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BC Personal Support Networks Survey

A Snapshot-Survey of Initiatives
Related to Personal Supports Networks in British Columbia

 February/March, 2010

 

    This project
was completed with support from
Community Living British Columbia
 


Executive Summary – A Snapshot-Survey of Initiatives Related to Personal Supports Networks in British Columbia
February/March, 2010

HISTORY: This survey about personal support network related initiatives was developed for, and with feedback from, C.L.B.C.’s  Innovation Support Network subcommittee on Belonging, Chaired by Jack Styan.  The survey was emailed to an initial list of contacts, who were asked to forward it to interested people.   What was wanted was a “snapshot” of provincial initiatives around personal support networks to inform the subcommittee and to provide groundwork for a distributable list of possible contacts.  The survey was also sent out through Spectrum’s Personal Support Network newsletter, BCACL’s and PLAN’s email lists and  Victoria’s Community Options for Children and Families.  Our sense was that the survey was widely distributed, and participants represented a wide geographical range in the province.   Feedback from the Belonging subcommittee was that the idea of what a personal support network might be should be as open-ended and welcoming as possible (See the introductory paragraph below).

 RESPONSE: 42 people opened the survey; 13 of them chose not to complete it.   There were 28 on-line responses over a period of approximately eight weeks.   A further 13 were added from Spectrum’s own contacts around the province, with permission, giving us a total of 41 responses, of which one was later withdrawn.   

QUESTIONS: CLBC staff, who in some areas have been instrumental in developing personal support networks and maintaining what John Lord calls “a lens of relationship” in their work, did not participate, nor did several other agencies/projects/leaders in this area of learning.  A more personal follow-up of the survey would enable these initiatives to be included.   More phone calls, visits and email requests would likely have many more responses. However, it was clear from people we did call that many did not complete the survey because of some insecurity around the claim that they know how to do this sensitive work, or hesitation around capacity (“We’re already stretched – I do this off the side of my desk.”).   Some also felt they were “too new at it” or “didn’t have enough successes to contribute” yet, even when we explained it was just a “snapshot” of the province.   The fact that the survey will become a public document was also a factor for some people.   The priority for some was to “do the work,” rather than reporting on the work. 

WHO RESPONDED: Most respondents are leaders of various kinds of projects, or work at agencies where Personal Support Network facilitation has become a primary value.   Some are parents, and many have dual or triple roles as parents, friends, project leaders, agency staff and volunteers, and are focused on this area in their work.    Folks related to PLAN were able to discuss their interest in context, as were those who had taken the “Weaving the Ties that Bind” course.  Three self-identified self-advocates responded, and self-advocates are represented by at least two groups and by a number of agencies (AimHi has an active self-advocacy coordinator, herself a self-advocate, who sees her role as a connector for people; Vela’s microboards are required to include the person being supported as a self-advocate on the board of friends and family members who control the services).  Another self-advocate was added at our request.  

HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES THIS REPRESENT?: Very few people responded only for themselves; the vast majority speak for groups or affiliations they represent, from a dozen to several hundred members.    We estimate that the number of actual participants represented by the 40 respondents might range from anywhere from 480 to 2000 or so people.    If we included the number of folks who were not yet represented by a respondent, but are working on related initiatives of some kind, the number of people involved in personal support initiatives might double again.  

If we think of these as informed, connected participants in the conversation around building personal support networks, this indicates a major shift from several years ago when this idea was relatively new and needed explanation; if we compare the understanding of, interest in and receptivity to the idea of “natural supports” that these responses imply, in contrast to the early days of community living when this was a dream, we are miles ahead of where we were.

Several family-governed initiatives responded, some of which have paid facilitators. Other responders were families focusing on the idea of Personal Support Networks.   These innovative projects seem to indicate a wide range of approaches is being taken around the province – ranging from the store front, community-identified (rather than disability related) approach of “You’ve Gotta Have Friends” in Langley, to the monthly self-initiated Asperger’s support coffee meeting of someone who wanted to make friends for herself and seized an opportunity to assist others to a parents’ group led by someone who took a course on personal support networks.  Some agency leaders are intent on developing their strengths as associations focused on personal support networks, through materials, conversations and training.

