Thursday, 19 September 2013

Building the Plane While Flying It #SAVMP

Today I attended an intial meeting to begin the work with the Edmonton area Regional Collaborative Service Delivery or RCSD as we are fondly calling it (and no, that is not the Roman Catholic School District!).

 The vision of the RCSD is to "deliver regional supports and services to enable Alberta's children and youth to succeed in their learning and well-being" (Strategic Plan, June 26, 2013). At this time, service to children is provided by School boards, some service by an outreach team that travels all over Alberta, some service by consultants through SHiP money, and some through home care. Lots of people doing similar jobs.

 While we all mean well, there is a lot that can be improved to give service to our students in terms of speech, occupational therapy, physio therapy, psychology, reading specialty, mental health and home care. We talked about the need for the children of Alberta to be at the centre of everything we do. We talked about the "threat" we might feel about changes that might occur and we also talked about the "threat" of remaining status quo. Would that be best for children?

 The vision for the RCSD is to "work collaboratively through inter/multi-disciplinary teams to provide the right support and services at the right time and place by building the capacity of school staff, service providers and families in enhancing student success." We realize that only through collaborative problem solving can we do the best for children. That we must look through multiple lenses to really see what is best; the lenses of the child, the parent, the teacher, and the principal to see what service is best and by whom. We can no longer work in silos and only use our personal lens to see the needs and solve the problems presented. That will definitely change the current landscape for our individual teams. Is that fearful for staff? I would think so. . .

 We asked the question: "How do we get from multiple teams to one single team seemlessly delivering service?" We know that processes exist in each group that are not the same. We have multiple referrals processes, multiple rules for consent by parents, and multiple ways of sharing information gathered. What will it take to get to that single team?

 After an excellent process of examining the facts, reflecting, sharing emotional reaction, considering next steps and stating decisions to move forward, we realized this is a one year process, a year of transition, a year of "building the plane while flying it." We know that this transition will be difficult for our staff and staff in schools to understand completely, however, we realize the need to push onward to create a system that will best serve the students and schools of Alberta. We are hopeful that we will work to create such a system while each team skillfully shares the common message of this transition. We expect our new system to be efficient and effective. I am excited that our included students will have streamlined service from all service providers in a timely manner to promote each students' personal potential. I look forward to sharing more of the building of this plane as we fly through known and unknown territories, building as we go...

Thinking back to my last post on innovation.  Here we will see innovation at its best.  Great minds coming together to realize a vision and a goal of effective and efficient service delivery.

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