Category: All News

Limited Number of Bursaries available for Now We Are Stronger Community Mental Health Conference June 4 and 5 Edmonton

CMHA Alberta Division is pleased to offer a limited number of bursaries to support individuals with personal lived experience of mental health challenges or illness or those with a family member/loved one with mental health challenges, or representatives of local nonprofit organizations who require financial support to attend Now We Are Stronger 2018 (Edmonton). Applicants must live or work within the greater Edmonton region.

Please see below for more information about the conference:

CMHA Alberta Division appreciates the connections it has with its regions, partners and stakeholders in the Mental Health landscape here in Alberta.  We are  hoping to bring together more than 300 participants from across all sectors to learn, grow and understand the changing landscape related to mental health and wellness.

This conference is two days of networking, information exchange and dialogue that will advance the work in our dynamic fields. With a focus on indigenous mental health, rural and remote community mental health, and child, youth and family mental health, this conference is ideally suited to organizations and individuals working or interacting within the field of mental health and mental illness. This conference is offering a robust and stimulating program of keynote speakers, presentations, panel discussions and excellent networking opportunities. Delegates will have the opportunity to choose from many carefully curated workshops.

Deadline: May 15, 2018

Eligibility: Open to individuals with personal lived experience of mental health challenges or illness or those with a family member/loved one with mental health challenges, or representatives of local nonprofit organizations who require financial support to attend Now We Are Stronger 2018. Applicants must reside in the greater Edmonton area.

Purpose: To provide financial support individuals and nonprofits to attend Now We Are Stronger 2018 who do not have the financial means and may not otherwise receive funding to attend.

Important Information: Those who qualify for a bursary are required to pay a $50.00 registration fee. The bursary covers the remainder of the registration cost.

Please note: The bursary only applies to the conference registration cost. Any other expenses incurred for attending the conference are the bursary recipient’s responsibility.

You can see the conference program HERE and you can register at the conference rate  HERE.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our conference coordinator Michele Rowan at

Send completed Bursary Application to


Letter from ALIGN E.D. Regarding Bill 17 Update April 16, 2018

Hi all,

We have not provided an update since March and feel it necessary to do so.  We were fairly optimistic that we had an agreement with the Ministry of Labour as to how to provide some flexibility for the 24/7 operations and the crisis driven intervention work.  Under Bill 17 if the agencies are to work as defined in the legislation it would decrease the ability for staff to flex their time and the agencies would have to put restrictions on work schedules due to the overtime costs, and that is not in the best interest of the families those agencies are contracted to serve. At this time our optimism is waning.

We have been waiting for a response from the Ministry of Labour (since March) and to date we have not received one.  The staff has been changed there as well so it is frustrating to figure out who is doing what.  Our partners in the Ministry of Children Services are just as frustrated.

We recognize that this delay is likely increasing your overtime costs or alternatively decreasing service.  We also remind you that there have been no variances or regulation changes made therefore by the letter of the law you should be complying with what it says.  If this is creating a hardship to your agency or your families, we encourage you to speak with your contract managers and us.  Send us a note as we are sending the example to the Ministry of CS and Labour so they are aware of the challenges.

Bruce and I are I meeting with the Deputy Minister to speak with her about this issue.

I terms of funding.  We are trying to figure out what the budget has to offer agencies and for what.  This will take some time.

In order to assess and advocate accurately we will be sending out a request for further information with respect to the impacts of Bill 17.  WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO RESPOND. We will be asking – what is your cost of statutory pay this year over last year for the first quarter of the year?  What is your actual cost of overtime last year and this year for the first quarter?  Did you have any increases in your contract?  Did you discuss the added costs of Bill 17 with your contract manager?  If so, what was the outcome of that discussion?

It is really important that you send us the information we are asking for.  It is difficult to discuss these issues without real information and numbers, as we are constantly asked for them.

If you have any questions please email me or call 780 233.5459

See Previous Related Correspondence

An Evening with Mayor Nenshi – CCVO April 26, 2018

CCVO excited to share with you this invitation to be part of an engaging conversation with Mayor Nenshi. On April 26, CCVO is convening an evening event for nonprofit professionals to speak with Mayor Nenshi. We will explore opportunities for Calgary’s nonprofit sector to work together with the City and advance the relationship with our municipal government. I hope you can join us. Please register using the link below.

Calgary April 26, 2018

5:30 – 6:30 pm   Nonprofit Networking Reception

6:30 – 8:00 pm   Discussion with the Mayo

Resource Launch & Information Sessions Helping Calgary Families Stay Housed April 26, 2018

The Children’s Cottage Society and Aspen Family and Community Network Society are pleased to invite you – and all those invested in preventing children and their families from becoming homeless – to a very special resource launch and information session.

Over the last year, they have been working toward putting together information for the use of those who work or meet families, so that families do not have to end up in a homeless shelter. They welcome you and your colleagues to this information session and launch aimed at helping families stay housed. They believe that many agencies work and support will lead to the prevention of homelessness and ask that you bring your brochures to display and share at this launch. Preventing homelessness is possible when we come together and learn how to ensure support is there early on. They look forward to this gathering that truly focuses on homelessness prevention.


Alberta Non-profits Unaffected by New Lobbyists Amendment Act.

The Government of Alberta introduced legislation to amend the Lobbyist Act and strengthen rules and regulations around lobbying activity.
Edmonton and Alberta non-profits should take note that these proposed amendments will not affect the current exemption in place for public benefit non-profits.
Click here to read more of the announcement April 16, 2018 including where to direct inquiries

ALIGN Members Staffing Model Survey Deadline April 30, 2018

Good afternoon Everyone,

Thank you very much to those who responded , we appreciate your quick respond, Those who has not responded yet, please do so. ALIGN needs the information ASAP. ALIGN’s responsibility is to advocate for our membership. In order to be able to speak on your behalf we need the complete picture and have specific information from you.  We are asking member agencies who have group care contracts with Children Services questions regarding their staffing models. Surveying our membership for the information will be the quickest and most accurate means of getting the information we need in preparation for Bill 30. Please take a moment to complete an email with your answers and send back to Cathy Mitchell at by April 13, 2017 who will then complete a summary roll for ALIGN to use in their discussions. If you have any questions please call Cathy at 780 915 7156.

What type of agency and population served?

How many group care facilities does your agency have contracted with Children Services?

If your agency is a large facility, how many units have differing staffing models. Please describe.

Of your facilities, how many have a single staffing model for any portion of the day?

For those that have a single staffing model, is it overnight only or other shifts as well?

If more, please describe. In your assessment; how many of these single staffing models provide services to youth that could potentially pose a risk to staff?

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions as in as much detail and as accurately as you can so we can advocate on your behalf with a clear picture of the situation.

Sincerely, Rhonda Barraclough Executive Director

See More on ALIGN and Bill 30

Important: Child Review Panel Community Engagement Invitation April 11, 2018

Invitation from Darlene Bouwsema Deputy Minister Children’s Services  to Community Engagement Meetings on Public Action Plan Regarding the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention Recommendations

In March 2018, the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention (MPCI) delivered 26 strong, consensus-based recommendations to strengthen the child intervention system. Government is taking action on the Panel recommendations to improve supports for vulnerable children and families. The panel recommended that Children’s Services engage with Indigenous people and other stakeholders as a part of co-creating a public action plan and reviewing the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA). This is one of many steps to implement the recommendations alongside Indigenous families, communities and leaders, and other vested partners. Engagement will produce a detailed, measurable public action plan by June 30, 2018.

I would like to invite you, or a representative from your organization, to participate in the Community Engagement Meetings. Four sessions will be held across the province:

Calgary April 25, 2018 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Coast Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre 1316 – 33 Street NE

Lethbridge April 26, 2018 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sandman Hotel Lethbridge 421 Mayor Magrath Drive S

Edmonton April 30, 2018 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Coast Edmonton Plaza 10155 – 105 Street

Grande Prairie May 8, 2018 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pomeroy Hotel 11633 – 100 Street

Each session will have discussion tables focusing on the following themes:

  1. Reconciliation
    Recommendations 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 23
  2. Support Families and Communities
    Recommendations 8, 9 and 10
  3. Sustain Cultural Connections
    Recommendations 11, 12 and 13
  4. Utilize the Strengths of Family Systems and Kinship Care Recommendations 14, 15, 16 and 17
  5. Support a Strong, Stable Workforce
    Recommendations 18, 19 and 22
  6. Combatting Discriminatory Mindsets
    Recommendation 20
  7. The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act Review
    Recommendation 21
  8. Knowledge Mobilization – Research and Data
    Recommendations 24, 25 and 26

Please register online and select your preferred location and theme. If you have any questions, please email Aimee Caster, Engagement Specialist at

Sincerely, Darlene Bouwsema Deputy Minister
Children’s Services, Government of Alberta T. 780-918-0079.

View All Correspondence, News & Updates for ALIGN & Child Review Panel

SAGE Community Based Organization Data Readiness Survey

Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence (SAGE) is conducting an assessment of the needs of the non-profit community and we would really appreciate your input in the questions below! SAGE is a data repository developed by PolicyWise for Children & Families to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders via linking, managing, and sharing of sensitive data in an ethical manner.

PDD Updates

Alberta government is working closely with people with disabilities, families, service providers and advocates to determine the scope, timing and content of the review. More details will be shared after further discussions with the community.

Get involved

They  want to hear your suggestions for the review

  • what issues and challenges should be discussed during the review
  • where, when and how the review activities should take place

There are 3 different ways to fill out and return the survey. Choose the way that works best for you.


Minister of Community and Social Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the report from the fatality inquiry into the death of Betty Anne Gagnon who received services funded by the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program: April 5, 2018

Alberta Budget 2018 An analysis by the CCVO Released April 9, 2018

The 2018-19 provincial budget presented a reduced deficit, maintained key nonprofit funding programs, and included notable investments in social policy areas including children’s services, mental health, persons with developmental disabilities, and homelessness. Unfortunately, funding was reduced in some areas, such as the arts. With consideration for the slow economic recovery and current financial circumstances of the Government of Alberta, Budget 2018 is largely supportive of nonprofit organizations and the communities they serve

ALIGN Association of Community Services will be having their Membership General Meeting May 4, 2018

ALIGN Association of Community Services will be having their Membership General Meeting May 4, 2018 10-4pm

Radisson Red Deer 6500 67 St, Red Deer, AB T4P 1A2

We look forward to having representatives of the Ministry of Children Services to join us

Jon Reeves- Provincial Director, Child Intervention Delivery

Rae-Ann Lajeunesse – ADM Child Intervention

Mark Hatorri – ADM Family and Community Resilience

Please register using the following link:

Save the Date October 23-26, 2018 Calgary The Future of Child Welfare in Canada

9th Biennial PCWC Gathering National Conference: co-sponsored by the Provincial and Territorial Directors of Child Welfare

Bear Witness Day May 10, 2018

Show your support and “Bear Witness” to Jordan’s Principle Implementation by bringing your bears to daycare, school or work on May 10th. Host a Jordan’s Principle “bear birthday party,” coffee break or lunch to learn more about Jordan’s Principle and to honour Jordan River Anderson!

Building a Youth Policy for Canada

Help develop Canada’s first-ever Youth Policy. Shape the future of young people in Canada! The Government of Canada has launched consultations on a first-ever youth policy for Canada and needs your help. Youth  can submit their ideas through or join a youth dialogue taking place near them. Youth are also encouraged to host their own dialogues. Deadline Mid April 2018.


Wood’s Homes Journal – Evidence to Practice, Vol. 2, Issue 1 Now Available!

The Wood’s Homes Journal – Evidence to Practice (Vol. 2, Issue 1) is now available. Designed to showcase leading applied research and practice knowledge of mental health services for children, youth and families.

Danielle Larivee CS Minister Correspondence Re: Post Budget Teleconference

Correspondence to ALIGN from  Danielle Larivee  CS Minister April 4, 2018

Thank you to everyone who joined our post-budget teleconference. For those of you who couldn’t make it, I’m pleased to be able to provide the following summary of the conversation. You can also access and audio recording of my remarks by clicking here.

Children’s Services first year as a standalone ministry was filled with challenging, exciting work and I am very proud of what we have been able to achieve. Budget 2018 supports our ongoing focus to improve the lives of young people and their families. Every child, regardless of whose care they are in, deserves to grow up in a safe, loving, nurturing environment.

In Alberta, we continue to see significant growth in the number of children and youth, which directly impacts many of the frontline services and supports Children’s Services provides to children and families. Our government is committed to protecting vital supports for children, youth and families by investing in frontline services to ensure they have opportunities to thrive and reach their full potential.

I am pleased to have this opportunity to share details on investments our government is committing to Children’s Services in Budget 2018.

Budget 2018 makes an additional investment of $144 million for total funding of $1.35 billion in Children’s Services. In most cases funding increases are targeted to address caseload and the greater complexity of needs presented by the children and families we support…

Read Full Letter Danielle Larivee CS Minister Correspondence Re Budget 2018 sent April 4 2018


Letter from Danielle Larivee Minister Re: Child Review Panel March 2018

Letter from Danielle Larivee Minister March 2018

Dear Ms. Barraclough:

The Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention has delivered its final recommendations to help strengthen our Child Intervention system and improve the lives of children, youth and families across Alberta.
Over the past year, the Panel engaged in an unprecedented open, transparent engagement with stakeholders, families, communities, and Indigenous peoples.

Thank you for presenting to the Panel on behalf of ALIGN on June 14 and 15, 2017. Your input helped shape the Panel’s final recommendations, including those focused on reconciliation, sustaining cultural connections and better supporting families and communities. In doing so, you have helped create a brighter future for children and youth receiving Child Intervention services.

I look forward to reviewing these strong, consensus-based recommendations, which are available online at

Our government will continue working with families and communities, valued partners like ALIGN, and most importantly with First Nations and other Indigenous peoples to co-create a public action plan that puts these recommendations into practice. This plan will be released in June.
Thank you again for presenting to the Panel and helping support vulnerable children and families across Alberta.

Danielle Larivee

See More on ALIGN & Child Review Panel

Volunteer Appreciation Bulletin March 2018

This bulletin is full of great resources, tools, funding, appreciation gift ideas and more!

National Volunteer Week 2018
April 15 – 21, 2018

“Celebrate the Value of Volunteering – building confidence, competence, connections and community”.

Drache Aptowitzer LLP – News from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

News from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) By:  Kara Johnson

In our January (2018) newsletter, we highlighted the importance of charities producing receipts for charitable donations that conform to the requirements of the law for proper receipting. Justice Campbell Miller reiterated the seriousness of a failure to comply with the Regulations of the Income Tax Act in Madamidola v. the Queen 2017 TCC 245.

One element that must be present on an official receipt is the name and website address of the Canada Revenue Agency. The website address ….

Benefits & Compensation Survey

The Canadian Society of Association Executives is now conducting its annual Benefits & Compensation Survey. Countless association professionals rely on this survey’s data as the most current, comprehensive source of detailed information on salaries, incentives and demographics within Canada’s not-for-profit community. Associations across the country depend on this report to determine compensation levels for all members of their staff.

Your participation in this survey is vital in ensuring that the report’s information is current, accurate and complete. Your responses will remain completely confidential.

In gratitude for your participation, CSAE will send you a complimentary copy of the report’s Executive Summary presenting an overview of the survey’s key findings. In addition, this report’s 37th edition will be made available to participants at a $100 discount off of the standard CSAE member price of $299.

The survey is administered by The Portage Group Inc., an independent research firm. Should you have any questions regarding the survey or report, please contact Stewart Laszlo at If you experience any technical issues while completing the survey, please contact Geoff Thacker at The Portage Group at

Please note that this survey closes on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

Call for Speakers & Panelists: Fail Safe 2018

What can your experiences tell the non-profit community about overcoming failure? At Fail Safe 2018, we’re connecting leaders from non-profits, businesses, and the public sector for open and honest discussions about embracing and overcoming failure. Fail Safe 2018 has two basic themes:

  • exploring the psychology of failure and how it manifests in organizations
  • how failure is linked to innovation, growth, and capacity building

Several opportunities are available to lead conversations on topics related to these themes, including keynotes, panel discussions, and short PechaKucha-style presentations at the opening reception. This conference will be a safe space for…

Have Your Say on Albertans Regulation of Counselling Therapy

Correspondence from Nicole Imgrund-River’s Edge Counselling March 17, 2018

Over 3500 Counselling Therapists in Alberta have been working with the government for years to regulate the profession of Counselling Therapy in our province. Counselling is regulated in all 50 states and 4 provinces in Canada. People are often shocked to learn that anyone can call themselves a counsellor or therapist in Alberta, regardless of whether they have any education or training. This leads to devastating consequences for vulnerable people, of all ages, seeking help for mental health and addictions in our province. There is almost no cost to regulating Counselling Therapy and there is unprecedented political and public support for it.