Most respondents answered that they are currently engaged in developing personal support networks in various ways, and/or assisted families and individuals with “planning related to their personal support networks” (approximately 75%).   Fewer are involved in providing training/supports either through presentations or resource materials either online or in print.   It might be a valuable addition to the database where these personal network initiatives will be listed to also list some sites for written materials that would be useful to network supporters.  

FEEDBACK: Several respondents said they were grateful for an opportunity to give feedback and participate in something “meaningful” around work that they feel is the “essence of how we will all survive, regardless of ability”: “Great work!  I like surveys!  Very meaningful…,” “We need to collaborate together to help end isolation and loneliness,” “I would welcome continuing conversations about this vital topic and ways of building capacity,” “Thanks for asking for feedback J,” “as parents we are encouraged,” “Keep up the great work!,” “Looking forward to seeing the site up and running.  Should be useful.”   Several respondents talked about the lack of resources and their sense of the “prevalent” isolation of families and people with disabilities.  

THE FUTURE:  For the foreseeable future, Spectrum will continue to update and add names to this list, make it available on our Personal Support Networks project site, and send copies to the Belonging sub committee and CLBC.  

Sincerely,

 Aaron Johannes and Susan Stanfield
Spectrum’s Personal Support Networks Project Leaders


Here is the introductory paragraph for the survey request:

Personal Support Networks in BC

 

Welcome! If you’re reading this, it means you’re interested in seeing all people enjoy mutually rewarding relationships with family, friends, neighbours, and others in their community. You’re in good company! We’ve met people all over B.C. who are passionate about building relationships. Some are affiliated with a project or organization focused on this work, while others are finding their own creative ways to support people to deepen and expand their networks. This survey is intended to gather some of these success stories, and share them. CLBC, in collaboration with Spectrum Society, is compiling a list of resources that will be summarized and posted on CLBC’s website for people to use as a resource or to generate ideas for new initiatives. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey and tell us about the work you’re doing to develop personal support networks in your community. If you know of other projects or contacts, please forward this survey to them so we can include their information as well. – Aaron Johannes and Susan Stanfield

A Snapshot of Personal Support Network Related Initiatives

 in British Columbia: February/March 2010

Contact information Name of organization / community or region served: Your role(s) in this initiative What is your involvement with building personal support networks? Information about your work or the work of the group you are affiliated with, stories you’d like to share about personal support networks, and final thoughts….
Jason Townsend,

250 331 2159  thefriendshipproject@gmail.com

 www.cvbct.com

The Comox Valley Regional District Facilitator, Training Develops Personal Support Networks, assists families and self-advocates with planning, Trains, Group Facilitation, has media resources about building personal support networks, has developed website of resources “Families have come together to lead a governance group that oversees the project; a wonderful way for families to further develop psn’s and work together with a vision of a more welcoming, equitable and inclusive community.”  The group has hosted many well attended public events “in the spirit of reciprocity” and has done a great job of involving local media.   They have recently been successful at starting a Best Buddies chapter at our local college.  The Friendship project has brought our community many wonderful opportunities.
Pat Stuart,

604-886-2098, pat_stuart@dccnet.com,

www.gibsonsfamilynetwork.ca

Sunshine Coast, Gibsons – 40 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay on BCFerries – home of the Beachcombers Family member The Gibsons Family Network helps people develop Personal Support Networks, peer assistance to families with planning, has resources on personal support networks, has plans for a website of resources Pat is the parent of an adult son and with other parents has “formed a society called Gibsons Family Network to support families who have family members with developmental disabilities.”  Many of the families and individuals are interested in developing personal support networks, participating in workshops and hearing success stories around relationships.   Pat has taken PLAN’s network facilitator course.  “Our organization is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and has 2 part time paid staff who help provide community inclusion activities on the Sunshine Coast.  Many of our members are involved in Special Olympics and enjoy playing sports together but many are still lonely and isolated in their community.”
Wendy-Sue Andrew,

