen in the 1990s and again in 2002 – 2005. At the present time, up to a 45% pay gap exists between equivalent positions in the non-profit and government sectors. We would like to recognize in 2008/09 that funded agencies received a 5% compensation increase and the Ministry committed the same amount for 2009/10. This funding will prevent the gap from growing further but still needs to be sustained. There is an urgent need to invest in strengthening and sustaining contracted services so that Alberta’s vulnerable children and families receive help when in need.
The Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF) urges the Ministry of Child and Family Services to take the following actions to alleviate the current human resources crisis and ensure the long-term viability of agencies in the non-government child and family services sector…
Qualitative Comments Abridged