Annual Report 2021-22

Board Chair’s Message – 2021-22


Good evening everyone and welcome to our Annual General Meeting.
Welcome to our hybrid meeting. Some of us are virtual attendees and some are in person members, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. We are almost there!
The pandemic has brought us into our third year of virtual meetings, masks, social distancing, adjusted schedules and new routines. It has been a challenging time for everyone.
Our Agency has been working tirelessly to maintain meaningful and fun activities for our supported individuals. This last year brought renewed optimism that there indeed was light at the end of the tunnel.
As some restrictions were lifted slightly and more doses of vaccines were delivered, some things remained in place…virtual meetings and social distancing…all to ensure the safety of our Agency and its individuals.
Through all this, we cautiously moved forward and felt a wee bit more optimistic. Community Living Espanola continued to follow each and every protocol put in place. This calculated and cautious approach allowed for no significant outbreaks among our support individuals and they remained safe, happy and healthy.
As the fiscal year was coming to a close, you could almost feel the warmth and see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. A yard sale was planned for May and a slow integration back to the Centre Street location activities was being planned for the Fall.
It’s been a long tough haul, but I will say again, how very proud we are, as a Board, of all the Management Staff and front-line workers. Your hard work and diligence, attention to detail and tremendous efforts to keep us safe, have been greatly appreciated.
Thank you all.
Kathy Lewis,
Board Chair

Executive Director’s Message – 2021-22

louise laplante

At the beginning of our fiscal year in April 2021 we were facing a third State of Emergency and Stay at Home Order related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All Emergency Orders associated with congregate living settings were also still in effect. As CLE already had enhanced measures in place, we were not significantly affected by these changes except to further restrict visits to group homes and home visits for supported individuals. Our Community Participation Supports location at 345 Centre Street remained closed however activities continued to be delivered in the group home settings.
By the end of our fiscal year in March 2022 the province had announced that all of the provincially mandated public health measures would be lifted and emergency orders would be revoked by the end of April 2022 signaling a much anticipated relaxing of restrictions for the general public. At that time, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) confirmed that masking requirements should remain in place for staff in congregate living settings and day programs as well as all other mandated infection prevention and control measures including surveillance testing.
As of the date of this report, CLE continues to follow MCCSS and Public Health recommendations in maintaining the masking requirement for all staff during working hours as well as surveillance testing using rapid antigen tests.
I am also pleased to report that by the end of July 2022, 90% of CLE staff have received the required 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 78% have received a 3rd dose. 97% of all CLE supported individuals have received a 3rd dose with all group living supported individuals have receiving a 4th dose of the vaccine. We are confident that vaccines will continue to help protect and minimize symptoms for those vulnerable individuals who may contract the virus.
We have learned much about ourselves as a CLE team through this pandemic experience and we are moving forward with new resolve and determination as we grow accustomed to our “new normal”.
For your reading pleasure, here are some highlights of the past year from our organization as well as our funder, the Ministry of Community and Social Services:

Developmental Services Reform Framework
As the Ministry’s long-term vision for developmental services in Ontario- “Journey to Belonging” enters into the next phase, more work is being done to make is easier for individuals to get support beginning with the improvement of the application process for services. By putting people first, improving service experience and improving quality and accountability, people will have more choice to fully participate in their communities leading to better outcomes.
CLE has begun the work to revamp its programs beginning with Community Participation Supports to enable people to access supports that are more flexible and will meet their individual needs.

Developmental Services Workforce Initiative
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) announced a partnership with the DS Provincial Network to establish a Developmental Services Workforce Initiative with a focus on the implementation of specific workforce initiatives that will improve retention of both management and skilled direct support staff, provide leadership training to advance new workforce models and introduce a marketing and recruitment campaign to ensure a stable and sufficient supply of diverse workers to choose supports responsive to their individual needs.
As with other agencies during the past 2 years, CLE has experienced recruitment and retention issues and welcomes the opportunity to participate in these initiatives to improve the status of our human resources.

MCCSS Compliance Inspection
MCCSS completed a modified version of a Compliance Inspection at CLE’s Genesis group home on September 22, 2021. Despite the inspection being unannounced, there was one minor non-compliance item noted which was corrected within 24 hours and our Letter of Compliance was issued to us the following day.

Community Living Awareness Month
To celebrate Community Living Awareness month in May 2021 blue and green lights were turned on at CLE locations Supported individuals and staff engaged in several home activities during the month including a mini color run with pizza and pop. Goodie baskets were also delivered to all programs and staff were provided with special pens/lanyards. Weekly Community Living Awareness themes were posted to CLE’s Facebook page inviting people to comment and chat.

Partner Facility Renewal (PFR) Minor Capital Funding
CLE received funding for fiscal year 2021-22 in the amount of $71,970 to repair and insulate wall structures and at our 345 Centre Street location.

Fire Safety
Fire safety inspections were conducted by Fire Chief Mike Pichor on October 21/21. There were some minor violations for both the LGJ Residence and the CPS location at 345 Centre St which were rectified by the deadline dates indicated on the inspection reports. Annual Fire Drills for all CLE locations were conducted on November 25/21. As per Chief Pichor’s report, there were no issues and the drills were once again completed by staff in record time.

Quality Assurance and Risk Management Committee
As a result of the ongoing pandemic, the number of QARM meetings were reduced this past fiscal year and continued to be held virtually. In addition to its assessment of CLE’s regular policies, CLE’s QARM Committee reviewed and updated pandemic policies and protocols and conducted our annual review of Behaviour Support Plans in January 2022 with special ad hoc Committee member, Stacy Shipton.

Our audited financial statements for 2021-22 showed an operational surplus for our fiscal year ending March 31/22. We have requested to retain this surplus to improve our overall future financial position. CLE remains in good a position to balance our budget for 2022-23.

As we continue to deal with the pandemic fallout and its ongoing issues, I am very aware of the personal sacrifices CLE employees have made to provide the best quality of care possible to the people we support in all our programs. I am thankful for their ability to take their sense of duty and responsibility to a whole new level. CLE’s Management Team has undergone some transitioning over the past 2 years that will assist us to move forward more efficiently as team. I appreciate everyone’s effort as we try to create a better work/life balance for all CLE employees. As always, a special thank you to our Board of Directors for their support, encouragement and patience.

“If Everyone is Moving Forward Together, Then Success Will Take Care of Itself”

Louise Laplante, Executive Director