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.

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.   www.childinterventionpanel.ca

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call rhondabarracloug@alignab.ca 780 485-3580

Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN Executive Director March 19, 2017

CCVO Budget 2017 Holds the Line on Spending March 17, 2017

CCVO Budget 2017 Holds the Line on Spending March 17, 2017

Budget 2017-18 holds the line on spending as Alberta enters the third year of economic downturn. The budget maintains spending on front-line public services, which is consistent with what the government had signaled leading up to yesterday’s release. A projected $10.3 billion deficit should remain a concern to the sector, as potential future cuts to balance the budget could significantly impact nonprofit organizations.

“While the budget provides much needed financial stability for organizations struggling to meet increased community needs and coping with reductions in other funding sources, the longer-term consequences of relying so heavily on debt to finance government operations is concerning,” says Katherine van Kooy, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO)…

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

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….

OCYA Review and Government Response Involving Death Of An 18-Year-Old Man

March 14, 2017 Child and Youth Advocate releases investigative review involving death of an 18-year-old man
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed an Investigative Review regarding the death of a young man and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.

March 14, 2017 Children’s Services Minister Responds to OCYA Report
Minister of Children’s Services Danielle Larivee issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Review of 18-Year-Old Peter:

Young homicide victim’s voice not heard by child-welfare system, advocate says in report By Nola Keeler, CBC News March 14, 2017
A new report from Alberta’s child advocate into the life and death of an 18-year-old Indigenous man calls on the government to do a better job of transitioning troubled young people out of care. “The Ministry of Children’s Services should ensure that policies regarding transitioning youth out of care are fully understood and implemented,” Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff wrote in his investigative review into the case of a homicide victim he calls Peter…

See Related
Child Intervention Review Panel

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

Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) Current Literature and Research – February 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.

NEW

Current Literature and Research – February 2017

Working with Youth to Enhance their Natural Supports: Practice Framework

Working with Youth to Enhance their Natural Supports: Practice Framework
Burns Memorial Fund and United Way of Calgary and Area are pleased to release “Working with Vulnerable Youth to Enhance their Natural Supports: A Practice Framework”. Natural supports are relationships and associations that are ‘natural’ in the sense that they are informally and locally developed; and are based on reciprocity or give and take. Natural supports include family, friends, neighbours, coaches, team-mates, and others who comprise our social network…

Government of Alberta Introducing Legislation Supporting Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence

Alberta Government News Release March 7, 2017
Supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence
The Government of Alberta is introducing legislation today that would increase access to the legal system for survivors of sexual and domestic violence…

Bill 2: An Act to Remove Barriers for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence

Listen to the news conference

Recruitment: Family Support for Children with Disabilities Provincial Parent Advisory Committee

Recruitment: Family Support for Children with Disabilities Provincial Parent Advisory Committee Nation Talk March 6, 2017

Alberta Community and Social Services is looking for parents/guardians of children with disabilities and who are currently accessing the FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities) to sit on the Provincial Parent Advisory Committee (PPAC).  They are seeking representatives from across the provinces and those selected for the PPAC will also be given a seat on the Regional Parent Advisory Committee (R{AC) related to where they live…
Closing Date March 9, 2017

READ: A letter from Minister Irfan Sabir

Public Board Call

Premiers Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities and the Provincial Parent Advisory for FSCD looking for applicants to sit on public board

Public Board Call FSCD and PCSPD March 2017 regarding a renewed focus on disability services and the request for people to apply to sit on the Premiers Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities and the Provincial Parent Advisory for FSCD.  ALIGN Executive Director Rhonda Barraclough encourages those agencies  in  this area to have people from within your networks to apply.  The premiers council is trying to expand its reach and I think it would be  great way to ensure FSCD and families with persons who have disabilities in them get involved and can influence future directions of the services.  Also note the deadlines are very short.  So please let people know as soon as you can so they have time to apply.

Rhonda Barraclough
Executive Director


Contact Ms. Vicki Bertoia Director PCSPD Secretariat at 780 422-2726 or  Ms. Roxanne Gerbrandt,  Disability Support Branch FSCD PPAC at 780 408-8369

Alberta Government Throne Speech

Today’s speech from the throne takes significant new steps to make life better for Alberta families. Reducing school fees, building new schools, standing up in court for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, working with the federal government to create good oilfield service jobs, implementing a consumer bill of rights and expanding protections for victims of sexual and domestic assault are among key initiatives that will define Alberta’s next legislative session.

“Creating jobs, diversifying our economy, building pipelines and making life more affordable for families – that’s your government’s focus.”

Premier Rachel Notley
View Alberta Government News Release

A Government of Alberta Evening of Appreciation for Alberta Social Workers

    INVITATION

Making Lives Better through Service

A Government of Alberta Evening of Appreciation for Alberta Social Workers

Social workers deserve appreciation for the work they do every day to ensure Albertans are supported to live safe, happy, healthy lives in strong communities. That’s why we recognize Social Work Week every March. This year, to celebrate Social Work Week, and to thank Alberta’s social workers for their life-changing work, the Alberta Government is inviting social workers to a Social Work Week Reception.

Please join Community and Social Services Minister Irfan Sabir, Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee, as well as other government officials and caucus members, for an intimate evening to engage in conversation about the important roles social workers play in improving the lives of Albertans. Refreshments will be served.

Date: Tuesday March 7th

Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Location: Wales Room – 10th Floor, Federal Building, 9820 107 Street NW, Edmonton

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please visit the website at www.acsw.ab.ca and click on the social workers tab and select social work week for additional activities during this week.

Human Rights Tribunal – First Nation’s Child Welfare News and Updates Feb 28, 2017

The F.N. Caring Society i am a witness  timeline  chronicles the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal case on inequitable funding for First Nations child welfare, which the Tribunal ruled amounts to discrimination.   View the pre-Tribunal timeline for a history of First Nations child and family services funding leading up the case.

News

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…

Caring Society Written Submissions (factum) – Motions regarding Canada’s failure to comply with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s orders regarding immediate relief Feb 28, 2017

See More
Human Rights Tribunal – First Nation’s Child Welfare News and Updates

AB Child Review Panel News and Updates March 1, 2017

Family voices are needed in child death reviews: Ministerial Panel member By Gareth Hampshire CBC News March 1,2017
One of the members of the Ministerial Panel on Alberta’s child intervention system is pressing the government to include families more when examining the circumstances behind their children’s deaths in care. Patti LaBoucane-Benson delivered the message to a senior official in the Children’s Services department at the latest panel meeting Tuesday…

Alberta Government Child Intervention Panel.

Ministerial panel will explore ways to improve Alberta’s child intervention system.

Meeting Summary Minutes and Audio Recordings

Related
Child Intervention Review Panel  Articles, News and Updates

Neurosequential Model Consultation

If you or your colleagues attended the two day NM Introductory Core Concepts training and implementation sessions provided in your area, and/or if you are interested in consultation to support your practice, Child and Family Services is offering a unique opportunity for consultation of this trauma informed model.