So what is the problem? The problem is that while the government continues to express support for regulating Counselling Therapists under the HPA, it has stated that it is not a priority for legislative resources in the next year. As a matter of public safety, this is not acceptable to us. We have done the necessary work over the last decade to ensure regulation happens for Albertans and we will be ready for legislation this year.

We need your help in sending a message to government that this is a priority for Albertans. Regulation of Counselling Therapy will cause widespread positive, systemic change to mental health services in Alberta. Dr. David Swann agrees that it will help to achieve many of the recommendations of the Valuing Mental Health report of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee.

Time is running out, as the window closes for the NDP to add regulation to their legislative agenda for this year.

ALIGN Members can support our efforts to regulate Counselling Therapy in Alberta in the following ways in the next couple of weeks:

  • forwarding our campaign link to your network
  • following us on Twitter and Facebook and sharing our updates
  • adding regulation of Counselling Therapy to your agenda when speaking with the government

Click Here To Send Your Online Message

The Regulation of Counselling Therapy in Alberta AUGUST 2017 FACT Alberta Steering Committee


National Volunteer Week April 15 – 21 2018

Volunteer Canada has an extensive amount of resources you can download and adapt to make sure your Volunteer Recognition efforts are a success. Visit their site to access planners, tip sheets, templates, letters, thank-you cards and so much more!

Bill 30 Occupational Health and Safety Act: Help shape Alberta’s New Workplace Rules

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (the act) establishes the minimum standards for healthy and safe workplaces in Alberta. These laws are supported through the internal responsibility system and enforced through compliance activities. An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans updates the act to better protect Albertans at work. Most of the changes come into effect June 1, 2018.The new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act takes steps to protect workers from harassment and violence in all its forms. It also requires joint work site health and safety committees or a worker health and safety representative, depending on workforce size. The input will help shape specific rules around these new requirements to ensure the legislation is fair and balanced.

ALIGN  will be completing the survey – if member agencies have any questions please email
Albertans can provide written submissions until April 9, 2018. Specific rules regarding harassment and violence, as well as training and operation of the joint work site health and safety committees, will be added to OHS regulations on June 1.

Correspondence to ALIGN E.D. from Alberta Labour re Bill 30 March 2018

Dear Rhonda Barraclough,

Last year the Government of Albertatook an important step in improvingthe health and safety of workingAlbertans by modernizing the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act) and aligning Alberta’s approach to workplace safety with that of other Canadian jurisdictions.  With valuable input from a wide range of industry and labour stakeholders, as well as ordinary Albertans, the new Act comes into force on June 1, 2018.

The new Act contains provisions on harassment and violence, and requires that many Albertan work sites have a joint work site health andsafety committee or a health andsafety representative.  Thesechanges better reflect the way that Albertans work, as well as the hazards that they face on the job.  They also bring to our province the best practices and requirements for health and safety from the rest of Canada; however, regulatory changes are needed to give full effect to these new provisions.

You/your organization is invited to provide written feedback on proposed regulation (see attachment) for workplace harassment and violence, as well as for the establishment, functions, and training for joint work site health and safety committees and health and safety representatives.

This Discussion Guide with proposed content is available here.  You may also view the Discussion Guide at Labour website.  Please fill out the questions in the attached guide and email to by April 9, 2018.

Your input will help to ensure that Alberta’s OHS legislation is clear, comprehensive, and meaningful.  Thank you in advance for participating and helping to make Alberta the best place to live and work in Canada.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Lenore Neudorf Assistant Deputy Minister Strategy and Policy Alberta Labour

ALIGN Compensation Resource Bulletin: Salaries, Wages, Benefits in the Human Service Sector March 2018

Learn more about available tools and resources related to compensation in the nonprofit and or human service sector. This bulletin includes links to executive, employee and consulting resources including salary and benefit surveys and research, calculators, tools and resources related to best practices.

Exhibitor Letter of Invitation for 3rd Allies 4 Youth Connections Conference (Formerly The High Risk Youth Conference) Edmonton May 2018

A4YC  invite your organization to participate in the 3rd Allies For Youth Conference “Revitalizing Practice 2018” which will be held May 14-15, 2018 at the Edmonton Marriot at River Cree Resort, 300 E Lapotac Blvd, Edmonton. Please note: they originally thought that organizations could chose to exhibit for 1 or 2 days. Unfortunately, due to system issues, exhibitors will only have the option of exhibiting for the full two days of the conference. This conference will specifically focus on trauma, attachment, and brain development, and explore challenges that youth experiencing high risk circumstances face related to education and employment, diversity and identity, and addictions and mental health. This conference is expected to bring together approximately 600 administrators, policy makers, volunteers, and front line staff who work in the helping field, serving youth with high-risk circumstances and their families… Exhibitor Letter of Invitation and Form

Oprah spoke with Dr. Bruce Perry – “Life-Changing” Report on Childhood Trauma CBS “60 Minutes”

Last week on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Oprah Winfrey reported on childhood trauma, and the emotional, developmental, and biological impact it has on a person for the rest of his or her life.

“Of all the stories I’ve ever done in my life, and all the experiences I’ve ever had, and people I’ve interviewed,” Oprah later told CBS News, “this story has had more impact on me than practically anything I’ve ever done. It’s changed the way I see everyone.”

Oprah spoke with Dr. Bruce Perry, a renowned American psychiatrist, leading expert on childhood trauma, and pioneering advocate for quality early childhood education.

Bill 205 Advocate for Persons with Disabilities

Provide feedback on the priorities that will inform the mandate of the new Advocate for Persons with Disabilities. Alberta Government is asking Albertans with disabilities, families, service providers and support organizations to provide feedback on the planned role and responsibilities of the advocate as outlined in Bill 205.
Share your feedback by completing the online survey before March 31, 2018


Bill 205: the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities Act was passed in the Alberta legislature in May 2017 and is expected to be proclaimed into law in the spring of 2018.

The Act will allow the government to better support persons with disabilities and their families by:

  • naming an Advocate for Persons with Disabilities
  • assigning staff to support the work of an Advocate
  • empowering the Advocate to represent the rights, interests and viewpoints of persons with disabilities

The advocate will report to the Minister of Community and Social Services and will be required to submit an annual report.

Creating an advocate was a recommendation from members of the disabilities community during the PDD Safety Standard Consultation in 2016. Advocacy was identified as critical within the PDD community to ensure people with disabilities are supported to lead fulfilling lives.

Once established, Alberta will be one of the first jurisdictions in the country to have an advocate specifically dedicated to persons with disabilities.

ALIGN Self-Care and Safety for Front-Line Workers Resource Bulletin March 8, 2018

This resource bulletin includes tools, resources and training to support front-line workers safety and mental health. If you are a supervisor – these resources can assist you in supporting your staff and if you are front-line worker you can access valuable resources that can help you stay safe. Please share with others who may benefit from this resource collection.

The Edmonton Volunteer Fair April 14, 2018

The Edmonton Volunteer Fair April 14, 2018 is an opportunity to not only raise awareness of your organization but to recruit new volunteers as well.

What We Heard Report

Last week, Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced the release of the What We Heard report which summarizes the diverse viewpoints of Canadians and ideas on what it will take to reduce poverty in Canada.

2017 International Signs of Safety Gathering Presentation Materials

2017 International Signs of Safety Gathering Videos and Presentation Materials Available for a Limited Amount of Time.

Please note that all presentations will be freely available to watch on for three months from the date that they are published. Following that, five presentations will be selected to remain available for two years. All the presentations from this and past International Gatherings are always available through an organizational subscription to the Signs of Safety Knowledge Bank.

See More from ALIGN about Signs of Safety

CCVO Executive Directions Offers Two Programs for Nonprofit Leaders (Calgary)

Summit is open to executive directors, presidents, and CEOs, and other executive-level nonprofit leaders who report to a board of directors. Summit is an 18-month cohort experience where leaders learn and grow together in an environment where relationships are built on trust, honesty, and authenticity. Full-day cohort sessions and one-on-one coaching provide ongoing opportunities for participants to delve into their most pressing leadership challenges and opportunities, embrace new ideas and perspectives, and adapt to the changing environment with the support and encouragement of others who understand their unique role. Learn more

Apply for the 2018/19 cohort. Level 1 session dates are May 7 & 8, June 12, September 11, October 9, November 13, and December 11, 2018; Level 2 session dates are February 12, March 12, April 9, May 14, June 11, September 10, and October 8, 2019. Application deadline: March 15, 2018

Ascent is open to directors, program managers, and other similar levels of nonprofit leaders. Ascent is a six-month cohort experience for participants who want to be a courageous influencer and collaborative leader. Full-day monthly sessions and peer gatherings in between sessions provide opportunities to delve into the issues and challenges of being a senior-level leader. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of themselves as a leader, their role within the organization, and their connection to the broader community. Learn more

Our interactive sessions focus on individual growth, peer learning, coaching, and opportunities for application of learnings. One of the greatest strengths of the cohort experience is the power of the confidential peer advisory format; the group digs deep into challenging and important issues, learns from each other, challenges each other, and is accountable to each other.

Next Intake: Fall 2018; please contact Leslie Tamagi at to be notified when the next intake opens.

Letter from ALIGN E.D. Regarding Bill 17 Update March 5, 2018

Letter from ALIGN E.D. Regarding Bill 17 Update March 5, 2018

Bill 17 – update

Hi all,

We met again with the Ministry of Labor folks and are on a slightly altered path.  For all the residential programs, they have agreed that everyone fits under the Caregivers regulation.  As many of you had pointed out this is what people were using prior to the legislation changes.  I have asked that the Ministry write that clearly within the employment standards fact sheets or in some other clear way.

For the outreach/crisis driven work the primary rationale for the changes would be to allow the sector to respond appropriately to emergency/crisis situations that fall outside of the predictable work day.  The following proposal is to amend the Employment Standards Regulation to:

  • define a category of employment in relation to the provision of “individual and family support services” as funded by the Ministries of Children Services and Community and Social Services in relation to fulfilling requirements of program –specific legislation (legislation to be identified e.g. Family Support for Children’s with Disabilities Act);
  • Establish a daily overtime threshold of 12 hours in a day;
  • Propose of 176 hours in a 4 week period before overtime entitlements are calculated;  and
  •  Provide an exemption from requirements of the Code around “notice of work times” including notification of schedule changes (section 17 of the Code)  to enable scheduling of work within parameters approved by the employer (this supports the ability for employers and employees to structure work schedules suited to the clients/families they are providing care to

Note that:

  • The employer will need to keep records of when staff do work
  • No special rules are proposed for general holidays.
  • No special rules are proposed for averaging agreements since the changes above will have the effect of allowing employers and employees to manage their hours of work within the month (in effect allowing averaging).

The proposal of a 176 hour threshold for determining overtime entitlements over a four week period better aligns with the 44 hour per week threshold in place for most employers in other industries

There are some expectations of who has to support this direction and we need to get those in writing.  Once that has been completed then there is a formal approval cycle that this request has to go through.

Again if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN Association E.D.  

See Previous Correspondence Related to Bill 17

Open Government, Engagement and Policy-Making in Canada Calgary 6 March 2018 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM MST

Share your thoughts on how the Government of Canada can ensure open government and citizen engagements are meaningful, inclusive, and effective contributions to the policy-making process. In addition to the overview, and if there is enough interest, there may be  specific discussions on the Open Government Plan related to different sectors  Calgary 6 March 2018 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM MST

Allies 4 Youth Connections (Formerly The High Risk Youth Conference) Edmonton May 14- 15, 2018

This years youth conference Allies 4 Youth Connections will be held at the Edmonton Marriot at River Cree Resort May 14 – 15, 2018.

Registration is now open A4YC has sold out in both previous conferences so register early!!

This Conference is for professionals and those who serve and support youth who are involved in High Risk Behaviours.

The conference has a strong focus on Research, Knowledge and Interventions that are effective in supporting youth through a Trauma Focused Lens

See More Sector Training Events Here!

Letter From ALIGN E.D. To Members Re: Bill 17 Feb. 26, 2018

Feb. 26, 2018 Letter From ALIGN E.D. To Members Re: Bill 17

Executive Directors:

Bruce and I have been working away with the Ministry of Labor to address some of the urgent needs of the sector as a result of Bill 17.  Essentially there needs to be a variance or regulation change in order for the 24/7 operations and the crisis/ flexible family intervention driven services to be able to manage within legal work agreements.

We have come to a place now where we need to have a letter of support from the Association.  The Board of Directors have been briefed and are in support of a letter written on behalf of ALIGN to go forward to continue this work.  It essentially will support the following:

  • The variance or regulation will create a category of employees defined as those funded by the Ministries of Children’s Services or Community and Social Services to deliver individual and family support services in relation to the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act, and the Persons for Developmental Disabilities Act. ( this includes residential/group care; specialized services; family intervention and therapeutic crisis type workers);
  • Establish a daily overtime threshold of 12 hours per day and 184 hours in a four week (no weekly threshold) for this group and exempt those from the requirements of Section 17 of the ES Code (Notice of Work Times) The exemption from Section 17 will allow employees to schedule their own hours within the work month with employer approval. A work month means a calendar month or a period of time from a specific day in a month to the same day in the following month as established by the consistent practice of the employer. (This is inclusive of those job categories above.  It provides for flexible scheduling and for 24/7 day week operation.  Please note this replaces any other regulation you may have been working with prior like the caregivers regulation.  It is different but essentially makes similar hours of work possible)

Once support for these 2 areas is received from the Associations and the unions.  Then the Ministry of Labor will move forward to the Minister to ask for a variance or regulation for our sector.   Once that is agreed to there will need to be some work on employee engagement and agreement.  How that is to be done is still not determined.

If you have any questions or concerns about this please let us know as soon as possible.  The letter going forward will be written and sent by the end of this week.


Rhonda Barraclough Executive Director   780.233.5459 9 cell

See More Communications from ALIGN regarding Bill 17

Drache Aptowitzer LLP on Risks and Liabilities

Do Your Subcontracting Agreements Adequately Allocate Risk? By: Sylvie Lalonde February 2018
When average Canadian taxpayers pay attention to the receipts issued to them by Canadian charities to which they have donated, it is probably for two reasons…

Directors’ Liability for Source Deductions By: Arthur Drache February 2018
The recent melt-down of the world-wide equity markets may have a negative impact on charities which are (were?) fortunate enough to have substantial investments, particularly where income from those investments is used to fund the charitable activities on an ongoing basis. But if there is a cash squeeze, directors should be aware that the…

See all articles from February 2018 Charity Law Insights


Vanier Institute Families in Canada Interactive Timeline

Check out this new resources that highlights family trends! Learn about the evolution of families in Canada over the past half-century with our Families in Canada Interactive Timeline – a online resource from the Vanier Institute that highlights trends on diverse topics such as motherhood and fatherhood, family relationships, living arrangements, children and seniors, work–life, health and well-being, family care and much more.

CUP EVAL LAB: Putting Strategic Learning into Practice

Eval Lab is an exceptional learning opportunity for non-profits around evaluative thinking and strategic learning.

Eval Lab participants will explore strategic learning (and related concepts) within a flexible co-learning environment and test them in their day-to-day work.

This pilot run of the Eval Lab is limited to participants from non-profits who undertake human services work. This cohort of lab participants will meet regularly for six full day sessions over a period of seven months, leaving opportunities between to apply lab learning to their organizations.

Meetings will be held in the first week of the month from April to October, excluding September.

Application deadline is Friday, March 9th.  The fee for Eval Lab is $450.

CSAE 2018 National Conference & Showcase Call for Presenters

 Call for Presenters CSAE 2018 National Conference & Showcase (October 24 -26 Ottawa)

Impart your experience and expertise to help Canada’s not-for-profit sector understand what it needs to put in place today to prepare for tomorrow.

The 2018 CSAE National Conference & Showcase will provide attendees with innovative ideas and solutions delivered in fresh, creative formats. This year, CSAE is eager to balance traditional conference elements with new approaches to learning and we’re searching for ideas for exciting presentations that are off the beaten path.

From short-format lightning talks to interactive workshop-style sessions, we seek to provide a variety of options to address the needs of different learners. (Please note that a separate call will be issued for short-format presentations in March 2018.)

