OHS Staff Safety Initiative Update

Correspondence to ALIGN from Marika Giesen | Executive Director, Service Delivery Improvement and Integration December 12, 2018

Rhonda and Andrea, thanks for the good discussion on Monday re: moving forward, with the help of a Health & Safety Association, on the social services staff safety initiative. As mentioned, we’ve pulled together some high-level notes below to support your discussions/communications with your respective membership.  I hope this is helpful. If you have questions/comments, let me know.Watch for an update early in the new year.

–          Over the past several months, ALIGN and ACDS have been meeting with government representatives from Labour, Community and Social Services (CSS) and Children’s Services to discuss shared concerns and collaborative strategies related to the safety of staff in the social services sector

–          As a result of these discussions, government will be providing funding to secure the services of a Health and Safety Association (HSA) to develop a variety of resources focused specifically on improving safety for staff in our sector

–          We want to be clear that this is not about establishing a sector HSA that members pay into; rather, to use the expertise of an HSA to develop sector-specific resources for our association(s) and its members

–          These resources will focus on three key areas:

o   Awareness: through provincial and agency-level activities, staff at different levels will be aware of their respective roles and responsibilities regarding safety in the workplace;

o   Tools: creating a variety of common tools and templates (e.g., hazard assessments) that take into account the unique environment our social services staff  work in; and,

o   Training: creating a variety of training resources and identifying training opportunities for all staff that will support their ability to identify and respond to safety issues in the workplace.

–          We have been clear that whatever comes from this work, it cannot introduce additional costs for agencies and it must be informed by and developed in consultation with our sector members

–          We will have more to share in the New Year when the HSA is selected and begins its work, and we hope you will be willing to work with us as we create these important resources

ALSO See

New OHS Website: Work site health and safety committees and representatives
Applying for a joint work site health and safety committee
HSC HS Rep Approval Self-Evaluation Tool pdf
ALIGN & Bill 30 Occupational Health and Safety Act

 

Foundations of Caregiver Support (FCS) Update

Update from ALIGN E.D. December 12, 2018

This project has taken a life of its own.  ALIGN has provided 3 train the trainer sessions over the last 6 months.  We have trained over 150 people to train the FCS modules.  To date there have been a total of 685 staff and 200 agency caregivers trained that we know of.  We believe that many of the contract foster care programs are working on training their caregivers over the next few months.  Thank you for the support and uptake in doing this work.  We ask that you report who has been trained in your agencies to us so that in June we can report on the total numbers.

We are moving forward with the assumption that the trainers are making plans within their own agencies to train staff. Our offer of assistance stands, especially if you need an indigenous trainer.  Please email or call Nicole nicolem@alignab.ca or 780.232.9199.

We have decided not to offer ALIGN session in January and February.  Our contract goes until June and the funding is tight.  We hope to run another session for whoever needs it later in the spring.  If you are struggling getting the training in, or need help please call Nicole ad we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to get it done.  If we need to ask for more funding we will but need to know the need by March.

See more on ALIGN and Foundations of Caregiver Support (FCS) 
ALIGN Presents Foundations of Caregiver Support 101 2018 – 2019 Dates/Locations

Update: ALIGN Meets with Minister Larivee at the Legislature Re: Sector Financial Issues

Update: December 12, 2018

Message from ALIGN E.D.

The Board of Directors and I met with the Minister of Children Services Danielle Larivee last week.  Our meeting was a result of the letter we sent to the Premier. In our discussion we reviewed who we are, how many people we represent and the current financial issues we are facing.   According to the Boland report we are back up to a 47% turnover rate, agencies are reporting difficulty in hiring and ALIGN has had an unprecedented number of jobs posted on our website.  Interestingly as I reviewed our history for the meeting we are in a 6 year wave again.  It seems that every 6 years we are in this predicament.

We were able to state that in each of those times we were able to develop some sort of business relationship committee which help everyone understand the issues and collaboratively work on them, we also have been able to work on flexibility in contracts and in some cases injections of short term funds as a stop gap. At this time, there is a promise of some funding to cover the paid days off vacation requirements in Bill 17, and there is some discussion of support for the costs of Bill 30.  The Minister also assures us she is trying to request increased funding in the 2019/20 budget, with a special emphasis on the group care sector.

