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  • November 22, 2019 11:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A week ago, I along with about 200 other representatives from various social services organizations and activists, were invited to Richmond to attend a Social Services Sector Forum to help to define collaborative engagement to advance the work of the social services sector and to hear about the latest work of the Social Services Sector Roundtable (SSSR).  You might remember the roundtable of a similar name - the Social Services Sector Innovation and Sustainability Roundtable - under the previous provincial government. 

    The new SSSR, which was formed last spring from my understanding, has been tasked with addressing some of the bigger challenges facing social service providers in the province and have recently been discussing staff recruitment and retention, pay in-equities, procurement and contracting, and what is needed to help organizations remain sustainable. Click here for the SSSR terms of reference and here for the SSSR priority issues for community-based agencies.

    The forum brought together a larger reference group to support the work of the SSSR and those in the room, as demonstrated at my table, were funded by many different ministries and funders.  (Photo from L-R: Donalda Beeson (Robson Valley Community Services, Laurie Kohl (North Shore Family Services), Lydia Kang (Family Support Institute of BC), Amanda Bains & Lisa Schmidt (Ksan House Society), Janet Morris-Reade (ASPECT BC). Missing from the photo, but also at the table, Raj Hundal (PICS).  

    The Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Hon. Shane Simpson, who's ministry is responsible for the SSSR, addressed the room talking about the challenges of enacting the government's progressive agenda and how collaborative engagement was needed to reimagine how services are provided in the province.

    Our table groups were then tasked with discussing answers to questions: What does successful collaborative engagement look like? What can get in the way of successful engagement? and What specific steps can we take to support collaborative engagement over the long term?

    Of course, our table came up will all the best answers!  Ha-ha. Everyone in the room earnestly discussed these questions and although there weren't any silver bullet ideas, we all came away with a greater understanding of the complexity of the challenge.  

    Minister Simpson circled the room and I was delighted to have a frank discussion with him. We discussed the boutique versus big box service delivery models and the deterioration of social capital amongst service providers in the sometimes cut-throat procurement process.  We also discussed that because of this competitive environment, service providers are not always comfortable sharing best practices for fear of giving away a competitive advantage. 

    Again, no clear solutions were gleaned but we all appreciated being able to have the conversations. Thank you to Minister Simpson for making this happen.

    I will keep you abreast of further updates on this very complex initiative. 

  • November 22, 2019 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While at the Social Service Sector Forum last week, I had the opportunity to sit with Lydia Kang from the Family Support Institute of BC who introduced us all at the table to an initiative that is very close to her heart: MyBookletBC. Lydia is a parent advocate for her daughter and has developed an exceptionally ingenious idea for supporting someone with special needs. After further investigation, we can see how this concept could be expanded to support anyone who needs support and must share the same information repeatedly.  

    The best description comes from the website:

    MyBooklet BC is A FREE online tool that families and people with disabilities can use to create a beautiful and personalized information booklet for a loved one or for themselves.

    • Are you tired of constantly repeating your "story" to doctors, teachers, therapists, friends and family?
    • Do you wish all your important information was in one document?
    • Do you wish you could share more than just the medical and diagnostic facts?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, you'll want YOUR OWN myBooklet now!

  • October 11, 2019 12:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ok, there are way more than 8 things to look forward to, but in this world of clickbait engagement, I'm trying my best to adapt:

