COVID & DISABILITY SECTOR

CURRENT PRACTICE GUIDANCE

Please direct any COVID-19 concerns to the Cs-ci-COVID-19@gov.ab.ca

CURRENT CI PRACTICE GUIDANCE DECEMBER 17, 2021
The CI Practice Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and COVID-19 Group Facilities Practice Guidance have been updated.

The Following Chapters have been revised:
  • Updated information related to Children’s Services Rapid Testing program in COVID-19 Reporting, Immunization and Rapid Testing chapter.
  • Note: COVID-19 Positive Case Reporting – As of December 23, 2021, Intervention Practitioners are no longer required to report and track positive cases to the Ministry CS-CI-COVID-19@gov.ab.ca mailbox.
  • Updated information related to Children’s Services Rapid Testing program in Supports to Caregivers of Children in Care chapter. 
  • As of December 23, 2021 agencies are no longer required to report confirmed positive COVID-19 cases to their contract manager/specialist for the purpose of Ministry tracking.

There is also a new COVID-19 Rapid Test Information Sheet for caregivers who opt into the CS rapid testing program and consent has been provided by child’s guardian. Regions will ensure caregivers receive a copy of the info sheet.

JANUARY 6, 2022
ALIGN New Year’s Follow-up Briefing #2 Regarding State of Group Care Provision in Alberta Jan 6, 2021

DECEMBER 20, 2021
Message From Holley Belland CS – Child Intervention Delivery Division’s Town Hall COVID-19 Rapid Test Pilot Video & PPT Dec 2021

DECEMBER 16, 2021
Message from ADM Leann Wagner Government of Alberta  Re Rapid Testing Updates December 16, 2021

DECEMBER 6, 2021

ALIGN COVID Memo #63 Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Re: Reporting a COVID illness at Work to OHS Dec 6, 2021

NOVEMBER 24, 2021

ALIGN Communications Memo #60  COVID-19 Child Intervention Practice Guidance Updates November 2021

The Covid-19 practice guidance has been updated to reflect the new Public Health announcement of vaccination for ages 5-11. Please see the attached updated Child Intervention Practice Guidance.

OCTOBER 22, 2021
ALIGN MEMO #58
Dear Members,
Follow up from our last ALIGN Kinship-Foster Care meeting:1) The Delegation of Powers and Duties to a Child Caregiver (CS1631) was recently updated by removing a caregiver’s ability to consent to immunizations for a child/youth under a Permanent Guardianship Order and Permanent Guardianship Agreement. This update is to align with the Enhancement Policy Manual: Intervention Section, Policy 9.1.7 Immunizations that includes the following: 

  • Immunizations are not part of ordinary medical care;
  • The caregiver cannot refuse or consent to immunizations;
  • The caseworker will work collaboratively with the caregiver by affording them the ability to take the lead as much as possible for arranging for the immunizations.

Children’s Services staff will continue to follow Policy 9.1.7 Immunizations to obtain appropriate consents when arranging for immunizations and discuss with caregivers the need to have the proper consents for immunizations. 

To avoid further confusion and to ensure the appropriate delegations are in place, Children’s Services staff have been directed to provide caregivers with the updated Delegation of Powers and Duties to a Child Caregiver (CS1631) form by December 23rd, 2021. 

Note: For further information about COVID-19 Immunization for Child & Youth 12 and Over, please refer to the Child Intervention Practice Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19)

VIEW FULL MEMO #58 HERE

OCTOBER 20, 2021
Critical Worker Benefit Applications Now Open for FSCD/PDD Deadline Dec. 13, 2021

OCTOBER 19, 2021 (Posted by Skills Society)
Letter from the Alberta Government encouraging COVID-19 vaccination policies for employees On October 13th, 2021 the Minister of Community and Social Services (CSS), Jason Luan, and the Minister of Health, Jason Copping, wrote a letter to CSS stakeholders asking service providers to consider implementing COVID-19 vaccination policies for their employees

“Alberta’s government is asking Community and Social Services service providers to consider implementing COVID-19 vaccination policies for their employees, if you have not already done so, to help keep clients, staff and all Albertans safe as we combat the fourth wave of the virus. … COVID-19 vaccines have been determined to be the best way to stop the spread of the virus. During this critical time we must do all we can to reinforce that message and to encourage as many Albertans as possible to get vaccinated.”