We emphasized that the added expectations over the past few years, and in the next few years with the Stronger Safer Tomorrow recommendations in all service delivery areas there is a need to fund those as we cannot sustain the good practice with just minor adjustments.  We stressed that group care, contact foster care and kinship care must have attention soon.  We would like to see a clear procurement plan, and contracts that includes the costs of the new legislation, regular cost of living increases, and a realistic cost for operating.  Generally speaking group care was last procured in 2006 and contract foster care in 2008.

We continue to advocate on your behalf, if you are really struggling you need to make your challenges known to your contract managers.  If you are beginning to close programs can please let me know.  I have monthly meetings with the policy and program division of the Ministry and we want to make sure they are aware of the challenges within the sector.

Board members of ALIGN Association met with Minister Larivee at the Legislature on Dec 4, 2018. Not all of the board members were able to be in attendance but those that were had an opportunity along with ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough to  discuss fiscal challenges in the sector. We appreciated this opportunity for dialogue and look forward to ongoing input and discussions moving forward.

Jeff Hansen, Aaron Hachkowski, Margaret Martin, Soraya Saliba, Rhonda Barraclough, Hazel Bergen, Bruce Armson, Pauline Smale, Robecca Chahine  (Not able to attend: Cheryl Whiskeyjack, Beverly Keeshig-Soonias, Bruce Rafuse, Julie Mann- Johnson)

Bill 30 Update: Request for Clarity on the Requirements for Work Site Safety & Care Worker Focused Inspections

ALIGN E.D. Update December 12, 2018

Bill 30 and its requirements have been challenging for everyone.  We have asked for some clarity on the requirements for work site and safety committees and representatives. https://www.alberta.ca/work-site-health-safety-committees.aspx.  Specific to your concerns about employers with multiple work sites, the approvals process is outlined on the webpage (bottom) or I will post on our website.  If there are still questions please send them to me and I will get assistance for you.

Yesterday ALIGN and ACDS met with the Ministry of Labor regarding the current Care Worker Focused inspections.  We clearly outlined some of the concerns we have heard including the inconsistencies, threats of fines, questions about placements, etc.  We were able to have them stop/complete the inspection process.  Only those that are currently open will be followed up on and there will be no more in this round.   We are told that there is a group of inspectors that have been assigned to this sector.  In light of that, ACDS, ALIGN and the 2 ministries have offered to provide the inspectors some insight into the sector, how it works and who the clients are.  We hope to do that in January and then we expect to have a debrief session on this current round of inspections later in February.

New OHS Website: Work site health and safety committees and representatives
Applying for a joint work site health and safety committee
HSC HS Rep Approval Self-Evaluation Tool pdf 

See More ALIGN Correspondence Re: Bill 30

ALIGN Update Re: Government Relations & Alberta Council Recent Poling Stats

Update from ALIGN E.D. December 12, 2018

Government Relations

According to Alberta Council Recent poling states:

THE UNITED CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADS BY 15% AMONG COMMITTED VOTERS BUT 26% OF ALBERTANS SAY THEY ARE UNDECIDED.

 WHILE THE UCP HOLDS A COMMANDING LEAD IN MOST OF ALBERTA THEY ARE TRAILING THE NDP IN EDMONTON

Speculation is an election will be called for March

Our government relations committee (GRC) is meeting in January to compose some questions that are relevant that you and your staff might want to ask those that come knocking on your doors or that you go visit in the New Year.  We encourage you to take the key messages (on our website) and invite candidates to your agencies to meet with you.  If not, go talk to them about the sector, your strengths and challenges wherever you can.  There will be many forums, or they will host office meeting or town halls.  Alternatively just ask for a meeting. They need to understand how the sector works, and how we provide excellent services.

The GRC will continue to offer suggestions and questions as they work through some of the communications research we have.  I have reached out and hope to meet with Jason Nixon and Leela Aheer from the UCP party and Stephen Mandel and Greg Clark from the Alberta Party.   We have also been offered the ability to submit a position statement to the UCP on the sector.  I am working on that now.