Please review our Call for Presentations for submission guidelines and to find out more. We look forward to seeing your ideas! The Call for Presentations closes at 9AM on Monday, March 12. Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in this premier event.

Learn more about the 2018 CSAE National Conference & Showcase or register today!

New Call Centre to Help Indigenous Children Announced February 9, 2018

Federal government sets up call centre to help Indigenous children get services By The Canadian Press. Published on Feb 9, 2018
Indigenous Services Canada has set up a new call centre to help First Nations children get services and supports under the child-first jurisdictional policy known as Jordan’s Principle. The centre will provide families with direct access to agents who will start the intake process and connect them to the Jordan’s Principle representative in their area. The regional representatives work closely with local service co-ordinators across Canada to identify and address the needs of First Nations children and improve their health and well-being…

The Three Pillars of Transforming Care Dr. Howard Bath

ALIGN Association:  Presentation Materials from the workshop The Three Pillars of Transforming Care by Dr. Howard Bath February 1, 2018  Red Deer
The Three Core Trauma-Related Needs Dr. Howard Bath Alberta, January/February

If uploading or sharing this document please site full information above

The Three Pillars of Transforming Care distils the core propositions of trauma theory into a clear, concise and accessible framework for those providing care, mentoring and education for young people. It does not primarily target therapists or clinicians but residential workers, foster carers, kinship carers, teachers, and young justice workers as well as those that support, train and mentor them

Dr. Howard Bath has been involved in the provision of child, youth and family services for over 40 years. Trained as a clinical psychologist, he has worked as a youth worker, manager, and as the CEO of a child and family services agency. From 2008 to 2015 Howard was the inaugural Children’s Commissioner of Australia’s Northern Territory. In 2010 he co-chaired a major government inquiry into Child Protection Services in the Northern Territory. Howard is widely published in the areas of family preservation, out of home care, child protection and developmental trauma


ALIGN Letter to Premier Re Bill 17 February 2018

Dear Premier Notley:

RE: Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplace Act and the human services sector

ALIGN Association of Community Services ( formerly AASCF) is a membership organization of agencies that contract to government through the Ministries of Children Services and Community and Support Services to provide services to vulnerable individuals, families and children involved within the human services sector. Bill 17 certainly is a renewed and revised standard for employers and for the most part truly is progressive.

We do want to draw to your attention that for agencies that provide contracted services (i.e. 24/7 services in residential care, 1:1 specialized services for high needs individuals; and for the family support workers who provide crisis work) this Legislation is prohibitive to their staff and we require variances to have staff available for those vulnerable Albertans. Hours of work averaging agreements are problematic as they require schedules that the employee must work and in the crisis driven nature of the work that is not feasible. We will be asking for variance in this to accommodate that time and to decrease the burden of overtime. We are currently working with the Ministry of Labour and the Ministries of Community Support Services and Children Services to see if we can get that variance. The reason this is important is because many people choose this line of work because it has been very flexible and fits with their family life, the restrictions in the legislation makes that more difficult for this helping profession as the agencies no longer can afford to accommodate staff in way they have before.

Unfortunately there was no consultation with the sector before the legislation was passed. As a result, it would be very helpful if there was a way to get an exemption to this part of the legislation now for 6 months while we work on the variances necessary so agencies are not outside of the law or having to pay huge amounts of funds in overtime to be compliant. As the legislation is written, the Ministries are not able to ask for the variances so it has been determined that the Associations (ALIGN and Alberta Council of Disabilities Services) must work towards these. This is not an easy task as we were not aware of these changes and challenges prior to January 1, 2018. We are only barely able to accommodate this work as there are many outstanding questions that the government needs to answer as we move forward. None of this is fast work and therefore the agencies are not in compliance. ALIGN Letter to Premier Re Bill 17 February 2018

See More On ALIGN and BILL 17 Here

ALIGN Recruitment & Retention Bulletin February 2018

At ALIGN Association, we understand the challenges that our member agencies face with recruiting and retaining  new employees and volunteers and the value of finding the right people.  Equally as important is investing in creative, effective ways to keep them! This bulletin includes useful resources, funding options and upcoming training opportunities related to recruitment and retention.

Government to implement Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling on Indigenous youth

On February 1, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released a new ruling for the Government take immediate action to address the number of Indigenous children in care and reform child welfare services. The government has committed to six points of action to address the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care in Canada.


Government of Alberta Child Intervention Fact Sheets – February 1, 2018

Government of Alberta Child Intervention Fact Sheets Now Available – February 1, 2018

Child Intervention, also known as “child welfare” or “child protective services”, can be confusing for those involved. These fact sheets will help parents and families understand how the system works, how to access services, and their rights and responsibilities.

Alberta Budget 2018 News & Response Update

Budget 2018
Read the budget speech
Budget Highlights
Watch the budget livestream
Watch the pre-budget news conference
Listen to the pre-budget news conference

CCVO’s pre-budget submission – informed by nonprofit sector input – asked the Government to think and spend differently in the provincial budget. The value and importance of the nonprofit sector was highlighted in Budget 2018 released yesterday, however, there continues to be more opportunity to move beyond the status quo and think differently about public finances to more sustainably serve Alberta’s communities. Click here to read more about CCVO’s initial reaction to Alberta Budget 2018 and what it means for our communities.
Drache Aptowitzer LLP Crisis Averted By:  Adam Aptowitzer
In our review of Budget 2018, we made some comments related to the concept of prescribed universities. Readers may recall that the Income Tax Act has, for many years, contained an allowance that certain foreign universities would be considered as qualified donees in Canada (akin to registered charities) if they met certain requirements. Several years ago, Parliament effectively created a secondary registration mechanism for these types of foreign universities. And in the most recent budget Parliament effectively removed the designation of ‘prescribed universities’ so that there was only one process. Our concern, as noted here, was that the technical…

Indigenous Children in Care January 2018 Updates

Provinces hold off signing agreement on Indigenous child welfare 6-point federal plans includes a push to devolve child welfare to Indigenous communities Provincial ministers assembled in Ottawa for an emergency meeting on First Nations child welfare held off on signing a final agreement to transform a “broken” system Friday, saying they need more time to consider the fundamental reforms the federal government is proposing.

The Millennium Scoop: Indigenous youth say care system repeats horrors of the past CBC January 25, 2018
Is the care system broken, or working exactly as designed — to wipe out Indigeneity? Indigenous children accounted for more than half of foster children under 14 in Canada in 2016. That’s despite the fact that First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth make up just eight per cent of that age group nationally…

The Millennium Scoop: Indigenous youth say care system repeats horrors of the past CBC January 25, 2018
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is urging First Nations across Canada to create their own child-welfare legislation – something the federal government says it supports – to prevent more Indigenous children from entering foster care.

Child Intervention Review Updates January 2018

Alberta child intervention panel drafts 26 recommendations for government approval
Action plan on recommendations due in June Stephanie Dubois · CBC News · Posted: January 24th 2018,

OCYA Summary Report: Five Years of Investigations January 15, 2018

‘Terrible consequences:’ Jane Philpott on Indigenous children in foster care Macleans January 16, 2018 

Fighting foster care The stunning number of First Nations kids in care is a new touchstone for activists—and for rebel parents By Kyle Edwards Macleans


2018 Alberta Justice Public Fatality Inquiries
The Alberta government’s System to Track Responses to Fatality Inquiry Recommendations, launched in June 2017, documents the responses to fatality inquiry recommendations on a go-forward basis.
Reports 2018

New Article from Drache Aptowitzer LLP Voluntary Disclosure and the Difference Between Non-profit and Registered Charities

Voluntary Disclosure and the Difference Between Non-profit and Registered Charities
In the legal profession, we know what to do if we have made a mistake. Those that regulate us (Law Societies across the country) remind us about our professional obligations, how to control the damage and the importance of seeking help as soon as a mistake is discovered. So, what do we advise our non-profit and registered charity clients when they tell us they have made a mistake, or more commonly, when we have found through our review of their organization that they have made a mistake involving the provisions of the Income Tax Act ?…

New Alberta Government Employment Standards Resources January 2018

Alberta’s new Employment Standards Code came into effect Jan. 1, 2018. Products and services are available to help employers and employees learn the new rules:

ALIGN Updates on Bill 17

ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough – Communication With Rae-ann Lajeun January 16, 2018

ALIGN Impacts of Bill 17 Jan 2018 – revised-1 known and anticipated impacts for Child and Family Service agencies

.    As we discussed before most folks are in agreement that the Bill makes sense and is good for Albertans generally,  but there has been some unintended consequences for our sector.  There are some questions in this document that hopefully Labor can answer.  I have to say I keep hearing that people call one time and get and answer then call again for clarity and get a different answer so it has been extremely frustrating.  If they can provide answers to some of these questions it would be helpful.

To answer your earlier questions

  1. We have not heard issues with minimum wage – I have only heard from woods homes as its an issue for their driving program.  We will have compression issues down the road but hopefully by then contracts will have added compensation.  This is also not the case for disability services, they do have minimum wage concerns.
  2. The averaging agreements really don’t help with the overtime debt.  Because the agreements require a schedule and in Family Support there is no schedules or they cannot be open/broad enough and in a 24/7operation it will remain a need.  Therefore there  needs to be compensation in the contracts  some how, it is our hope that Children Services is figuring this into the budget and renewals of contracts:
  3. Compensation for holiday pay needs to be added to the contracts as there is no way to avoid those costs and the agencies don’t have it in their current contracts and that I will send examples separately.

Thanks for helping to make this a workable solution.  We look forward to our meeting on Thursday.

See More ALIGN Communications related to Bill 17

‘Terrible consequences:’ Jane Philpott on Indigenous children in foster care

‘Terrible consequences:’ Jane Philpott on Indigenous children in foster care
In late January, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott will hold an emergency meeting of Indigenous leaders, child-welfare agencies and advocacy groups to confront what she has called a “humanitarian crisis.” Indigenous children are grossly overrepresented in foster care across Canada, with advocates saying the system has become, in effect, the next generation of residential schools. In 2016, First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth made up 52 per cent of foster children younger than 14 in the country, despite representing just eight per cent of that age group in the wider population, according to Statistics Canada...

Alberta Family Wellness Update Posted January 2018

The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) provides resources and symposia to bring key stakeholders together to help inform policy and practice in Alberta, so that they can create a common framework of understanding. The AFWI routinely scans academic journals for research articles related to its mission and vision.


Alberta Family Wellness Research Update December 2017
Alberta Family Wellness Monthly Newsletter December 2017

Call for Speakers & Panelists: Fail Safe 2018

Call for Speakers & Panelists: Fail Safe 2018 Conference Edmonton March 22 – 23, 2018

At the inaugural Fail Safe conference, we’re connecting leaders from non-profits, businesses, and the public sector for open and honest discussions about embracing and overcoming failure.Comprised of a Thursday evening reception and a full Friday of keynotes and breakouts, delegates will leave Fail Safe informed about how failure can manifest in organizations and confident in utilizing failure for good. At Fail Safe, participants will become comfortable with the uncomfortable, learn how to embrace and overcome failure, and feel inspired to build strategic and resilient organizations
What can your experiences tell the non-profit community about overcoming failure?

Several opportunities are available to lead conversations on topics related to these themes, including keynotes, panel discussions, and short PechaKucha-style presentations at the Thursday evening reception.

Opioid Survey Results from Stats. Can and Report on Shift in Care for Newborns

Statistics Canada Results of the Survey on Opioid Awareness, November 2017 Released: 2018-01-09
Data from the 2017 Survey on Opioid Awareness are now available. The survey collection was conducted in November and December 2017 and results are being released today, five weeks after the completion of data collection. The information collected by the survey will provide a better understanding of Canadians’ knowledge of the opioid issue and risks, and their willingness to act…

CBC News – Report calls for shift in care for newborns exposed to opioids in the womb Jan 11,2018
During an opioid epidemic that has rocked Alberta and other regions of the country, doctors are urging a shift in care for the youngest victims of the crisis — newborns. Health authorities across the country have reported a rise in the number of babies born after being exposed to opioids in the womb…

See ALIGN Resource Directory for more Opioid Resources, Research & Initiatives

Improving Pregnancy-Related Health through the ENRICH First Nations Project Edmonton January 25, 2018

On behalf of the Faculty of Extension’s Indigenous Programs team, we invite you to join us for our upcoming lunch & learn with Dr. Richard Oster and Grant Bruno of the ENRICH First Nations Project. (Poster attached.)
Please share with anyone who may be interested! 
Thursday, 25 January, 2018, 12 pm
Room 2-520 A, 2nd floor of Enterprise Square (10230 Jasper Ave)
*Please note talks will all be in the classroom area moving forward as we no longer have event A/V support at UofA for the atrium.
Bring your lunch and join the Faculty of Extension’s Indigenous Programs team for the first lunch & learn of 2018 with Dr. Richard Oster and Grant Bruno of the ENRICH First Nations Project. In this presentation, Richard and Grant will share their experience of a collaborative, community-based project aimed at improving prenatal outcomes for Cree women. Included are potential strategies for success.
ENRICH is a group of fifteen investigators, plus students and staff that came together under a research program funded for five years by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS). ENRICH studies are aimed at improving maternal health in pregnancy and postpartum by finding innovative ways to promote healthy weights and healthy eating. Learn more about the ENRICH project here.
Find out more: Facebook event page
All are welcome. Event is free to attend. 

CCVO Know the Code: Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Coming January 1

CCVO Know the Code: Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Coming January 1 Dec 6, 2017
The updated Employment Standards Code comes into effect on January 1, 2018. As these changes are the first overhaul of the Code since 1988, updating organizational policies and practices have become an area of deliberate attention for nonprofit organizations that employ staff.

Both nonprofit employers and employees will be significantly impacted by the changes. As an employer, you need to be aware of changes and update organizational policies and practices in accordance with the Code. The Employment Standards Code currently impacts the nonprofit sector more than the Labour Relations Code does and remains the focus of our work. Here are some of the most significant areas of change in the updated Code:…


The Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities (Council) Wants to Hear From You!

Dear Stakeholder,

The Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities (Council) wants to hear from you! Deadline Feb 9, 2018

The Council was recently appointed through an Order in Council by the Government of Alberta.  Council members were selected by an open and transparent application process facilitated by the Alberta Public Agencies Secretariat.  Council is responsible for advising the Premier and the Government of Alberta and reports to the Minister of Community and Social Services.  Council’s advice is focused on opportunities for full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in the life of the province. The advice is grounded in the member’s own lived experiences with disability and by listening to persons with disabilities, their families, provincial organizations, service providers and aligns to the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Council is establishing a strategic plan to guide and focus the work for a three year mandate. This Council is reaching out to stakeholders for input into our plan.  It is important that Council listen to the community to be able to reflect relevant issues and concerns of the disability community. We have attached an Information card about the Council that includes two key questions.  Council wants to hear from you on issues and challenges faced by the disability community and priorities to focus on for the next 3 years.

Council also needs your help getting this invitation out to individuals and families in your networks – Please share this email broadly with your networks.

Input is due Friday, February 9th, 2018

Responses to the questions can be emailed to: or if you require assistance or alternate format please contact the office of the Secretariat by phone at: 780-422-1095.

Questions They Are Asking Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities


Alberta Government Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) is back! Get the Details at an Upcoming Webinar

STEP grants provide eligible employers with a $7-per-hour wage subsidy to hire students into summer jobs. You can grow your business while providing a student with valuable work experience and transferable skills.

You will learn about:

  • Employer eligibility criteria
  • Student eligibility
  • Position requirements
  • Application and reimbursement processes

A live Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Who should attend:

  • Small businesses (1-49 employees)
  • Non-profit organizations, public libraries
  • Municipalities, First Nations, Métis Settlements
  • School Boards
  • Publicly-funded post-secondary institutions

Plan to attend one of 4 webinars offered from Jan. 9 to Feb. 1, 2018.

Find webinar dates and registration here. Space is limited – register now!

Compliance Bulletin – Employment Standards Code Changes in Alberta In Easy to Understand Language

Welcome to 2018 and Alberta’s revised Employment Standards!

As you’re aware, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17) came into effect on January 1, 2018.  I thought you might appreciate a document that highlights the changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards in easy to understand language.   Feel free to share this with anyone that you think may benefit from the information

Kathy Anders CAIB, CRM | Account Executive Foster Park Brokers January 2018

Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) Deadline February 9, 2018.

STEP is a 4 – 16 week wage subsidy program that provides funding to eligible Alberta employers to hire high school or post-secondary students into summer jobs from May to August. Summer positions created through STEP provide students with the opportunity to build meaningful work experience, increase their skills and workplace insight and help prepare them for the future.

