The Family Advocacy Network of Manitoba hopes all families had an enjoyable summer despite the restrictions and everchanging protocols regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Please take care and continue to keep well and be safe.
FAN has continued to be active by using the GoToMeeting system of communication. In July and on Oct. 1 FAN met with senior staff from the Department of Families, Children’s Disability Services (CDS) and Community Living Disability Services (CLDS adult programs) bringing to their attention Covid-19 concerns as well as other issues being experienced by families. Working collaboratively with government has resulted in developing a brief survey that will assist children and adult program managers to better understand your current and future needs. The survey will be distributed in the near future through Community Services Workers (CSWs), advocacy and disability specific organizations as well as FAN. It will also be highlighted on the government’s EngageMB (engagemb.ca) site so please register for current provincial information and reports.
FAN has again been invited to meet with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Families to identify needs and concerns being faced by you and your loved ones. FAN’s request to meet with senior staff from other government departments has resulted in an upcoming meeting with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Education. Members of the FAN Education Action Group will represent families and talk about known struggles and the need for additional resources and support.
The FAN Supported Independent Living Action Group has had a couple of members come forward expressing an interest in meeting and in moving forward in this vitally needed area. If you are waiting for residential supports and funding please contact FAN to join this group and to bring concerns to senior managers at government meetings.
The FAN Quality of Care Action Group is hopeful the Phase #2 Quality Framework will continue this Fall and that quality service delivery will go beyond the current government pilot project. FAN discusses harm reduction and work standards for direct support staff at every meeting with the Department of Families senior staff and program managers.
All to often families are thought of as having no expertise, but you do. Your expertise arises from knowing your family member the most fully and over the longest period of time. Your expertise is needed so please think about contacting FAN to enquire about joining the Core Committee which meets online once a month in the evening.
FAN continues to support other organizations in their advocacy efforts. New is meetings with the national Canadian Patient Safety Institute to improve safety in our health care systems. Covid has certainly highlighted the gaps. Work also continues with the Canadian Association for Community Living (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), the Sibling Collaboration with issues related to sibling caregiving, Community Living Manitoba collecting stories about people’s experiences within the health care system (hospitals stays, clinic appointments), and Abilities Manitoba regarding family members identified as essential in health care and residential facilities.
A Thanksgiving greeting has been sent to all Manitoba MLAs and MPs reminding them of their responsibility to all Manitoba citizens. The message this time is “life for our loved ones may be different – but not less”.
FAN would like to meet with folks in your community regarding programs and services that your children and adult family members receive and need. Please reach out to FAN for support and help in organizing a virtual meeting especially during this time of increased isolation. As parents and siblings, we have to make a greater effort in the “fight” to make sure our loved ones are treated fairly. Join us by using the email address or website above.
Sending best wishes this Thanksgiving and fall season. FAN is Hope –Unity – Grassroots – Support – HUGS.