    1. hot breakfast on Monday, November 5. Tuesday will be a European breakfast.
    2. There are 16 workshops or presentations to choose from with something for everyone, regardless of where you are in your career.
    3. Our keynote speaker, Eric Termuend, will talk about The Future of Work and the importance of community and belonging.
    4. We will be hosting two national stakeholder consultations within and adjacent to the conference program: Supporting Canadians to Navigate Learning & Work National Career Development Consultation (Monday at 11am.) and Project Integrate: Exploring Future Employment Pathways Consultation, which is funded by the Future Skills Centre (Tuesday at 2pm: free registration) There are limited spaces for this consultation so pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
    5. Monday night's networking reception is always lots of fun.
    6. There'll be five sessions programmed just for Career Developers.
    7. Government Representation: we are delighted to welcome Chris Brown from the SDPR and Catherine Poole from AEST plus several staff members from both ministries will be attending.
    8. We have fabulous exhibitors this year: Benefits Program (Community Services Benefits Trust & Delta Pacific Benefit Brokers), WCG, Community Futures BC, BC Labour Market Report, BC Career Development Association, Douglas College, The Centre for Collaboration, Motivation and Innovation, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC.
    Also, we are launching our Values Based Leadership series on the Sunday before the conference. It's the best combination of excellent curriculum, being taught by an outstanding sector leader, Dr. Roberta Neault, with opportunities to build important leader networks, at an obscenely affordable price. If I sound proud of what ASPECT is offering, I am!  Registration for this series and the first three courses being delivered on November 3 is now open. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • October 04, 2019 4:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At last year's ASPECT Conference, we had a leadership session presented by Susan Steele. There were about 40 people attending and we were surprised to learn that 95% of them were existing leaders and not emerging leaders as expected. This got me thinking.

    In this environment of grey tsunami retirements and others being thrust into leadership positions, many are feeling that there are issues arising for which they need training. But training courses are time-consuming and expensive: two challenges for new leaders or emerging leaders who are already drinking from the fire hose of information acquisition.  With this in mind, ASPECT BC has partnered with Dr. Roberta Neault and Life Strategies  to re-imagine our Values-Based Leadership curriculum for a present-day world with work and this is what we've come up with:

    Combined In-Person & Online Learning

    Our Leadership program provides students with a chance to build their networks while learning core concepts on Sunday, November 3 from 12 pm-5 pm at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. Then at the end of the course, the capstone projects will be presented the day before or after the Summit April. (Details for the April date are still to be confirmed.)  

    Core Courses + Electives

    The leadership program has 6 units of core learning with 3 electives.  We are currently offering 6 electives, but that number is expected to expand as more trainers come on board. 

    For the courses online, students will be required to complete the following learning activities:
    1. Prepare (Monday to Wednesday)
    2. Join (Wednesday) for a 30-minute live webinar
    3. Discuss (Thursday to Saturday) online with other students and instructors.
    4. Reflect (Due Sunday) on how views have been shaped by the learning.

    Leadership Course Fees

    This course is designed to be as affordable as it is flexible! Registration will be open in the next few days and detailed information will available soon on the ASPECT website. 
      Includes: ASPECT Members Non-Members
    Full Series
    • 6 core courses (including in-person components of C1, C2, and C3)
    • 3 online elective courses
    • Capstone project
    $1,475 $1,725
    Individual Online Course
    • 1 core or elective online course
    $125 $150
    3-Core Bundle
    • 3 core courses (including in-person components of C1, C2, and C3)
    $375 $450
    Capstone Project Presentations
    • Pecha Kucha presentations 
    • Facilitated discussions
    • Networking 
    $325 $350

    Again, registration and details are coming soon. Thank you to Dr. Roberta Neault and Cassie Taylor at Life Strategies for helping us make this much-needed course a reality. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • September 26, 2019 6:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Why is it so hard to do great works of charity? - Special Senate Committee Report
    Innovative & practical recommendations for our Non-Profit Members, insight & perspective for all Members 
    reported by Jennifer Nichol, ASPECT Member Services and Administrator


    "Why is it so hard to do great works of charity? This was the question the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector (the committee) set out to answer." Read more of the executive summary here...

    Struck in January 2018, the committee was asked to examine and report on Canada’s diverse and vibrant charitable and nonprofit sector.  The work done in this sector benefits ALL people. Whether the interdependence is obvious or not, this report makes it clear that it's there. What may be surprising to some is that this sector employs over 7 million people in Canada.  

    Released in June, the report's findings were broadcast via webinar yesterday morning and the ASPECT office was able to hear the findings first hand from one of the Senators on the committee, Ratna Omidvar. Amongst the 42 thoughtful and thought-provoking recommendations made in the report, a few stood out as being especially relevant to our sector.

