Three years ago, LiveWorkPlay, Citizen Advocacy, Total Communications Environment, and other members of the Ottawa Developmental Services Network were participating in a retreat, with a focus on how to evolve person-centred supports and services. While most every one of the 16 organizations was already (or planning to) engage staff in person-centred training, the question became: could we find a way where representatives from different agencies could learn together? And, was there are an opportunity for the learning to continue beyond the completion of the shared training?
With Citizen Advocacy as the lead applicant, ODSN submitted a proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Community, Children, and Social Services Employment and Modernization Fund, and was approved for Phase II. Helen Sanderson Associates (HSA) Canada was hired to deliver the training, which brought together 12 organizations with two staff members each (24 trainees total), for a two year process that ended on March 21 with two-day wrap-up that included presentations. Each pairing had the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and approach to person-centred reviews and person-centred profiles, and to share success stories. In completing the Accredited Trainer Program there were various customized opportunities, but everyone learned the following:
- Training and supporting the development and implementation of one-page profiles, reviews, and a range of other person-centred practices
- Coaching new facilitators in using the tools/practices
- Using a range of methods to develop one-page profiles
- Various methods to support facilitators to review their practice – both individually and in group settings
Experienced person-centred practitioners Allison Moores and Grace Hudson took part for team LiveWorkPlay, and completed their certification. Although both have extensive experience with reviews, profiles, and a wide variety of other processes and tools, a key project goal was realized in having the opportunity to learn and practice alongside others in their field.
“We are here in the same city, but it is not easy to find a way to get together with peers in other agencies” said Grace. “Through this process we have gotten to know some amazing colleagues and I know we will keep in touch and hopefully continue to help each other.”
“Different organizations are at different stages” said Allison. “For some of the program graduates, they are going to be championing some practices that are going to be relatively new to the rest of their team. For others like LiveWorkPlay that already provide individualized person-centred, community-focused, assets-based support, this was an opportunity to encourage positive change and hone our skills and abilities for communicating our work to internal and external audiences.”
HSA Canada’s Julie Malette was very moved by the success stories shared in the wrap-up event, as you can see from this video clip!