250 477 4112,

wendy-sue@lnv.ca,

www.lnv.ca

Southern Vancouver Island Agency employee, Parent, Facilitator, Trainer Lifetime Networks Victoria provides training, presentations, and has media resources about building Personal Support Networks, as well as online resources.   Assists families with planning related to personal support networks.  At Lifetime Networks we create lasting friendship and support for people with disabilities through our Networks of Friends Program. We also offer Fine Arts, Friday Socials, Best Buddies, GAP – end of day support from 2:30 to 5:30 for people ages 17 and up, and Independent Living. 

We see a future where people with disabilities live safely in their communities, where they can fulfill their potential, and enjoy lifelong friendships and support.

Timothy Ames,

778.688.7499,

tim@tyze.com,

www.tyze.com

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN)

Provincial and international

Volunteer, Resource Person, Trainer Provides training, presentations, and has media resources about building Personal Support Networks, as well as online resources.   Assists families with planning related to personal support networks. Professionally, Tim represents www.tyze.com, which offer software that allows organizations and individuals to create and have safe and secure online networks of care and support.   He is also a volunteer and “seeing the person I support be more independent and confident has been one of the gift’s I have received from being a Community Connector.   We need to all collaborate together to help end isolation and loneliness.” 
Kim Lyster,

250-490-9950,

 kplyster@telus.net

affiliation with CLBC and community living advocates and service providers

Kelowna area but travels

Volunteer, Resource Person, Trainer, Researcher, Writer, Consultant Provides training, presentations, facilitation and has media resources about building Personal Support Networks.   Possibly available to assist families with planning related to personal support networks. Actively engages in advocacy, mentoring, training, facilitation, advising and strategic planning.  “The vision of holding people with disabilities in the arms of those who genuinely and freely care for them remains fragile, vulnerable to exploitation and distortions, and requiring of renewal again and again.  I think that supporting personal support networks is essence of how we will all survive, regardless of ability.  The idea/vision transcends disability and encompasses the broader issue individual and societal well-being.  I would welcome continuing conversations about this vital topic and ways of building capacity across the province and country.”  
Lauri Thompson,

604-439-9566 ext 124, lthompson@plan.ca,

www.plan.ca

or Erin Holland ext 134

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) Agency employee, Resource Person, Facilitator Provides training, presentations, and has media resources about building Personal Support Networks, as well as online resources.   Assists families with planning related to personal support networks. PLAN Institute for Caring Citizenship has created “Weaving the Ties that Bind,” an online course for facilitators. Using our proven approach, this course provides participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a social network facilitator. Designed to be both practical and inspirational “Weaving the Ties that Bind” consists of four easy to follow modules:

   1. Understanding social support network facilitation
   2. Preparing to develop a social support network – Phase 1: Exploration
   3. Preparing to develop a social support network – Phase 2 and 3: Formation and maintenance of a network
   4. Addressing challenges and building confidence

See http://www.planinstitute.ca/?q=node/17, for more information.

 
Kim Banfield,

250-380-6363, kbanfield@communityoptions.bc.ca,

 www.communityoptions.bc.ca

Community Options for Children and Families (COCF), Victoria and area Agency employee Community Options for Children and Families provides training, presentations, and has media resources about building Personal Support Networks, as well as online resources.   Assists families with planning related to personal support networks. “Within the Family Support program, we offer Parent Partnership Education (PPE) weekends.  These weekend-long, retreat-style workshops provide parents/caregivers with resource information, advocacy skills, community connections and skills for transition planning.”  In addition, there are monthly Moms and monthly Dads groups, and through all of these interactions  “there are natural networks that occur for many of the parent participants for these programs. Most end up creating mutually beneficial relationships by connecting with other families in similar situations.”  Personal support networks are also created through the “Children and Adult Respite programs” which has helped  “establish a long-term respite relationship with the individual….  The caregiver becomes an extension of the person’s family and the individual who receives the support becomes a part of the caregivers family.  The connection feels natural, genuine and reciprocal. which is what we strive for when we facilitate the match.” Kim enjoys facilitating the “Monthly Moms’ Coffee group. …provides an opportunity for moms, who have children or other family members with special challenges, to get together and share ideas, information and support. Participants often exchange contact information so that they may also connect throughout the month, to arrange play-dates for their children, attend important meetings / workshops together and provide each other with emotional support and mentorship.  Parents are each other’s most valuable resource, of this I am absolutely certain.”  
Debra Whitman,