The Neurosequential Model (NM) is a revolutionary evidence-based practice based on the understanding of neuroscience and brain development. This model, developed by Dr. Bruce Perry and his team at The ChildTrauma Academy, has deepened our understanding of how we work with traumatized children and adults. By better understanding the core concepts of the NM, and utilizing that as the framework in which we understand our children and youth, we have increased our capacity to work with our clients, seeing a decrease in restraints and critical incidents, and increase in relational engagement, self-regulation, and staff satisfaction. By helping these children build the capacity to self-regulate using this approach, the children and youth have shown better access to higher-order thinking (executive function skills) and have increased retention and learning potential both in the classroom and in their home environment.

Cost: No cost to agencies. This project is funded by Child and Family Services.

Consultation includes:
1. Monthly teleconference discussions for your agency regarding the implementation and practice of the NM.
2. One half day site visit to your agency
3. 3 to 5 Clinical Consultations on clients of your choosing (using the NMT Web Based Metric)

Space is limited

For more information, contact Dr. Emily Wang at ewang@hullservices.ca

Ministry Transition to Children’s Services and Community and Social Services Updates

Transition to Children’s Services and Community and Social Services Updates 2017

Transition Update from Deputy Ministers, Children’s Services and Community and Social Services February 24, 2017
Updates on Child Intervention, Disabilities, Inclusion and Accessibility,Strategic Planning, Policy and Quality Assurance, Corporate Services, Legal Services and Resources.

Transition to Children’s Services and Community and Social Services Updates Feb 17, 2017
See updates on   Child Intervention, Strategic Policy and Early Childhood Development, and Shared Services which includes Corporate Services, Strategic Knowledge and Technology, Legal Services and Human Resources.

Darlene Bouwsema Deputy Ministers of Children’s Services and Community and Social Services February 10, 2017
See updates on Communications, Ministry Logo,  Children’s Services, Community and Social Services and Shared Services.

Related
See Additional News, Updates and Articles

Board of Directors Announcement of ACDS CEO’s Retirement

Ann Nicol’s retirement as CEO of Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS), effective May 15, 2017. Since 2007, Ann has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization, and while we will miss her and her inspiring leadership, we wish her the best of luck in her retirement and her new ventures. We want to thank her for the 10 years of dedicated service which involved many significant accomplishments.

Please see CEO Retirement Announcement Letter Feb 2017 and Memo from ACDS CEO Jan 24 17

Thank you.

Helen Ficocelli, President ACDS Board of Directors Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS)

The application deadline for the new CEO will be March 24, 2017 or until a suitable candidate is found. . View posting here.

Culture of Secrecy Prompts Outburst at Child Intervention Panel

‘If they can’t give the answer, then why are we here?’: Culture of secrecy prompts outburst at child intervention panel
Emma Graney Edmonton Journal February 22, 2017
Opposition members of the government’s child intervention review panel worry a veil of secrecy and bureaucratic protectionism around child welfare will impede changes to the system. Time and again over the three panel meetings so far, social workers and managers have declined to give their opinions, lobbing the ball back into the court of panel members with, “That’s for you to decide…”

Related
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

Ministerial Child Review Panel Minutes (2nd meeting)

Ministerial Child Review Panel Minute 2nd mtg
The second meeting of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention was held Feb 9, 2017 at the Federal Building on traditional Treaty 6 territory. Elder Leonard Bastien provided the opening prayer, sang the Sacred White Buffalo song and acknowledged we were meeting on Blackfoot traditional territory. Elder Bastien spoke passionately of his work with children in care and families engaged with the system. Elder Bastien reminded the panel of the importance of their task on behalf of all children receiving services, particularly indigenous children; overrepresented as a result of the residential school system, cultural genocide and legislation.
The second agenda for the panel was focused on child death investigation and review mechanisms in Alberta. The public were encouraged to submit their views to CIPanel.submissions@gov.ab.ca or on-site through a written submission to the panel. Minister Larivee commented on the positive deliberations of the panel and the Chair acknowledged the commitment of the panel to work together, focused on the safety and well-being of children…

Related
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

Third-Quarter Sole-Source Service Contracts Online

Alberta Government News Release Feb 7, 2017Third-Quarter Sole-Source Service Contracts Online
The province’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 138 contracts with start dates on or before Dec. 31, 2016. Of this number, 113 support government business and 25 provide direct social supports through Human Services, now called Community and Social Services. The total value of these contracts is approximately $31.7 million. The online database will continue to be updated on a quarterly basis, to support procurement accountability across the Government of Alberta…

Alberta Government Under Fire for Response to Record 343 Fentanyl Deaths

Alberta Government Under Fire for Response to Record 343 Fentanyl Deaths y Min Dhariwal, CBC News Posted: Feb 07, 2017
Facing a grim and growing death toll from fentanyl overdoses — a total of 343 last year — the Alberta government announced its latest steps Tuesday to curb the crisis, though critics were quick to condemn the moves as weak and wanting. The government announced it will make opioid antidote kits available to all first-responders and to the general public, without prescriptions..

See Additional
Fentanyl/Opiate Naloxone AB Resources and News

Association Calls for Professional Regulations After Assault on Youth Centre Worker

Association Calls for Professional Regulations After Assault on Youth Centre Worker Clare Clancy February 7, 2017

A longtime worker in Alberta’s child welfare system says it’s common for caretakers to be left alone at night, putting both children and staff in residential facilities at risk.

“What often happens in programs is that you are well staffed during the day, or into the evenings, but at night they often are single-staffed,” said Catherine Hedlin, president of the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta.

She is advocating for legislation that would place child and youth care counsellors under the Health Professions Act to regulate the industry…

You May Be Interested in ALIGN Resource Directory for Alberta Emergency After/Hours Caregiver Support
After-Hours Crisis Support Services for Caregivers
Pharmaceutical Nurse Supports Available
Lone Worker Apps, Safety and Considerations
Natural Disasters – Supporting Client Trauma

Alberta Child Intervention Panel Holds 2nd Meeting Feb 9, 2017

Alberta child intervention panel holds 2nd meeting By Slav Kornik and Phil Heidenreich Global News Feb 9, 2017
A non-partisan panel tasked with finding ways to improve the province’s review process when a child dies in government care is holding its second meeting Thursday. The public is is invited attend the Ministerial panel on Child Intervention’s meeting at the Federal House in Edmonton Thursday morning…

Related
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

FAF Software Coming to Edmonton Early March to Provide Training to New Users

FAF Software will be coming to Edmonton in early March to provide training to new users of its research validated Family Assessment Form© and accompanying FAF Software.  They are looking to connect with and help other interested agencies while in town! If you are interested in participating in an info session while we are onsite in Edmonton, or if you are just curious to learn more, please contact us at kayaokuniewski@all4kids.org.