Here are the candidates as of today.  You can get contact information by googling them or checking the Election Alberta website.  We strongly encourage you to reach out to those in your home riding and your office riding.  We need to inform the politician about the sector.

Constituency NDP UCP ABP Liberal Other
31/87 68/87 47/87 5/87
Airdrie-Cochrane Peter Guthrie
Airdrie-East Angela Pitt
Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock Glenn van Dijken
Banff-Kananaskis Cam Westhead Miranda Rosin Brenda Stanton
Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul Dave Hanson Glenn Anderson
Brooks-Medicine Hat Michaela Glasgo Jim Black
Calgary-Acadia Brian Pincott Tyler Shandro Lana Bentley
Calgary-Beddington Randy Kerr Karen McPherson
Calgary-Bow Demetrios Nicolaides
Calgary-Buffalo Joe Ceci Tom Olsen Omar Masood
Calgary-Cross Mickey Amery
Calgary-Currie Brian Malkinson Nicholas Milliken Lindsay Luhnau
Calgary-East Peter Singh Gar Gar
Calgary-Edgemont Prasad Panda Joanne Gui
Calgary-Elbow Janet Eremenko Doug Schweitzer Greg Clark
Calgary-Falconridge Deepak Sharma
Calgary-Fish Creek Richard Gotfried
Calgary-Foothills Jason Luan Jennifer Wyness
Calgary-Glenmore Whitney Issik Scott Appleby Allie Tulick (Green)
Calgary-Hays Ric McIver
Calgary-Klein Craig Coolahan Jeremy Nixon Kara Levis
Calgary-Lougheed Jason Kenney Rachel Timmermans
Calgary-McCall Irfan Sabir Jasraj Singh Hallan
Calgary-Mountain View Kathleen Ganley Angela Kokott David Khan Thana Boonlert (Green)
Calgary-North
Calgary-North East Rajan Sawhney Nate Pike Gul Khan
Calgary-North West Sonya Savage Andrew Bradley
Calgary-Peigan Tanya Fir
Calgary-Shaw Rebecca Schulz Bronson Ha
Calgary-South East Eva Kiryakos Rick Fraser
Calgary-Varsity Anne McGrath Jason Copping Beth Barberree Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes (Green)
Calgary-West Mike Ellis
Camrose Jackie Lovely
Cardston-Siksika Jospeh Schow
Central Peace-Notley Marg McCuaig-Boyd Todd Loewen
Chestermere-Strathmore Leela Aheer Derek Fildebrandt (FCP)
Cypress-Medicine Hat Drew Barnes
Drayton Valley-Devon Kieren Quirke Mark Smith
Drumheller-Stettler Nathan Horner Mark Nikota
Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview Deron Bilous David Egan Jeff Walters
Edmonton-Castle Downs Ed Ammar Moe Rahall
Edmonton-City Centre David Shepherd Lily Le Bob Philip
Edmonton-Decore Karen Principe Ali Haymour
Edmonton-Ellerslie Rod Loyola
Edmonton-Glenora Sarah Hoffman Marjorie Newman Glen Tickner
Edmonton-Gold Bar Marlin Schmidt David Dorward Diana Ly
Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood Janis Irwin Tish Prouse
Edmonton-Manning Heather Sweet
Edmonton-McClung Lorne Dach Laurie Mozenson Stephen Mandel
Edmonton-Meadows Amrit Matharu
Edmonton-Millwoods Christina Gray Anju Sharma Abdi Bakal
Edmonton-North West David Eggen Ali Eltayeb
Edmonton-Riverview Lori Sigurdson Kara Barker Katherine O’Neill
Edmonton-Rutherford Richard Feehan Hannah Presakarchuk Aisha Rauf
Edmonton-South Tunde Obasan Pramod Kumar
Edmonton-South West Mo Elsalhy
Edmonton-Strathcona Rachel Notley
Edmonton-West Henday Jon Carson Nicole Williams Winston Leung
Edmonton-Whitemud Elizabeth Hughes Jonathan Dai
Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche Laila Goodridge
Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tany Yao
Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville Jackie Armstrong Marvin Olsen
Grande Prairie Tracy Allard
Grande Prairie-Wapiti Travis Toews
Highwood RJ Sigurdson
Innisfail-Sylvan Lake
Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland Oneil Carlier Don McCargar
Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr Myles Chykerda
Leduc-Beaumont Shaye Anderson Brad Rutherford
Lesser Slave Lake Danielle Larivee Pat Rehn Judy Kim-Meneen
Lethbridge-East Maria Fitzpatrick
Lethbridge-West Shannon Phillips
Livingstone-Macleod Tim Meech Dylin Hauser
Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin Richard Wilson
Morinville-St. Albert Dale Nally
Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills Nathan Cooper
Peace River Daniel Williams
Red Deer-North Adriana LaGrange Paul Hardy
Red Deer-South Barb Miller Ryan McDougal
Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre Jason Nixon
Sherwood Park Sue Timanson
Spruce Grove-Stony Plain
St. Albert Jeff Wedman
Strathcona-Sherwood Park Nate Glubish Dave Quest
Taber-Warner Grant Hunter
Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright
West Yellowhead Martin Long Kristie Gomuwka

