As we move into Phase 2 of Manitoba’s Restoring Safe Services plan, I would like to extend my thanks to all staff, supervisors and directors for working so hard during this unprecedented time and for your continued dedication to our children and families.
We have seen some encouraging news in terms of our province’s response to COVID-19 and relatively low infection rates as we enter this second phase. I want to thank everyone for the care they have taken to ensure that workers, families and children in our General Authority agencies have the proper support to move forward as Manitoba begins a measured re-opening process. Following is an update on recent activities related to the General Authority’s response to COVID-19:
- Our Directors’ Leadership Table (DLT) continues to meet twice a week to discuss issues that arise related to the pandemic.
- DLT has agreed that, as per the policy change announced by the Department, the continuation of supports for non permanent wards turning 18 in care and for young adults turning 21 can be extended to the end of August. The province has confirmed that new funding is available to support these young adults who otherwise would have aged out of care.
- We have added a COVID-19 information page (https://generalauthority.ca/covid-19/) to our website, which includes an updated list of all circulars as well as CEO messages and other information.
On another note, I’d like to highlight the creativity that has arisen from our agencies and workers during this time. At a DLT meeting, we had a great conversation about innovative ways of using respite funds to provide a break for foster parents. I have also heard of workers bringing their own lawn chairs to visits to ensure proper social distancing while meeting with families outdoors. I applaud these measures. We want to be as flexible as we can, during this time, to meet the needs of children and families.
In other GA news, Mr. Louis Nault, our new chief financial officer (CFO), has been working with the GA for about two weeks now. Louis was most recently CFO of the Metis Authority. We are very fortunate to have him with us.
All of us at the General Authority are now looking ahead to the potential post-COVID-19 period. At DLT our discussions are again starting to focus on our collective vision and strategic directions into the future. We have had very exciting conversations about some upcoming new initiatives that we believe will advance our service system. Watch for updates in the near future.
Jay Rodgers, CEO
General Child and Family Services Authority