A standardized wage subsidy of $7.00/hour to a maximum of 37.5 hours/week will be provided to approved applicants.

As of January 4, 2018 STEP is now accepting applications for 2018. The application deadline is February 9, 2018.

Bill 17 Update from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough December 20, 2017

Bill 17 Update from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough December 20, 2017

Dear ALIGN Members

Please review the information (see below) I received this morning (Dec 20, 2017) regarding Bill 17.

Please send me your comments regarding any implication you see so that I can provide that information directly to the Ministry.

Rhonda Barraclough, ALIGN Association E.D.


As discussed, the Bill 17 draft regulations have been modified to include flexible work week provisions; hours of work can now be extended up to a maximum of two weeks.  Below is an example for your reference:

Example: Flexible Averaging Agreement – 10 hour daily overtime threshold, 2 week averaging period

In this example, the daily overtime threshold specified in the agreement is 10 hours per work day.

Scheduling Requirements:

ü  No more than 12 hours per day is scheduled and no more than an average of 44 hours per week is scheduled.

ü  All work days and the number of hours to be worked on each of those work days are identified in the schedule.

Overtime Requirements:|

ü  If the employee is asked or chooses to work longer daily hours, daily overtime could be payable where hours of work exceed 10 per work day.

ü  If the employee is asked or chooses to work more hours in the averaging period, averaging period overtime could be payable at the end of the averaging period for hours in excess of an average of 44 hours.

Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Weekly Hours Average/week over cycle
Week 1 0 10 10 10 10 8 0 48  
Week 2 0 6 6 8 8 8 0 36 44


I hope this info is useful for you to share with the agencies in order for them to recalculate the OT impacts with new averaging provisions.  We would appreciate receiving this information as soon as realistically possible as we hope that the new flexibility will address some of the earlier concerns.

I also wanted to confirm that the minimum wage expectations set out in Bill 17 will not create additional pressure for your agencies. Earlier conversations indicated that this was not a pinch point but wanted to double check.

Thank you for your patience Rhonda and I look forward to receiving an update on the OT implications as well as confirmation of the minimum wage impacts.   I hope you get to enjoy some quality time over the holidays with your family and friends.

See Previous Bill 17 ALIGN Correspondence

Changes to Child Intervention E.D. Positions

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:  To ALIGN On Behalf Of Rae-Ann Lajeunesse Alberta Government sent to ALIGN December 15, 2017

You may be aware that, as of December 11, Russ Pickford changed roles from Executive Director – Child Intervention North to become the Executive Director for Regional and Community Program Delivery, within our ministry’s Family and Community Resiliency (FCR) Division.  Fortunately, we’ll still be working with him in his new role within the FCR Division.

This change has created an opportunity to review and realign the leadership structure for Child Intervention regional delivery.  We will be moving  forward on some changes to our leadership structure.  Effective Monday, December 18,  Jon Reeves will be the Executive Director of Child Intervention Services, overseeing child intervention service delivery across the province.  Jon believes Alberta is on the leading edge of service delivery and is focused on continuing to improve child intervention practice in Alberta.  I know Jon is looking forward to continuing to work with you to improve the lives of children and families in Alberta.

With these changes, Jon will be filling the Regional Director positions in Edmonton and Calgary on an interim basis.  These positions should be filled by Friday, December 22.


Updated National Guidelines for Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care

The first two chapters of the updated National Guidelines for Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care have been released December 2017.  The Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines is a resource on maternal and newborn health. It includes the latest information and advice from Canadian experts.  The guidelines are for those interested in maternal and newborn health, such as:health care providers, other Canadians involved with maternal and newborn health and those who plan, manage and decide on maternal and newborn health programs and services

Child Welfare Information Gateway New Child/Youth Trauma Resources

Supporting Brain Development in Traumatized Children and Youth
Series Title:  Bulletins for Professionals Author(s):  Child Welfare Information Gateway Year Published:  2017

Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)  (Issue Briefs)

Addressing the Needs of Young Children in Child Welfare: Part C—Early Intervention Services (Bulletins for Professionals)

Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development  (Issue Briefs)

Transforming the Criminal Justice System Consultations

The Government of Canada is undertaking a broad review of Canada’s Criminal Justice System to ensure that it is just, compassionate and fair, and promotes a safe, peaceful and prosperous Canadian society. Find out more about why they are doing this.

Your input in this consultation will help the department understand what Canadians expect from the Criminal Justice System. The consultation is taking place until January 15, 2018.

Sharing Data and Protecting Privacy: A Case Study from Alberta

Excerpt: The Philanthropist Kiran Pohar Manhas, Jason Lau and Xinjie CuiNovember 27, 2017 Sharing Data and Protecting Privacy: A Case Study from Alberta
The internet has changed how we consider information: vast amounts of it are available, information accessibility is amazingly rapid, and digitalized information is immediately ready for machine use (Lenczner, 2012). Companies are directed to view in-house data as critical to achieving “a sustainable competitive advantage” (Niemi, 2013, p.1). The internet and emerging technologies facilitate and promote data re-use and re-purposing in multiple ways that often diverge from the original purposes at collection.

Thus, many actors are increasingly considering the availability and opportunity of data, including those working in the public, research, private, and non-profit sectors. Where information about people is concerned, privacy obligations arise legally and ethically. We conducted research into the privacy obligations and practices that accompany data re-use and re-purposing for non-profit organizations in Alberta….

ACDS Call for Presenters

Request for Presenters: a Call for Participation (FSCD)

ACDS 2018 Annual Spring Conference Navigating the Journey…to who we are! Edmonton May 7-9, 2018
The Community Disability Services sector began its voyage a couple of generations ago and together we’ve made great progress.  Armed with a vision and a mission, we set sail on unchartered waters and have navigated shifting tides, been buoyed by many periods of smooth sailing, and have occasionally been adrift in the fog.  The purpose of Spring Conference 2018 is to inspire our teams on the next leg of the journey



Alberta Child Review Panel News & Updates December 2017

Final stage of work underway for Alberta child welfare panel  Edmonton Journal December 6, 2017

Bereaved Alberta mother fights for resurrection of Serenity’s Law December 5, 2017

Serenity’s mother at Alberta legislature as UCP reintroduces child welfare bill​​​​​​​ Global News December 5, 2017

Serenity’s Law will likely never become legislation, MLAs concede CBC News December 5, 2017


See More News and Updates Related to Review Panel

ALIGN Bulletin Human Service Agencies and Christmas Considerations December 2017

With the holidays come many considerations for human service agencies. Find out more about the legalities of office parties, staff mental wellness, the ethics around accepting gifts and more!

Calgary Foundation’s Vital Signs 2017

For the past decade, Calgary’s Vital Signs Report has featured expert research combined with results of a citizen survey. This year, over 2,500 Calgarians took the Vital Signs survey to grade their quality of life..

Crisis Services Canada Launches Canada Suicide Prevention Service

Call Message or Text
Today Crisis Services Canada (CSC), a national network of local and regional crisis and distress centres, launched the new Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS)…

Imagine Canada – New 2017 Study

The study from Imagine Canada 2017 profiles data from 56 Imagine Canada Caring Companies and LBG Canada companies. In 2016, these leading businesses invested $468 million with an average contribution to charities of 2.5 per cent of pre-tax profits…

Government of Canada Minister Lebouthillier announces Disability Advisory Committee

Minister of National Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier, announced that the Disability Advisory Committee, originally formed in 2004 and disbanded in 2006, is being re-instated to advise the Canadian Revenue Agency on the needs and expectations of persons living with disabilities, and to help formalize the means of collaborating with various stakeholders…

Government of Canada – Speech from Minister Jean-Yves Duclos at the 10th Social Finance Forum

November 10, 2017 “The Government of Canada is committed to developing a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy – not simply for Canadians, but with Canadians.” The minister hailed social finance and social innovation as ways to solve big problems and helping those most in need…

The Vanier Institute of the Family’s 2016–2017 Annual Report

The Vanier Institute of the Family’s 2016–2017 Annual Report is now available to download, featuring an overview of highlights from their publications, projects, partnerships and other activities over the past year. As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, many families across Canada – whether newly arrived or firmly rooted for generations – are reflecting on the past, contemplating and discussing the present, and envisioning our future together. While much has changed since Confederation, one thing that has remained constant is the unique and vital role that family has played as the cornerstone of society and the engine of the economy…

Federal Minister of Finance Launches Consultations on Budget 2018

Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau has launched his consultations in advance of Budget 2018. The consultation includes surveys on supporting the middle class, the Canada’s economic future, investments in education and training, and efforts to advance gender equality. Comments are also accepted by email.

ALIGN Members – Procurement Update November 20, 2017

Procurement Update November 20, 2017

Late last week there was an announcement that Campus Based Residential Care will be tendered shortly.  For those of you who provide that service please stay tuned as I am sure you will receive information soon.

I am told that there has been a procurement plan (5 year) placed before the Minister and at this point there is no permission to move forward with anything other than this one area.  I am aware that most of you have contracts that are set to expire on March 31, 2018.

The likelihood is that most of your contracts will be renewed at the same rates.  Some may be able to re-negotiate some terms but for the most part status quo may be the outcome.  I realize that this means no increases in any part of your operation for a long time.

Budget 2018 may not see any changes or increases.  We already have a hint of that with no increases to foster care rates.

As always we will continue to advocate for a plan and for hopeful injections to the wages if nothing else.  We need to have some clear information and in reality you need to be thinking about this already.  If you have NO increases to your contracts and you are aware of the Bill 17 impacts, what will you do in the new fiscal year- i.e.  Do you need to close beds, close programs, are you ok, decrease services and if so what?  It would be very helpful if you can let me know what you think you will need to do if there are no changes of any kind.

I would appreciate if you can let me know what you think will happen and if you have any other impacts starting to creep in, like increasing turnover rates, etc.   This information is very helpful as we strategize a plan to move forward.  If we can we will also make the information available to you so that you can go out and advocate on your or your sectors behalf as we suspect there will be a need for political action.  It is the politicians who are stopping things as treasury board.

Again we are trying to give concrete examples of the impacts of no procurement (negotiations or tenders) and Bill 17.  I need to have that picture from you to share at table with the Ministry officials and the politicians.

Thanks for sharing I look forward to your information and trying to see what we can do to move the financial pendulum.  If you could send me your story or information by November 30 I would appreciate it.

Rhonda Barraclough – ALIGN Executive Director

Request for ALIGN Member Agencies to Submit Banked OT Hours and Average Salary

November 20, 2017
RE: Bill 17

Bill 17: Alberta’s Fair And Family Friendly Workplaces Act: the new labor code comes into effect January 1, 2018. There are many impacts on your agency and you need to be aware of those. The ALIGN Website has some information and the Ministry of Labor has more. One of largest effects for agencies and specifically anyone who works a 24 hour operation or flexible evening and on call hours will need to consider this:

• You will have to allow employees to take time off in lieu of receiving overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime worked, as opposed to the previous 1 hour for each hour of overtime.
• There are clear guidelines on how much someone can work in a specified period
• New types of unpaid leaves
• Changes to maternity leaves

There are many other changes your need to make sure you are aware for and are planning for.

Financially the biggest area will be the overtime. We are trying to advocate with the Ministries (CS & CSS) that banked time is a substantial cost and that the agencies cannot shoulder that cost. We have encouraged the Ministry to have a plan in place to compensate agencies for overtime and have explained how this is not just as simple as stopping overtime from happening especially in 24 hour operations and that due to contractual obligations they also can’t just increase the costs – therefore we believe there is a need for a compensation plan on the part of the Ministries.

To help paint a picture for the Deputy Minister of Children Services – Darlene Bouwsema, I need as many folks as possible to let us know their current bank overtime hours in a year and what the average salary for those employees is. I am making a graphic to show the Deputy Ministers. Darlene and Shannon Marchand the Deputy Ministry for Community and Support Services are meeting with the Ministry of Labor Deputy Ministry soon. We have also offered to arrange for them to meet with some of the CFO’s from the agencies and the Ministry to discuss impacts further. At this point we do not know if or when there may be answers. We would like to be able to send a further sample of the overtime impacts at this time because we can at least quantify that number.

Please send a note to me with that information by the end of this week – November 24, 2017

See Related Info

Child Review Panel Update November 2017

Speaking OUT: A Special Report on LGBTQ2S+ Young People in the Child Welfare and Youth Justice Systems OCYA November 2017

Video – Speaking Out: A Special Report on LGBTQ2S+ Young People in the Child Welfare and Youth Justice Systems

Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Special Report Speaking OUT, November 20, 2017

‘We should do more’: Child advocate tells government about LGBTQ2S+ youth CBC News November 20, 2017

OCYA Report: Children’s Services Minister Responds November 6, 2017
Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Reviews released today.

Investigative Review: 16-Year-Old Dillon November 2, 2017
Child and Youth Advocate releases investigative review involving the serious injury of a youth
Read the full news release here: Read the Investigative Review and recommendations here:

Global News November 2, 2017 Jane Philpott calls emergency meeting with provinces on Indigenous child welfare

See All Child Review Panel

Special Tri Provincial Research Fall 2017 Call Out

Prairieaction Foundation (PAF) is excited to announce a special tri-provincial research call-out which aims to fund research projects that will be conducted in all three prairie provinces. PAF is committed to funding research that leads to community awareness related to issues of violence and abuse and is specifically interested in research that engages in solution focused outcomes, leading to better programs to keep our communities safer. At this time, PAF is requesting three separate Tri-Provincial research projects to be conducted. Click here for details regarding the criteria and click here for details regarding application funding.

See More Grants Here

ALIGN Evaluation Resource Bulletin November 6, 2017

This bulletin highlights organizational, program and client evaluation resources that have been recently added  to our sector evaluation resource directories. See what’s new!

St. Albert Volunteer Fair

The Volunteer Fair Saturday, November 18, 2017 was developed to help ensure that volunteerism continues to thrive through increased public awareness of community groups and associations. It proves an excellent opportunity for community members and organizations to network. Each year the Volunteer Fair has 40+ organizations exhibiting their services & talking about how community members can get involved.

November Is Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta

Go Purple in November!
All Albertans – women and men, girls and boys – can show their support by hosting a Go Purple event in their communities, at work or at school during the month of November. Be creative – think about ways you can Go Purple at the events and activities you are already planning for Family Violence Prevention Month 2017.

View Free  Alberta Human Services Downloads for Promotional Resources for Family Violence Prevention Month 2017

Email Alberta Human Services with the details of your events for their calendar.


New – The FACTS about ALIGN Association

ALIGN Association is please to provide you with a new Fact Sheet Page that provides existing and potential member and or collaborative partners further insights into our associations mission, values and impact

Join Us! ALIGN is Celebrating our 50th Anniversary

50/10 Dinner January 24, 2018 Fantasyland Hotel W.E.M. Edmonton
It’s has been 50 years of serving agencies in Alberta and how far we have come! Starting out as the AASCF in 1968 a small group of sector leaders were inspired to collaborate on better addressing the needs of agencies who serve vulnerable Albertans’ and 50 years later we are still going strong! In additions we are also celebrating our 10th Annual Conference – Building Today, Strengthening Tomorrow. In honour of these  achievements please join us Wednesday evening January 24, 2018 for dinner and entertainment  from 5pm to 9 pm at the Fantasyland Hotel, West Edmonton Mall.

Register Here

Signs of Safety October 2017 Update

Signs of Safety working group.  Children Services has implemented Signs of Safety 2 day Provincial Delegation training. The working group is looking at how to implement a plan that insures all current CS staff also receive the 2 day Provincial training, whether or not they have had previous training in the past. This is to ensure everyone has received the same provincial specific training.  A 1 day training has been developed for agency partners and caregivers. The committee is in the process of developing a plan to offer the training provincially

Signs of Safety Newsletter October 2017

The first presentation video from sofsgathering2017 is now up. Watch Demonstrating Safety Within the Drug Epidemic

Visit Signs of Safety Home Page or ALIGN Signs of Safety Related Resources, Initiatives and Updates

Alberta Findings – Vital Signs Reports October 2017

So far, twenty-two community foundations across Canada helped shed a light on local priorities  during Vital Signs week this October by getting word out about their Vital Signs reports. Meanwhile, even more foundations are hosting Vital Conversations to get communities talking about how to put this vital knowledge into action.As more and more communities join the Vital Signs movement, they collectively help paint an increasingly detailed picture of the strengths and challenges facing Canada today.

