This has been a very busy autumn with many LCDS activities and fundraisers. Thank you for everyone’s involvement in and support of these events. We are very fortunate to be part of such generous and supportive communities. The success of these events is also largely due to the Fund Development team at LCDS led by Adelle Stewardson. After 18 years of dedicated service in various roles within LCDS, Adelle is moving on to a new and exciting challenge with the Bluewater Health Foundation. We wish her the best.
This will be the last edition of the Focus Newsletter in 2015. We want to take the time to commend and thank the 60th Anniversary Committee for all of its hard work throughout the year in organizing and blending 60th celebrations into all of our annual events. The last event, held in Camlachie, was the Annual Banquet with 1950’s decorations and music. It was a ‘be- bopping’ success!
On Tuesday, October 20th, we hosted another Family Information Night. Two presentations were made: the Organizational Design template was presented to family members and Kari Lupton, Certified Financial Planner and LCDS Board member, shared information on tax issues, RDSP’s and estate planning. It was an interactive and informative evening.
The LCDS Leadership Team continues to work through the Organizational Design template with consultant Tom McCallum. This is an exciting process as we develop a structure that will ensure a resilient and bright future for LCDS.
The Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) has also been very busy over the last two months. On September 25th we received the new Policy Directives for the Host Family Program which will take effect on April 1, 2016. LCDS currently offers this as a residential option, which we refer to as Homeshare. Most of the requirements of these new policy directives are already met within our existing Homeshare policies and procedures. MCSS also distributed the Multi-Year Residential Planning for Developmental Services package to all agencies on October 21st. The purpose of this multi-year residential plan is to ensure communities are proactive in utilizing resources and to promote the development of innovative residential options that better meet the needs of individuals requiring residential services. As well, this plan will provide a provincial-level approach for this process. As we learn more on this multi-year plan, we will keep you informed.
Oasis (Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs) members organized a very successful Oasis Queens Park Information Day on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. They met with many MPP’s, Parliamentary Assistants, Senior Policy Advisors and opposing party Critics to address the most important issues in the Developmental Services Sector; chief among these being the strengthening of agencies, identifying the need for additional resources to meet the additional expenditures associated with the proposed Ontario Defined Benefit Pension Plan, the formation of an inter-ministerial working group as recommended in the final report of the Select Committee on Developmental Disability and of course lastly, pay equity. Oasis is pleased to announce that Christine Elliot, retired MPP and past chair of the Select Committee, has joined Oasis as a founding patron. Her experience will be invaluable to the Oasis membership.