250-384-8042, psscoordinator@shaw.ca,

www.parentsupportbc.ca

Parent Support Services Society of B.C., Victoria Branch Agency employee Provides training, presentations, and has media resources about building Personal Support Networks, as well as online resources.   Assists families with planning related to personal support networks. “Helping my own family members deal with VIHA, seniors concerns, Veteran’s Affairs, Spectrum Job Counselling and Career Training.   Non-profit funding is always a quagmire, and getting more difficult since the financial meltdown and the focus on the Olympic Games.”  
Cheryl Hughes,

604) 542-4817, kokorocoaching@shaw.ca

Langley, Surrey and Lower mainland communities Volunteer, friend, training organizer, facilitator, trainer, independent consultant Develops personal support networks with individuals and families, has a library of media resources, assists families and self-advocates with planning related to personal support networks “I work with a small number of people and family members in the lower mainland in very intentional ways over time. We begin by building an ‘ intentional support network’ whose purpose is defined by the people at the center of the network. The function of the network might include planning, development of natural supports to accomplish goals,  creation of valued social roles for the person in keeping with their interests, supporting people to work together to make a dream reality, advocacy or simply supporting friendships to evolve.”  Cheryl enjoys all aspects of supporting “diverse groups… seeking to promote social inclusion and relationships in their family, neighbourhood or community” and offers “training, coaching and support” to these ends.  “I also offer training on natural ways to support friendships, intentional networks, and community building to people interested in fostering greater social inclusion.  I am a family member, community member and am engaged in several voluntary activities that are aimed at promoting belonging.”                                                                                                                                                                                   
Cheryl Thorpe,

250- 519-6748 (work – Queen Alexandra Centre); cheryl.thorpe@viha.ca

Vancouver Island Health Authority  Victoria Family member Develops personal support networks “We are parents acting as case managers in our son’s life….building on community support networks and all this is necessary for our son to have an inclusive quality life….   Currently working on transition to adult supports – with lots of planning and follow through – pleased to say things are falling together…. as parents we are encouraged and looking forward to helping our son have a good quality life in his community as an adult.”  
Bonnie McGill,

250 850-9285, bonnie.mcgill@cradacl.bc.ca,

www.cradacl.bc.ca

Campbell River and District Association for Community Living Agency employee Plans to assist individuals to develop personal support networks, has a library of media resources, does training and facilitation around personal support networks, has an online resource, assists families and self-advocates with planning. “I work with families who would like to build social groups opportunities for their children who have Autism and Aspergers Spectrum disorder”  
Si Stainton,

siswansk@telus.net,

http://reachdevelopment.org/

http://www.familysupportbc.com/

Reach Child Development Society, Delta 4hrs/ week  FSI Resource Parent ( voluntary) Family member, Agency employee, Volunteer Through a number of different roles is involved in development of personal support networks with plans to increase involvement “I have some personal stories about my son (9). We work hard to encourage friendships and organise opportunities for this to happen”  
Barb Yates,

crates100@hotmail.com

Victoria Riding for the Disabled  Victoria BC  Educational Assistance Family member, Volunteer Has a library of media resources related to personal support networks, available to families and individuals. Interested in “friendship support for middle school aged kids”  
Linda Perry,

604-575-2588, lindaperry@microboard.org,

www.microboard.org

Vela Microboard Association

Provincial and international

Family member, Agency employee, Volunteer, Trainer, Facilitator Provides training, support and facilitation to families, groups and individuals around personal support networks; has a library of media resources; has an online resource; assists families and self-advocates with planning related to personal support networks (microboards). Support to friends in connecting with others support for my child to do the same  
Nikki Schmitt,