OCTOBER 7, 2021
ACDS: Supporting vaccinations in community disability services October 7, 2021 pdf

The Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) supports vaccines for all eligible Albertans as a safe and effective way to protect against COVID-19 infection and severe outcomes. As a member organization supporting most community disability service providers for the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program in Alberta, we have advocated on vaccine eligibility for disability workers, and have supported our member organizations to implement vaccination programs and policies throughout the pandemic…

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
ALIGN PRESENTATION – Mandatory Vaccination (Speaker Q&A with Sarah Miller 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM mst October 5th, 2021)

SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
ALIGN COMMUNICATIONS MEMO #57 – COVID-19 Child Intervention Practice Guidance September 24, 2021

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
ALIGN PRESENTATION – Mandatory Vaccination (Speaker Q&A with Sarah Miller 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM mst October 5th, 2021)

SEPTEMBER 23, 2021
ALIGN Communications Memo #56 – AHS Rapid Testing Webinar September 29, 2021 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2021
Update on Rapid Testing, PPE, and Interim PDD/FSCD Policies

  1. PPE for your respite workers and other Family Managed Services staff can still be requested from your caseworker.
  2. Alberta’s Rapid Testing Program, Information is available at https://www.alberta.ca/rapid-testing-program.aspx. Family Managed Services (FMS) Administrators under the PDD program and families accessing the Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) program qualify for this under the same terms and conditions as a company. Disability Services is working with Health to get more information about the Rapid Testing Program, details pending.
  3. Interim policies for FSCD and PDD remain in effect:

SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
Message From Crista Carmichael CSS – FSCD and PDD In-Person Meetings Suspended Sept 2021

AUGUST 25, 2021
ALIGN Memo 54
Return to School 2021-2022 Caregiver Message August 23 2021. 

AUGUST 16, 2021
Canada Extended COVID Wage & Rent Subsidies, CRB, CRCB,CRSB until October 23, 2021
Canada Rent and Wage Subsidies extended until October 23, 2021 

  • Extending the eligibility period for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until October 23, 2021, and increasing the rate of support employers and organizations can receive during the period between August 29 and September 25, 2021.
  • Extending the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) until October 23, 2021.
  • Increasing the maximum number of weeks available for the CRB, by an additional 4 weeks, to a total of 54 weeks, at a rate of $300 per week, and ensuring it is available to those who have exhausted their employment insurance (EI) benefits.

AUGUST 15, 2021
Alberta Gov – Health guide, tool kit and on-site vaccination ensure safe school year ahead Aug 2021

Alberta Gov – Health guide, tool kit and on-site vaccination ensure safe school year ahead

New health guidance will ensure students’ safety and help school officials prepare for the new school year.

JULY 22, 2021
Critical Worker Benefit Applications Extended to Aug. 31, 2021
As Alberta’s economy recovers, small and medium-sized businesses are focused on reopening and rehiring staff. Many of these businesses also provided services to Albertans in the midst of the pandemic and have employees who are eligible for the Critical Worker Benefit.In order to make sure these businesses can focus on reopening while ensuring their employees can get the Critical Worker Benefit, the deadline for private sector employers to submit applications has been extended to August 31, 2021
LEARN MORE

JULY 17,  2021
ALIGN MEMO Updated Practice Guidance
Child Intervention Practice Guidance Revised July 2 2021
COVID-19 Group and Campus-Based Facilities Practice Guidance July 2021 (CS, ALIGN, AH)

JUNE 29, 2021
ALIGN Journal Special Edition COVID-19: Meeting the Challenge in Child Welfare Settings Spring 2021 (Includes COVID-19’s Impact on Alberta’s Community Disability Services)

JUNE 22, 2021
Alberta.ca More Albertans (Including Disability Support Workers) to receive $1,200 Critical Worker Benefit June 22, 2021 for more information.

