3. Be proactive and courageous.
It’s easier to stay on course when you know where you’re headed.
We know the economic, social, physical, and mental impacts of the pandemic are massive. There will be long-term implications, even if we don’t know what they will be. The changing situation in Canada will require new and innovative ideas that can grow and evolve. Holding on to “ways of doing things” may feel comfortable but limit your options. Holding instead to your intent and your vision means you can change a lot while still being true to your purpose.
Many Family Service Canada members made temporary changes that ended up being so beneficial that they’ve made the changes permanent. Online counselling, for example, has been viewed suspiciously for years. After being a necessity during the pandemic, it’s proved not only practical but often preferred by clients. It’s likely to stay as part of a permanent hybrid offering, with both online and in-person sessions available.
Try new things, run pilot projects, and be courageous. Canadians need supports that can evolve and adapt as their needs change. Not all changes will work. Some will fail but provide information to shape future decisions.
4. Foster relationships and build community.
Even with clear intent and vision, we can struggle to see and respond to challenges. It’s hard to understate the value of a group of peers who share similar experiences in those situations.
During the conversation with Family Service Canada members, there was much gratitude for the Family Service Canada network and the connections it helps us foster. We can count on each other for support, ask for advice, and share resources. Though the context of our agencies and each of our visions is different, we share a vision for nation-wide projects and increased collaboration. Our connections with each other have built our capacity as leaders and have strengthened our organizations.
If you lead a family serving organization in Canada and are not a member of Family Service Canada, consider becoming one. We’re here to share our knowledge and experience to support you. We also know that having your voice in our conversations will benefit all of us as we work toward advancing Family Services across Canada.
Click here to learn more about membership with Family Service Canada.
Thank you to Kim Morrison, Executive Director, Catholic Family Services of the Battlefords, for her leadership during the conversation in January and supporting the development of this post.