Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is intended to establish a set of future broad based directions within an organization. To be completed effectively, it requires the engagement and input of a variety of stakeholders. The latter includes anyone or any group that has an investment of some type in the operation of the organization.

A second core requirement of this method of planning is to undertake a scan of the present and emerging environment within and surrounding the organization. This must be done as the first step in contemplating what the future should look like and where actions needs to be taken. The goal is to ensure that any outcomes conform to what the environment suggests based on the input gathered.

The process begins by discerning the organization’s internal strengths and limitations through the input from a variety of stakeholders. It also considers external opportunities (positive) that may be present for the organization as well as possible threats (negative) that the organization may face into the future. All four areas are examined and analyzed in terms of their collective impact and in relation to what the organization needs to consider in its planning response.

The process also includes the confirmation or adjustment of the agency’s mandate or mission as well as its vision of the future. Following this work and discussion, the actual creation of a planning document can then take place. Implementation planning then follows and activities begin in earnest. 

Input was sought from people supported, family members, the staff and the agency Board of Directors. Following this work, a planning session was held in December where the results of the October meetings were analyzed and future directions were established. 

Confirmation of CLFE’s Mandate/Mission

  • To provide high quality care and support to each person as per their individual needs and desires.
  • To ensure individualized access to community based opportunities and services. 
  • To ensure that people with disabilities are seen as valued citizens of our community.
  • To provide opportunities for inclusion within a framework of rights and self- determination.

Vision of Future Success

  • The philosophy of inclusion will continue to be better understood and more fully accepted within our communities and within the organization.
  • Defined transition points and expert planning will be in place within the organization as individuals migrate from one area of service to another, e.g. Family Support Services to Community Supports to Seniors. 
  • People we support will continue to have greater involvement in the leadership of the organization.
  • A range of additional partnerships will be in place that will be influential in enhancing the level of community support and inclusion experienced by individuals.
  • CLFE will be a transparent and collaborative oriented organization in working with other players in the areas of shared services, increased efficiencies and ensuring strong internal planning and assurance of quality.

Commitment Statements

  • Community Living – Fort Erie believes that all people have a right to be included in their community. We must demonstrate this in every aspect of service provision.
  • Person Centred Planning and Person Centred Thinking will be used to ensure that supports offered are individualized and appropriate to the person. 
  • Our community will be a place where people with intellectual challenges will have the opportunity to fully and actively participate in the life of the community.
  • Community Living – Fort Erie will operate in a financially responsible manner and maximize the diversity of its funding sources and opportunities. 
  • Staff will be educated and supported to become and remain fully aligned with the values of the organization and its strategic directions. This will provide them with the motivation and energy needed to meet our commitments. 
  • Staff will be recognized by the organization in meaningful ways and be supported fully in accordance with their dedicated efforts.

Proposed Strategic Directions

1. Build on Recent Planning Efforts/Successes:

In light of recent successes by CLFE in the areas of community-based inclusion, fund development, greater use of volunteers, technology and accreditation, the following related directions will be pursued during this strategic plan:

a) Seek new grant opportunities that will specifically be used to promote inclusion.

b) Undertake a concerted effort to build and promote ‘natural support networks’ for people supported by the organization.

c) Undertake a review of the agency’s long running ‘Leisure Buddies’ program in order to confirm and/or evolve its approach in reaching greater inclusion levels and in building natural support networks.

d) CLFE’s successes will increasingly be measurable in an evidence-based manner. Benchmarks will be established to determine the level of change that is occurring in the lives of individuals as a result of focusing to a greater degree on this approach.  

Results will be shared with a range of stakeholders including staff, families, individuals supported, the larger community, other developmental service (DS) organizations and MCSS. 

e) CLFE staff in all areas (Community Support Services, Family Support and Residential) will continue to promote inclusion- based alternatives for people supported. This will be particularly emphasized with young people who are transitioning to adult life and their families.  

Staff activities will include collaboration and planning with Developmental Services Ontario (DSO), the MCSS Passport program and various local community services.

f) CLFE will seek renewal of its current accreditation status with Focus Ontario in order to practice in a consistent manner, meet or exceed sector standards, maintain a focus on continuous quality improvement and ensure a high level of accountability.  

Several grants have been secured over the past few months that will assist with our inclusion agenda. Staff continue to seek out natural support networks in the community. They have found several new opportunities. 

The Leisure Buddy Program is being reviewed. Margaret has sent our surveys to the leisure buddies and will now follow up with staff and the individuals themselves as to their thoughts and experiences with the Program.

Staff in all programs always promote inclusion based alternatives vs. segregated options.

Staff work very well with the DSO and take advantage of the many opportunities that are presented to them by the DSO and passport funding for individuals.