JUNE 18, 2021
Alberta.ca New Vaccine Guide 

JUNE 7, 2021

ALIGN E.D. Update for Child Intervention Group Care Providers (Contract Negotiations) Meeting June 15 from 1:30 – 3:30 by ZOOM.

MAY 27, 2021
ADD YOUR VOICE – A brighter future for kids now and beyond the pandemic
The Alberta Government wants to hear from Albertans, review available data and expertise, and ensure government and community supports are working for kids and families. Deadline July 31, 2021

MAY 10, 2021
ALIGN MEMO #51 CHILDREN’S SERVICES UPDATES
Updated information for COVID-19 Immunization for youth 12 and Older in the Medical Appointments Chapter.
Updated information for COVID-19 Immunization for youth 12 and Older in the Support for Caregivers Chapter.

MAY 5, 2021
With the announcement that government is making it easier for Albertans to be vaccinated,  families with FSCD agreements, PDD-FMS Administrators and service providers no longer need to provide employment validation letters to their front-line disability service workers.  All that is required is for the Albertan to bring a piece of ID with their birth date to their vaccination appointment.

Thank you for your assistance in sharing this with your membership and others.  Jenni

Jenni Enders
PDD Policy and Statutory Oversight

Disability Policy|Disability Services

APRIL 30, 2021

ALIGN – IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL FSCD AND PDD PROVIDERS! April 30, 2021 Vaccine Updates & Town Hall Invitation with Dr. Hinshaw

APRIL 29, 2021

Alberta Government News Release – Finishing Phase 2 of vaccine rollout
starting April 30, 2021 Proof of eligibility is required for immunization of staff of eligible facilities and designated support persons. This will include:

  • For staff of congregate facilities, proof of employment (such as a letter from their employer).
  • For designated family support persons, a letter from the congregate living facility (e.g., group home, speciality schools, etc.) is required.
  • An honour system approach will be used for household contacts of profoundly immunocompromised individuals and children under 12 with high-risk medical condition

READ FULL RELEASE

MARCH 26, 2021
Alberta.ca Employers and service providers can apply to receive free rapid test kits for use in their organization’s COVID-19 screening program.

The rapid testing program is open to any public, private or not-for-profit employer or service provider with an approved COVID-19 screening program overseen by an eligible health care provider.

MARCH 26, 2021
Children’s Services Caregiver Training Update Safe Babies March 26, 2021
WFD is pleased to let you know that the following training materials are now available: Safe Babies the Babysteps manual is now replaced with the Alberta Health Services
‘Healthy Parents Healthy Children’ resource which can be accessed online select ‘I’m a parent’ to access the resource guide

FEBRUARY 22, 2021
ACDS – MLA template and key messages on CWB. Message from Andrea Hesse, CEO Feb 22, 2021

Critical Worker Benefit Advocacy: MLA advocacy; follow us on social media. Vaccine Availability and Rollout Update: We have requested further clarification. Critical Worker Benefit: MLA Advocacy. Yesterday, we shared an update regarding the Critical Worker Benefit and the exclusion of many disability workers from being eligible for the benefit. We know that many of you want to amplify our advocacy efforts with your individual advocacy, including reaching out to your MLAs. This is really encouraging, and we know can be very effective. When connecting with MLAs, it is important that we avoid partisan engagement. This is a public policy issue, directly impacting hardworking disability workers and the individuals they serve. We know that advocacy is most effective when focused on policy, rather than partisanship. To assist you to advocate on this issue, we have prepared some tools to support you as you call or write to your MLAs. This package includes some key messages and a letter template, which you may personalize and use to reach out to your MLA. You can find your MLA, and their contact details using this online tool. (Locate Your MLA Here)