    • Recommendation 5 (p. 36) That the Government of Canada, through the Minister of Finance and federal-provincial-territorial meetings of Ministers of Finance, support the development of pensions for the charitable and non-profit sectors that are portable across provincial and territorial jurisdictions
    • Recommendation 6 (p. 37)That the Government of Canada, through Labour Canada, work with the charitable and non-profit sector to develop and implement a human resources renewal plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector workforce, recognizing that the needs of northern, rural and urban communities are unique.
    • Recommendation 10 (p. 45) That the Government of Canada, through the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, develop policies that require departments and agencies to compensate for full administrative
      costs associated with delivering the services being funded in transfers to charitable and
      non-profit organizations.
    • Recommendation 12 (p. 47)That the Government of Canada, through Treasury Board of Canada, ensure that grants and contribution agreements cover a minimum of two years, renewable as appropriate;
      and that the level of information required for both application and reporting on these
      agreements are commensurate with the level of funding, minimizing complexity for smaller
    • Recommendation 15 (p. 52): That the Government of Canada’s procurement strategy be further modified to remove barriers to the participation of charitable and non-profit organizations, with a particular focus on suppliers with smaller staff complements. 

    Outside of these official recommendations, in the context of the webinar environment, we also heard about the need for innovative ways for the sector to self-fund, as ASPECT CEO, Janet Morris-Reade discussed with her “Big Idea” at our inaugural ASPECT Summit. We heard about the real need for formal relationships to exist with the Federal Government, outside of the CRA. Another idea discussed was to create a set of standard accounts used by the sector to enable ease of reporting and accessibility to procurement data and establishing baselines for overhead costs.   

    Organizations like ASPECT are one of many non-profits across Canada who also have the privilege of serving both the public and our members, a distinction also discussed as a way to further develop policy and regulation. 

    Wrapping up, we also heard from participants who wondering why this report hasn't been picked up by more news agencies. It was suggested that few reporters are dedicated to this sector, which often leads to misrepresentation of the work being done or even a lack of understanding around how much the sector contributes to our current economic model (it's 7% of GDP) so we encourage our Members to read and spread this report around, as always, we are stronger together.

    What do you think about these recommendations? We want to know. Meh or 10/10?

    Read the whole report here ...

    Do you have something you'd like featured? Please email
  • September 20, 2019 1:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I’ve spent the morning in meetings discussing professional development opportunities for ASPECT members and the employment services sector at large. It’s an exciting time as many of the contracts have been awarded, and organizations are looking at ways to get the best value for their professional development budgets. Although we don’t have all the details worked out, I wanted to give you a heads up of what learning opportunities are coming your way.

    ASPECT Conference 2019 – November 4 & 5, 2019, Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel
    The ASPECT Conference is the event of the year with something for everyone: case managersresource centre staffjob developersworkshop facilitatorsadministratorsprogram managersinstructors and counsellors, leaders and emerging leaders. Check out the program and register before October 4 for early bird discounts.
    ASPECT Values-Based Leadership – Face-to-Face November 3 & April 21 plus online learning courses
    We’ve partnered with Dr. Roberta Neault and LifeStrategies Inc. to create a leadership training course for the busy leader and/or the emerging leader at an affordable price. Dates and registration will be confirmed next week, but the ASPECT Values-Based Leadership course includes two face-to-face learning sessions where core courses are taught and discussed allowing you to build your essential network, plus 5-9 online courses with pre-learning, webinar lecture, forum discussions and learning assessment. 
    If you sign up for the whole program, you can expect to pay around $1,000 for a credentialed Leadership designation. Can’t commit? We’ve also designed the leadership training course to be accessible to those who may want to take only parts of the course. Once you’ve read the course topics, you’ll want to take everything.
    • Core course topics are: What is Leadership?; Self-Awareness, Confidence & Values; Trust, Motivation & Recognition; Leadership within the Organizational Context; Leading for Change; and Leadership: Where Do We Go from Here?
    • Elective course topics are: Leadership Lessons for Transformational Times; Supervising Career Development Practitioners; A Social Justice Approach to Leadership; HR Life Hacks for Leaders and Advocacy; Leadership & Communication; and Teams & Leadership.