ALIGN Political Toolkit Election 2019  and ALIGN Key Message Election 2019 IGN ED Update Dec 2018 (FCS, Bill 30, Government Relations, PDD Review, Conference..) For Election News and Alberta 2018 Budget Responses Click Here

 

FSCD Members: PDD Review Panel Update & Call for Submissions Dec 10, 2018

Please take a minute and review  Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) Submission to Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Program Review Panel December 3, 2018. This submission is an excellent and thorough overview of key points for consideration. ALIGN Association encourage any FSCD members to also send in a submission if you are able to do so.

Rhonda Barraclough, ALIGN E.D. will be contacting Andrea Hesse the CEO from ACDS  to consider jointly meeting with the advocate to discuss the services to people with disabilities  and service providers.

More information is available at  Advocate’s for Persons with Disabilities (http://www.Alberta.ca/apd)

Letter to ALIGN Association from Alberta’s Advocate’s for Persons with Disabilities Tony Flores November 19, 2018

This PDD Program Review Discussion Guide Fall 2018 is being used to assist in developing input to the panel.

ALIGN & Sector Alberta Human Services Updates Dec 7, 2018

This newsletter for Alberta Human Service Agencies is packed with news and resources on Indigenous initiative, Alberta Government news and updates, Surveys, Reports, Training and more!

Alberta Mental Health Services Protection Act Updates Nov 2018

Mental Health Services Protection Act Technical Briefing November 2018

QA Mental Health Services Protection November 2018

Fact Sheet Mental Health Services Protection November 2018

Bill 30: Mental Health Services Protection Act has been introduced to put standards in place to ensure residential treatment facilities are licensed and health service providers are appropriately trained and regulated.

Creating new regulations and standards for service providers and treatment facilities supports one of the key actions recommended in Valuing Mental Health: Next Steps and was informed by input received during public engagement activities held last summer.

Protecting Albertans through mental health support (Nov. 27, 2018)

See ALIGN All Updates & ALIGN Communications Re: Bill 30

Message from Deputy Minister Bouwsema Re Basic Maintenance Allowance Increase May 19, 2018

Message to ALIGN Association  from Deputy Minister Bouwsema Office of the Deputy Minister Children’s Services Re Basic Maintenance Allowance May 19, 2018

The basic maintenance per diem compensation rate has increase by 2 percent retro-active to April 1, 2018. See chart of basic maintenance change for each age. View Table: Changes to Alberta Basic Maintenance May 15, 2018

Order your Boland Survey Report to Make Informed Decisions Salary and HR Practices.

The Boland Survey is the only comprehensive source of nonprofit sector compensation data and includes salary tables (annual and hourly) categorized by organizational size, and analysis on HR practices. Organizations that completed the 2018 survey are eligible to purchase the comprehensive report. If your organization did not participate, you may still be eligible to purchase the report or a custom cut analysis. For information on purchasing either the report or custom cut, please email info@bolandsurvey.com.