FEBRUARY 18, 2021

CSS Ken Dropko, MEd Memo Regarding Applications for Alberta Critical Worker Benefit

Good afternoon CSS partners,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary impact on frontline service providers delivering supports to the most vulnerable Albertans. In appreciation for the continued efforts of frontline workers, the Government of Alberta recently announced the Alberta Critical Worker Benefit Program.  Additional information is available at: https://www.alberta.ca/critical-worker-benefit.aspx

Along with a number of other essential workers, this program will provide eligible essential workers working in Preventive Community Services (PCS) funded sexual assault centres, family violence prevention agencies and Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) with a one-time payment of $1,200 in recognition of their hard work providing Albertans with the care and critical services they need.

These essential workers have taken on additional challenges to meet the increased health and personal care needs of the clients they serve and this additional pay is an acknowledgment of the extraordinary efforts they continue to make as they care for others.

Funding will be distributed to service providers in a lump-sum payment using a separate grant agreement issued to each eligible service provider. I have attached information on the eligibility criteria, as well as the Schedule C, which will be used to submit your request for the benefit. Please ensure to read all background information to ensure your understanding of the eligibility criteria.

Copy of Schedule C – Data and Invoice Template – FCS should be forwarded t o CSS.FCSSAdmin@gov.ab.ca by March 5, 2021. Subject line: [Agency Name] Essential Worker Benefit Application

ACWB Guidelines for Social Services Sector-FCS-Feb16

Once received, your application will be reviewed by department staff and if it meets the eligibility criteria, a grant agreement will be provided to facilitate the transfer of employee benefits to you. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the benefit is provided to each identified eligible employee.

The contacts below can help in answering questions regarding the application process:

Sexual Assault Centres – Janet Pavlic; Janet.Pavlic@gov.ab.ca
Family Violence Prevention – Donna Barker; Donna.Barker@gov.ab.ca
FCSS – Nicole Nowakowski; Nicole.Nowakowski@gov.ab.ca

Ken Dropko, MEd Executive Director, Civil Society and Community Initiatives Branch Preventive Community Services Division Ministry of Community and Social Services

Ken.Dropko@gov.ab.ca


FEBRUARY 3, 2021

Alberta’s Government Is Providing $68.5 Million To Protect Vulnerable Albertans And Staff Feb 3, 2021
Alberta’s government is providing $68.5 million to protect vulnerable Albertans and staff in continuing care and residential addiction and mental health treatment facilities, as well as home care clients, from COVID-19.

Organizations operating during the period of March 15, 2020 to March 31, 2021 will be eligible.
Information on how to apply for funding will be posted on alberta.ca in the coming weeks.

This one-time funding will support operators of non-contracted licensed supportive living and both contracted and non-contracted home care, hospices and residential addiction and mental health treatment centres.

It will help operators pay for increased staffing, additional cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.Funding to support operators providing essential services varies by sector and will be calculated based on the number of spaces in each facility or on an hourly basis for home care:

  • $48 million for non-contracted licensed supportive living
  • $9.9 million for residential addiction and mental health treatment facilities
  • $9.6 million for home care
  • $1 million for residential community hospice

JANUARY 20, 2021
Alberta’s Government Will Continue The Current Service Model With Residential And Personal Care Facilities For People With Disabilities In Edmonton And Calgary.

News Release Supporting Services For Albertans With Disabilities January 29, 2021
There were 150 responses to the survey that was sent to the families and guardians of individuals using these facilities. Overall, the majority of respondents indicated they prefer to have their loved ones stay at the current locations, served by current staff. They indicated they are opposed to transitioning to new service providers. After reviewing the feedback and data, the government has decided to continue the current model of service delivery at these facilities. Read Full

DECEMBER 2020
Q/A on COVID-1for Alberta’s disability sector Pu blished weekly from April to July 2020. Resumed on a bi-weekly schedule December 2020 Bi-weekly Q/A on COVID-19: For Alberta’s disability sector December 2020

