Family Engagement

Community Living Ontario / Family Engagement

Family Engagement

Vision Statement “Family Engagement”

The role families have played in the Community Living movement has been essential to ensure vitality, commitment and influence from the beginning, whether locally, provincially or nationally. Virtually all local Associations had, as their founding members, families who understood the importance of working together to accomplish things that they knew they could not do alone. The history of this movement is the story of families that gathered together to challenge the status quo and each other, advocate for human rights and equal opportunities for their family member and develop a variety of services and supports through local efforts. This family-led movement would eventually and radically alter the landscape with the advent of institutional closures, governmental declarations of human rights and freedoms for people with disabilities, person centred approaches
to service and support and a more inclusive nature to our communities.

Family Engagement is a term used to describe a way in which an organization supports families to be connected with one another. Community Living Ontario recognizes the wisdom of families and the value of connecting families to one another. This is an essential element to growing strong communities, where families build relationships with one another and influence community attitudes. Family Engagement strengthens families by orchestrating information sharing among families, which explore new and innovative ideas and supports the imagination of creative alternatives to current practices or supports that don’t fit with their vison. While connecting families to one another, for the purpose of strengthening the family unit, Family Engagement also works to create solidarity among families across the province to have a strong collective voice.

A few things we are up to:

1. CLO has partnered with; Community Living Mississauga; Community Living St Mary’s and area; Rygiel Supports for Community Living and Brockville & District Association for Community Involvement. This collaborative is working to develop a community of practice focused on Family Engagement. It is a project that supports learning among families and the partner organizations. Partner organizations are taking this opportunity to have intentional and focused learning with one another on what is required of membership organizations to do Family Engagement.

2. Hosting a workshop series for families called Social Value & Inclusion. This series offers families the opportunity to:

  • Strengthen advocacy efforts among families.
  • Support families to evaluate/critique and create service and supports that fit theindividual needs of their family member.
  • Create opportunities to connect families to nurture and renew their vision for their family members.

3. Developing an online hub that will connect families and offer information for families through Community Living Ontario’s website.

Family Engagement Steering Committee Members:
Bobbie Stephens
Ann Smith
Maureen Roy
Noreen Adams
Kimberley Gavan
Donna Marcaccio
Laurie Frandsen
Jack Gillan (Board Representative)