Letter from ALIGN Association to The Honorable Rachel Notley Re: Bill 17 and Bill 30

The Honorable Rachel Notley,

We want to commend you on leading your party, as government, for a full term and look forward to another term of the NDP next spring. We appreciate your efforts in implementing a number of initiatives for the human services sector and the vulnerable Albertans we serve. As you are aware, ALIGN represents a number of agencies that contract with Children Services to provide a range of services from community support to campus based residential treatment care and everywhere in between. ALIGN also represents Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) agencies.

Over the last year, implementation of Bill 17 and Bill 30 have had some unforeseen and unintended consequences for workers in this sector. While the intention is admirable, the added costs of providing service with respect to the changes required in each piece of legislation are unintentionally prohibitive. ..Read Full Letter

Excerpt: Bill 17 – The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act
We have been working along with Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) and Alberta Home Visitation Network Association (AHVNA) and the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Children’s Services and Labour to explore regulatory options to changes in overtime requirements in Bill 17. During that time, numerous options were explored and some moments of frustration occurred as well as conflicting information and false starts. We have advocated for the flexibility required to manage the issue. Through meeting with the three Deputy Ministers we have arrived at a confirmation that the existing Caregiver Exemption should be interpreted broadly and applied to most direct service roles across Child Intervention, Home Visitation, PDD and FSCD. As a result of our negotiations and the legislative requirements, and nature of staffing for 24/7 operations, there has been significant added costs for statutory pay and overtime. Many agencies have had to stop offering… Read Full Letter

Excerpt Bill 30 – An Act to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Working Albertans
We continue to discuss the impact and concerns related to changes to OHS requirements in Bill 30 with Ministry officials at Community and Social Services, Children Services and Alberta Labour including the human resource, administrative and financial impacts. Those issues include OHS expectations related to violence, right to refuse work, supervisory expectations and Health and Safety Committees. Although we support the intent and spirit of the legislation it has created some unexpected financial hardships. We have shared our concerns with ministry officials regarding these requirements and the challenges regarding recruitment, retention and training needs as well as the potential for an employer to have numerous smaller “worksites”. Alberta Labour has confirmed that..Read Full Letter

See More Related ALIGN Correspondence & Initiatives
Bill 17 – Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act 
Bill 30 Occupational Health and Safety Act

ALIGN Directory – Election 2019 Alberta Nonprofit/Charities and Election News, Tool Kits & Resources Re Political Activity

CCVO Report Released State of the Alberta Nonprofit Sector 2018

The report explores the state of the nonprofit sector, looks to the year ahead, and shares priorities of nonprofits for the upcoming provincial election – and some suggestions for collective action.

HIGHLIGHTS– a sample of what we heard from nonprofits across Alberta:

1. There is a cautious optimism among sector leaders – despite the lingering impacts of the economic downturn on funding availability.

2. There is uncertainty about the impact of the next provincial election around potential changing priorities and available funding.

3. There are three main issues that the sector would like to see addressed by political parties in the upcoming provincial election:

  • Clearer communications between the government and the sector.
  • Recognition of the contributions that the nonprofit sector makes both socially and economically.
  • More sustainable, predictable, and flexible funding.

Visit CCVO Site for Details and Report CCVO State of the Alberta Nonprofit Sector 2018

ALIGN Directory – Election 2019 Alberta Nonprofit/Charities and Election News, Tool Kits & Resources Re Political Activity

Important Announcement from Children’s Services Regarding Potential Mail Disruption

Important Announcement from Holley Belland  Manager | Children’s Services Regarding Potential Mail Disruption October 19, 2018

While you may have been notified through other channels, we wanted to update you informally on our contingency plans for addressing the possible service disruption affecting mail delivery.

On Wednesday October 17, 2018 , the National Executive Board issued what is known as a “72-hour strike notice” to Canada Post for both the RSMC and Urban units. The National Executive Board has decided that the strike will begin on Monday morning, October 22, 2018, at 00:01 should they not have reached negotiated settlements.

The National Executive Board has opted for rotating strikes. Their locations and intensity will depend on Canada Post’s actions at the bargaining table in the days to come. When the targeted locations of the rotating strikes becomes available, they will disseminate the information immediately.

