Out of the Day Program and Into Community

Out of the Day Program
and Into Community
Aaron Johannes
and Susan Stanfield
Vancouver B.C.
Spectrum Society for Community
Living – Vancouver, B.C.
• Institutional downsizing projects
– 1988-1996
• Alternative to traditional services
– Residential (40 people)
• One 5-bed group home
– Community inclusion (80 people)
• No centre-based day programs
Competitive employment
Supported employment
Work crew / enclaves
Sheltered workshop
Pre-vocational / day activity centre
One person at a time
• Build on strengths and interests
• Normative options
Paid employment
Volunteer work
Adult education
• Generic resources
Local businesses
Community organizations
Recreation centres
2004 Budget Cut
• What would you be willing to do differently?
– Shared Living
– Cluster Housing
– Group activities
What to do?
“If anyone can run a good centrebased day program, we can...”
The Plan
• Drop-in option for people with limited funding
• 6-8 participants per day
• 50% of time on-site, 50% in community
• Each person planning and leading an activity
• No new referrals
If you build it, they will come
Rules crept in...
Program start / end time
Posted activity schedule
Fee structure
Attendance sheet
AWOL protocol
Bathroom protocol
Behaviour programs
“Quiet space”
Conflict resolution
3 years later
• 20 participants
– People with 1:1 staff were coming to the program
– Whole new team
– Majority of time on-site
– Calls for a bigger room
– Staff were fundraising for a bus
– Funders were offering $ for more space
– Children’s videos on the donated big screen tv
– Friday music group
“Any ‘institution’ (in the sociological sense) that
has much momentum but no viable rationale
is likely to strive for self-perpetuation on the
basis of its previous rationales and practices.”
- The Origin and Nature of our Institutional
Models (Wolfensberger, 1969)
The rationale
They’re having fun
We’re all friends here
It’s safe
They love doing arts and crafts
We can serve more people this way
Staff can support each other – we’d have no
support in the community
• It’s more cost-effective
• The families like the routine of M-F, 9-3
• Some people NEED a centre
The reality
• It was boring
• They weren’t all friends
• Some acted out (which made it unsafe for
• Only one person loved doing arts and crafts
• Staff conflicts were ongoing
• Families wanted more flexibility
In a program…
In a person-centred service…
Decision making is driven by staff and
Decision making is driven by the individual and
his/her support network
Planning occurs as a singular event, according to
a prescribed format
Planning is ongoing and individualized
The person’s goals are defined within the context
of the program
The person’s goals are defined within the context
of a holistic plan
Specialized supports are the first response to
meeting individual needs
Generic supports are the first response
Staff take the place of natural supports
Staff augment natural supports
There is a pre-set schedule of activities that
people take part in (or don’t)
Individuals develop their own personal schedule
based on their goals
Staffing is provided at pre-set times according to
a fixed schedule
Staffing is provided flexibly
Focus on participation
Focus on increased independence
Focus on group needs
Focus on individual needs
Staff skills determine the selection of activities
Preferred activities inform the selection of staff
with appropriate skills
Support is tied to the program – the person can’t
take their support with them if they leave the
Services are portable – the person can take their
support and change service providers if they so
If you build it, they will come
Strategic Plan 2010-2013:
“Commitment to Partnership”
1. Strengthen the capacity of individuals to develop
and tap relationships, networks and community
2. Shift to a more person-directed approach to
3. Become recognized as a model of excellence in
supporting self governance, locally and beyond;
4. Nurture a culture of learning and leadership;
5. Develop a self sustaining social enterprise /
business arm of Spectrum
• Strategic planning day with leaders
– Informed Spectrum’s new strategic plan
– “Rallying people to a brighter future”
• Met with each family individually
– Context of ongoing person-centred planning
• Series of meetings with staff team
– Training and dialogue
– “Changing role of community support workers”
Job Posting:
Day Program Transformation Manager
This exciting leadership opportunity will appeal to someone with a passion for community
inclusion and relationship building. We are seeking a strong leader who can articulate a
vision of best practice for community living and engage multiple stakeholders to work
collectively toward that vision, consistent with Spectrum's strategic plan. Outstanding
communication and facilitation skills, with an emphasis on working proactively with
persons served, families and staff to build concensus and a shared sense of purpose, will
be critical.
The successful candidate will work under the direction of Co-Directors Aaron Johannes
and Susan Stanfield to facilitate the transformation of Spectrum's day services from a
program model to an individualized, community-based model of support. This is a
singular opportunity for someone to contribute to a process of change within Spectrum's
largest (and growing) service area, while developing their own leadership skills. The
position will involve extensive training, project management, and team-building
opportunities that will position the Project Leader for future opportunities within
Spectrum or outside the agency. It will involve working closely with representatives from
all levels of the agency, as well as families, funders, community partners and persons
“We’re closing the day program!”
One person at a time
• Personal support networks
• Build on strengths and interests
• Normative options
Paid employment
Volunteer work
Adult education
• Generic resources
Local businesses
Community organizations
Recreation centres
Circles – Person Centred Planning Tool
for one person
“who do you care about and want in
your life?”
Thinking of an individual’s goals and
challenges rather than those of a
Compare program approaches.
What’s possible for...
One person...
• Who likes to socialise; this is
their gift and they enjoy it
A group of people...
• Where one person likes to
socialise but...
• Another person wants to be
• Another person is triggered
by talking
• Someone else wants to go
do something else...
• Someone isn’t feeling well
• Someone...
And then another person...
Then match up the goals of one with another person
(and another and another)... If your planning is good
enough, you can support dreams with the same
money. This is happening all over the world.
Then start making lists of actions that
will meet the objectives of the
So part of our job is working as an
effective team... To dream, do, debrief,
assess and problem-solve...
Our Vision
• Everyone doing things they want to do, with
preferred others
• Enlist natural supports (not just staff)
• Individual safeguards
• Flexible scheduling
• No-one left behind
One person at a time
One person at a time
One person at a time
One person at a time
Collingwood Neighbourhood House
• Everyone is doing things they want to do
• Natural supports are everywhere
• Behavioural issues have lessened or
• People’s overall health and mobility have
• No-one wants to go back

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