This update was provided at the most recent Abilities Annual General Meeting (September 18, 2020):
The past year saw a great deal of activity related to Phase #2 of the Quality Framework project. While it took a little bit of time to solidify a Memo of Understanding and final budget for this phase of the project, we did move ahead in June 2019 to complete our second round of stakeholder engagement, visiting the seven same communities that we had visited previously. We met with people with disabilities, their families and service providers to share what we accomplished and learned in Phase #1, what recommendations we had made and what was coming up next. We also shared a draft copy of the Leading Practice Guidelines and solicited feedback on both content and implementation until the middle of July.
Personal Outcome Measures Pilot:
A formal Expression of Interest to participate in the pilot was sent out to all Manitoba CLdS organizations in November, to which eleven organizations responded. All eleven organizations will participate in the pilot, seven were selected to use Personal Outcome Measures and four were originally selected to be used as control organizations for the purposes of a formal evaluation conducted by Healthy Child Manitoba – Social Innovation Office (HCMSIO)
Two Quality Specialists were hired who are assisting with training and interviewing using the Personal Outcome Measures tool/method.
The pilot officially began on January 6th with three Abilities Manitoba staff obtaining their training and certification in the use of Personal Outcome Measures. Two of these same staff were certified to train others. Training of staff in the seven pilot organizations began in January and to date, we have trained 89 people. A handful of CLdS staff are also included in this number.
Interviewing began at the beginning of February. Our aim is to provide the opportunity for 20% of the people supported within the pilot organizations to participate in a Personal Outcome Measure interview. Feedback based on what was learned that may help the organization improve its services for that person is then provided. Care was taken to choose 20% of the people within each organization that is representative of the demographic characteristics of the total number of people they serve.
Due to the pandemic, interviewing and training were halted in mid-March however, has slowly resumed beginning in late July as organizations and people receiving services feel safe to do so. We have taken advantage of the nice summer weather to do outdoor interviewing and are also conducting virtual interviewing as well to keep all involved safe.
A formal evaluation is planned to discover whether the use of Personal Outcome Measures is beneficial and if so, how. Originally, Healthy Child Manitoba (Social Innovation Office) was resourced to conduct this evaluation, however, changes in this department as well as the pandemic have led to some challenges in this area.
We are working with our partners in government for more resources to extend the original timeframe (and budget) of the project to:
- Allow for time to hit our 20% target acknowledging that the pandemic has disrupted our original schedule.
- Expand the pilot to fold in the control organizations as the original design of the evaluation is no longer valid and we hope that all interested organizations can still benefit from the pilot
- Conduct a robust third-party evaluation of the project and its original objectives.
Leading Practice Guidelines:
The Leading Practice Guidelines are now set up on the Abilities Manitoba website in an interactive format along with associated resources, sample policies and documentation. You can access these here: https://abilitiesmanitoba.org/docs/leading-practice-guidelines/
We are developing a plain language/easy read version of the Leading Practice Guidelines so that people receiving support and their families will have more information about what they could expect.
We are also developing a self-assessment workbook for organizations to use the Leading Practice Guidelines to assess where they are in relation to the guidelines, where they want to be and what they intend to focus on in the next year to move forward. We have several organizations that are interested in trialling this workbook once fully drafted.
Abilities Manitoba would like to acknowledge and thank the Province and in particular the Department of Families, Community Living disAbility Services for their ongoing support and collaboration on this project.
If you have any questions on the project, please contact Leanne Fenez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-791-9319.