All payments currently made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT or Direct Deposit) will continue as usual. This applies to the majority of Foster and Kinship caregivers.

To ensure the delivery of cheques for clients and vendors are not negatively impacted in the event of a service disruption, cheques for Children’s Services programs have been held back from Canada Post as of September 20, 2018 and will continue until a resolution of the strike occurs.

Cheques are being returned to the region’s Accounting Officer or Edmonton and Calgary regional head office for further distribution to originating worksite offices. Worksites will be provided tracking forms and instructions for distribution to vendors and clients. This means that it is the responsibility of each site to ensure that when cheques are returned to them arrangements are made for caregivers to receive those cheques.  We hope this information will assist in any inquiries you might receive. It might be valuable to consider posting this information on your respective websites.

Please note that the above does NOT apply for Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC) and Alberta Child Benefit (ACB) cheques as these programs are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.  The Government of Canada has contingency plans in the event of a labour action for federally administered programs. Payments for the AFETC and the ACB are expected to be delivered within a few days of regular delivery.

Service Alberta will provide public information via Alberta.ca and will manage other public notifications related to this issue as required.

We will continue to share information as it becomes available.

We hope that this uncertainty will soon end and we will return to normal handling of payments. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank-you,

Holley Belland

Manager | Children’s Services

Policy, Practice and Program Development

10th fl Sterling Place
9940 – 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2N2

Desk: 780-644-3484 | Cell:  780-686-2844

holley.belland@gov.ab.ca

Public Action A Stronger, Safer Tomorrow Addresses the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention’s Recommendations

Correspondence from CA Minister Danielle Larivee to ALIGN ED June 28, 2018

Today, our government released a public action plan that will help protect children and support families. You can read our news release online.

 A Stronger, Safer Tomorrow highlights 39 actions – including 16 this fiscal year – the Alberta government is taking to improve services for Indigenous families, increase supports for children, youth and caregivers, and address the funding gap on reserve.

This public action plan was developed with Indigenous leaders and communities, as well as front-line partners who work directly with vulnerable or at-risk children and youth. I would like to thank all who participated for their passion and dedication to improving the safety and well-being of children, youth and families in this province.

Our government is taking immediate action. By March 31, 2019, we will have implemented 16 actions to address urgent needs and lay the foundation for important changes to follow. These include new funding for youth suicide prevention programs and Indigenous-led early intervention and prevention services. We will also fully implement Jordan’s Principle and pilot a new assessment tool for kinship caregivers.

Short-term actions, to be completed by 2020, target specific services and supports to improve the wellbeing of Indigenous communities and peoples. Long-term actions involve work with Indigenous partners to develop local solutions and more responsive, integrated services by 2022. This supports our work to hold the federal government accountable, which will be essential to creating significant, lasting change.

This public action plan addresses all the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention’s final recommendations, and is a decisive step forward for Alberta.

It is our roadmap to a province where all children and youth are supported to reach their full potential, where all Indigenous families can access the supports they need in ways that are reflective and respectful of their culture, and where all Indigenous peoples can access the same levels of support, on- or off-reserve.

Our government will continue to work together with Indigenous leaders and communities, as well as other partners, to implement this public action plan. More information will be shared with you soon through your regular communications channels and updates will be posted at ChildrensServices.alberta.ca.

I am committed to reconciliation and to working with Indigenous partners and child intervention stakeholders to make meaningful, lasting changes to the child intervention system. I look forward to working with you to help create a stronger, safer tomorrow for children, youth and families across Alberta.

Sincerely, Danielle Larivee

See More ALIGN Communications/Initiative Regarding Child Review Panel

Jon Reeves Presentation on Family Service Caseload Trends 2015-16 to 2017-18

Child and Family Service (CFS) Regions Caseload Trends 1015-16 to 2017-18 presentation by Jon Reeves, Executive Director – Child Intervention – Southern Alberta  May 2018 at the ALIGN Membership Meeting.

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 Rhondab@alignab.ca or call 780 233.5459

See Previous Related Correspondence

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 cathym@alignab.ca 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

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

 

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.