    Webinars & Workshops – Call for Presenters
    This year we will offer five face-to-face workshops and a minimum of 10 webinars, some of which will be free and some of which will be exceptionally affordable. If you have a topic or expertise that you would like to share with our networks, please email me. Some of the topics in development are Time Management Strategies for Client Meetings, Interpreting Psychological Assessments and When to Seek Help, Goal Setting Chaos, Gender Identity and Inclusion, and more. 
    ASPECT Summit 2020 – April 22, 2020, Marriott Vancouver Airport Hotel
    This employer-facing summit will bring together employers and employment experts to help employers connect with the pre- and post-employment supports available in their communities and to help employment experts (service providers) further develop their offerings to employers within their communities. The date is set, but more information is coming soon.

    There are lots of opportunities to learn and build your networks. If you are looking for training but don't see it mentioned above, contact me with your ideas and we'll see if we can deliver it.  More details coming soon.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • September 12, 2019 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 6, 2019

    MOSAIC is pleased to announce a new Social and Civic Engagement for Newcomers project which will support newcomers and immigrants in overcoming existing barriers to participate in civic and community based leadership roles.  The project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada’s $3.5 million investment in support of multiculturalism, community activities and events and anti-racism initiatives in BC.  

    The announcement was made by Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, at a press conference in Surrey, BC on September 6.

    MOSAIC’s Social and Civic Engagement for Newcomers and Immigrants project will help create strong partnerships between diverse communities, increase civic participation and representation on the boards of local non-profits, increase the capacity of receiving organizations and institutions to attract and retain diverse volunteers and board members, and provide valuable experience to newcomers.

    Canadian immigrants are among the world’s most educated, yet they are less likely to participate in community and civic engagement leadership roles.

    In Metro Vancouver, visible minorities are under-represented across senior leadership positions. Of the 2274 leaders studied in a research report led by the Diversity Institute and SPARC BC , only 12% come from a visible minority background. The lowest representation of visible minorities is in the elected officials sector: visible minorities comprise 26% of elected leaders. From the voluntary sector, only 13% of senior leaders come from a visible minority background. (Source: Diversity Counts: A Snapshot of Diversity in Metro Vancouver, Research Report. July 2011)

    MOSAIC recognized that after basic settlement and employment needs are met, clients want to give back and be involved within their communities. The Social and Civic Engagement for Newcomers project, with the Government of Canada's support, will work towards increasing access for immigrants and newcomers to civic and social leadership positions so they have the opportunity for their voices to be heard and participate in the decision-making processes which affect them, their lives and their communities.

    In 2019, MOSAIC has already undertaken a number of activities in this area, including:

    •  “Improving participation of Newcomers’ in Civic Engagement” as a recommendation in the Settlement Sector Study to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in Ottawa
    • Surveys and focus groups to help identify interest and barriers
    • Participation in Simon Fraser University’s (Radius’ Refugee Livelihoods Lab) Trampoline: Ideas In to Action program through which human-centred design methods were used to ideate MOSAIC’s Social and Civic Engagement project
    • An information session with the City of Vancouver with the purpose of seeking newcomer voices for participation in the city’s advisory groups
    • A public forum about Community Leadership & Migrant Experiences to advance a conversation with MOSAIC stakeholders, clients and partners on how to improve access to more volunteer leadership opportunities for members of the immigrant and refugee communities
    • And most recently, a public forum “Inspiring participation in Elections”. Keynote speakers former Canadian MP Libby Davies, and Former BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh captivated our participants by sharing how they became involved in activism.

    Do you have a member feature you'd like to submit? Email

  • September 06, 2019 12:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The intervals of change -- the time between when technology or ideas are introduced, adopted, and becomes a part of everyday life -- are shortening. Being able to identify trends that are going to stick around is a skill in great demand.  With this in mind, I wanted to draw your attention to some research and opportunities coming your way.