604-885-4099, nfschmitt@hotmail.com

Member of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, Burnaby, B.C. Family member Developed personal support network for family member Nikki’s son Albert is an authentic success story in terms of an active, engaged personal support network that connects “through the internet and phone,” with regular meetings and a “network that is involved…  on an going basis through each year.”   Twelve members have been part of the network for seven years, with little turnover.   “Albert really enjoys his network and has expressed that his life is enriched because of this group.”  
Lyn King,

778-888-7643, lyn.king@gobaci.com

 or

lynnking60@shaw.ca,

www.gobaci.com

Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion Family member, Agency employee Develops personal support networks, plans to provide training and presentations around personal support networks in the future, maintains a resource library of media related to personal support networks, assists families and individuals with planning.  “I am a member of a number of personal support networks and see how they impact the lives of their focus person.   As manager of Outreach services I am involved in the support of individuals who are living in community “independently”. These folks are often isolated and lonely. My team works to find ways to connect people to people and places that will begin to fill this gap.”  Lyn educates teams around the difference between “staff” and “friends” and says this “work happens one on one, and is not part of a program or initiative- it is just part of our job. Perhaps the most important part, really.”   She and her foster-son now have a TYZE network through the BACI micro-site which has brought a wide-spread family and support network together through a transition from a “classic group home” to more individualised supports.  “TYZE has had a huge impact on Ryan’s support network and the support he now receives from them.”  It was particularly important during a recent illness where it allowed people “quick access” to how he was doing as well as support for Lyn as “Family banter back and forth around the world gave me something fun to share with Ryan during our stressful times.”  She believes that “having a network of supports, that are not paid to be in your life, is priceless.  a wise friend once said ‘The more people a person has in their life who are physically present, not paid to be there and who know them well makes them healthier, happier and safer over time’ (Mitch Loreth). A good code to live by (and work by :)”  
Liza Taylor,

778-230-8090,

lizataylor@shaw.ca

PossAbilities Family member, Agency employee Maintains a media resource library related to personal support networks.    
Tara Kimberley Torme,

604-876-8170, AspergerGalAspieSocial@yahoo.ca

  Person with a disability

Vancouver

Has a monthly social group for people with Asperger’s “I am an individual with Asperger’s Syndrome who hosts coffee meets once a month for other individuals like myself. I am the only person in the entire lower mainland who offers such a service like mine.”  Tara’s concern is that “I have talked to countless of autistic individuals who were looking for a place to connect” and except for her coffee meets nothing is available.   
Laura Appleton-Jones,

lauraa@uniserve.com

  Independent Consultant, Coach, Facilitator, Trainer

Campbell River

  Laura, over a long career has supported “adults who have developmental disabilities through a variety of roles. Most recently as an Independent Contractor working on an innovation project for CLBC to assist an individual in exploring their lifestyle preferences and identifying creative options to support their desired change.   I am a Life Coach, Group Facilitator and a Professional Counsellor, skills I apply to personalized, innovative, and holistic approaches for individual services.   I’ve developed a group coaching program that leads to an increased awareness of how the goals of staff, those we support and agencies can work in congruence, called Aiming4TheStars.”  
Aaron Johannes,

604-323-1433, aaron@spectrumsociety.org, www.spectrumsociety.org

www.101friends.ca

Spectrum Society’s Personal Support Network Project Agency employee, facilitator, parent, volunteer with B.C. People First, trainer Develops personal support networks for folks served by Spectrum, can be contracted to provide negotiated services to, provides training and presentations about personal support networks, has a library of resources, maintains online resources and monthly e-newsletter, hosts training events related to self-governance and personal support networks.  “In our workshops with groups of self-advocates we’ve come to see how important this aspect of their lives is, and how a network can leads to self-governance and also to opportunities to give back to the community.  One of our most moving experiences was when a group of self-advocates started talking about how they support seniors – their parents, grandparents, seniors in their neighbourhoods and in supported living situations – and in a room full of about 60 people it turned out about 80% of them were actively engaged with either senior family members or as volunteers to seniors, informally or formally.   We got a sense of yet some more of the untold stories in our province.   From working and talking with John Lord, David Pitonyak and Michael Kendrick over the last years we’ve come to think this is the central aspect of our supports for folks with disabilities.   It is also one of the hardest things to train for, with the fewest opportunities to engage in conversations, debrief and improve skills of staff.”