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.
RhondaB@alignab.ca  

See Previous Correspondence Related to Bill 17

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.

Sincerely,

Rhonda Barraclough Executive Director  RhondaB@alignab.ca   780.233.5459 9 cell

See More Communications from ALIGN regarding Bill 17

ALIGN E.D. re: Bill 17 February 12, 2018 Correspondence with Premier

February 12, 2018 Correspondence Letter From ALIGN E.D. re: Bill 17

Dear members,

By now you are aware that we have been advocating in support of the impacts of Bill 17. I want to give just a quick update.
We have been working in 2 areas:

1. Financially- we have been advocating that there needs to be increases in contracts for, at the very least, the holiday/vacation pay increases that agencies have to incur as a result of the new legislation. We have shown both Ministries (CS & CSS) a sampling of the costs from those of you that sent them in. We have also shown the costs of overtime as they stood in December. Many of you have probably rearranged your staffing models and worked with your staff to manage the costs associated in this area. We have made it very clear that in those areas where overtime is not avoidable the costs are extremely high.

2. Variance or regulation changes to Bill 17 – In order to make changes we have to show that there is a business driver for change and then be able to make a case for that change along with some solutions about how to make it. The government made it clear that any variance/regulation would need to be sought out by the Association on behalf of the agencies or by agencies themselves. They preferred that we do it collectively. As a result ALIGN and ACDS are working together to achieve one or the other.

We have made a business case that we need a variance/regulation change that covers the crisis nature of the work and the 24/7 operations (group homes, crisis nursery, family support workers, specialized 1:1 workers as examples). We have made a suggestion that a regulation or variance similar to the section 9 caregiver regulation that health currently has would be helpful. In principle there is agreement. We are awaiting a draft.

We are also seeking a definition of scheduled work – as we have explained why having a schedule is not how many service delivery sites providing service to families/ individuals when and where they need it. You can then develop your work site agreements based on this.

The other area we still need direction on is the live-in 24-hour shifts. We are asking about them and if they can be accommodated in this regulation/variance.

Currently the Caregivers Regulation for overtime is hours over 12 in a day and 264 in a month. We are currently looking at overtime pay on hours over 12 in a day and between 184 and 200 (still to be determined) in a one month period, labor will not allow us to go to 264. Most group homes currently work on a 12 week schedule. Knowing the maximum hours your residential/group care staff work in a month would be helpful. Concurrently we need to know know
which agencies have a Union and in their collective agreement what are the hours where overtime is paid.

What comes next is figuring out how we get general consensus from the staff. We need to have majority support. Which means that you as executive directors will need to talk to your staff once we have something for you to view and think about, then quickly talk with them, and somehow ( yet to be determined) we need to have assurance that staff are in agreement.

As we work with the Ministry of Labor and Ministries of Children Services and Community & Support Services, we have also written to the Minister of Finance and the Premier outlining the concerns with the legislation and the need for funding to cover these costs
.

Also view  ALIGN Letter to Premier Re Bill 17 February 6, 2018
This is ongoing work. I will update you as we make progress and when we need you to take some action.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me RhondaB@alignab.ca or call 780 233 5459.

Rhonda Barraclough

See More Re: ALIGN and Bill 17

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

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

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

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.
rhondab@alignab.ca

INFORMATION PERTAINING TO BILL 17 DECEMBER 20, 2017

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.

Rae-Ann

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….

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

RhondaB@alignab.ca

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 RhondaB@alignab.ca with that information by the end of this week – November 24, 2017

See Related Info

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

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.

Related

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

Terms of Reference

Membership List

Previous PAT Updates

See ALIGN Directory of Contracting News

 

 

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

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)

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 cathym@alignab.ca. Thank you.

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.

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)…

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….