National report on belonging
Community reports across Canada


Poverty, stress and high prices worry Calgarians in Vital Signs report

Editorial: Building a stronger city


Nearly one-fifth of Edmontonians feel socially isolated: Report


Vital Signs takes pulse of city, area well-being

Northwestern Alberta

2017 NW Alberta’s Vital Signs report released

Crime still considered region’s top issue: Vital Signs

New Report: Harvard Center on the Developing Child: Three Principles to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families

Three Principles to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families identifies three guiding principles for decision-making processes aimed at improving outcomes for children and families.

Excerpt: Recent advances in the science of brain development offer us an unprecedented opportunity to solve some of society’s most challenging problems, from widening disparities in school achievement and economic productivity to costly health problems across the lifespan. Understanding how the experiences children have starting at birth, even prenatally, affect lifelong outcomes—combined with new knowledge about the core capabilities adults need to thrive as parents and in the workplace—provides a strong foundation upon which policymakers and civic leaders can design a shared and more effective agenda…


Free Online AFMC Addiction Primer Series

The Palix Foundation has partnered with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada to develop a primer on addiction and its connection to early brain and biological development. Designed for undergraduate students, this free learning resource includes virtual patients, an e-textbook, and a podcast series.

The Role of Caregivers in Assessing and Managing Risk Related to Opioid Use – A Tip Sheet

This Tip Sheet that has been developed by a committee representing provincial Children Services , AFPA and ALIGN.

The Role of Caregivers in Assessing and Managing Risk Related to Opioid Use – A Tip Sheet
As a caregiver you are the closest person to the day-to-day activities of a child or youth who may be using opioids. You have a key role on the team who together ensure the tasks in the above diagram occur, plans are implemented and reviewed as circumstances change.

The tip sheet is going out to all the members as agencies have all types of caregivers providing service to children, youth and families. Specific Caregiver Training has also be developed and will be piloted for the fist time at the Alberta Foster Parent Conference this coming weekend. Once feedback is incorporated into the training  the manual will be made available for all to use. I will keep you posted as information becomes available. In the meantime please give the TIP Sheet the widest distribution. Questions can be directed to

See Additional or Related Opioid Information


Alberta Framework Survey – Approach to Cannabis Legalization

Review the draft framework and provide feedback by completing the online survey or emailing us a written submission by midnight on Friday, October 27.

Canada Social Report – October 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Monitoring the daily policy announcements of Canadian federal and provincial/territorial governments provides both a searchable record of action and a dynamic view of the country’s social policy priorities. Now Available Canada Social Report – October 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey

CCVO 2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey  is the only source of province-wide “state of the sector” research that documents the ongoing experience and health of the nonprofit sector.The completed report is frequently used to help inform the decision-making of nonprofit leaders and boards, the Government of Alberta, foundations, and community stakeholders.

ALIGN Annual Report 2016 – 2017

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.

ALIGN Annual Report 2016 – 2017

ALIGN Executive Director Report – September 2017

Child Review Panel News October 2017

Edmonton Journal
Child intervention panel extends its timeline October 4, 2017

Edmonton Journal
‘That system abandoned me’: Child intervention panel hears from Paul First Nation October 2, 2017

Child Intervention Practice Framework (CIPF):
Child Intervention Practice committee is presently reviewing how to create consistencies and best practice provincially through the below initiatives. This committee consists of Regional managers. ALIGN and the AFPA.

See All Child Intervention Review Panel

SAGE New Report “Law & Governance of Secondary Data Use: Obligations of Not-For-Profit Organizations in Alberta”

SAGE is excited to announce that, with the support of PolicyWise, Kiran Pohar Minhas has produced a report titled “Law & Governance of Secondary Data Use: Obligations of Not-For-Profit Organizations in Alberta”. This is a new and innovative area and the paper presents the legal and governance issues for, and the obligations of not-for-profits when sharing and re-using information beyond data collection for service delivery. The report aligns with SAGE’s vision of building data management capacity in the community services sector.

Three New Children’s Service Divisions and Three New ADM’s

Correspondence form Darlene Bouwsema Deputy Minister Children’s Services to ALIGN ED Rhonda Barraclough October 2, 2017

As you may know, the creation of Children’s Services provided an opportunity to re-imagine the organization and its structure to achieve the renewed mandate and focus on continuously improving the services provided to children, youth and families.

As part of the evolution of Children’s Services, I am pleased to officially announce that we have identified three Children’s Services-specific divisions and the Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADMs) who will lead them. Each portfolio will be guided by a leader who has a great respect for the work happening in this ministry, and an unwavering commitment to public service.  I am confident that under their guidance, the Ministry of Children’s Services will be well-positioned for success. Effective October 2, 2017:

  • Gloria Iatridis, ADM will lead the Policy, Innovation and Indigenous Connections Division with responsibility for strategic policy and planning, initiative management (including the Ministerial Panel for Child Intervention), corporate quality assurance and Indigenous and community connections;
  • Mark Hattori, ADM will lead the Family and Community Resiliency Division with responsibility for early intervention and prevention programming, community programs and early childhood programs and the Early Learning and Child Care Centres initiative;
  • And Rae-Ann Lajeunesse, ADM will lead the Child Intervention Division with a singular focus on the child intervention system.

I would like to reiterate that no ongoing work will be interrupted. The Ministry of Children’s Services will continue to focus on priorities including the work happening across the province to serve families, the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention and affordable, quality, accessible child care offered through Early Learning and Child Care Centres

There will be no lay-offs as a result of changes and our staff remain committed to serving Albertans. If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please do not hesitate to contact my office, otherwise Assistant Deputy Ministers and their staff will be in touch as part of their regular business with your organization.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and partnership.

Darlene Bouwsema Deputy Minister Children’s Services

Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium

Update September 2017

ALIGN has been busy  coordinating an Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium that will be held for Children and Family Serving organizations Leadership on October 23, 2017 at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton. The day will highlight Alberta Indigenous Thought leaders and Knowledge Keepers and how to move knowledge into policy and service delivery. The Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium is intended to enhance indigenous innovations and relationships in child intervention service delivery. Starting in Ceremony, selected Elders, advisors, and service providers will share Indigenous teachings and current practices in work with Indigenous children, families, and individuals. The presentations will showcase specific culturally-based approaches to practice and ceremony with indigenous service users. The day will include teachings from highly respected elders and knowledge keepers in Alberta. Various Alberta-based programs providing culturally appropriate and effective services will be highlighted. The outcome will be that participants will have an opportunity to explore how they can utilize the guidelines and principles in policy development and service delivery. This full day event will be held in ceremony and highlight cultural practices.



The 15 modules of the course are designed for completion within a maximum time frame of ONE calendar year from your initial registration.  Should it be necessary to extend your study time in the course beyond 12 months, the Centre for Investigative Interviewing is obliged to charge an additional tuition fee of approximately $200 (yearly licensing fee).

  1. Establishing what constitutes ‘best practice’ guidelines
  2. Defining the various questions
  3. Understanding memory and language development
  4. Choosing the most effective open-ended questions
  5. Putting the right questions into practice
  6. Introducing the topic of concern and eliciting a disclosure
  7. Introducing the interview protocol
  8. Assessing your progress
  9. Repeated events
  10. Evidentiary requirements
  11. The “whole” story approach to investigating and interviewing
  12. Cross-cultural issues
  13. Interviewing witnesses with complex communication support needs
  14. Note taking
  15. Putting it all together

New From Alberta Family Wellness Initiative Aug/Sept 2017

The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) provides resources and symposia to bring key stakeholders together to help inform policy and practice in Alberta, so that they can create a common framework of understanding. The AFWI routinely scans academic journals for research articles related to its mission and vision.

Alberta Family Wellness Initiative Research Update August 2017
This packed with great research!

Brain Story Certification
Master Brain Story science fundamentals in a free, online course developed by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) and endorsed by an expert Curriculum Committee. Over 5,500 students have already signed up: 3,800 students from Alberta, with the rest coming from 32 countries around the world. Brain Story Certification is eligible for accreditation with a number of professional bodies. If you haven’t yet enrolled, join your colleagues by registering now.

How We Talk About FASD: Mapping The Gaps In Our Discussions
In a new, in-depth study, the FrameWorks Institute “maps the gaps” that exist for individuals and agencies seeking to communicate with Manitobans about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The study notes the challenges for communication on FASD, given deeply held beliefs about associated topics including substance use, motherhood, responsibility and morality. FrameWorks also points out that effective discussion requires a clear picture of the core concepts that the public must understand in order to support the initiatives that evidence suggests will create positive change. “Seeing the Spectrum” is highly recommended reading for AFWI followers who recognize the importance of FASD research as it fits in the larger world of brain development, mental health and addiction.

Invest in women’s shelters to solve women’s homelessness Sept 7, 2017

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters together with sixteen of their members have published a report: A Safe Path Home, based on their collaborative work over the last two years. The report highlights the work of second-stage women’s shelters in Alberta and provides practical recommendations that government can implement to support women and children who have become homeless due to domestic abuse.

AFPA 2017 Aboriginal Awareness Weekend Sept. 15 – 17, 2017

Sept. 15 – 17, 2017 Now taking registrations for those who wish to reserve their spot at this year’s event.

Free Webinar – Compassion Fatigue Assessment + Framework + Strategies

In this class, you will learn:

1) The difference between Compassion Fatigue, Compassion Satisfaction, Vicarious Trauma, Burnout and Sustainable Caring

2) Your levels of compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress (vicarious trauma). You can download a compassion fatigue assessment as soon as you register for the class.

3) How you move through the phases of compassion fatigue

4) What happens once you get to burnout

5) What to do if you have any signs of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma or burnout

6) What Caring Safely™ is all about

6) Open Q&A

Webinar Dates:
September 4th, 13th, and 30th
October 15th and 28th.

Free Webinar for Health Care Providers/Managers, Helping Professionals, Social Workers, Teachers and Caregivers/Volunteers

Hosted by: Charlene Richard, B.S.W, M.S.W, RCSW, Compassion Fatigue Specialist and Founder of Caring Safely™

CCVO 2017 Mayoral Candidate Forum – September 27, 2017 Calgary

Calgarians head to the polls in October, and CCVO is convening a mayoral candidate forum to talk about the issues that matter most to our sector and city. Join them on September 27 for a conversation with incumbent mayor Naheed Nenshi, along with top mayoral challengers including David Lapp and Bill Smith. Learn more and RSVP

Alberta Disability Forum – Opportunity to Network October 5, 2017 Edmonton

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Thursday, 5 October 2017 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM (MDT) Edmonton

The forum is an opportunity to network with other organizations that are connected to the disability sector, with discussion and consultation on the future direction of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities,  presentations on the national consultation on accessibility legislation and the Hotel Accessibility Project and updates on the work being undertaken by ADF Working Groups re Accessible and Affordable Housing and Accessibility.

New Alberta LGBTQ2S Youth Housing and Shelter Guidelines

LGBTQ2S-Youth-Housing-And-Shelter-Guidelines developed by the LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness Working Group

Led by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, this group consists of representatives from community agencies from across Alberta, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, Children’s Services and Status of Women. As a commitment to the LGBTQ2S children and youth that we serve in Children’s Services, these guidelines have been accepted to serve as an initial ministry-wide support for our current practice. Nearly one in three homeless youth in Canada identify as LGBTQ2S. This population faces a higher risk of discrimination, violence and abuse in the shelter system than their non-LGBTQ2S counterparts. They are also at a higher risk of mental health concerns, self-harm and suicide than the general population. Research also shows that without acknowledgement or awareness of LGBTQ2S youth and their identities, front-line staff cannot respond appropriately to the needs of these youth effectively, which can result in further marginalization. The LGBTQ2S Youth Housing and Shelter Guidelines are meant to provide information to help individuals and organizations best meet the needs of LGBTQ2S homeless youth. The Guidelines are not standards or regulations, rather they are meant to support workers and organizations providing supports and services to LGBTQ2S young people. They are also meant to be a starting point for the larger discussion on how we are serving LGBTQ2S youth. Children’s Services intends to use these guidelines to inform continuous improvement to policy, practice and program development in the future. The Guidelines are a result of the evidence-based research completed on LGBTQ2S youth homelessness and the combined expertise of the members of the LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness Working Group. I encourage you to use the best practices found within the Guidelines to ensure we are providing safe, inclusive and affirming supports for LGBTQ2S youth.

Kim Spicer, MPA, RSW
Senior Manager
Child Intervention Outcomes, Policy  and Practice Support
Policy, Practice and Program Development Branch
Child Intervention Division

Accessible Hotels in Alberta

Accessible Hotels in Alberta 2017

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities has completed the Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta project which includes sections on Current Practice, Accessibility Tools and Recommendations for Action. The report provides an overview of the accessibility strategies used internationally and within Canada.

Along with the results of this study, the report also provides tools to assist with assessing and improving accessibility in hotels including:

  1. Templates on Best Practices for Accessible Hotel Rooms and Bathrooms
  2. A Guest Checklist to Assess Accessible Hotel Accommodations
  3. A Hotel Accessibility Self-Assessment Guide for hotels to examine key accessibility elements.

Finally, the report makes recommendations for action that will improve accessibility in hotels.

The full report can be viewed here: Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta
The summary report can be viewed here: Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta Summary Report

Participate in Study on the Link Between Children’s Play and Mental Health

Communities For All Children: The loneliness crisis and the decline of free play

The Family and Disability Studies Initiative at the University of Alberta is investigating the link between children’s play and mental health and needs your help

Are you the parent of a 4 or 5 year old child with disabilities? Participation involves completing the ‘Communities for all Children Survey’ this year and once again next year. Upon completion of the project participants will receive a summary of the research findings and a $30 gift card to acknowledge their time.

Phone (780) 492-8568 or email your mailing address to to receive a paper copy of the ‘Communities for all Children Survey’

If you have any questions please contact project manager, Dr Amber Savage, at 780 492 8568, or Professor David McConnell at 780 492 7475

Have Your Say – Alberta Launching a Review of Occupational Health and Safety System

Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act sets the minimum standards for workplace health and safety, and outlines the roles and responsibilities of employers and employees. While there have been small changes over the years, the act has not been thoroughly reviewed since 1976.

“All workers deserve healthy and safe workplaces from their first shift through to retirement. Alberta workplaces and the nature of Albertans’ work have changed significantly during the past 40 years. We need to make sure the province’s laws and best practices are helping keep Albertans safe at work.”

Christina Gray, Minister of Labour

The review will examine the OHS Act, as well as compliance, enforcement, education, engagement and prevention efforts in Alberta’s OHS system. It will also clarify employer and worker responsibilities, improve worker engagement and maintain Alberta’s strong focus on illness and injury prevention.

Along with an online survey and written submissions, the review will include roundtable sessions with employers, employees, academics and health and safety associations.

Albertans may participate in the review by completing an online survey at and by sending written comments or submissions to Submissions will be accepted until Oct. 16, 2017.  

The Procurement Advisory Table (PAT) Final Report to the Ministers of Community and Social Services and Children’s Services August 2017

Update September 2017

Procurement, contracting and contracts continue to be a bit of a ambiguous.  We have met with the DM and Minister regarding the need to have contracts move forward.  We were told that in reality little will move until the Child Intervention Panel concludes and makes recommendations.  We continue to advocate that parts of the system still can be procured, or negotiated.

Procurement Advisory Table – Final Report August 2017

The Procurement Advisory Table (PAT) provided its Final Report to the Ministers of Community and Social Services and Children’s Services. The report includes recommendations for the departments to consider for designing and implementing future contracting approaches.

Arrangements are underway to schedule a meeting involving ALIGN (Rhonda Barraclough) ECVO (Russ Dahms)  ACDS (Andrea Hesse) and Deputy Ministers for both Ministry of Children’s Services and Community and Support Services Shannon Marchand and Darlene Bouwsema the second week of September to determine a course of action going forward considering changes that have occurred since the report was tabled in December.


Response from Minister Sabir to PAT Co-Chair,  Russ Dahms

Terms of Reference

Membership List

Previous PAT Updates

See ALIGN Directory of Contracting News



National Conference on Disability and Work in Canada Ottawa from November 27 – 29, 2017

The conference will take place in Ottawa from November 27 – 29, 2017. This multi-stakeholder gathering will celebrate progress in the employment of persons with disabilities in Canada and develop a vision and strategy for the years to come. This conference is organized by CCRW, ONIWG, Inclusion NL, and CRWDP.