FAF Web tool  currently being used by the following agencies to facilitate the implementation of OBSD .
Hull Child and Family Services
McMan Youth Family and Community Services
Unlimited Potential Community Services
Grande Prairie Public School District
Mahmawi-atoskiwin

FAF Web integrates the research-validated Family Assessment Form © tool with improved case management functions.  With FAF Web, case workers can track information from intake through contacts, service planning, and case closure.  Its service planning feature is an efficient tool for incorporating strengths and concerns into goals developed by case workers and families.  FAF Web meets all needs by tracking and reporting on data related to family functioning, service plans, contact notes, closing summaries, caseload reports, demographic reports, and a host of other evaluation functions.  The newest version of the FAF Web, has all the features of the original FAF Pro software integrated into a platform that users can connect with any time, from anywhere.   The Family Assessment Form (FAF) is the ideal tool for assessment and case management in the family services field is a practitioner developed, user-friendly tool designed to help child welfare and family support workers assess family functioning, develop meaningful service plans, monitor progress, and to assist agencies in measuring program outcomes. The FAF tool tracks, among others, clear indicators of child safety, child well-being, permanence, and family and community support and is the ideal tool for assessment and case management in the family services field. It is a state-of-the-art case management platform designed to support best-practice service planning, program improvement, evaluation, and reporting specifically for family strengthening and home visitation programs.. The newest version of the Family Assessment Form Software, FAF Web, has all the features of the original FAF Pro software integrated into a platform that users can connect with any time, from anywhere. To upgrade to FAF Web or to set up a webinar and discuss purchasing options, please contact: Kaya Okuniewski, FAF Program Manager, at kayaokuniewski@all4kids.org

Health Canada Having Trouble Finding First Nations Kids To Help

Health Canada having trouble finding First Nations kids to help because of ‘broken’ system John Paul Tasker · Parliamentary Bureau · CBC News February 9, 2017
Department has spent only a quarter of $127M budgeted this fiscal year for Jordan’s Principle cases Senior bureaucrats tasked with providing health care to Canada’s First Nations children say they have had trouble spending new money aimed at closing care gaps because the system is partially “broken” and there is a lack of capacity on the ground in Indigenous communities.

To Fix Child Services Address Negative Narrative Around Indigenous People: Director

To Fix Child Services Address Negative Narrative Around Indigenous People: Director By: Kevin Maimann Metro Published on Tue Feb 07 2017
Bent Arrow is one of several groups contracted by the Alberta government to provide support workers for parents who are struggling to care for their children. Bent Arrow Executive Director Cheryl Whiskeyjack is speaking out about the need for change in Alberta’s child welfare system.

This is the second part of a three-part series examining Alberta’s child welfare system. Read Part 1 ‘Completely unfair’: Edmonton mother fighting to get her children out of government care The director of an organization working with families in the child welfare system says poverty and attitudes toward Indigenous people need to be addressed before the system can be fixed.

Related
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

ALIGN Journal From Theory to Practice Residential Care for Children and Youth Special Edition Vol. 3 March 2017

This particular Special Edition is a compilation of the work that was created and presented at the
From Theory to Practice: Residential Care for Children and Youth Symposium April 28-29, 2016.
The ALIGN Association of Community Services co-hosted this learning event with the Ministry of
Human Services. The session was an opportunity for staff of both the Ministry and agencies to
come together and learn about several organizational models of residential care and how important
it is to use evidence informed practice in our care of these children and youth no matter the
environment. We explored how crucial the Foundations of Caregiver Support are and the significance
of developing meaningful relationships with the children we care for in order to assist the
change process. There was information shared about the effects early trauma and chronic stress
has on brain development and how we as caregivers can help undo some of the early harm done
to children.

CONTENT

Editorial Foundations of Caregiver Support – Jon Reeves

Growing Simple Interactions Inside Everyday Practice – Junlei Li

What Does It Mean to be Trauma Informed? From the Perspective of the Neurosequential Model. – Emily Wang, PH. D., R. Psych.

Sanctuary 101: An Overview of the Sanctuary Model – Ibet Hernandez

The Teaching-Family Model; An Evidenced Based Model – Michele Boguslofski

The CARE Program Model: Theory to Quality Practice in Residential Child Care -Jack Holden and Charles V. Izzo

Death of Disabled Alberta Teen Raises More Questions About Kids in Care Feb 7, 2017

Death of Disabled Alberta Teen Raises More Questions About Kids in Care Feb 7, 2017 Alberta Child Advocate wants improvements after 19 year old died following move to group home
By Gareth Hampshire, CBC News Posted: Feb 07, 2017
The 2014 death of a severely disabled Alberta teenager from a group home has prompted the Child and Youth Advocate to again call for improvements to the province’s child-intervention system.

Related
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

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.

AB Opiod and Naloxone News and Updates

Alberta government under fire for response to record 343 fentanyl deaths Naloxone kits will be available to all police, firefighters and paramedics, and to members of the public Min Dhariwal · CBC News Feb 8, 2017

Province Expands Naloxone Program, Adds Treatment Spaces February 7, 2017
Alberta firefighters have greater access to lifesaving naloxone kits now that all first responders can administer naloxone by injection.

See Additional
Fentanyl/Opiate Naloxone AB Resources and News

Awards Open for Application February 2017

2017 P. H. Bryce Award for Children and Youth!
Award nominees must show how they have overcame challenges to stand up for the rights of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, .Deadline extended! Submissions are due at by 12 noon Eastern Time on February 15th, 2017.

City of Edmonton Halls of Fame & Awards of Distinction
Recognize and honour Edmonton’s most outstanding citizens who, through their contributions in arts and culture, community service, and sports, or through extraordinary service to their communities have made exemplary contributions to the quality of life in Edmonton. Deadline Feb 16, 2017

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health  2017 Champions of Mental Health Awards. The annual Champions awards brings together members of the CAMIMH network, political decision makers, business leaders, members of the national media, sponsors and other stakeholders to celebrate individuals and organizations whose outstanding contributions have advanced the mental health agenda in Canada.Nominations will be accepted until February 24, 2017

City of Edmonton Mayor’s Awards
Recognizes those who make significant contributions to Edmonton’s livability for all, and shines a spot light on innovations in accessibility. Four award categories – Employers, Ewen Nelson Award for Self-Advocacy, Outstanding Service, and Accessible Homes and Buildings – recognize individuals, organizations and businesses in Edmonton who use creative methods to ensure the dignity and inclusion of persons with disabilities. Applications Now Open

The Alberta Order of Excellence
Recognizing a remarkable Albertan who has made significant contributions that will stand the test of time. Nominations are accepted and considered year-round but must be received by February 15 to be considered for induction in the same calendar year.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers
Honouring the dedication and commitment of volunteers. Any person who is a Canadian citizen and who has made significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to their community in Canada or abroad is eligible.  Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

 

Ministerial Panel On Child Intervention Meeting 1 Summary

Ministerial Panel On Child Intervention Meeting 1 Summary
Wednesday February 1, 2017 – 9:00am to 4:00pm

The initial meeting of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention was held at Government House on traditional Treaty 6 territory. Elder Francis Whiskeyjack provided the opening prayer and focused on the panel’s work to support the improvement of the system and honor the stories and histories of those who have experience with child intervention. The initial agenda for the panel was largely focused on process and how the panel will work together to develop concrete actions focused on improving the health, safety and well-being of children, youth and their families and communities. Presentations were also provided regarding privacy legislation, an overview of the child intervention system and an introduction to the child death review process used by Children’s Services following death of a child who is receiving services…

See More
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

Panel Reviewing Deaths Of Children In Care Criticized For Lack Of First Nations Representative

Panel reviewing deaths of children in care criticized for lack of First Nations representative
‘The lack of that information being at the table will really water down the review’ By Kim Trynacity, CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2017 3:25 PM MT Last Updated: Feb 03, 2017

A panel asked to find ways to improve Alberta’s child-intervention system is being criticized for not including a First Nations representative.

