53rd Annual General Meeting – Executive Director’s Report
September 21, 2015
Posted in: Uncategorized
This is the philosophy that we have committed to as the cornerstone of all our work and decision making. This has been embedded within our new strategic plan and is articulated as the first and primary strategic imperative.
It is critical that this philosophy is fully embraced by Community Living Parry Sound so that we can realize our Mission: To promote and facilitate the full participation, inclusion and citizenship of people who have a developmental disability.
I am very excited about our commitment to a Community First approach to delivering supports and services but what does this truly mean? For me it simply means the end of all segregated services which congregate people based on their disability, leading to a life of limitations and isolation. It means focusing instead on people’s abilities and developing a person directed approach to delivering individualized supports which connect people to community and foster natural relationships. Finally, it means the continuation of a human rights struggle that people have been fighting so hard for over 60 years to achieve…..the right to belong and be included.
So how will we accomplish this? The people who participated in our strategic planning sessions gave us some direction:
– Increase awareness, collaboration and teamwork with our community organizations and agencies.
– Ensure that services provided by Community Living Parry Sound are described clearly and succinctly and can be easily communicated to others.
– Identify community-developed services and assist people to access them rather than developing specialized services.
– Continue to promote activities that include the people we support and that facilitates the development of relationships, making friends and reducing isolation and loneliness.
– Continue to advance the existing momentum within Leading Into New Careers (LINC) Employment Services.
– Assist the people we support to speak up and advocate for themselves, both individually and collectively.
Employment continues to be the gold standard for social inclusion as it involves one person at a time obtaining socially valued roles, helping to build rich social networks, providing a sense of accomplishment and self-worth while increasing personal finances.
LINC has experienced their most successful year to date and as a result we needed to add one more full time worker to our summer staff. The Hospitality & Tourism Course, which is a joint venture with Canadore College, assisted in preparing people for employment and building their resume. The Employer Appreciation event was a great success, resulting in four new employers coming forward and wanting to hire people through LINC.
This summer we have worked on redesigning the LINC website and improving the accessibility of the site. We have submitted a funding request to develop a social media strategy to further facilitate employer and youth engagement.
CLPS continued to work with our community partners through such projects as the Parry Sound Community Gardens and My Home My Choice. The increased use of social media and videos
help create a greater awareness of the work we do. We were thrilled to be named this year’s recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Business Involvement award, which is evidence that the community work that we do is recognized and appreciated. The Marketing Strategy Ad Hoc Committee was instrumental in creating an effective communications strategy which was used
throughout all of our many community activities and events. Thank you so much to Lynda Marshall, Lisa Cook and Tricia Bain for all their work on this.
Our second strategic direction is Family Engagement, which is an area that we are working to develop more fully. This year’s Service Satisfaction Survey provided good feedback from
families and we worked with Julie Malette of Helen Sanderson & Associates (HSA) Canada with representatives from our stakeholders to sort through the feedback and develop an action plan based on the feedback we received. As a result, a Communications Sub-committee with all stakeholders participating has been formed. Also as a result of the survey feedback we have once again reorganized our staffing with Lori McPhaden assuming the management role for Senior Services and Kim Gauthier assuming the management role for Children and Youth Services.
With the relocation of the Children’s Autism (IBI) services to the HANDS The Family Help Network building, we have been busy renovating 8 McNaughton Street to create a Family Resource Centre. This will be a gathering place for families so that they can meet, learn together and support each other. Two computers have been donated which will have internet access for the use of families. We will also be reintroducing an enhanced sensory and respite service.
This year has been very busy and highly successful as anyone who follows our social media accounts will be aware of; however, one of the highlights of the year for me was the family and
friends BBQ this summer at Addie Street. It was wonderful to see people socializing and enjoying their new home with family and friends. The staff and people who live at Addie prepared an amazing meal and the home was festively decorated. It was a perfect evening in their beautifully renovated home. This night was possible as a result of four years of hard work, commitment and dedication to creating a safer home that met fire code and accessibility requirements. Thank you to the Board, staff and Ministry for making this possible and most of to the building committee Debbie Jones, Chair, Howard Wesley, past chair, Bill Attwell, Sharon Shewen, Jill Reevie, Brad Horne, Ashli Phippen, Jane Leadbeater and Sandra Walters Ladan.
We have seen a significant amount of positive changes leading to increased quality of services. This will continue as we transform into more of a fee-for-service business. To assist with this
transformation, our administration has undergone a reorganization introducing a new schedule to- payroll human resources software and the addition of a centralized Scheduling & Human Resources Coordinator. I would like to thank the Management Team for their willingness to embrace change and for all their commitment and hard work that has made this possible. A huge thank you goes out to all staff and particularly those that have had a direct impact on these changes. Lastly, a sincere thank you to the Board of Directors for their hard work and ongoing support. It really has been a great year.
Jo-Anne Demick, Executive Director