We are excited to announce a collaborative venture between the familyWORKs project and FSI’s “Families Promoting Employment First” project. We are both focused on enhancing positive outcomes for people with disabilities seeking paid work. We believe that if we combine forces it will create a synergy that will enable us to widen our scope across the province of BC, share knowledge from families, and see a better future in terms of employment outcomes.
With the support of 2010 Legacies Now, CLBC, and BACI, familyWORKs has brought families together to engage and inform about the possibilities for paid employment for people with intellectual disabilities. The familyWORKs story started in 2009 and since that time we have learned together about the different approaches for inclusive employment. familyWORKs, along with our participating families, are becoming disability confident by working on a number of Economic Inclusion projects in Burnaby: working with the Burnaby school system in a pilot project to achieve paid employment before students leave school, created a website that contains information about getting employment for people with disabilities, thinking about how to carry out asset-mapping, and started work on educating employers about disability confidence.
Concurrently, the Family Support Institute (FSI), in cooperation with the Simon Fraser Society for Community Living, and initially funded by CLBC, has been working on their project “Families Promoting Employment First,” a project that has developed a workshop and trained facilitators to engage families in learning about different approaches to achieving paid employment for people with intellectual disabilities. Since that time, the project has facilitated a number of workshops across the province of British Columbia and has plans to engage in more training workshops across the province. The strength of FSI is that we have members in communities across British Columbia.
As we begin to work together, our combined efforts will allow us to pool our resources to bring to families a more holistic approach to help families to help themselves when it comes to creating a possible future of paid work for loved ones. We have a vision of a familyWORKs chapter in many communities across the province that will benefit from our combined resources: an established web presence, our combined learning so far, a developed workshop, and examples of economic inclusion projects that families can take on in communities across BC. What we are proposing helps families to increase their skills, learning and awareness about possible best practices so that collectively, they can increase the chances of getting their family members paid employment.