Aside from MLAs from each political party, the panel includes three expert advisors with backgrounds in child welfare or aboriginal family issues. One member, Patti Laboucane-Benson, is director of research and evaluation for Native Counseling Services of Alberta, and identifies as Métis-Ukrainian.

Since April 2014, a total of 73 children have died while receiving government services. Forty-two of those children were Indigenous, according to information from Children’s Services…

See More
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

Privacy vs. Lived Experience: Child Intervention Panel’s Balancing Act

Privacy vs. lived experience: Child intervention panel’s balancing act Edmonton Journal Feb 1, 2017

Shauna Parks was a teenager in government care when she contributed to an overhaul of Alberta’s child welfare act 20 years ago.

Now with a master’s degree in social work, she traveled Wednesday to Edmonton from Calgary for the first meeting of the province’s child intervention panel…

See More
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

ALIGN Youth Care Bulletin January 2017

If you work with youth this bulletin is for you! Included you will find resources, training and news to assist you with your youth program or youth in care initiatives

Volunteer Canada Campaign Kit – National Volunteer Week April 23 – 27, 2017

The Campaign Kit is full of free, downloadable tools and resources designed to assist all organizations in planning their NVW campaigns. It contains:

Graphics/Templates:

New Volunteer Screening Program Improves Safety

New Volunteer Screening Program Improves Safety
Alberta non-profits now have access to new tools to help strengthen the safety and security of the most vulnerable Albertans.

In partnership with the Government of Alberta, they work with Alberta’s nonprofit sector to address volunteer screening and engagement and encourage a balance between participation, protection, and privacy. Volunteer screening helps foster safe communities and supports organizations to fulfill duty of care – for clients, volunteers, and community.

Developed with the input of non-profit voluntary sector stakeholders and police agencies, Alberta Culture and Tourism’s new Volunteer Screening Program will assist non-profit organizations with a range of resources to help reinforce existing volunteer screening practices or establish robust new ones.

Tools and training provided through the program will help organizations conduct a more thorough assessment of potential volunteers from the applications stage through interviews and reference checks to ongoing support, supervision and evaluation. In addition to identifying potential risks, effective screening also helps organizations better match the skills and experiences of volunteers with the right role in the organization.

The Volunteer Screening Program is a unique partnership funded by Alberta Culture and Tourism and administered and delivered by Volunteer Alberta. The program expands upon the existing Volunteer Police Information Check Program with a strong focus on education to support the development and enhancement of volunteer screening and management programs through online resources, learning modules, webinars and workshops.

Funding support for the cost of vulnerable sector police checks for eligible non-profit organizations will continue to be available through the program. A total of $44,000 has also been allocated to fund a limited number of Screening Development Grants. Eligible organizations can apply for a maximum of $2,000 to support efforts to build effective screening programs and practices.

Something Wrong’ with Alberta’s Child Welfare System for Indigenous Families

CBC News Jan 24, 2017
Merwan Saher comments on findings of report on Indigenous children in care
Children’s Services needs people with project management skills, auditor general says Merwan Saher comments on findings of report on Indigenous children in care

Related
Inclusion Alberta – Cabinet Shuffle: Initial Implications for Children & Adults with Developmental Disabilities Jan 20, 2017

Cabinet changes focus on protecting children, communities A new Ministry of Children’s Services has been given a mandate to fix longstanding child intervention problems Alberta Government News Release January 19, 2019

Members of province’s child intervention review panel unveiled Edmonton Journal January 18,2017

Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

 

Alberta Family Wellness Initiative Updates

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.

NEW
Current Literature and Research

You May Also Want To view

Additional Family Wellness Resources

Video from the Fourth Western Australian Signs of Safety Gathering October 2016

Video from the Fourth Western Australian Signs of Safety Gathering  October 2016
The Western Australian Department for Child Protection and Family Support hosted their fourth Signs of Safety Gathering. Featuring the theme “Reflect, Reboot, Renew” the event was attended by Departmental staff, representatives from other government and non-government agencies, and also international presenters:

Mike Caslor – Canada
Beth Farquharson – Canada
Jill Devlin and Lee Roberts – New Zealand

Additional

Signs of Safety

Inclusion Alberta – Cabinet Shuffle: Initial Implications for Children & Adults with Developmental Disabilities Jan 20, 2017

Inclusion Alberta – Cabinet Shuffle: Initial Implications for Children & Adults with Developmental Disabilities Jan 20, 2017

Cabinet Shuffle: Initial Implications for Children & Adults with Developmental Disabilities & Their Families
Yesterday, Premier Notley shuffled her cabinet and created a new Ministerial position responsible for Children’s Services. The new Minister is Danielle Larivee.

This new department will be responsible for child care, early learning and development, child intervention, foster care and adoption, and relationships with Indigenous communities. Inclusion Alberta has repeatedly raised with this and previous governments its concerns about the very large number of children with a wide range of disabilities that are in the child intervention and foster care system. In addition, parents with intellectual disabilities also come into frequent contact with the child intervention system. Both children with disabilities and parents with intellectual disabilities have not been receiving the supports and knowledgeable resources which are essential for their greater safety and well-being. Simply separating child intervention into its own department will not substantively address the needs or significant safety concerns of children with disabilities who come into contact with child intervention or address the supports parents with intellectual disabilities require to successfully raise a family. In fact, the separation may put both children with disabilities and parents with intellectual disabilities at greater risk unless Minister Larivee is prepared to ensure, within her new portfolio, the necessity for knowledgeable and appropriate disability related supports is taken into account… Read Full

Related
Cabinet changes focus on protecting children, communities A new Ministry of Children’s Services has been given a mandate to fix longstanding child intervention problems Alberta Government News Release January 19, 2019

Danielle Larivee to lead new child services ministry in Alberta cabinet shakeup Edmonton Journal 19, 2017

AEY Conf Oct 2017 Posters Submission Application

AEY 2017 poster submission form
Doing What’s Right: Through a Social Justice Lens
All of us do the work that we do because we want to make a difference. The elements of who we are create a lens through which we see and interact with the world. As professionals, it’s important to reflect on how this lens impacts our beliefs, our practice and even the tools we use in our work with children and families. The year 2017 is the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom and this year’s Alberta Early Years Conference will focus on how to effectively protect the rights of all children and families by examining, understanding and deconstructing our individual and collective lens. AEY 2017 poster submission form
Please complete as soon as possible but no later than February 24, 2017.