FSCD In-Planning Caseload by Region December 1, 2020

FSCD Active Caseload by Region December 1, 2020

ALIGN Newsletter What’s Happening in the Disability Sector? October 2020
The Disabilities Sector is potentially in a risky place. Many of the agencies that provide services for children and families also provide services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) or Family Supports for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) services. It is important that we support Alberta Council for Disability Services (ACDS) advocacy work as it may have a collateral effect on many of your colleagues. What is the issue? On June 10, the Government of Alberta (GoA) issued a notice to…  Read Full Bulletin and Learn More about ACDS Social Media Campaign

JULY 22, 2020

Hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers (COVID-19): List of hand sanitizers authorized by Health Canada

Disability and FSCD Covid-19 Q and A July 9, 2020

MARCH 17, 2020

COVID 19 ALIGN Ministry Of Children Services


C
OVID-19 Communication from John Stinson, Assistant Deputy Minister Program Policy and Improvement, Community and Social Services for FSCD Families March 2020

MARCH 24, 2020
Information for Contract Service Providers

Working During COVID-19
Questions have been raised about protocols regarding televisits, therapy etc. Please see information /resources from Tele Health Org

Q Which secure platform is the best?
A Attached is information about two of the most popular Webex VS Zoom.. Please note ALIGN is not recommending one over the other.

Personal Protective Equipment
Here are some videos shared by Bruce Armson on proper use of masks. These should be presented and discussed with all staff in Group Living.

APRIL 2020

Guidelines for Continuous Mask and Eye Protection Use in Home Care and Congregate Living Settings
Putting on (Donning) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Taking off (Doffing) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for people with disabilities

CSS has developed a process to receive questions from the Disability Sector that will be answered weekly with a Weekly Q & A on COVID-19 For Alberta’s disability sector. Please submit your questions clearly in an e mail to Rhonda Barraclough arhondab@staging.alignab.ca  by Fridays  weekly at 9 AM based on COVID-19 related concerns and issues. Every Friday, CSS Program Policy and Improvement Division will review all of the questions submitted, categorize them into theme areas and then create a roll up question for each theme area. The summarized questions will be distributed to the most appropriate staff in Community and Social Services to draft a succinct and plain language answer. Every Tuesday we will post the questions and answers in the Weekly Q & A on COVID-19
Weekly Q/A on COVID-19: For Disability Service Providers April 23, 2020
Weekly Q/A on COVID-19: For Disability Service Providers April, 2020

APRIL 7, 2020

AHS online assessment tool for health-care workers, enforcement and first responders .

  • Medical masks and respirators must be kept for health-care workers and others providing direct care to COVID-19 patients. Those who choose to wear a non-medical face mask should:
  • continue to follow all other public health guidance (staying two metres away from others, wash hands regularly, stay home when sick)
  • wash their hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (in addition to practising good hand hygiene while wearing it)
  • ensure it fits well (non-gaping)
  • not share it with others
  • avoid touching the mask while wearing it
  • change masks as soon they get damp or soiled

CMOH Order 08-2020 “Covid-19 Suspected, Probable and Confirmed COVID-19 Outbreak Standards” for all congregate care settings is particularly important and attached here: CMOH order 08-2020 : 2020 COVID-19 response. Appendix

“These standards set expectations for any site that has identified a resident or staff member who is reporting a suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.

  1. A suspected COVID-19 outbreak is defined as:
  2. One resident or staff member who exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19
  3. A probable COVID-19 outbreak is defined as:
  4. Two or more individuals (staff or residents) who are linked with each other who exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19
  5. Individuals who are linked means they have a connection to each other (e.g. share a room, dine at the same table, received care from the same staff member, etc.)
  6. A confirmed COVID-19 outbreak is defined as any of the following:
  7. Any one individual confirmed to have COVID-19, including:
  8. Any resident who is confirmed to have COVID-19
  9. Any staff member who is confirmed to have COVID-19.”

AHS online assessment tool for health-care workers, enforcement and first responders .

ALIGN ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY SERVICES
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