The Possibility Post – Start Where You Are!

b2ap3_large_December-28-M_20170511-000504_1Dieter F. Uchtdorf said “The perfect place to begin, is right where you are!” .. and indeed how can we do anything but? The important thing is that we start!

This month marks yet another new beginning for Abilities Manitoba as we’ve signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Province to embark on the creation of a quality assurance framework for services provided to people who are funded through the Community Living disAbility Services. Abilities and our government partners have been talking about a means to measure and increase quality within the disability service sector for decades and we are very excited to begin.

The Possibility Post will be a regular forum and feature on this site as we do this work. Check back here regularly for updates, resources, musings and motivation related to best practice and a quality framework in providing meaningful, person centred services to citizens in Manitoba.

To start I thought I would share my first brief presentation to the Abilities Manitoba membership on November 15th in case you missed it!

I am tremendously excited to undertake this hugely important task and gain great confidence by the fact that while I have a lead role, I will be regularly (and I do mean regularly) rely on the collective wisdom and talent that lies in this room and as well as elsewhere in the province.

As Margo identified, we have entered into an agreement with the Province to develop a quality assurance framework, performance standards, and measurement tools for services being delivered to CLdS funded service providers. In addition, we will begin to gather or create and make available capacity building resources to help service providers meet these standards and continue to develop their services. Finally we will make recommendations on implementation options for the quality framework including articulating the risks and benefits of any particular option.

We will work with Health in Common who has already begun some of this work to first hear from people who receive our services, along with their families and service providers across the province. We want to and need to hear about what is currently being done by service providers to understand and evaluate the quality of their services, what would help, what worries people about this work and what people hope for. We will also review and learn from what other areas in Canada and the World have done in this area.

The focus of this work will be on quality. Quality as defined by the person receiving it. It will be not only focus on doing things right but on seeking first to understand what the right thing is. My bias will be that this is most often learned by having good meaningful conversations with people who receive support and their families to understand if the support being provided is even what they wish. Where traditional conversations may not be possible, the discovery process must be more creative and purposeful in order to gain this insight.

We will do this work in partnership with the Province in the form of an advisory committee and working group that will include representatives from member agencies both urban and rural. While not everyone can contribute through the working group, there will be multiple opportunities for people to be engaged with this work and contribute or provide feedback should they choose.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not end by thanking first the Abilities Board for the opportunity to contribute to this project and secondly to my employer, St.Amant and more specifically John, for his support and flexibility to make this opportunity a possibility for me personally as well as the commitment it shows to the work of Abilities Manitoba and to people with disabilities in the Province.

If you have questions, concerns, a burning desire to contribute earlier rather than later, I encourage you to get in touch! Until next time….
Leanne Fenez
QA Lead
Abilities Manitoba