Danielle Larivee New Child Services Ministry in Alberta

Cabinet changes focus on protecting children, communities A new Ministry of Children’s Services has been given a mandate to fix longstanding child intervention problems Alberta Government News Release January 19, 2019
Danielle Larivee will serve as Minister of Children’s Services. She most recently served as Minister of Municipal Affairs. Shaye Anderson will serve as Minister of Municipal Affairs. He will also join Minister Larivee on the Municipal Governance Committee. Human Services will be renamed “Community and Social Services” and will continue to be led by Minister Irfan Sabir… Read Full

 

Related

Inclusion Alberta – Cabinet Shuffle: Initial Implications for Children & Adults with Developmental Disabilities Jan 20, 2017

Danielle Larivee to lead new child services ministry in Alberta cabinet shakeup Edmonton Journal 19, 2017

Child and Youth Advocate Launches Special Report on LGBTQ Youth

Child and Youth Advocate Launches Special Report on LGBTQ Youth Metro Edmonton January 19, 2017
Report responds to complaints of stigma and harassment in child welfare and youth justice systems.
Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate is building its first-ever report to protect “LGBTQ2S” youth in the child welfare and youth justice systems, after an outcry from young people about the stigma and harassment they endure.

The office is calling on youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning or two-spirited to share their experiences for the report, which will eventually make a series of recommendations to the government this fall….

Members of Province’s Child Intervention Review Panel Unveiled

Alberta Government News Release January 18, 2017 Government moves forward with panel to strengthen child intervention Members have been selected for a panel that will explore ways to improve Alberta’s child intervention system.

The 13-member panel includes representatives from all parties in the legislature and leading Alberta experts on child intervention and Indigenous issues:

  • Chair: Debbie Jabbour, MLA for Peace River
  • Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA for Lethbridge-East
  • Nicole Goehring, MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs
  • Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary-Shaw
  • Heather Sweet, MLA for Edmonton-Manning
  • Cameron Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane
  • Jason Nixon, Wildrose caucus, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
  • Ric McIver, Interim Leader, Progressive Conservative caucus, MLA for Calgary-Hays
  • Dr. David Swann, Leader, Alberta Liberal caucus, MLA for Calgary-Mountain View
  • Greg Clark, Leader, Alberta Party caucus,  MLA for Calgary-Elbow
  • Dr. Peter Choate, MSW, PhD, Mount Royal University
  • Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson, PhD, Native Counselling Services of Alberta
  • Dr. Bruce MacLaurin, MSW, PhD, University of Calgary

Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services and MLA for Calgary-McCall, will sit as an ex-officio member on the panel.

You May Also Want To View
Members of province’s child intervention review panel unveiled Edmonton Journal January 18,2017
Need to expand powers of Alberta’s child advocate suggested by auditor general CBC News January 17, 2017
ALIGN’s Letter to Premier December 20, 2016 re: Serenity/Marie Case Review

CBC News – Need to expand powers of Alberta’s child advocate suggested by auditor general

Need to expand powers of Alberta’s child advocate suggested by auditor general CBC News January 17, 2017
Alberta’s auditor general has put forward ideas that would give the province’s child and youth advocate more clout, and compel bureaucrats to explain how they follow or ignore recommendations from the advocate’s office.

“Reports from my office are automatically referred to a standing committee of the (legislative) assembly,” said Auditor General Merwan Saher. “That’s not the case with the child and youth advocate.”

Saher submitted his ideas to an all-party legislative committee reviewing the Child and Youth Advocate Act. He said he waded into the discussion after seeing the differences between how recommendations from his office are handled compared to what happens to recommendations made by the child and youth advocate…

You may also want to see ALIGN’s Letter to Premier December 20, 2016 re: Serenity/Marie Case Review

New Parents and Child Care Survey

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit is conducting a survey of parents and parents-to-be across Canada who are (or whose partner is) expecting a baby or on paid or unpaid maternity/parental leave.
We are surveying Canadian parents and parents-to-be (now expecting a baby or are on paid or unpaid maternity/parental leave) about child care arrangements. We expect this research will lead to better understanding about how parents arrange child care. The results of the survey will be publicly available later in 2017 on their website at www.childcarecanada.org.

They would very much appreciate help from both individuals and organizations in circulating the survey, either by passing it on yourself to appropriate individuals or groups, through social media, by putting a link to it on your website or in a newsletter, or through other means.

This survey should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Any information provided will be completely anonymous. It will be used only as group (aggregate) information and only for this project.

Please click here to connect to access the questionnaire, which is available in English and French.

This survey is being conducted by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) in collaboration with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

Transitioning From Care Guide – Revised Edition

Now Available! Revised Edition (Please Note: This a large file and may take a minute or two to display)
Transitioning From Care Revised Version 2016
Jeff Solberg in collaboration with AASCF and AFPA. Developed to improves outcomes for youth in care and their caregiver

Human Services Evaluation Resource Bulletin Dec. 2016

This bulletin is full of great evaluation resources and tools to help support your organization with your evaluation efforts be they client, program or organizational. ALIGN serves a broad range of service providers within the human service sector so I’ve tried to include resources relevant to the varied needs of our members. Don’t forget to check out the great articles and training opportunities in the side bar too!

Alberta Child Welfare Class Action NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT APPROVAL

The Alberta government settling a class-action lawsuit involving people who were formerly in the provincial child intervention system in January 2016.  Under the terms of the settlement, people who were previously under government guardianship, subject to a permanent ward ship order or permanent guardianship order by Alberta Child Welfare between July 1,1966 and February 19, 2008 or a temporary guardianship order by Alberta Child Welfare between July 1, 1985 and February 19, 2008  may be eligible for financial benefits.  Human Services had requested that your organization post the notice within your premises, on your website and to share with your membership.

Notice of Deadline to Make A Claim January 15 2017

Joint Letter

All Class Member claims under the Settlement Agreement must start with the making of an application to the Victims of Crime prior to January 15, 2017. Benefit amounts will be determined by Alberta’s Victims of Crime Regulation and depend on the type and severity of the injury, which can include physical and psychological harm.

For application forms and information on making a claim to the VOC, call: (780) 427-7217 or toll free at: 310-0000; or, email financialbenefits@gov.ab.ca; or visit www.victims.alberta.ca

Norm Welch Sr. Mngr Office of the Statutory Director Child & Family Services Division Alberta Human Services

Previously  Related Correspondence The Alberta Child Welfare Class Action NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT APPROVAL All persons who suffered injuries before or during a time when they were subject to a permanent warship order or permanent guardianship order by Alberta Child Welfare between July 1, 1966 and February 19, 2008, or a temporary guardianship order by Alberta Child Welfare between July 1, 1985 and February 19, 2008.