A “Sneak Peak” of AMP New Indigenous Mentoring Resources

SNEAK PEAK: Resources for Mentoring Refugee, Immigrant & Newcomer Children and Youth

To access the resource one more step is required. Please fill in your contact information to assist in the role-out and evaluation of our new resource. AMP will not share your information, it is only for internal tracking purposes. In the next few months they will send you a brief survey asking for feedback.

Notice to Members  from Michael Jan August 1, 2017

AMP partners work to expand and enhance quality youth mentoring programs for young adults across Alberta.  Here is an exclusive opportunity for a “Sneak Peak” of the new Indigenous Mentoring resources. You might use different language or program labels other than mentoring, but the principles and considerations outlined in the document are valuable for any program that supports Indigenous or non-Indigenous relationships. Share your feedback with Michael Janz about how this can be further mobilized into the community.

While ALIGN is a valued “Builder Partner” of the AMP (and Rhonda Barraclough is a member of the Leadership Team), each individual agency should be listed as a AMP Partner! If you have not done so already, please take a moment and fill out our “Partner contact form” so AMP can promote your work and your agency and you can take advantage of our volunteer recruitment capacity! Don’t worry, there is no charge because we are a no-fee partnership

The Mental Health Experience in Canada’s Workplaces: What’s Your Experience?


The Globe and Mail and Morneau Shepell online survey (The Mental Health Experience in Canada’s Workplaces: What’s Your Experience?) collected information about the mental health experience of Canada’s work force, such as: the types of issues (physical and mental health); how people cope with their issues; therapy options; mental health stigma; how organizations support staff with a mental health issue, and the impact of mental health issues on work experience and missing work. They’re leaving the survey open so the one in five workers with a mental health issue who has not participated yet can add their voice to this conversation. You can participate in the survey by clicking on this link.

See More OHS

Homeless Hub New Report – Child Welfare and Youth Homelessness in Canada: A Proposal for Action

Excerpt 0 Almost sixty percent (57.8%) of homeless youth in Canada report involvement with the child welfare system at some point in their lives. In comparison, among the general population in Canada, roughly 0.3% of youth have child welfare involvement. This suggests that youth experiencing homelessness are 193 times more likely than youth in the general population to report involvement with the child welfare system…

ALIGN Association Strategic Directions Update – We Want to Hear From You!

Dear ALIGN Members,

I hope you are having a marvelous summer.  ALIGN is reviewing its strategic directions this summer with the goal of having a strategic plan completed this fall that will lead the way for the next few years.  Last week Nicole, Cathy and I held sessions in Lethbridge, Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton.  The feedback we heard has been incorporated into the Draft plan so far.  We want to hear for anyone else who may have great ideas.  So I have attached a draft of the plan and some of the directions members have been suggesting we move towards.  If you have any thoughts on these please or think of other things you would like to see us doing please add them to this document and send it back to me.

I would appreciate your thoughts by August 18.  After that we will be finalizing the plan and taking it to the Board of Directors.  Thank you for your participation and support. See you in the fall at the AGM  Sept 29, 2017

ALIGN Mission/Strategic Planning For Members Feedback

Rhonda Barraclough

Executive Director ALIGN Association

Stats Canada Online Chat Session to Discuss Latest 2016 Census Data

Stats Canada Online chat session to discuss the latest 2016 Census data! Friday, August 4, 2017 12:30 to 13:30
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, Statistics Canada will publish the latest chapter in the story of our country and its people. The third series of results from the 2016 Census of Population will be released on August 2, 2017, on Statistics Canada’s website ( These results will focus on the language distribution of the Canadian population, as well as families, households, and marital status in 2016. Want to learn more? Join our chat session with Statistics Canada experts to discuss these findings!

Alberta Government News Release Sole-source Service Contracts Disclosed for Q1

Sole-source Service Contracts Disclosed for Q1
The Government of Alberta’s online database has been updated with service contracts awarded outside a formal competition process during the last fiscal quarter.The Sole-source Service Contract Database has been updated with an additional 769 contracts with start dates on or before June 30, 2017. Of these, 561 provide direct social supports and 208 support government business. The total value of all 769 contracts is approximately $1.9 billion.The online database will continue to be updated on a quarterly basis in support of procurement accountability across the Government of Alberta

Seeking Solutions from Youth Ages 12 – 24 on Reducing Poverty in Canada

The Government of Canada is inviting youth ages 12 – 24 from coast to coast to coast to answer one question: How can we reduce poverty in Canada?
Do you have a great idea or solution? Have you seen something in your community that works? Tell it in a creative way! You could be invited to showcase your entry at a national poverty reduction conference with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos in Ottawa in September 2017. All entries must be submitted online: Complete the entry form. Be sure to read the full contest rules, privacy and legal information before submitting your entry. Please note, a signed consent and release form may be requested. Promote your entry by tagging it with #ReducePoverty on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! All submissions must be received by August 21, 2017. Selected individuals will be contacted.

Canada Revenue New Videos from Gifting and Receipting Video Series

As a part of the Canada Revenue Agency’s continued effort to clarify the rules and terms that commonly confuse charities, the Charities Directorate has recently made available  an educational series on “gifting and receipting”. This series is intended to help charities learn about the rules that relate to receipting and the types of donations in which registered charities can issue a donation receipt  Check out the latest videos!

New Research: Topics Include FASD, Trauma, Abuse and Child Welfare July 2017

Chronicle Of Social Change
Major Breakthrough on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has Huge Implications for Child Welfare System July 28, 2017
Researchers announced this month that two substances have shown to be effective in rolling back some of the effects of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), a slate of conditions conferred to babies born to mothers who drink during pregnancy.

States Explore Trauma Screening in the Child Welfare System July 28, 2017
“There is definitely a shift towards the recognition that it’s a good thing to do and many systems want to do it, but I think there’s still some concrete challenges to actually putting it into place universally that some states are really struggling with,” Lang said. In a paper published last month, Lang and his colleagues looked at five statewide and tribal initiatives that started the process of creating pilot projects screening for trauma in the child welfare system…

American Academy of Pediatrics
Report Tags Oral and Dental Problems That May Signal Child Abuse and Neglect July 31, 2017
A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in the August 2017 Pediatrics (published online July 31) aims to help identify problems involving a child’s teeth, gums and mouth that may be signs of physical or sexual abuse and neglect. .

Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Road to Adulthood Aligning Child Welfare Practice With Adolescent Brain Development July 22, 2017
With knowledge of how the adolescent brain matures, adults can do more to ensure that the road leaving foster care will take young people to self-sufficiency and successful adulthood. And this guide tells how.

Drache Aptowitzer LLP Newsletter July 2017

Drache Aptowitzer LLP Newsletter July 2017 has some great articles for charities! Here are just two

Powers and Limits of an Executive Committee July 2017
It’s a very common practice, especially in organizations with larger boards, to have a subgroup of the directors form an executive committee that makes core decisions. But some caution must be exercised when deciding which powers to delegate to an executive committee – or indeed, to any subgroup of directors. Depending on the law that an organization is formed under, there may be restrictions on which of the directors’ powers can be delegated rather than exercised as a full body…

Withholding July 2017
Charities spend a great deal of time and energy focusing on audits from the Charities Directorate. While this attention on the Directorate is justifiable it is important to recognize that charity regulation is only one function of the Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”) and that charities are answerable to the CRA for many of its activities. One particularly troublesome area seems to be the T4 habits of charities. Even where there is no issue with a specific expenditure on a particular individual for a charitable activity….

Review Panel Updates July 2017


Government responds to OCYA reports Minister Sarah Hoffman issued the following statement, on behalf of Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee, in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Reviews released today: July 18, 2017

Alberta’s child-welfare system failed First Nations youth: report Globe and Mail July 19, 2017

Alberta government ‘not going to wait’ for feds to close First Nations child welfare gap July 20, 2017

Child advocate ‘concerned’ about government inaction on death recommendations Edmonton Journal July 19, 2017

Alberta’s child-welfare system failed First Nations youth: report Globe and Mail July 19, 2017



Child Intervention Practices in Alberta Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention June 5 2017

ALIGN Partners in Child Intervention Child Intervention Panel Submission June 30, 2017

ALIGN:  Presentation to Child Intervention Review Panel (ppt) June 15, 2017

ALIGN Calgary Chapter Submission 1 – Working Relationships and Collaboration
ALIGN Calgary Chapter Submission 2 – The Practice of Child Intervention
ALIGN Calgary Chapter Submission 3 – Funding Community Agency Services A Sector in Crisis

 Inter-Agency Foster Care Committee (IFCC) Submission to Review Panel June 29 2017

Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta (CYCAA) Submission to Child Intervention Panel June 2017


The Conference Board of Canada Survey Findings: The Power of Appreciation: Rewards and Recognition Practices in Canadian Organizations

In the summer of 2016, The Conference Board of Canada surveyed Canadian organizations on their rewards and recognition programs, practices, and budgets. The Power of Appreciation shares the findings of that survey, including the types of programs in place, rewards given, cost, and areas of successes and challenges.

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Canadian Employers Need Longer Term Workforce Planning to Stay Competitive Ottawa, May 18, 2017

View More Resources Here

Changes to the Canada-Alberta Job Grant – more incentives to Train Employees

The Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG) is an employer-driven training program where employers and government share the cost of training new and existing employees to increase their knowledge and skills to meet the needs of Alberta’s changing economy.

NEW: CAJG now offers more training incentives to employers

  • 100% of training cost covered for eligible unemployed hires (up to $15,000) with incremental training requirement waived
  • Sole proprietors can now train their employees using CAJG
  • Assistance on travel costs for small and medium-sized organizations (outside of Edmonton and Calgary) when training is over 100km one way

Check the CAJG Applicant Guide for details.

(To view other nonprofit grants Click Here)

PolicyWise New Research

A secondary data analysis of emerging stigma from the study, What Albertans Know about FASD

Grant Primary Investigator: Dr. Peter Choate, Mount Royal University

Overview: This FASD data set has been reviewed for its utility in relation to a secondary data analysis focusing on the ways in which public attitudes, stigma, prevention, and intervention intersect. In assessing the general knowledge of FASD through this survey, the data that was available for review highlighted particular intersections for stigma, and potential new avenues for prevention initiatives involving family, community, and bystanders. An early review of the data suggests that there are several perceptions and beliefs that have not been capitalized upon for prevention strategies…

Primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of prenatal alcohol exposure and effects

Grant Primary Investigator: Dr. James Sanders, University of Lethbridge

Overview: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a lifelong condition caused by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) that results in a range of disabilities. Preventing FASD can be done by preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies or reducing the level of PAE during pregnancy. In addition, the lifelong effects of PAE can be mitigated through early intervention. T


The Conference Board of Canada – New Report Well-Being in The Workplace

Mental Health and Well-Being In The Workplace: What Works and Why It Makes Business Sense is a newly released report created by The Conference Board Inc. This 29-page report is informed by discussions, literature reviews, and round table events with academics, consultants, and companies known for their impressive well-being programs. It provides recommendations and resources for those looking to begin a well-being initiative at their organization or increase the momentum of a current program, and it includes examples of successful initiatives, the rationale behind their project initiation, and tips for moving the programs forward.
To order your copy of this report for $220, please call 1-866-242-0075, or email me at

Government Receives WCB Review Report July 6, 2017

An independent review panel has presented the province with recommendations to modernize Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and better serve Albertans. The WCB system provides no-fault benefits and supports a safe return to work for injured workers. The last comprehensive review of the WCB system was conducted more than 15 years ago. The 189-page report includes 60 recommendations to government.  The WCB review was launched in March 2016 as part of the Government of Alberta’s formal review of agencies, boards and commissions. It also included the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation and the Medical Panel Office.

Canada Social Report: September 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Canada Social Report:
A Compendium of Social Information

Originally inspired by the dismantling of the long-form Census in 2010, the Canada Social Report acts as a major hub for social information.  It is a resource for the entire social sector – to give all of us a strong voice and a powerful evidence base for informed policy conversations and the formulation of intelligent policy solutions.

See the September 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors, and the spring 2017 edition of the Municipal Monitor

Fostering Change: A Call For Personal Experiences In Care

Want to share your story and help Youth in Care Canada increase awareness about the experience of being in care? Youth in Care Canada is hosting Fostering Change: A Night In Support of Youth In Care at 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 20th at the Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa, Ontario, and they’d love for you to share your personal experiences and stories with their guests! They’ll be sending out ticket information closer to the date.

They’re looking to feature the stories of youths in/from care and the professionals who work in the Canadian child welfare system at their event through a featurette in the complementary race program given to all guests, and a video in our PowerPoint that will be shown on TVs across the entire Rideau Carleton Raceway complex throughout the night. This is a wonderful way to help people learn more about the experience of being in care and the benefits of supporting youths while in care and after they exit the care system!

They’re accepting both written submissions to include in the complementary race program and video submissions of your story to include as part of promotional emails and social media posts leading up to the event, and screen throughout the evening at Fostering Change.

Written Submission Guidelines:

  • Submissions from youth in and alumni from care should center around your personal experience as a youth in care and include a theme of growth and moving toward change for the future.
  • Submissions from professionals who work with youth in care should center around your personal experience working with youth in care and the importance of providing support.
    • Some prompts to tell your story:
  • Submissions should be no longer than 400 words
  • We’d also love if you included a picture, but if you’re not comfortable with that, we understand!

Video Submission Guidelines:

  • Submissions from youth in and alumni from care should center around your personal experience as a youth in care and include a theme of growth and moving toward change for the future
    Submissions from professionals who work with youth in care should center around your personal experience working with youth in care and the importance of providing support
  • Submissions should range from 2 to 5 minutes long
  • If you’re located in the Ottawa area, we can film your story for you! Contact to coordinate a filming date!

Some prompts to help you tell your story …

Youth in/alumni from care:

  • What has being in care meant to you?
  • What were the key things that got you through your care experience?
  • What would you like others to take away from your experience in care?


  • Why is supporting youth in care meaningful to you?
  • Why is the work you do to support youth in care important?
  • What would you like others to take away from your experience working with youth in care?

Please submit personal stories, videos, and pictures by August 1st, 2017. Submissions can be emailed to

Signs of Safety Suggest Reading New Book, Strengths-Based Child Protection: Firm, Fair, and Friendly

A new book, Strengths-Based Child Protection: Firm, Fair, and Friendly by Carolyn Oliver has recently been released which we are very happy to recommend. Forward by Andrew Turnell: Signs of Safety

To make any sense of strengths-based thinking and practice in child protection you have to address the fundamental questions:

  • How can the practitioner use their authority skilfully and still work collaboratively with parents?
  • How can the practitioner bring rigorous professional knowledge about harm and danger and at the same time approach parents and extended family as people who bring strengths, resources, and solutions?

The book tackles these issues head on and frames answers based in practice and in language that will resonate with child protection professionals everywhere. This book significantly extends our professional thinking about how to do child protection and how to research and build theory together with practitioners. Anyone who wants to do child protection practice more rigorously and more compassionately should read this book.

The author, Carolyn Oliver, is an adjunct professor in the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia as well as the Strategic Policy Advisor for Canada’s largest urban Aboriginal child protection agency.

The Alberta Government Investing in 17 Homeless Shelters Across the Province

Alberta Government News Release June 29, 2107
The funding will help ensure homeless shelters in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Red Deer continue to be safe, secure and healthy places for Albertans to stay when they have nowhere else to go. The majority of the money will be used for routine maintenance and security upgrades, such as security lighting, roof repair and flooring replacements…

Become a Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair

Spend a semester as a guest scholar at one of Alberta’s top-tier research universities through the Fulbright Canada-Palix Foundation Distinguished Visiting Research Chairs program. Designed to advance research and communication in the areas of brain science, toxic stress, and lifelong health outcomes for children and families, the partnership has been welcoming U.S. researchers to Alberta since 2015. Not only do Fulbright scholars contribute to a body of research that will benefit all of us, they gain personal insight and experiences that will last a lifetime. Scholars are invited to apply before August 1, 2017 for the 2018 – 2019 sessions.

CYDL Releases New Reports From the Longitudinal Study Experiences of Alberta Children and Youth Over Time, 2005-06 to 2010-11.

Four new reports have been released from the CYDL’s longitudinal study, Experiences of Alberta Children and Youth Over Time, 2005-06 to 2010-11. This longitudinal, cross-ministry study is an analysis of over two million Albertans and their use of government services over the span of six years.

Findings like those shown in the infographic above can be found in four new reports:

The longitudinal study is ground-breaking in it’s multi-year, cumulative approach to the service use of Albertan children and youth as studying experiences over several years of development adds a valuable level of richness.

All current deliverables from this project can be accessed here.