One area of specialisation for Susan is taking the ideas of person-centredness and network-focus and figuring out how to embed these in policy development that expands and deepens the capacity of folks to engage in their communities.

Aaron and Susan are the co-authors of a plain language book with lots of graphics, How to Make Friends: ideas and conversation starters for people with disabilities and their supporters, which is being used by self-advocate groups, day services, homes and college classes.  They are about to publish a second edition, as well as a DVD of the book and a facilitator’s manual.   You can subscribe to their e-newsletters from their websites. 

 
Susan Stanfield,

604-323-1433, susan@spectrumsociety.org

www.spectrumsociety.org

www.101friends.ca

Spectrum Society’s Personal Support Network Project Agency employee, facilitator, educator  
Meaghan Feduck,

meaghanfeduck@yahoo.com

B.C. People First and Independent Consultant Contracted support, facilitator, trainer Meaghan provides training and presentations with self-advocates on personal support networks; facilitates groups and project planning.   Meaghan liaises with John Lord to create training and facilitation opportunities related to personal support networks.  
Karen Ellis,

250-338-5371 

Fax: 250-338-8600  bfriends@courtenay.ca

Building Friendships Facilitator develops personal support networks “’Building Friendships’ is a community building project that is dedicated to supporting, educating and promoting an inclusive, welcoming community for the residents of the Comox Valley.  Our role is to facilitate connections between individuals with Developmental disabilities and the greater community. While encouraging participation in community life we assist each individual to develop social networks, a sense of belonging and a place of contribution.”  “Building Friendships is one of the longest term projects in B.C., “established in 1993 under the vision of John McKnight.”  
Colleen Evans,

604-822-5872

604-833-8656 fax  evanscol@interchange.ubc.ca

School of Social Work, Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship, UBC. Centre coordinator   Colleen’s background in community advocacy/development and supporting individuals with disabilities, as well as the founder and former Executive Director of the Okanagan Advocacy and Resource Society (OARS) and former Executive Director of PLAN Okanagan/Okanagan Lifetime Networks Association, informs her graduate studies in inclusion and segregation.  She is Coordinator for the Centre for Inclusion & Citizenship at UBC Vancouver.  
Barb Goode,

barb.goode@gobaci.com

self-advocate, consultant Friend, plain language consultant, co-facilitator    An inspiring, humble, warm presenter who has had a long and involved experience of the growth of community living.   
Peni Hambrook,

778 808 3050  phambrooklacl@shaw.biz.ca

Langley Association for Community Living Project Coordinator – Building Personal Networks; volunteer, board member, You’ve Gotta Have Friends Develops personal support networks, provides training and presentations, maintains resource library, assists families and self-advocates with planning related to personal support networks, works to build understanding through the community Peni leads a team of “15 LACL staff engaged in devoting intentional time and energy to inviting, developing and facilitation of personal networks for several of the individuals and/or their families we serve. LACL launched our Tyze micro-site June 1st, and each of our LACL Network Facilitators are also known as Tyze Animators, where we are actively engaged in learning the program and it’s potential for bringing networks together online and assisting people to share their stories, plan events, ask for help, stay connected with each other.”  
Janice McTaggart,

jmyghf@telus.net http://www.youvegottahavefriends.ca/

You’ve Gotta Have Friends     “This group is working to ensure Langley citizens, including those living with a disability, have people in their lives with whom they share friendship and a sense of belonging.  You’ve Gotta have Friends is sponsored by The Langley Association for Community Living (LACL), which has provided services to individuals with developmental disabilities and families since 1959.  LACL believes there remains a critical need to build community connections and authentic friendship opportunities for people who are isolated.   You’ve Gotta Have Friends brings together people who have found community for people with disabilities and others who want to share their experiences.  This group is designing activities to help create a welcoming community where everyone embraces a sense of belonging, cares for each other, connects through friendship and has fun.  You’ve Gotta have Friends want to break down barriers that keep people from experiencing a rich and rewarding life in the community.”  
Pat W,