Indigenous Youth Share Stories of Displacement in Child Welfare System

Indigenous Youth Share Stories of Displacement in Child Welfare System Metro News November 2016
Documentary film sheds light on the similarities between the residential school system and child welfare placements A new documentary which screened this weekend in Calgary examines the practice of removing indigenous children from their families. (Dis)placed is not about the residential school system – it’s about the experiences of indigenous youth placed in the child welfare system…

Indigenous Healing and Trauma: Intergenerational Solutions Recordings Available

RESOLVERESOLVE 2016 Conference Presentations now available
PolicyWise for Children & Families supported The 2016 RESOLVE Research Conference, Indigenous Healing and Trauma: Intergenerational Solutions, by webcasting its keynote speakers and presentation on Promoting resilience among Aboriginal youth through healthy relationships’ programming. Keynotes were recorded and are available on the PolicyWise website.

Policywise – Supporting Every Student Series 25 Sessions Available

Tools f or schools support welcoming, caring, respectful, safe learning environments for ALL students

The Supporting Every Student Series is complete with professional learning opportunities for school staff and education leaders. The series was developed with an aim of providing the tools necessary to create and enhance welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments that improve student success and well-being.
The series provides access to information on research and evidence-based practices through recorded “TedTalk” style presentations and conversation guides.
There are 25 sessions within eight topics that can be accessed below.

Help Line for First Nations and Inuit children, youth and young adults launched

A new national help line has recently been launched to support Canada First Nations and Inuit communities. The Hope for Wellness Help Line will provide immediate, culturally competent telephone-based crisis intervention counselling to First Nations and Inuit young people and adults experiencing distress. Help Line calls will be answered by experienced crisis intervention counsellors, and service will be available in English and French. Callers may also ask about the availability of service in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.

Callers can access the Help Line 24/7 effective immediately.
The toll-free phone number for the line is 1-855-242-3310.

PDD by the Numbers Fall 2016

Alberta Human Services Demographics and Regional Numbers Fall 2016
There are seven Human Services regions across Alberta. Each region contracts a number of service providers that provide supports to Albertans with developmental disabilities through the PDD program. As well, in each region, there are a number of families who manage their own supports, rather than having a service provider manage their services. Below is a regional breakdown of the number of individuals receiving PDD services, the number of service providers, and the number of families who manage their own PDD supports, as of September 2016.

OCYA Reports and Minister of Human Services Responses

November 2016

Death of four-year-old Alberta girl prompts demand for changes to kinship care Keith Geren Edmonton Sun November 17, 2016
The traumatic death of a malnourished four-year-old girl has prompted Alberta’s child and youth advocate to demand the provincial government bolster safeguards for children removed from their parents and placed in the home of relatives.

Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Reviews titled 9-Month-Old Sharon and 4-Year-Old Marie November 15, 2016

Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Review titled 15-Year-Old Netasinim November 1, 2016

Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Review titled 17-Year-Old Onessa November 1, 2016

ALIGN Executive Directors Update October 2016

ALIGN Executive Directors Update October 2016
This document was presented to the Board of Directors at our last Board meeting. It is a comprehensive review of the work we are doing at ALIGN. The Board requested that I forward it to the members as a good Executive Director Update. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact myself, Nicole and Cathy at anytime. We want our members to be informed.

Rhonda Barraclough
Executive Director

Alberta Mentoring Partnership Youth in Care (YIC) Mentoring Project

Alberta Mentoring Partnership  Youth in Care (YIC) Mentoring Project Update October 2016
ALIGN sits at the Alberta Mentoring Partnership  leadership table and chairs the Youth in Care (YIC) Mentoring Project
The National Mentoring Conference: Mentoring is Catching On will be held in Nov 2016 and our project will be presenting there. We have also written an article that will be published in our next ALIGN Journal which will be of interest across Canada.

Allying With Indigenous Peoples: The Practice Of Omanitew

Update Fall 2016

ALIGN is planning training events in Edmonton and another 2 in Calgary & South over 2017. An independent evaluation of the trainings has just been completed and provides an excellent overview of the ongoing benefits they both provide with regards to individual, and organization practice and awareness. The report will be released once reviewed by the working committee.

Check Related Training Events for Current Availability

Executive Summary Report Allying With Indigenous Peoples: The Practice Of Omanitew AASCF/ACCFCR 2013
In early 2012, the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF) created an Advisory Group to discuss the training needs of human service workers who work with
Indigenous children and families. Based on recommendations from the Advisory Group, it was decided to pilot a four-day experiential learning opportunity, a modified version of the five-day
University of Calgary Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) course entitled “Social Work with Indigenous Peoples”. Twenty-two individuals from a variety of agencies across the province
participated in the experiential learning opportunity from October 30 – November 2, 2012…

Evaluation Report Allying With Indigenous Peoples: The Practice Of Omanitew AASCF/ACCFCR 2013
In October 2012, the AASCF sponsored 22 human service workers on a pilot test basis, with a
commitment to follow-up with them to determine what difference the experience had made. What, if anything, were they doing differently in their work with children and families as a result
of their four-day experience? What impact did it have? And what was it about the experience that was making a difference? My role would be to help explore the answers to these questions. When I first asked the question, “what difference did the training make”, it was possible of course that it had made no difference whatsoever. I was open to listening to their stories. What words did they use to describe the experience? Their words ranged from reaffirming, empowering, intense, profound, and transformational. Participants were clear that the experience had made a difference. Change happened at different levels and in different ways, but change happened…

Statement – Government of Canada Focused on Making a Difference for First Nations Children and Families

Statement – Government of Canada Focused on Making a Difference for First Nations Children and Families October 2016
OTTAWA, Oct. 27, 2016 /CNW/ – The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, along with the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, issued the following statement today: “Our priority continues to be first and foremost the wellbeing of children. Our government welcomes, accepts and is complying with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings and orders regarding Child and Family Services on reserve and Jordan’s Principle…

Legislative Assembly Province of Alberta October 28, 2016

Legislative Assembly Province of Alberta October 28, 2016

Mrs. Pitt to propose the following motion (Due Day 17):
That an Order of the Assembly do issue for a Return showing:
Copies of internal working documents or reports prepared by or on behalf of the Government from May 22, 2015, and March 7, 2016, pertaining to there view conducted by the Minister of Human Services to improve the management of the Public Trustee common fund as well as the reporting processes of the Public Trustee, as referenced in a Government news release issued February 10, 2016.

Moved by Mr. Dang (Time remaining: 24 minutes):
Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to take steps to increase awareness in Alberta’s schools of the effects of cyberbullying.

Mr. Gotfried to propose the following motion:
Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly establish a special committee to conduct a review of the current state of affordable housing in Alberta and in conducting its review the committee shall consult with key public, private, and non-profit stakeholders; study attainable home ownership, workforce housing, low-income rental accommodation, seniors’ housing, and homeless housing options; and, make recommendations for the creation and implementation of a comprehensive provincial affordable housing strategy.

Ms Luff to propose the following motion:Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to review section 85(1) of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, and section 25(2)(d)(iii) of Adoption Regulation AR 187/2004, with a view to removing the
prohibition on prospective adoptive parents that currently prevents them from advertising and publishing a profile.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

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.