Alberta Government Providing $1.7 million for Maintenance Upgrades to Facilities Across the Province June 7, 2017

Alberta Government News Release June 7, 2017

The Alberta government is providing $1.7 million for maintenance upgrades to facilities across the province and to improve homelessness supports in Edmonton

Alberta Care Worker Safety Focused Inspection Program June 8 and September 30, 2017.

Dear Members,

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) announced a Care Worker Safety Focused Inspection Program which will take place between June 8 and September 30, 2017.

The program’s goal is to ensure workers and employers in the sector are aware of their rights and responsibilities to help create healthy and safe workplaces.  View the Care Worker Stakeholder Presentation 2017 ppt, that OHS presented to us which is quite informative and explains what they are going to be doing, the rationale and the how.

If you have any questions please contact Cathy Mitchell.

contractor with ALIGN at Thank you.

Province finds bed for teen with mental health issues after judge slams province Calgary Herald June 5, 2017

Just days after a youth court judge railed against the province for a dearth of secure facilities for at-risk teens, a bed has been found for an accused young offender.

A representative for the director of child welfare appeared in youth court Monday to apply for a five-day placement for the 14-year-old in a secure facility.

Judge Steve Lipton summoned members of the media to his courtroom last Thursday so he could express his frustration at the lack of beds for children with severe addiction and mental health issues…

Jailing of Indigenous sex-assault victim sparks review of Alberta’s justice system Globe and Mail June 6, 2017

She was jailed for five days to ensure she would testify against the man accused of kidnapping, stabbing and sexually assaulting her. She was driven to court in the same van as her assailant at least twice. Even when she asked to be released to her mother’s home, a judge said no. And she testified in leg shackles, which she wore for at least two full days in court….

Inspiration Award Deadline August 11, 2017

Inspiration Award
Up to three awards are given out to individuals and groups in each of the following prevention categories:family violence, sexual violence, child abuse and bullying
Nomination forms, with eligibility criteria, are available online or by calling 780-422-5916 (toll-free in Alberta by first dialing 310-0000).
Deadline August 11, 2017

Benefits Canada on Wellness Programs

Have your say: Is it time for employers to pull back from focusing on wellness? June 6, 2017

Sanofi survey finds drop in employee satisfaction with health benefits

2017 Sanofi Canada health-care survey

Younger workers more willing to make trade-off in benefits plans May 25, 2017

How to support Generation Z employees

017 Group Benefits Providers Report: Insurers playing a role amid rising emphasis on mental health

Fewer workplace cultures encouraging health and wellness: Sanofi survey

Employers take creative approach to wellness programs on ‘shoestring’ budgets

Employers should embrace generational differences in the workplace: survey

Employee expectations, employer offerings don’t match up: report

Imagine Canada -Special Senate Committee on Charities and Nonprofits Proposed

Imagine Canada – Special Senate Committee on charities and nonprofits proposed
As previously reported, Senator Terry Mercer has introduced a motion that, if approved, would see a Special Committee formed in the Senate with a mandate to carry out a wide-ranging study on the future of the charitable and nonprofit sector. On June 2, Senator Mercer kicked off the debate on this motion, outlining the kind of issues he hopes would be considered, including the future of philanthropy, the legal and regulatory framework, financial sustainability, labour force development, and volunteerism. The Committee would hold hearings over an 18-month period and present a report in late 2018.

In the coming days, Imagine Canada plans to write to all Senators encouraging them to support the motion. They encourage you to reach out to Senators in your region to express your support for this initiative.


Senate Motion Introduced to Review Impact of Charitable Sector on Canada – AFP May 27, 2017
Senator Terry Mercer, CFRE, has introduced a motion to appoint a Special Committee that would examine the impact of laws and policies governing charities, and to review the impact of the entire sector on Canada.

The Special Committee would be created specifically to “examine the impact of federal and provincial laws and policies governing charities, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups; and to examine the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada.”

Imagine Canada Survey – How Can the Canada Summer Jobs Program Be Improved for Nonprofits?

This brief survey serves to understand your organization’s experiences with the Canada Summer Jobs program. Please ensure that the best suited person at the organization (someone with experience in applying to the program—CFO, CEO, HR lead, or Program Director) answers the survey.

Minister Ganley Addresses Treatment of a Victim of Crime

Alberta Government News Release June 5, 2017

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, has issued the following statement in response to the way “Angela Cardinal” was treated:

“It is clear our justice system failed this Albertan. She was a young woman and the victim of a horrific crime. The way she was treated in the system is absolutely unacceptable.

“When I was made aware of this situation, I was shocked, angry and heartbroken. It is obvious we failed her at every level and her story is a crucial reminder that we must do better. In my opinion, there were obvious mistakes and poor decisions made in this case…

E-Mental Health in Practice: A Survey of Mental Health Professionals in Canada

The Mental Health Commission of Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Association of Social Workers, and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, is conducting a national survey related to the use of e-Mental Health by their respective membership. The survey is intended to be completed by licensed/registered professionals in the field of psychology, psychiatry, social work, counselling, or psychotherapy. Registration is required by law for the health provider to access a title or scope of practice. The last day for completing the survey will be Friday June 16, 2017.

New Commission to Guide Opioid Emergency Response

Alberta Government Release May 31, 2017 The province has established a dedicated emergency commission to help ramp up Alberta’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis.

The province has established a dedicated emergency commission to help ramp up Alberta’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis. The Minister’s Opioid Emergency Response Commission was created with a new regulation under the Public Health Act. The commission’s mandate is to implement urgent coordinated actions to address this public health crisis…

See Related News and Updates

CCVO – Bill 17 Modernizes Alberta’s Workplace Legislation, But Not Without Costs

Bill 17 Modernizes Alberta’s Workplace Legislation, But Not Without Costs  May 25, 2017 CCVO News
The Fair & Family Friendly Workplaces Act was introduced yesterday in the Alberta Legislature. The proposed bill puts forward significant changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code. The Employment Standards Code currently impacts the nonprofit sector more than the Labour Relations Code, and remains the focus of our work during the review of workplace legislation. Both nonprofit employers and employees will be significantly impacted by the changes. While changes to the Employment Standards Code will make strides in establishing a healthy workforce in Alberta’s nonprofit sector, the adjustments have financial and human resource costs as well as operational impacts for employers. Higher standards for overtime and job-protected leaves will put pressure on the way some nonprofits operate…

CRA Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities

CRA Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities March 31, 2017
A Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities was appointed by the Minister of National Revenue in September 2016. This report presents the Panel’s recommendations which are designed to clarify and broaden the ability of charity’s to engage in political activities for charitable purposes while remaining absolutely nonpartisan…

CCVO Register Now – Boland Survey of Nonprofit Sector Salaries and Human Resource PracticesGoes Live on June 1, 2017!

The Boland Survey of Nonprofit Sector Salaries and Human Resource Practices
From June to September, The Boland Survey collects data from any registered charities or nonprofit organizations that has employees in Canada. The survey results are available in October and provide:

Annual salaries and annual rates for employees in the nonprofit sector for a variety of positions
Salary trends and predictions
HR benefits and practices
CEO data

The Boland Survey has provided the Canadian nonprofit sector with compensation data for 20 years. Human resource professionals, executive directors/CEOs, and board members look to the regional reports for annual data on salary trends and predictions, benefits, and human resource practices needed to make informed compensation decisions. This is the only survey in Canada that includes annual and equivalent hourly rates for the nonprofit sector.

Be part of the 2017 Survey! When you participate, your nonprofit becomes part of a robust data set that benefits your organization as well as many others across the sector. It’s a win for employers, employees, and the sector as a whole when organizations can make meaningful comparisons and predictions on their salary and human resource practices.

Want to learn more?
Register for the FREE webinar on Thursday, June 15 at 11 am MDT (1 pm EDT) for a one-hour introduction to the Survey that highlights changes for 2017 and provides tips to ensure accurate data entry.

Government of Alberta Establishes a Family Information Liaison for missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Alberta Government  News Release May 19, 2017 Helping families of missing and murdered Indigenous women
Families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls now have an advocate to help them find information and resources related to their loved ones. As part of its commitment to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the Government of Alberta has established a Family Information Liaison Unit with approximately $1.5 million in funding from the federal government…

Bill 205 Passed and Establishes an Advocate for Persons with Disabilities in Alberta.

May 24, 2017 the Legislature unanimously passed Bill 205 Tabled by MLA Sandra Jansen, Bill 205 establishes an Advocate for Persons with Disabilities in Alberta. This bill achieves something that people with disabilities and their advocates have been calling for for some time, and its passage is a great step towards building a more inclusive society.

4th Edition of the Signs of Safety Briefing Paper Released May 2017

The Signs of Safety is a constantly evolving practitioner’s model and because of this, written material cannot usually keep up with the latest developments. The Signs of Safety Briefing Paper has been continually updated to provide the most up to date overview of the Signs of Safety as it continues to evolve. This fourth edition of the Signs of Safety Briefing Paper offers a comprehensive overview of the Signs of Safety approach and underpinning theory, as well as detailing the research and implementation science that supports it.

Signs of Safety IT System Breakthrough Day for the Signs of Safety Approach.

Signs of Safety IT System April 24, 2017 was a breakthrough day for the Signs of Safety approach.
On that day in Islington London, together with Servelec HSC, the first fully specified Signs of Safety information management system was launched.

The system’s forms embed all the of the Signs of Safety practice elements, from intake through to closure, and include all the assessment and planning methods. Comprehensive Signs of Safety practice guidance is also embedded throughout the system. Since the Servelec system is built in the English context, the system is also fully compliant with English legislative and statutory returns requirements…

With the launch of the Signs of Safety IT system, Signs of Safety consultants can now offer any child protection organization the forms, experience and IT partners that are needed to implement a Signs of Safety IT system for their agency. This will enable the agency to create the recording environment where workers are supported to practice using the Signs of Safety approach, and deliver an IT system that workers will want to use because it will help them carry out their direct work with families…

See More Signs of Safety News and Resources

Alberta Social Workers to Help Families of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Females

Alberta Social Workers to Help Families of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Females May 19, 2017 John Cotter The Canadian Press
EDMONTON – Alberta has established a team of four social workers to help families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The three women and one man are to assist relatives in getting information about their loved ones from police, courts, the government and fatality inquiries. Don Langford, executive director of the Metis Child and Family Services Society, said the social workers will be welcomed by indigenous people who believe their pain and concerns are being ignored.

Social Policy Trends: Income Support Caseloads in Alberta

This U of C School of Public Policy summary looks at the number of Albertans collecting income support from April 2005 to January 2017. f. The number of people in Alberta, collecting social assistance, increased sharply during the 2009 recession, but did not fall back to the pre-downturn level in the following years. Numbers are rising again. The recent 2015-2016 downturn has seen the number of claimants soar, reaching a high of 54,374 in January of 2017, with no clear sign of leveling of.  For social agencies, these numbers signal what will likely be increased demands for their services in the near future.

Deadly New Drug Carfentanil Lands First Responders in Hospital

Traycee Biancamano on Linkedin
CEO at U.S. First Responders Association
U.S. First Responders Association

Dear Medics, Police, and Firefighters. Please share this with your colleagues. If you find drugs on a patient, be extremely careful when handling them. A new drug is in town called “carfentanil” which is so potent that it landed two first responders in the hospital from inhaling dust while closing a ziplock bag a patient had. Expect people who OD to take 10x more Narcan to start breathing again


Global News –  What is carfentanil? Deadly street drug is causing mass overdoses in the US
The super powerful drug carfentanil was seized by the CBSA in Vancouver. It is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. Catherine Urquhart has more.


Alberta Gets a “C” on Social Performance

The Conference Board of Canada on Canada’s Social Performance
Canada is a “B” performer and places 10th overall on our society report card, but poor rankings relative to peer countries on income inequality and poverty highlight the scope for improvement. Ten indicators were used to evaluate the overall social performance of Canada and 15 peer countries. Canada is a middle-of-the-pack performer on most of the indicators—it gets two “A”s, five “B”s, and three “C”s…

Connecting Sexual Violence Survivors to Supports

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General (JSG) and its partners have developed a resource card that police services across the province can distribute to Albertans who report sexual violence…

First Nation Leader Joins Child Intervention Panel

Tyler White, CEO for Siksika Health Services, is joining the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention May 8, 2017
A past winner of the First Nations Health Manager’s Award of Excellence, White will help the panel identify ways to better support First Nations, Metis and Aboriginal families and communities, as well as strengthen the ways the government supports Indigenous children, youth and families..

View More Child Intervention Panel News and Updates

Alberta Human Services Workplace Health Survey

Welcome to the 2nd round of the human-service agency Workplace Health Survey of the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions (HWHP) project. The purpose of this survey is to gather information about the overall health (in terms of wellness and well-being) of the human services workplace in Alberta. The human services workplace comprises agencies from child and family services, child and youth counselling, home visitation, disabilities services, and women’s shelters.

The first round of the survey was conducted in October 2015. Results of this survey have been used to help the HWHP Project (, our partner agencies, and the Government of Alberta identify new resources and update current ones to help human services professionals keep their workplaces and their workers healthy, engaged, and productive. This information also helped human-service agencies develop their own wellness initiatives and make their workplace wellness culture stronger. This final survey aims to find out how agencies have made wellness a priority in their work, and how these efforts of agencies have turned into better well-being of their employees.

Please take about 15 minutes to evaluate the health of your current workplace. Your participation in this survey is vital in assessing workplace health and evaluating project impacts.

This survey meets the requirements for and has received approval from the University of Alberta Human Research Ethics Office. The survey is entirely anonymous.

Suncor Energy Shares Aboriginal Awareness Web-Based Training Module

Suncor Energy has made its Aboriginal Awareness web-based training modules available to the public, to help to raise awareness about the history and experiences of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Topics covered in the videos include Aboriginal identity, racism and misconceptions, the residential school legacy, and opportunities for Canadians. These short videos make a great discussion starter for any organization or group that is taking steps toward reconciliation.

CCVO Submission to Alberta Labour On the Workplace Legislation Review

Employers and employees in the nonprofit sector will be affected by any changes made to Alberta’s Workplace Legislation. This month, CCVO provided input for consideration(PDF) to shine light upon the experience of the nonprofit sector. Proposed changes to overtime standards and eligibility requirements for job-protected leaves are particular areas of challenge for nonprofits. CCVO strongly encourages Alberta Labour to afford organizations ample lead time to adjust to new standards, and establish a robust education and training program to support nonprofit organizations during the transition.

ALIGN/AFPA – Mental Wellness for Children and Youth in Care: Support for the Caregiver Conference Edmonton January 25, 2017

The main theme of the Mental Wellness for Children and Youth in Care: Support for the Caregiver symposium was the mental wellness of children and youth in care, the use of psychotropic medications and how caregivers can become more knowledgeable in supporting these youths. Caregiver encompassed agency and department foster parents, kinship parents, adoptive parents, residential and group care staff. The theme of the day presented by culturally informed medical experts, is the mental wellness of children/youth in care and the use of psychotropic medications considering issues such as the child’s emotional, medical and cultural needs. Youth themselves and representatives from the Office of the Children’s Advocate presented. The day ended with a panel discussion. Presenters: Dr. Wanda Polzin; Clinical Director at CASA in Edmonton, AB Dr. Lana Potts; Family Physician Siksika Family Clinic and Jeffery Cheng and Sheena Stevens; CYS Mental Health Nurses.

Welcome & Introductions Mental Wellness for Children and Youth in Care: Support for the Caregiver Edmonton January 25, 2017

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Randy Baker, Lee Bowers & Adreana Brochu OCYA Representatives & Youth

Panel Discussion

The Importance of Caring for the Care Giver Dr. Wanda Polzin, MA, RSW, EdD Clinical Director – CASA

Understanding Psychotropic Medications for Children in Care Jeffrey Cheng /Sheena Stevens Nurse Consultants – CASA

Who We Are First Nations People in Alberta Dr. Lana Potts Family Physician

Adolescent self-regulation FASD Study in Edmonton is Recruiting

UBC needs participants in Edmonton and Vancouver. The program runs over 12 weeks with a weekly one hour session on self-regulation. Participants must be diagnosed with FASD and be between ages of 11 – 17 and speak fluent English.

ALIGN Membership Meeting Red Deer June 2, 2017

ALIGN Membership Meeting Red Deer June 2, 2017. An agenda will be sent out closer to the date. Registration is now open through Brown Paper Tickets and we hope to see many member agencies in attendance!

150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health

Nominate a Canadian who is making a difference in mental health.