    The Brookfield Institute

    In mid-August, the Brookfield Institute released part two of their Employment in 2030 initiative.  Entitled Sign of the Times: Expert insights about employment in 2030, the report outlines the results from workshops held across Canada to answer some of the following questions:  Will creativity be the most important skill for employability in Canada in 2030? Do all Canadians need to learn how to code? Should Canadian workers focus on building their soft skills?

    Part one, which was released in April this year, is called Turn and Face the Strange: Changes Impacting Employment in Canada. This report looks back at 2018 and then tries to address the trends of the future such as technological change, globalization, demographic change, environmental sustainability, urbanization, increasing inequality, and political uncertainty.

    Future Skills Centre

    You've likely already seen it but in case you haven't, there is a call for proposals that closes later this month. According to the information on the Future Skills Centre website, the proposals should try to answer and address the following questions:
    1. How can we best support Canadians facing labour market disruption to transition to new jobs or industries?
    2. How can employers be more effectively engaged in developing and delivering demand-driven solutions to skills gap challenges?
    3. How can skills development systems be optimized, building up the capacity of service providers and encouraging collaboration between organizations?  
    We may not be futurists, but ASPECT members are the experts because you are on the ground working in the community with job-seekers and employers. You are able to notice the gaps in funding and programs before anyone else, and it's my job to distribute that information to researchers and government on your behalf.  Take a moment to email your thoughts on the subject and I'll get them to where they need to be.  

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • August 16, 2019 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earlier this week, I met virtually with the BC Prior Learning Action Network (BCPLAN) board of directors for our monthly meeting. One vein of conversation was a comment on a presentation about women in an industry that has low female participation.  Some mentioned how uncomfortable they felt about having it presented by an older Caucasian man who seemed tone deaf to the challenges faced by women. The presentation was two months ago, and even though many had recognized their discomfort at the time, no one had voiced it until our meeting. We decided right then and there that it is our responsibility to ourselves, BCPLAN, the working environments in which we lead, and to those who are not yet in leadership positions to speak up for diversity in gender, in culture, ability, and race. 

    Women in leadership bring better business performance

    I was delighted to read this morning that the International Labour Organization had released a report called the Business Case for Change (May 2019) where it  posits that women in leadership is good for business.  As much as I would like to promote my own feminist agenda, the quest for balance and diversity in the work world is, I think, the key takeaway here. It's something that we strive for at ASPECT acknowledging that there is still a lot of learning to be done.

    Diversity at the ASPECT Conference

    Our goal every year is to put together a program for the ASPECT Conference that promotes learning about the diverse needs in our sector. We try to draw presentations from all specialized serving groups as well as providing professional development opportunities for front-line workers, administrators, community developers, and leaders and emerging leaders.

    One of the topic workshops we are trying to fill is a session on adopting Truth and Reconciliation into a work environment. Last year, Rhonda Terbasket from the Okanagan Training and Development Council delivered a session on First Steps to Reconciliation.  Sadly, Rhonda passed away earlier this year and we are looking for an ASPECT member or stakeholder to volunteer to present at the conference. In payment, we are able to offer a free conference registration valued at $425. Help us continue to make the ASPECT Conference a diverse learning experience that represents all our members.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • August 09, 2019 11:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As an assignment for my Master's program and a way to communicate to our board and members what were are doing, I created a map of ASPECT advocacy contacts and the quality of the relationships we currently have.

    It was helpful to me and the ASPECT board of directors to reflect on where we are and where we want to go with developing the relationships.  For me, it also functions as a "to-do" list of people and organizations with whom I should spend more time. I fundamentally believe that we are all stronger when we find areas of overlap and work together to make the sector stronger.

    Click on the image above to see the full map.

    What is missing from the ASPECT outreach map is the connection to municipalities, community-based organizations that are not members, and local businesses. With our limited resources here at ASPECT, we rely on our members to provide those connections for us. Click on the image above and take a good look. If you see something missing or are a part of an organization that is not listed here, please let me know.  After all, the more connected we are the better it is for all. 

    Janet Morris-Reade

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