SVI Youth & Family Counsellor Association
Meeting Minutes March 11, 2021
The SVIYFCA wishes to recognize and acknowledge the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations on whose traditional territories we live, we learn, and we do our work.
Members Present: Shauna (Lansdowne), Tammy (Mt. Doug & Arbutus), Laurel (Esquimalt), Carol (Reynolds), Al (James Bay & Quadra), Emily (Cedarhill), Deanna (Central), Andrea (Central), Kylee (George Jay), Sarah (Oak Bay), Courtney (Vic West), Kristi (Macaulay & Vic West), Debra (SJ), Ingrid (SJ), Natalie (ArtsCalibre Academy), and Anne.
Regrets: Barb (Lambrick), Lisa (Vic High).
1) Welcome to new members Sarah Seabrook Oak Bay & Natalie Smith ArtsCalibre Academy.
2) SVIYFC Website: Keith Moen is ending his maintenance of our website ($300 annual fee) and he will transfer all the related documents to a drop-box.
Action: Shauna and Deanna will investigate options to maintain website and will bring options/costs to the next meeting.
3) YFC Annual Report: Currently a committee made up of Executive Directors (Vanya, Kelly and Suzanne) and YFCs (Gen, Jen, Tammy, Lisa C., Anne) are examining the Excel program and identifying possible areas for improvement/change.
Action: Please forward any recommendations/suggestions to Anne for inclusion in the committee’s deliberations.
4) Examining Unionizing: YFCs do not have job security as the School Administrators can reduce/eliminate YFC hours/positions without any consultation with YFCs. Discussion focused on examining whether unionizing could provide job security and benefit YFCs. Question about whether YFCs could unionize as a group or if it had to be according to agency. It was pointed out that YFCs in Sooke and Saanich are part of CUPE, and Phoenix Human Services is BCGEU. In the past, several members have also explored examining the benefits of YFCs becoming an independent professional group (Ingrid, Jen, Bob and Tanya). Important to explore what is working and what is not working for YFCs employment security, compensation and benefits.
Action: Shauna will email members who may wish to form a committee to further research the pros/cons of unionization.
5) Practice Issues: Lack of Mental Health Support in community: Discussion regarding concern that CYMH and other support agencies are not seeing children and youth in a timely manner, or in some cases, not even responding to the urgent need. Examples of waitlists of 6 to 8 months at the Eating Disorder Clinic, Foundry only responding to substance use issues, and students with suicide ideation not being seen by CYMH or High