We are pleased to present a video providing you with an overview of why CSSSI is an important, sector-specific initiative, the new resources the CSSSI will provide to the human services sector over the coming months, and how the resources will be offered through the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP). Watch the video here.
On behalf of ALIGN, ACDS, Children’s Services and Community and Social Services, we are pleased to tell you about the new Community Services Staff Safety Initiative (CSSSI), which is intended to increase safety and reduce harassment and violence in the workplace:
The Government of Alberta has contracted the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) to work with ALIGN and ACDS to design and deliver new resources for staff, to be implemented between now and 2021. The initiative will specifically support contracted agency
workers who provide children’s services and disability supports – by providing customized safety information, training and tools for staff, supervisors and employers.
Resources will include:
- activities and materials to generate awareness within the community services sector about workplace violence and harassment;
- tools, templates and best practices to enhance safety for staff; and
- training to help Occupational Health & Safety committee members and representatives understand their role and responsibilities and broader training to support safe and healthy workplaces for all staff.
The AASP is a non-profit organization certified to help a wide variety of Alberta employers incorporate health and safety systems into their workplaces. Their expertise, combined with the knowledge of ACDS and ALIGN about the unique issues and challenges facing the community services sector, will support staff to identify, assess and respond to the hazards they face in their day-to-day work.
The health and safety of workers and clients is equally important. When workers are safe, they are better able to provide support to their clients. Violence and harassment should never be considered as just part of the job. The resources developed through this project will give frontline staff, supervisors and employers the practical information, training and strategies to support safe work environments for everyone in the workplace.
Thank you for your continued dedication to supporting Albertans. Please share this information with your staff. We will continue to keep you updated about this project as it rolls out. You can also check the AASP web page for project updates and opportunities to provide input.
CSSSI Steering Committee member organizations:
ACDS, ALIGN, Children’s Services, Community and Social Services
Correspondence from Marika Giesen | Executive Director, Service Delivery Improvement and Integration Dec. 12, 2018
Rhonda and Andrea, thanks for the good discussion on Monday re: moving forward, with the help of a Health & Safety Association, on the social services staff safety initiative. As mentioned, we’ve pulled together some high-level notes below to support your discussions/communications with your respective membership. I hope this is helpful. If you have questions/comments, let me know.Watch for an update early in the new year.
Over the past several months, ALIGN and ACDS have been meeting with government representatives from Labour, Community and Social Services (CSS) and Children’s Services to discuss shared concerns and collaborative strategies related to the safety of staff in the social services sector
As a result of these discussions, government will be providing funding to secure the services of a Health and Safety Association (HSA) to develop a variety of resources focused specifically on improving safety for staff in our sector. We want to be clear that this is not about establishing a sector HSA that members pay into; rather, to use the expertise of an HSA to develop sector-specific resources for our association(s) and its members. These resources will focus on three key areas:
- Awareness: through provincial and agency-level activities, staff at different levels will be aware of their respective roles and responsibilities regarding safety in the workplace;
- Tools: creating a variety of common tools and templates (e.g., hazard assessments) that take into account the unique environment our social services staff work in; and,
- Training: creating a variety of training resources and identifying training opportunities for all staff that will support their ability to identify and respond to safety issues in the workplace.
We have been clear that whatever comes from this work, it cannot introduce additional costs for agencies and it must be informed by and developed in consultation with our sector members. We will have more to share in the New Year when the HSA is selected and begins its work, and we hope you will be willing to work with us as we create these important resources