You may remember that ASPECT is a member of the Social Services Sector Roundtable Reference Group, a wider group of social care umbrella groups that inform the Social Services Sector Roundtable members of the issues that are important to them.
Last week in our Aspectives newsletter, I quickly shared with you a submission to the BC Ministry of Finance, but this week, I wanted to spend a bit more time on the topic since it impacts your work.
The provincial government is reviewing its Core Policy and Procedures Manual (CPPM) Chapter 21: Government Transfers.
Because of the less-than-ideal WorkBC procurement process of 2017-2018 and ongoing issues with other funder contracts, I have been advocating behind the scenes to find remedies that support local communities. That is why I am delighted to see this proposal that takes a pan-sector view and articulates the issues much better than I can.
Here are the highlights from the submission that represents 16 associations (ASPECT included):
- Take a community development approach to planning, funding, and evaluation of community social services.
- Challenges associated with the current funding approach are:
- Lack of community involvement
- Unrealistic timelines
- Bid scoring undermines the true cost of delivering service
- A disconnect between contract outcomes versus community needs
- Competitive bidding undercuts the strength of the social network
- Downloading of risk in contracts to the community social services organizations
- Constant contract language changes and legal costs associated
- Delays in contract negotiations
- Inability to renegotiate contracts
- Using contract negotiations as quality assurance measures
- Matching fund agreements
- Service providers, when responding to client needs, should be trusted rather than bullied
- A lack of understanding of community social services
- Precarious or impractical year-to-year contracts
3. Policy Revision Ideas
- Outcomes-based accountability
- Integrity - fund for true costs
- Evaluation criteria for funding decisions
- Community-driven making the community part of of the service planning and development
- Collaborative with shared decision-making power
- Learning approach to creating a new model
Even as I write the highlights of the submission, I am concerned about being reductive of its content. It is such a vital dialogue for service providers and the government to have, and I encourage you to read the document.
Thank you to the Federation of Community Social Services of BC and my Social Service Sector Roundtable Reference Group colleagues for taking the leadership on this crucial issue.
Link to the full submission
Janet Morris-Reade, CEO