Families a lifeline for organizations?
We need more innovation and more creativity; 9 times out of 10 that comes from people and families: Xavier Noordemeer
Monday July 9, 2012 -- Michelle Strutzenberger
Community Living Windsor executive director Xavier Noordemeer says he’s aware of the coming resource crunch and how that will likely affect supports, like 24-hour supported homes.
He’s feeling the weight of the need to explore different options — and sees a lot of possibility in calling on the people his organization supports and their families.
“I think we really need more innovation and more creativity, and nine times out of 10 that comes from people and families,” Noordemeer tells Community Living Leaders.
But while Noordemeer is deeply committed to being responsive to families, so much so he’s been acknowledged by colleagues in the sector for this, even he admits to it being a challenge to rely on families for innovation and creativity.
He suggests that — amongst other things that could help change this — the Ministry of Community and Social Services could introduce policies that would encourage more creativity from families and make it easier for organizations to be more open and agile in response to their ideas.
Noordemeer points to individualized funding as an example of an existing structure that allows for family creativity.
Families are trying things like building apartments off family homes or purchasing separate housing for their son or daughter. In doing so, they’re able to be less reliant on agencies, which can cut down costs overall, especially if, for instance, this means someone doesn’t need to go into a group home.
“We need to try to encourage government not to put low ceilings or low limits on the amount of (individualized) funding that people and families can receive,” says Noordemeer, noting recent changes appear likely to limit this individualized support.
Given there are 400 people on the Community Living Windsor wait list for services — and so many more across the province — having this funding as an option is essential.
“As we go into the future I think it will only be the people who are absolutely most desperately in need who get resources,” says Noordemeer.
“But I think we also have to invest in innovation and in families because if we make that investment on the front end we might prevent some crises from happening down the road because we’ve supported people appropriately along the way.”
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-- More to Come
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