Videos

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

Celebrating and Supporting Diversity Presented by David Rust

Drugs 101 Jennie McLester

View All Conference Video’s

History

Because of the good work done by the Psychotropic Medication Committee who developed the “Pathways to Better Mental Health” resource, the same individuals were asked to participate on the MHFA symposium/ training committee. The committee members representing foster parents ALIGN, Ministry of Human Services, agencies, CASA, and the AFPA met on June 20, and August 11 and Sept 15 to discuss the symposium development and other training that will be helpful to support caregivers in the mental health area. “Caregiver” encompasses agency and department foster parents, kinship parents, adoptive parents, residential and group care staff.
The main theme of the symposium will be the mental wellness of youth in care, the use of psychotropic medications and how caregivers can become more knowledgeable in supporting these youths. We plan to have medical expertise as well as culturally informed individuals presenting. Representatives from the OCYA have agreed to present and this will include hearing from youths who are or who have experienced treatment with psychotropic medications. The presentation will include what worked, what didn’t work and what could caregivers do differently to support the youth better.

Workforce Alliance: Cross Association Workforce Survey

Update October 2016
ALIGN was previously requested by the Workforce Alliance to complete a cross association workforce survey but it is unclear at this time if this will proceed as it seems to be less of a government priority following reorganization of the Ministry.

Fentanyl and W-18

New!

Alberta government under fire for response to record 343 fentanyl deaths Naloxone kits will be available to all police, firefighters and paramedics, and to members of the public Min Dhariwal · CBC News Feb 8, 2017

Province Expands Naloxone Program, Adds Treatment Spaces February 7, 2017
Alberta firefighters have greater access to lifesaving naloxone kits now that all first responders can administer naloxone by injection.

Additional Related

Opioids and Substance of Misuse Fourth Quarter Report (pdf)

Responding to Alberta’s Opioid Crisis Public Progress Report (pdf)

Opioid Poisoning Puts More Canadians In Hospital Each Year. Here’s What Ottawa Plans To Do Karen Howlett And Kelly Grant The Globe And Mail Last Updated: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016

Alberta Implementing New Tools to Address Overdoses/Deaths Related to Fentanyl and Opioids Fall 2016

29th Legislature, 2nd Session (2016) Bill 205: Pharmacy and Drug (Pharmaceutical Equipment Control) Amendment Act, 2016

Video – Mike Ellis Members’ Statements Legislative Assembly of Alberta 2nd Session of the 29th Legislature May 9th, 2016

Video – MLA Drever Speaks in Support of Bill 205 – Pharmacy and Drug Amendment Act

Mental Health Advisory committee. Team members continue to focus on Alberta’s fentanyl response, while also taking on the broader mandate of supporting the implementation of Valuing Mental Health: Report of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee

AMH – Video – Listen and Learn, May 2015 – Fentanyl Awareness This episode of the Listen and Learn series discusses fentanyl, its impact in Alberta, emergency interventions, and prevention/harm reduction strategies.

CAMH Course: CAMH Opioid Dependence Treatment Core Course (Alberta Version)
This course is the foundation of the Opioid Dependence Treatment Certificate Program. The course is designed to promote interprofessional collaboration among the health care team involved in opioid dependence treatment. In this online course physicians, nurses, pharmacists and counsellors/case managers learn skills and review guidelines for effective and safe management of clients receiving methadone or buprenorphine maintenance treatment for opioid dependence.

Child Intervention Practice Framework

Child Intervention Practice Framework Update Fall 2016
Agencies were asked to submit a PQR in 2016 and were required to answer if they would be providing “Trauma Informed” programming. Through the work of the document of Foundation of Caregiver Support it is the expectation of CFS that anyone providing services will be Trauma – Informed in their practice. This term used in conjunction of the understanding of the three pillars of the Foundation of Caregiver Support are expected to provide clarity to the sectors providing front line services.

Nicole McFadyen (ALIGN) has spent the last few months attending several different “Trauma Informed” training sessions. Some have been Provincial intiatives like the Neurosquential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) funded by the Alberta Children and Family Sevices and provided by Hull Child and Family Services. Others, have been Trauma Informed Training from Early Childhood Development Support Services (ECDSS) , as well as Alberta Health Services Trauma training webinar. All courses do provide information regarding the Core Story, Brain Development and Trauma. They do provide information on working with individuals who have experienced trauma and the neruodevelopmetnal approach to understanding these individuals. Some also look at how being a caregiver in the field provides exposure to vicarious trauma and Trauma Informed practice from an organizational level. Presently the Palix Foundation is working on their own Trauma training series. The Sheldon Kennedy Advocacy Care Centre is also developing an online Trauma Awareness Training. In collaborative conversation with Agencies, CFS, Palix Foundation and the Sheldon Kennedy Advocacy Care Centre and the Foundation of Caregiver Support Steering Committee (FOCS), there has been some agreement that the general term may be providing misunderstandings with regards to the overall definition and/or terms of references for the term “Trauma Informed ” practice. Presently we are meeting to work out a definition that will give everyone a better understanding of where individual sector practices sit on the spectrum.

The FOCS is doing a literature review to look at different Evidence – based models of therapy that are Trauma-Informed. The committee has also requested advisory from the Provincial Collaboration table for future recommendations and direction. Children and Families Services division has completed the development of 101 training to look at 4 main areas from this document. The Core Story of Brain Development, Grief and Loss and Trauma, Stress and the Developing Brain. This 101 training series is presently being piloted the AFPA Fall 2016 conference and the ALIGN 2017 January conference. They will be requesting feedback from participants in order to make changes to the curriculum as the pilot rolls out over the next several months. The developers are also in the beginning phases of providing a fifth module to look at Multigenerational trauma through an Indigenous lens. The 101 training series working group has invited ALIGN to join the group to provide review and input into the training curriculum and delivery. This group is meeting later this fall to work on implementations of participant feedback.

Alberta Human Services Enhancement Policy Manual (Manual) 2016 contains policies and procedures that direct casework staff when delivering services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA). The policies have been written in a second person active voice and directly address casework staff unless another role is specifically identified. The Manual is comprised of three distinct parts: Enhancement Policy Manual – Intervention, Enhancement Policy Manual – Placement Resources, and Enhancement Policy Manual – Adoption…

2015

Alberta Human Services Child Intervention Practice Framework (CIPF) Focus on Aboriginal community conversations, the policy and legislative review of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and the Child Intervention Practice Framework (CIPF)

2014

Revised Enhancement Policy Manual (Manual) November 2014
Contains policies and procedures that direct casework staff when delivering services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA). The policies have been written in a second person active voice and directly address casework staff unless another role is specifically identified.