We have applied for renewal of accreditation. The documentation has been sent to Focus Ontario and they have indicated that our site validation will be the first week in December. If successful this will be a four (4) year accreditation.    

2. Succession Planning:

CLFE recognizes the necessity of internal leadership development on an ongoing basis at all levels of the organization. As such, a formal Succession Plan will be created in order to identify and prepare potential candidates for leadership roles. 

CLFE will work with the provincial DS Human Resource Strategy Group in this regard and use the various tools offered by the initiative including Behaviour- based Interviewing, Core Competencies, Performance Coaching, and Career Development.

To prepare the landscape, an initial process of discernment and thinking will be required. This will be known as the “Planning for the Plan” phase of activity.

The agency will also consider the involvement of a third party as necessary in the process such as an HR specialist or consultant with direct experience in this area.

The Plan will also include the confirmation or adjustment of individual roles, (job analysis) whenever people retire or otherwise depart from the organization. 

Staff attended a succession planning workshop in Toronto. a Manual was shared and circulated. All Managers have copy and we are having a consultant (Paul Muldoon) meet with us on the 15th of October to look further into core competencies, individual roles and areas of expertise.   

3. Shared Services:

In light of ongoing and severe financial constraints within the sector, CLFE will continue to explore Shared Service opportunities with others in the DS sector and the broader community whenever appropriate occasions present themselves.

Always looking at opportunities as they arise with the DS sector.

4. Person Centred Thinking and Response:

Based on feedback from individuals supported and staff, CLFE will review its requirement for annual planning and goal setting for every individual supported by the organization. Personal choice of the person will be respected in this context, particularly when they express an interest to not be involved in a formal planning process. 

Planning will also be simplified and made less repetitive. It will also be less “goal driven” as per the individual’s personal preferences and needs. A number of people supported by CLFE have indicated that they do not want a high degree of formal intrusion into their lives, their plans and to have to see the process as a “requirement”. 

The new process will make greater use of new technology now available to CLFE that will simplify the Annual Review process and reflect adjustments only in those areas where changes are necessary. Staff and people supported will both be consulted regarding any proposed adjustments to simplify the process. 

In a related area, CLFE will pursue potential acquisition of the AIMS case management system, which was designed specifically for the DS community.

The Manager of Quality Assurance is looking at how best to achieve this direction. We have asked for staff volunteers to meet and review the plans with the objective to make it more user friendly. This will take several months and hopefully we can look at acquiring software that will streamline the process.

Supports to Adolescents during Summer Months:

In the case of supports to adolescents, CLFE will review its approach of using “group-based” summer camp experiences for adolescents, as in some cases, they  are no longer age appropriate and will result in a significantly segregated summer experience.

In this regard, over the next two years, individualized alternatives will be sought for all youth supported above the age of fourteen in this regard.  The respite needs of families as well as the personal interests of each person supported will be considered fully.

Specifically, a grant application will be undertaken in the spring of 2015 that would provide transitional supports for 10-12 adolescents over 14 years of age with a focus on individual participation in a work based summer experience program. 

With respect to individuals who have more complex care requirements, CLFE will work with their families in terms of using some of their individualized support dollars for summer respite needs.

Thirdly, CLFE will also explore the potential for the development of a joint summer program with the Fort Erie YMCA

A summer grant was acquired and a very successful program was launched for the transitional aged youth in Fort Erie.

5. Consider Alternatives to a Congregate/Segregated Living Model:

Based on CLFE’s statement of commitment to offer inclusive support wherever possible, the organization will review the design of its current Taylor Avenue site. This residential location offers supported housing to eleven people with developmental disabilities in a setting which is primarily segregated in nature. 

It will examine the current state, look at the pros and cons of the environment, explore possible options that would be more inclusive in nature and offer people more lifestyle choices. The results of the Feasibility Study will be fully examined and considered prior to any course of action being developed or considered.

Have not done anything in this area. Hopefully in the New Year.

Next Steps:

  1. The Strategic Plan will be formally reviewed and endorsed by the Board of Directors.
  2. The plan will then be shared with agency stakeholders and all others who were involved in providing input towards its development. 
  3. CLFE’s Leadership Team will then put in place a strong Implementation Plan to ensure a coordinated response.
  4. CLFE’s Leadership Team will also develop a ‘Communications Strategy’ to educate all staff, families and other community stakeholders regarding the strategic directions and the intended actions to follow.
  5. CLFE’s Board and Leadership Team are fully committed to the monitoring of the strategic plan on a monthly basis over the next 24 months.
  6. Leadership at a Board and staff level will adjust the plan after twelve months of experience as necessary.