Creates "Unmanageable Caseloads"
same time the government was taken to the woodshed by Ted
Hughes for letting budget cuts get in the way of protecting
children, the Ministry of Children and Family Development
targeted special needs children and their families for a
betrayal. How fitting for the Easter season! Community Living
British Columbia (CLBC) has been controversial since its
inception. Set up to take responsibility for community living
services for the developmentally disabled, it found itself
at the centre of the Doug Walls affair and the resignation
of former Minister Gordon Hogg. In 2004 the Ministry "temporarily"
transferred responsibility for special
needs children , such as those suffering from autism,
to CLBC. On April 10, 2006, it
announced that the temporary arrangement would be made
Holman reported on his website, Public
Eye Online, together with commentary from advocate and
concerned parent Dawn Steele, that according to CLBC's communications
director Sally Greenwood information about keeping special
needs children services at CLBC was well-received. Steele
noted that shows how "a good flack can trump reality
every time." In her newsletter to "Moms on the
Move", Steele explained that:
dishonouring the signed agreement, the Minister attempts
to justify his abandonment of these children with the nonsensical
claim that he is minimizing the impact of change on them
by making a temporary change permanent, because things have
gone smoothly under the temporary arrangement of recent
months. This totally ignores the fact that CLBC is still
in the process of building its organizational structures,
operating systems and new service delivery model, and has
therefore essentially been operating as if it was still
MCFD since devolution officially occurred in July 2005."
"The real changes under CLBC are still to come, for
example when the traditional social worker role of providing
ongoing support, case management and monitoring is entirely
eliminated under the new CLBC model and those staff instead
become merely planners, who write a one-time plan and then
leave families to fend for themselves as best they can.
Worse yet, families are going to find that under CLBC's
proposed rules, they have to come up with something like
50% free services from "the community" if they
want to qualify for any CLBC-funded services."
within the CLBC tell my informant that Steele's concerns
are valid. My informant wrote: "The party line is that
each Facilitator (case manager) will be responsible for
only those cases deemed "active", which is only
10- 15% of the present caseload. This claim is preposterous,
and almost laughable were it not for the adverse consequences
which will likely occur as a result of this restructuring.
Effective May 1st Facilitators in Vancouver will be responsible
for an unmanageable caseload, which will almost double.
Should a critical incident occur CLBC can always fall back
on its Policy Manual, which will be cited in order to deflect
blame and to scapegoat staff for not following policy. This
Manual covers many butts."
same week the Hughes' Report was released the Campbell government
again forced unwanted change on services for children and
further overloaded social workers. Dollars designated for
special needs children are in danger of being lost in a
new bureaucracy set up to control the cost of serving developmentally
disabled adults. When the Legislature resumes sitting on
April 24th watch for Adrian
Dix to hold Stan Hagen's feet to the fire.