pwyghf@telus.net www.youvegottahavefriends.ca/

You’ve Gotta Have Friends      
Kristen Kay,

kkay@beconsupport.ca,

www.beconsupport.ca;

www.sabf.ca

Becon Services and Victoria Self-Advocates for a Brighter Future Manager, facilitator Facilitates education groups of self-advocates, assists families and self-advocates with planning related to personal support networks Kristen is another leader who’s agency has worked to embed the ideas of personal support network facilitation in all they do.   “With the goal of keeping friendships and networks always as a priority in our organization, and that we continue to work towards connections goals with the folks we provide support to, we have it quite literally, always “on the agenda.”  We updated both our Leadership and House Team (group home) standardized agenda forms to include a “stories of friendships and networks” sharing and discussions piece.  It’s slotted right in there after “agenda items to add,” and has been terrifically effective at keeping the conversation and energy going at all levels of the organization.  Most importantly: it’s working!”  
Michele Kambolis,

604-689-9116,

mkambolis@me.com,

www.kambolis.com

and www.childinfo.ca

  Therapist, trainer, educator, speaker Facilitates groups, provides training, assists families with planning related to personal support networks Michele is a therapist with many years of experience supporting children and adults with disabilities of all kinds.    She believes strongly in personal support networks and is currently conducting sexual health, anxiety reduction and anger management groups as well as her private practice.   She is also training professionals to facilitate groups like these through researched and modularized programs.  
Jason Zwall or Pat Moore

250-442-3335

svcs.manager@telus.net (Jason) 

Sunshine Valley Community Services, Grand Forks Agency staff   “I love this job of personal support networking. It is so wonderful to experience when a individual makes a new friend or finds their own independence.”   The team at the Sunshine Valley Community Services Society has transformed the way their services are planned for and delivered in pretty much every way, based on the principles of personal support network facilitation.    
Amy Lynn Taylor

778 318 3683

amylynn@bestbuddies.ca

www.bestbuddies.ca

Best Buddies, serves people with intellectual disabilities across Canada Program Manager develops personal support networks, maintains resource library, has online resources I work for an organization that fosters friendships between students and individuals with intellectual disabilities.   I watch those in our program form friendships throughout the school year. The bond the students and their buddies create, as peers, is truly special  
Kyla Jeffrey

604 786 8813

kyla.jeffrey@hotmail.com

http://bestbuddies.ca/

Best Buddies
My high school, Windsor Secondary and British Columbia
Person with a disability, volunteer develops personal support networks, maintains resource library, has online resources Through Best Buddies, many personal support networks have been built at my school. I know my buddy’s mom considers me a large support in her daughters life. I am a friend that she can rely on and I am also helping her to overcome her shyness and anxiety that are a part of her disability. Many of the other buddy pairs at my school are also support networks and the program itself provides support to all the students involved.   “I am president of the Best Buddies Chapter at my school. This position requires me to be a support network for all the members of Best Buddies. It also requires that I monitor the buddy pairs and help them to build their own support networks.”   “I can see the value of personal support networks first hand through my involvement with Best Buddies and I think they are crucial in not only the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, but in the lives of everyone.”  
Kris Zemlack,

kris.zemlak@aimhi.ca

AimHi     “My involvement with personal support networks comes in the work that I do each day.  At AiMHi we strive to support people in their lives, focusing on their personal goals and choices.  We know that personal relationships are important to people and can be difficult to establish, for all of us.  One of the goals of my job is to help people reach their goals, whatever they may be, developing those important relationships can be challenging. My job also includes mentoring and educating the employees within the agency on how to provide people with meaningful opportunities to engage with others.”   AimHi was another region which has benefited from John McKnight’s early projects.  
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