Saturday, 3 February 2018

Informal announcement regarding Key Worker implementation

Hello all,
The Lanark, Leeds Grenville FASD Work Group and the Kingston Parent Action Group has received notification that Kids Inclusive in Kingston who is the Special Needs Strategy Coordinating Agency for Kingston Frontenac Lennox Addington and Lanark Leeds-Grenville service deliveries has received the funding for the FASD Key Workers in these two service deliveries.  They are currently developing the job description for these workers and hope to be hiring by April timeframe.

Obviously, I am thrilled to see that it appears that MCYS has separated the funding and has established Lanark, Leeds-Grenville as its own service delivery and therefore should have its own Key Worker.  The draft job description includes the following:

FASD Worker Role
  • Provide expertise on FASD, consultation and support to build seamless system navigation for individuals with FASD or suspected FASD and their families;
  • Connect families to relevant services and other community supports/resources to support the inclusion and stability of children and youth in family, school and community life;
  • Facilitate the exchange of information between relevant providers in the children’s services, education, and health sectors in each service delivery area;
  • Explore flexible and innovative approaches for service delivery to meet the needs of the child/youth and bring forward any barriers to innovation that may exist;
  • Build FASD capacity within Coordinating Agency and with other sector partners;
  • Deliver FASD supports to children, youth and families;
  • Educate parents, caregivers and school personnel about behavioural symptoms associated with FASD;
  • Be knowledgeable and available to discuss the child/youth and family’s concerns;
  • Participate in a provincial FASD Community of Practice;
  • Participate in provincial FASD training sessions;
  • Develop a support plan, not a formalized, cross-sectoral Coordinated Service Plan.

Key principles for FASD workers include:
          Workers will provide services to children and youth up to the age of 18, including Indigenous children and youth, and young people between the ages of 18 and 21 who remain in school. They will provide direct service to children, youth and families with FASD, including consultation and system navigation support, as required.
          Formal diagnosis of FASD will not be required to access the services and support.
          Not everyone served by FASD workers will receive Coordinated Service Planning.

Margaret Van Beers is the Director of Kids Inclusive and will be the primary decision maker in the allocation of these funds and hiring of these individuals.  She has extended invitation to the Chairs of LLG FASD WorkGroup, Erin Bertrand and Kingston PAG Rep. Len Whalen to collaborate with her in developing this implementation and get our input.  Obviously, the key aspects we want to stress is the need for the Key Worker to be mobile and part of the community fabric.  From a Lanark Leeds-Grenville standpoint, if the Key Worker is housed in Kingston, that will clearly not work.  It is a 2.5 hour drive from Kingston to the north border of Lanark one way.  The Key Worker needs to be working in a central location of Lanark, Leeds-Grenville.  Considering we have no central newspaper, no TV station and two radio stations devoted to this area with over 1/3 of the area still not having cell phone reception, mass media advertising does not work here.  It is face to face conversations with the key players in the community that will get the needed services to the needed people which again is why the key worker needs to be part of the community fabric and physically located here.  It appears the Lanark and Leeds-Grenville Hub associated with Kids Inclusive is Lanark Community Programs in Carleton Place and Developmental Services of Leeds-Grenville in Brockville.

They have also hired CanChild from McMaster University to provide the MPOC-20 tool to get feedback from parents as to the effectiveness of their implementation.  It will be the responsibility of all coordinating agencies who is responsible for the administration of getting this feedback from parents after implementation.  It is extremely important that all funding is used exclusively for a FASD Key Worker.  It is my hope that this funding will not be used for hiring a service coordinator, shared with autism supports, or admin costs within the organization.  It is very clear these coordinating agencies are just getting infrastructure in place as of literally this month considering Kids Inclusive is currently hiring their service coordinators and London is currently taking applications this month.

It sounds like MCYS is giving this funding to the current 34 coordinating agencies across the province who they tasked with developing the special needs strategy across the province in 2014.  I do know  Update September 2016 - Representatives of the government Ministry of Child and Youth Services(MCYS) contacted OCTC as the Coordinating Agency (Ottawa, Prescott-Russell, Stormont- Dundas-Glengarry) in the summer and identified a few questions related to the pending CHEO-OCTC amalgamation and the partnership model that was outlined in our proposals.  The executive director for OCTC is Anne Huot who will be the primary decision maker for those service areas.

To figure out who your coordinating agency is, it will be an organization currently receiving funding from MCYS and is in charge of developing the special needs strategy in your area.  It seems like your local children treatment centre is the most likely to be your coordinating agency.  If they are not, they should know who is the coordinating agency.  I did find London has CSCN as their coordinating agency.  I have found updates from the Special Needs Strategy and MCYS that after three years, they have now signed agreements from 29 of the 34 agencies and expect all agencies to begin implementation by Spring 2018.  I also received confirmation that Karen Huber has been hired as the Key Worker for the Waterloo region through Developmental Services Resource Centre

It also sounds like MCYS will be identifying another 16 positions to cover the areas with high needs in terms of FASD to be implemented by 2018-19.  They are currently in process to make the determination of where the 16 high needs areas are located.

In closing, we need to get informed as to who these agencies are and get our message to them.  It is clear that MCYS wants these service providers to be working in collaboration with us.  After you introduce yourself, insist on finding out when they will be providing this service, when MCYS is providing the funding and when they will be getting feedback from their MPOC-20 survey.

Please feel free to continue contacting Minister Coteau at

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