Child Intervention Forum May 2014
Video’s From Child Intervention Research Forum – May 1, 2014

CIPF Stakeholder Engagement
CIPF Engagement Summary – Results of Stakeholder Engagement on the Child Intervention Practice Framework Principles, October 2013 – February 2014

Child Intervention Round Table

Health, Wellness and Safety in the Child and Family Services Sector

Health and Wellness Update

Healthy Workplaces Intervention Framework: We are beginning to see a framework that we can make available to non-profit human-services sector agencies in 2017.

Now Open for Registration – The Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions

Healthy Workplaces Conference 2017

Mark your calendars! The Healthy Workplaces Conference 2017 will occur on October 13, 2017 at the Lister Centre, University of Alberta. This province-wide conference will showcase the final results and provide tools for developing and implementing sustainable workplace wellness programs for non-profit human service agencies. Participation is open to all human services agencies in Alberta

As leaders and employees in the nonprofit human-services sector of Alberta, you are invited to participate in a province-wide educational and resource/networking conference marking the completion of the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions project that ALIGN has been participating on (See below).  Join us for an exciting day of project results, policy framework descriptions, workshop opportunities, and professional networking.

Topics:  Employee engagement and wellness

Keynote:  Dr. Graham Lowe, “Redesigning Work to Support a Vibrant Workforce — Lessons for Human Services.”

Date:  Friday, October 13, 2017

Cost:  $95 (Early bird before June 30), $125 Regular fee (All prices include the registration fee, coffee breaks and lunch.)

Conference Brochure

Conference Registration Web Page

Related

Welcome to the Be a Wellness Leader Workshop.
The following items have been developed by the Healthy Workplaces Project Team members and tested at conferences and in the Winter 2016 BWL Workshop Series. They are presented here for the use by non‐profit human‐service agencies in Alberta. There is no charge for their use and they are presented “as is.” The workshop is intended to be a half‐day or 2‐3 hour format and presenters can adjust the time to the situation. There is no cost for the materials.

Workplace Health and Wellness-The Next Step in Workplace Productivity
Presented at ALIGN Chapter Meeting, Norwood Centre, November 5, 2016

Learning From Employees The Healthy Workplaces Research Summary Report By Thomas Barker, Project Lead Hoa Tran, Research Coordinator July, 2016 (ALIGN Partnership)

 

Signs of Safety/Family Finding Updates

ALIGN Signs of Safety

Fall 2016 Nicole McFadyen (ALIGN) has been invited to sit on the Signs of Safety working group. Updates to come in this area.

Signs of Safety Is an innovative strengths-based, safety-organized approach to child protection casework. The model of its approach was created in Western Australia by Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards, who worked with over 150 front-line statutory practitioners and based it on what those practitioners know works well with difficult cases. The Signs of Safety approach has attracted international attention and is being used in jurisdictions in North America, Europe and Australasia

See More Signs of Safety

Pathways to Mental Health Making Every Step Count for Children in Care – AASCF and AFPA 2016

Pathways to Mental Health Making Every Step Count for Children in Care – AASCF and AFPA 2016
Pathways to Mental Health Making Every Step Count for Children in Care When someone we care for experiences mental health concerns we naturally want to ensure that he or she receives the best care available, as soon as possible. However, most parents have little experience navigating the ins-and-outs of the mental health system. Unfortunately, the steep learning curve can end up costing valuable time, delaying treatment and adding to the grief, pain, and suffering for both the child and the family around him. Using this guide can help you avoid delays

Child Welfare League of Canada Board Member Updates

Meeting PEI June 2016
We met with Cindy Blackstock for the First Nation Caring Society about how the CWLC can support the activities of the FNCS and their work with the truth and reconciliation recommendations and moving the agenda forward for indigenous children. CWLC wrote a letter of support and is trying to be strategic in its activities going forward.

Human Services Annual Report 2015-16

Human Services Annual Report 2015-16
The ministry’s annual report for the year ended March 31, 2016, was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act and the government’s accounting policies.
All of the government’s policy decisions as at June 3, 2016 with material economic or fiscal implications of which I am aware have been considered in the preparation of this report…

Honourable Irfan Sabir Minister of Human Services June 2016

 

National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS) Program Framework 2016

National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS) Program Framework
New knowledge in First Nations and Inuit youth suicide prevention demonstrates that suicide can be
prevented through coordinated initiatives carried out at various social levels 7. There is solid evidence
that suicide rates can be significantly reduced over the long term by using prevention programs. For
example, research indicates that the most effective interventions include large-scale (primary

Child and Youth Services (CYS) Contract Updates

Update – August 2016

First-quarter, sole-source government service contracts disclosed The Government of Alberta’s online database has been updated with service contracts awarded outside a formal competition process during the last fiscal quarter.

Procurement Advisory Table The Agency and Human Services Procurement Advisory Table (PAT) is intended to provide a platform for informal, focused dialogue between Human Services and a small group of leaders from the service provider sector about the ministry’s contracting and procurement practices. The PAT provides an opportunity to leverage the experience, ideas and influence of these sector leaders on the design and implementation of future-state contracting strategies or approaches. The development of these strategies will align with Human Services’ goal of integrated service delivery, and support service delivery partnerships that are efficient, effective and achieve the outcomes Albertans need and expect.

Terms of Reference

Membership List

Update CYS and the Service Delivery Regions – Where Things Are At June 2016
Edmonton and Calgary either have or will be raising the following issues with ALIGN

Child and Youth Services (CYS) Contract Templates: Summary of April 21, 2016 Discussion (ALIGN and Human Services) and Recommendations

Innovations in Outcome Based Service Deliver in Calgary, Alberta February 2015 by Susan Gardiner, Bruce MacLaurin and Jon Reeves

 

Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health Mobile Apps Directory 2016

Alberta Addiction and Mental Health Research Partnership Program and Alberta Health Services 2016 Addiction and Mental Health Mobile Application Directory
This document includes information about mobile applications (apps) related to addiction and m
ental health. It provides a directory of electronic resources for different mobile platforms which may be used as aids in mental health or addiction conditions. The information in this report was gathered and collated from various organizational websites and other information sources in the public domain. The information represents a brief cross -section of current apps
related to addiction and mental health available for the general mobile device user. Apps have been grouped into categories of disorders according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders 5 (DSM 5)1 .These categories are not mutually exclusive.

Government Responds to Child and Youth Advocate Special Report on Aboriginal Youth Suicide 2016

The Ministers of Human Services, Education, Indigenous Relations and the Associate Minister of Health issued the following statements in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Special Report on Aboriginal Youth Suicide… Read Full Release Here

Minister of Human Services Responds to Fatality Inquiry Report 2016

April 12, 2016 Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the report from the fatality inquiry into the death of a person receiving services funded by the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program: Read Full Statement

Minister of Human Services Responds to OCYA Report March 21, 2016

Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Review: Read Full Release Here

Alberta Health Services Study Shows Self-harm High Among First Nations Youth 2015

Study shows self-harm high among First Nations youth Over 16 per cent of youth treated in emergency rooms across the province for self-harm are First Nations. But as “alarming” as that figure is, Dr. Amanda Newton, University of Alberta researcher and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, says the number for Aboriginal youth is higher yet…