CAMH Difference Makers is a national movement to nominate and celebrate 150 Canadians making a difference in mental health.

You can join CAMH in celebrating the significant progress being made in Canada to improve diagnosis and treatment, and to break down the stigma around mental illness and addiction.

Nominate a person with lived experience, a caregiver or family member, a health professional, a researcher, an advocate, a philanthropist… or nominate a Canadian defying categorization but who is making a difference in small and big ways; in local or international circles; in public or private lives.

CUP New Course – Engaging High-Risk or At-Risk Youth

The Faculty of Extension is offering a new course.

Engaging High-Risk or At-Risk Youth

Many youths are labelled at-risk or high-risk by service providers, the school system, the criminal justice system, and society as a whole. Examine concepts of ‘at-risk/high-risk’ youth and its implications, the issues that create marginalization and stigmatization and the ways to minimize these; and how community agencies (e.g., government, non-profit) respectfully engage youth as an agent for change in, and a positive contributor to, the community through building a positive relationship with them. Understand the views, voices, and experiences of a select group of youths who will co-instruct this course with the principal instructor.

Class schedule: May 30 – June 22, 2017

Tue, Thu 5:00 PM – 06:30 PM

Human Service Worker Wellness and Safety Bulletin April 2017

ALIGN Association of Community Services knows our member agencies make employee safety and wellness a priority so here is a helpful  collection of research, tools and training that can support you in that effort.  At the bottom of this bulletin you will find direct links to the related ALIGN online directories where you can access additional resources.

2017 Compensation Guide for Foster and Kinship Caregivers

2017 Compensation Guide for Foster and Kinship Caregivers
Children’s Services has developed this financial information guide to provide caregivers and staff with an overview of financial responsibilities of Child and Family Services (CFS) or Delegated First Nations Agency (DFNA) and caregiver parents have when a child is placed in care. It explains the financial process to access funds for children in care.


Treaty 7 Caregiver Training Conference: Enhancing and Harnessing Cultural Competency

Treaty 7 Caregiver Training Conference: Enhancing and Harnessing Cultural Competency Calgary May 1 – 2, 2017
This year’s focus will be on “enhancing and harnessing cultural competency”. Through dialogue with Treaty Seven First Nation directors of children and family services, and in partnership with the Provincial Ministry of Human Services, they welcome you to participate in a journey of learning and integrating cultural applications in parenting First Nations children in care. Their sessions are compiled from leading Indigenous experts from bio-social, medical, traditional, spiritual, technological, psychological, academic and sociopolitical backgrounds. The participant will attain a diversified skill set to provide meaningful guardianship to First Nation children with 12 hours of available certification credits for our conference caregivers.

CCVO’s Provincial Budget Analysis

The 2017 provincial budget presented on March 16 was a ‘hold the line’ budget going into the third year of economic downturn. CCVO’s analysis of Budget 2017 first provides commentary on cross-cutting nonprofit issues, then highlights certain funding adjustments affecting subsectors.

Although the government held the line for Budget 2017, questions remain about the province’s fiscal sustainability going forward.

As part of their ongoing work, you can share your thoughts on Budget 2017 and our analysis by email to

ALIGN E.D. Correspondence – Alberta Community and Social Services Assistant Deputy Minister Announcement

(Correspondence To ALIGN Association April 12, 2017 from David Morhart  Deputy Minister Alberta Community and Social Services)

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of John Stinson as our new Assistant Deputy Minister for the Disability, Inclusion and Accessibility Division of Alberta Community and Social Services.  This role provides the strategic oversight of the department’s disabilities support programs, including the statutory director responsibilities, and will work closely with the Service Delivery Portfolio on the provision of supports to Albertans across the province.

John comes from Manitoba with an extensive background in the public service, including roles as Chief Executive Officer of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, CEO of the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, Vice-President of Acute Care and Planning with South Eastman Health, as well as roles within Manitoba Health and Treasury Board Secretariat.  John brings strong leadership skills in multi-stakeholder consensus building, strategic planning and community development.  He has led and championed cultural change within and across organizations and brings an effective interpersonal style, including a great sense of humour, that embraces collaborative engagement of staff, colleagues and stakeholders.

John will begin his new role on May 23.  In the interim, John Cabral will continue to cover in this role and will be key in transitioning the file on John S’s arrival.

Please join me in congratulating John S. in taking on this new role and in thanking John C. for his continued leadership before his transition back to Alberta Seniors and Housing.

David Morhart  Deputy Minister Alberta Community and Social Services

See More Related to Ministry Transition


OCYA Special Report: On-Line Survey

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is preparing a Special Report on LGBTQ2S+ young people. They want to hear from children and youth about their experiences with Child Intervention (Child Welfare) and/or youth justice systems.

The online survey is now open. If you are working with youth who identify as being LGBTQ2S+, please share this with them and ask them if they would be willing to complete the survey

As well, if you are a service provider/caregiver/community member working with LGBTQ2S+ children and youth, we want to hear from you about what is important and helpful in serving LGBTQ2s+ children and youth. Click here to complete the online survey

For more information call Mari at 1-800-661-3446 or visit www.ocya.alberta. Ca and click on the Pride flag.

Government strategy on youth homelessness must focus on mental health needs, report says – YorkU

Government strategy on youth homelessness must focus on mental health needs, report says – YorkU Nation Talk April 7, 2017

TORONTO, April 6, 2017 – Governments must focus on the mental health challenges faced by young people in Canada in order to effectively address youth homelessness, says a policy brief released today by researchers and community groups.

The report by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, based at York University, and A Way Home Canada, calls on federal, provincial and territorial governments to implement youth homelessness strategies that recognize marginalized and homeless youth are at higher risk of mental health challenges, poor quality of life, and suicide. The first national study on youth homelessness found that 85 per cent of young Canadians who are homeless are experiencing a mental health crisis, 42 per cent reported at least one suicide attempt, and 35 per cent reported at least one drug overdose requiring hospitalization….

Alberta NDP Vow To Fix Child Welfare System With Spring Legislation Opposition MLA Questions ‘Ludicrous’ Review Panel Process

Alberta NDP Vow To Fix Child Welfare System With Spring Legislation Opposition MLA Questions ‘Ludicrous’ Review Panel Process Edmonton Sun March 30, 2017
The NDP government is prepared to introduce legislation this spring to begin making fixes to the child welfare system, Children Services Minister Danielle Larivee said Thursday.But as Alberta’s child intervention panel met in Calgary for the first time, opposition MLAs on the committee are expressing frustration around the process…

Child Intervention Review Panel  Articles, News and Updates

NDP Vows Quick Action But Opposition Frustrated As Child Intervention Panel Meets In Calgary

NDP Vows Quick Action But Opposition Frustrated As Child Intervention Panel Meets In Calgary / Calgary Herald March 30, 2017
The NDP government is prepared to introduce legislation this spring to begin fixing the child welfare system, Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee said Thursday. But as Alberta’s ministerial child intervention panel met in Calgary for the first time, opposition MLAs on the committee are expressing frustration around the process.
The panel was created after revelations about the death of Serenity, who was in government care in 2014 when she died of a traumatic head injury suffered while living in a kinship care program with private guardians.

Child Intervention Review Panel  Articles, News and Updates

Ministerial Child Review Panel Meeting Summary Feb/March 2017


Child Intervention Review Panel  Articles, News and Updates

Federal Budget – March News, Updates and Reactions

Nation Talk
Federal budget’s new investment and cultural focus welcomed by Indigenous addictions and mental wellness advocate Nation Talk March 24, 2017
Chatham-Kent, ON (March 24, 2017) The national voice advocating for First Nations culturally-based addictions and mental health services is welcoming the new federal budget as a positive sign of Canada’s commitment to improve Indigenous health outcomes…

Toronto Metro
‘Nothing new’ for Indigenous child welfare in budget: Blackstock  David P. Ball Metro Mar 23 2017
First Nations child welfare is going under the microscope at an Edmonton event  Thursday, one day after the federal budget disappointed critics by offering “nothing new” towards an “unfathomable” epidemic of youth suicides and underfunded services, Canada’s leading advocate told Metro…

Mental Health Commission of Canada
Statement by Louise Bradley, President & CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada on Federal Budget 2017 March 22, 2017
On behalf of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Louise Bradley, President and CEO made the following statement:“The Mental Health Commission of Canada applauds the Government of Canada for its new investments to address the critical underfunding of Canada’s mental health system….

Canadian Mental Health Association
Budget 2017: ‘A Great Start March 23, 2017
CMHA congratulates the Federal Government for demonstrating a strong commitment to mental health in Canada in its 2017 Budget. The Government’s significant investment in mental heath is a great start toward correcting the historical, woeful underfunding of mental health in this country. However, there is some way to go before mental health care is funded on par with physical health care, and in proportion to the burden of illness…

2017 Federal Budget Analysis March 23, 2017
See analysis for Early Learning and Child Care, Parental Leave, Indigenous Children, Youth Skills Training, Violence Prevention and Maintenance Payments and the Family Justice System

The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW
Budget 2017:  Delivering the Promise of a More Equitable Canada 
OTTAWA, ON – March 22, 2017 – The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) has long advocated for accountable social investments that would deliver a coordinated national plan to reduce poverty in Canada, supporting our most vulnerable to live with dignity and respect.

With the gender-based, long-term, and coordinated investments such as those in child care, family leave, mental health, homecare, and affordable housing, Budget 2017 has built on its 2016 commitments to children and seniors, appearing to deliver social investments and the national leadership required to lead us towards a stronger and more equitable Canada…

Canada Charity Law
2017 Canadian Federal Budget – How will it affect the Canadian charitable sector? March 22, 2017 | By Mark Blumberg and Kate Robertson
Today, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced his second Federal Budget of the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau. While there was support for a number of individual charities announced, also support for important areas requiring assistance like affordable housing or universities, there was limited initiatives in terms of the charity and non-profit sector as a whole.

Children First
Children First Canada’s Response to Federal Budget 2017 March 22, 2017
The federal budget tabled today includes important measures to benefit at-risk communities in Canada, such as repairing 50,000 social housing units and the removal of 18 long-term boil water advisories in First Nations Communities, which will help ensure children have a safe home and clean accessible drinking water. Support for the National Housing Strategy and the increase to the number of high-quality child care spaces available across the country are also welcome additions to ensuring safe housing for all and proper child care protections…

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) Calgary
CAEH Statement on Budget 2017 “An important and welcome step in the right direction” March 22, 2017
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) welcomed housing and homelessness investments announced today in the 2017 federal budget, but highlighted the urgency and scale of Canada’s housing and homelessness crisis…

CBC News Budget targets $3.4B for ‘critical’ needs of Indigenous communities March 22, 2017 Children’s welfare funding
But while the budget pledges to “further its relationship with Indigenous people” there is no new money for the First Nations child and family services program.Last year’s budget set aside $634.8 million over five years for that, but the Liberals have come under fire for being too slow to get money out the door to help children and families in need. Last year, a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled Canada discriminates against First Nations children compared with what other children receive under provincial programs.

AB Government Grant – Funding Helps Improve Workplace Safety

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Innovation and Engagement Grants program will provide $667,000 for 33 projects during 2017. Projects include OHS-related seminars, conferences, developing education materials and providing training programs

ALIGN Executive Director Update Re: Alberta Budget 2017

March 19, 2017

Dear members:

Last week the government announced Budget 2017.  We have been capturing the relevant information for you and placing it on our website.  There will be more analysis this week but we thought we would share what we have learned to date.

This budget for Children’s Services and Community and Support Services basically is a maintain status quo budget for both ministries. Any increases that are mentioned are to meet current needs.  No increases or forecasted increases.

In Children’s Services most increases went to growth caseload areas; financial and support agreements and advancing futures bursary funds.  The 60 FTE’s announced are to be put into the system in these growth areas.  Exactly where is still to be determined.

Senior staff are optimistic that funds will come with future recommendations made by the Child Intervention Review Panel.

We have had conversations about procurement, contracts, and moving forward with the Minister and senior executives.  With the splitting of the ministries it has been a bit confusing about who will address the procurement table recommendations.  We have made it very clear that this activity needs to receive focus and cant wait for panels.  We are assured that discussions are underway to figure out a way forward for services in child intervention.

We also  feel it is very important that the Panel get an accurate picture of the entire system and recommendations for improvement. Please review the minutes and live casts. The meetings are open to the public.  I would encourage you to attend or at least listen to it.  If you feel an area needs to be highlighted please send in a submission.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call 780 485-3580

Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN Executive Director March 19, 2017

ALIGN Letter to The Honorable Joe Ceci Re RE: Contracted Sector for Children’s Services

On March 6, 2017 ALIGN Executive Director sent a letter to the Honorable Joe Ceci Minister of Finance & President of the Alberta Treasury Board regarding contracted sector.

Contracted Sector for Children’s Services Letter March 6, 2017

Excerpt 1
While FCSS funding has been substantially increased and that certainly helps, the funding for the agencies that provide services to the more vulnerable and those at risk of having their children enter care have not. These contracts have been stagnant for about 2 years or longer. We had been working with the Ministry of Human Services to find a way forward in the procurement activities to get to a better funding model and closer to true costs…

Excerpt 2
It is our request that you and the Ministers of Community and Social Services and Children’s Services consider a small injection of funds to at least bolster wages. There are many other areas like operating costs for example that need to be considered as well but at this moment the wages are paramount….

Budget Updates Danielle Larivee Minister Children’s Services March 16, 2017

Children’s Services Non-Voting Operational Expense Budget 2017

All children and families in Alberta deserve opportunities to thrive within strong, supportive communities. Our government created a new, standalone Children’s Services ministry so that we can focus on improving the supports we provide for young people and their families. Today I am thrilled to share details on commitments that our government is able to make to Children’s Services in Budget 2017.

All children and families in Alberta deserve opportunities to thrive within strong, supportive communities. Our government created a new, standalone Children’s Services ministry so that we can focus on improving the supports we provide for young people and their families. Today I am thrilled to share details on commitments that our government is able to make to Children’s Services in Budget 2017.

Budget 2017 is focused on strengthening the things that matter most to Albertans, such as creating and supporting jobs, making life more affordable for families and protecting public services.

As Alberta’s population continues to grow, the economic downturn puts additional pressure on the social services sector. Despite this, Budget 2017 makes an additional investment of $86 million in Children’s Services to:

  • provide stable funding to maintain the programs and services that support at‑risk children and youth;
  • focus on protecting children;
  • and support working in partnership with communities and Indigenous partners to build relationships and improve outcomes for all children.

This year, our ministry will invest almost $1.4 billion to keep children healthy and safe, support parents with child care and build stronger families and communities by maintaining the quality of programs and services.Children’s Services Non-Voting Operational Expense Budget 2017

Budget 2017 protects previous investments and accommodates caseload growth including an additional:

  • $32.5 million for child intervention for total funding of $763 million. This includes $5 million for about 60 new positions (FTEs);
  • $14.3 million for child care for total funding of $321 million. This includes supports for a growing number of child care programs to become accredited and to recruit and maintain qualified staff.
  • $10.6 million for early intervention services for children and youth for total funding of $103 million so that we can continue to invest in enhanced early childhood development and parenting resources in communities to help families support their child’s optimal health and development.
  • And an additional $27 million for total funding of $174 million for the Alberta Child Benefit, which provides direct financial assistance to all lower income families with income below $41,220 per year

While we have taken action and made significant investments in the future of our province, there is always more that can be done. I remain committed to working with all of you to address the root causes of many of the issues affecting the safety and well‑being of children, including poverty, addiction, mental health concerns, and family violence.

Some of you may be interested in progress towards implementation of the Early Learning and Child Care Centres that Premier announced in November. We are making progress towards identifying the successful applicants and I hope to be able to announce the Centres soon.

Others may be interested in progress on the work to support the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention. Our government formed the Panel to support families and children by improving the child death review process and strengthening Alberta’s child intervention system as a whole. Once the Panel’s work wraps up, the Panel’s recommendations will guide our ongoing work on this critical priority.

I look forward to sharing more on these initiatives soon.

Budget 2017 is about making lives better for Albertans. It’s about protecting the services that matter and focusing on the areas where we can make a difference today. With a steady approach we will make progress to support families and communities.

More details on Budget 2017 are available online and I look forward to continued discussions about this and other issues that you champion as I meet more of you in the future. In the meantime, if you would like to stay informed about the work in Children’s Services, I invite you to follow the department’s new twitter presence at @AB_Children or reach out to me directly via my office.

Sincerely, Danielle Larivee Minister Children’s Services

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