Vernon agencies are hoping the B.C. government’s reorganization of services for developmentally disabled adults isn’t just a Band-Aid fix.

Vernon agencies are hoping the B.C. government’s reorganization of services for developmentally disabled adults isn’t just a Band-Aid fix.

Agencies on edge over CLBC changes

Government promises changes to Community Living B.C., the Crown agency that oversees initiatives for the mentally challenged

There’s some hesitation about a plan to reorganize services for developmentally disabled adults.

The provincial government has promised changes to Community Living B.C., the Crown agency that oversees initiatives for the mentally challenged, while also providing $40 million to assist CLBC’s efforts.

“I need to see the changes that will be made and that it isn’t just a Band-Aid,” said Eileen Howells, Vernon and District Association for Community Living executive director.

“There needs to be systematic changes. Where does this money go? How much money goes to wait lists and improving the system?”

When asked why she is skeptical, Howells says it’s because of, “everything that went on — the bonuses (to management) and the release of money when we were told there was no money before.”

The North Okanagan Community Life Society is also waiting to see what reorganization of CLBC means for its clients.

“I believe this is a good start and hopeful the $40 million new money will happen immediately,” said Garry Molitwenik, executive director.

“There appears to be a good commitment to work with families and individuals. The executive summary also notes the ‘agency (CLBC) realized approximately $57 million in annual on-going savings through contract review.’ Promises were made many years ago to families and individuals who were leaving institutions and moving into the community that adequate resources would continue.  This promise has been broken.”

The government’s plan includes:

n Ensuring that families play a greater role in planning for their loved ones, while providing more flexibility in the supports available to them and supporting ongoing innovation in communities.

n Improving planning and collaboration across government to ensure that individuals’ needs are at the centre of all decisions.

n Improving transition planning and processes for youth turning 19.

n An increased focus on employment and training services to allow adults with developmental disabilities to lead full, rich lives as members of their communities.

n The creation of a permanent appeal mechanism for individuals and families who have concerns about the services that they’re receiving.

“CLBC began as a collaborative effort between government, families and advocates,” said Stephanie Cadieux, social development minister.

“In order to succeed as we move forward, we need to re-commit ourselves to moving forward together.”

Cadieux will be in Vernon Jan. 31 to meet with parents, clients and service providers.

“Let’s not miss this opportunity to share our successes, suggestions and concerns,” said Klaus Linemayr, a parent who organized the meeting.

The session will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Schubert Centre.