The $40 million question

Back in June, Community Living British Columbia assumed temporary responsibility for delivering services to children with special needs. The reason: at the time, community living staffers from the ministry of children and family development were being transferred to the new authority. And, even though the authority's mandate is limited to caring for those with developmental disabilities, many of those staffers were also working with special needs children. But responsibility for special needs children without developmental disabilities was supposed to be handed back to the ministry the following year. So our operatives were somewhat surprised to hear Community Living British Columbia board member Joan Rush tell those attending a First Call meeting that the authority had requested a $40 million increase for special needs children services in their Treasury Board submission. This, in response to a question posed by the coalition's chair Michael Goldberg. And Ms. Rush's answer has some wondering whether the authority is planning on making a play to permanently deliver those services - a program area whose budget is presently held by the ministry. The following is a copy of the internal government memorandum detailing the services' temporarily transfer to Community Living British Columbia.

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Office of the Deputy Minister

MEMORANDUM

June 10, 2005
To: All CLS Staff

As we move closer to July 1st, and the official establishment of Community Living British Columbia (CLBC), work to finalize the transfer of services from government to CLBC has taken on an ever-increasing pace. On May 27th we successfully concluded negotiations with the BCGEU. As a result, we have now determined which positions will transfer to CLBC and are preparing to issue formal offers of employment to staff.

The delivery of services for children and youth with special needs has been a key factor in determining which positions will transfer. Currently, the delivery of Community Living Services (CLS) for adults and children is integrated at the field level. In many parts of the province, the same staff members work with adults and children.

Arbitrarily separating these positions would require unnecessary change for families and potentially disrupt services. In addition, identifying and separating those children and youth who may be eligible to receive independent planning and family support services from CLBC must be approached with great care to avoid disruption to all children and families currently receiving children's CLS. More time, beyond July 1st, is needed to complete this complex process.

To ensure adequate planning and a smooth transition, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been developed between MCFD and CLBC regarding the temporary provision of services for children and youth with special needs. An overview of the MOU is attached.

The MOU states that services currently delivered by children's CLS will be administered by CLBC on behalf of MCFD until the Children's Agreement can be fully implemented. This means that families and children currently receiving children's CLS will continue to receive services from the same workers and in the same locations as they do today.
All CLS positions, including those providing children's CLS services, will be transferred to CLBC. Over the next several days, all staff in CLS positions will be offered employment with CLBC. Letters will be provided to those staff who are:

* regular employees with a base position in CLS;
* regular employees with a base position with CLS, but on temporary assignment outside of CLS;
* regular part-time employees primarily working within CLS; and
* auxiliary/float employees primarily working within CLS.

Staff will receive a letter offering a regular position or temporary assignment within CLBC. These must be signed and returned by the date indicated. Between June 20th and 23rd Carol Goozh, Doug Woollard, Rick Mowles and Elaine Murray will be meeting with as many of you as possible. Attached is a document that outlines when you can expect to receive an offer letter and includes dates and times for meetings with staff. These meetings will provide you with additional opportunities to discuss any issues or concerns regarding the move to CLBC. If you cannot attend one of the meetings and have questions, please contact Avril Harkness at (604) 660-3356 (avril.harkness@gov.bc.ca).

Alison MacPhail
Deputy Minister Interim CEO
Ministry of Children and Family Development

Rick Mowles
Interim CEO
Community Living BC

1 Comment

Sounds like a marriage made in heaven!

MCFD is desperate to dump its responsibilities on anyone dumb enough to be dazzled by a little one-time cash. No kids' Ministry, no problem, right?

Meanwhile, CLBC is desperate for $$ to patch the $150 million gaping hole in the adult community living budget, what with all their fans turning against them after realizing that community governance is simply creating a cumbersome new bureaucracy without solving absolutely anything that it was created to solve!

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