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

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…

New Funding To Assist Calgary With Addressing Child Abuse 2016

New Funding To Assist Calgary With Addressing Child Abuse
Calgary child abuse prevention gets government support (Nation Talk Oct 7, 2016) The province is extending funding for a community organization that focuses on preventing child abuse through parenting and early-childhood development. As part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Government of Alberta is reinforcing its commitment to work with community partners to support children and families. Human Services is extending $166,000 in grant funding through the Family and Community Safety Program to Further Education Society in Calgary. Its project, “New Beginnings: A Parenting After Violence Community Initiative,” is designed to strengthen the work of shelters and other community agencies helping children and families in Calgary. So far, the program has supported 231 parents and 247 children…

Procurement Advisory Table Updates

Update May 4, 2018

Membership Meeting Presentation
Child and Family Service (CFS) Regions Caseload Trends 1015-16 to 2017-18 presentation by Jon Reeves, Executive Director – Child Intervention – Southern Alberta  May 2018 pdf

See Updates on
Bill 17 – Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act
Bill 30 Occupational Health and Safety Act
Workforce New
Contracting New

Update November 20, 2017

Updates on Bill 17 and request for ALIGN member agencies to submit banked OT hours and average salary November 2017.
Note: Related submission due by November 24, 2017

ALIGN Members – 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

RhondaB@alignab.ca

Update August 2017

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.

Related

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

Terms of Reference

Membership List

Previous PAT Updates

See ALIGN Directory of Contracting News

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

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

 

Sole-Source Service Contracts Database Updated 2016

Sole-Source Service Contracts Database Updated The Government of Alberta’s online database now includes service contracts awarded outside a formal competition process during the last fiscal quarter. 973 of these contracts provide direct social supports through Human Services. The database will continue to be updated quarterly.

CCVO Human Services Procurement Q & A

CCVO Human Services Procurement Q & A January 2016
As part of CCVO’s ongoing role as a convener and collaborator, we are constantly taking the pulse of the sector. Over the past few months we have encountered some perceptions, and concerns, from service providers around procurement initiatives underway and planned in Human Services.

These concerns have arisen for a variety of reasons, and are also linked to the very natural uncertainty that comes from working with a new government. In an effort to ensure people’s concerns are based on facts, rather than misunderstanding or speculation, CCVO reached out to the Ministry of Human Services with some direct questions around the goals, impetus and process of the procurement initiative.

Below are the verbatim responses to the questions CCVO posed to the Ministry.

Communiqué to Contracted Service Providers Human Services intends to implement four new PQRs for the 2016/17

Communiqué to Contracted Service Providers Human Services intends to implement four new PQRs for the 2016/17

Human Services intends to implement four new PQRs for the 2016/17 fiscal year for the following service categories:

• services to individuals with disabilities
• child and family services
• transportation services
• psychological and other specialized assessments, consultation and direct clinical services.

Service providers who meet minimum requirements as defined in each PQR will be eligible for future contracting work under the scope of the respective PQR. Once established, these PQRs will provide a foundation for divisional and regional procurement activities, which may include competitive Requests for Proposals (RFPs), limited competitions based on specific service requirements, and, where required, sole-source arrangements.

Alberta Human Services Measuring Outcomes in PDD Performance Management Framework 2015

Performance Management Framework
Measuring Outcomes in PDD Performance Management Framework PDD is adopting a new Performance Management Framework (PMF). The PMF identifies four outcome pillars: well-being, independence, community connectedness, and quality services. These pillars are in alignment with both the Outcome Measurement Framework for the Ministry of Human Services and Alberta’s Social Policy Framework. Each outcome pillar has two or more outcome domains. Each domain has one or more performance measures. The performance measures in the PMF are intended to form part of the service provider’s regular evaluation and continuous improvement processes as identified in the Creating Excellence Together (CET) standards. In addition, monitoring of individual outcomes will occur through the Individual Support Planning process.

The Extent of the “Main Associations Contracted” Sector Prepared by Boles Consulting May 2015

A significant component of the nongovernment social service sector, including non-profit and for-profit agencies, enters into contract and grant funded agreements with the Ministry of Human Services to deliver services to vulnerable individuals and families. Most of the agencies hold membership(s) in one or more of 4 associations which commit to supporting their efforts and promoting the delivery of quality services. The group of agencies is identified here as the “Main Associations Contracted” sector and referred to as the “MA Sector” or “Sector”. The 4 associations, their members, and the Ministry of Human Services have a collective interest in describing the Sector…