Who We Are

Our Story

Over the past many years there has been a deep frustration that families and individuals experience while trying to recruit staff. There has been no central place to advertise and recruit for their staffing needs. Individuals and families rely on public internet sites, word of mouth, advertising in the job postings of local colleges, neighbourhood newspapers or the bulletin boards of grocery stores, churches and coffee shops.

People have expressed a desire for a central website where individuals and families from all over British Columbia could connect with support workers in their communities. In 2015 the Family Support Institute of BC was asked to pilot a such a website. The pilot website allowed families and individuals to post job profiles, entering specific criteria that will be matched against support workers who have set up profiles on the site. Finally, one place where families and support workers could go to recruit staff and find support worker positions.

In March 2020, The Family Support Institute and Vela Canada joined in collaboration to strengthen and enhance Support Worker Central, to become an even better tool, to help families and support workers to find employees and jobs.

Both organizations have a diverse representation of people (age, ethnicity, gender, region, etc.) across the province giving breadth and depth to the re-design of this project. Both are familiar with the unique recruitment and retention challenges presented for individuals and families in communities, large and small, urban and rural. Our joint efforts have resulted in a new website that is approachable, informative and most importantly able to make matches easily throughout the province.

Family Support Institute of BC

Our Mission

The purpose of the Family Support Institute of BC is to strengthen, connect and build communities and resources with families of people with disabilities in BC.  

We believe that families are the best resource available to support one another. Directed by families, the Family Support Institute provides information, training, and province-wide networking to assist families and their communities to build upon and share their strengths.

Our Vision

All individuals and families are supported, connected and fully valued in their communities.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. Keep the organization’s vision, mission and beliefs at the heart of all we do.
  2. Support, mentor, and build capacity in families.
  3. Promote inclusion for people with disabilities and their families in all aspects of our work.
  4. Promote equal rights and equitable opportunities for people with disabilities and their families in all aspects of our work.
  5. Support families to advocate for and promote quality supports and services for people. with disabilities and their families and respect choice and diversity in all areas of life.
  6. Celebrate and support team members for exemplary teamwork and collaboration.
  7. Share knowledge and best practice in family support, advocacy, stakeholder relations, and projects always.
  8. Build relationships with community partners who align themselves with the organization.
  9. Advocate for the social change.
  10. Participate and contribute in community and with families.
  11. Value diversity in backgrounds, experience and perspectives.
  12. Be inclusive – inviting and accepting differences in one another.

Vela Canada

Our Purpose

Vela Canada provides information and mentoring to individuals with disabilities and trusted others by supporting them to take greater control of their lives. We do this by exploring ideas and options that can lead to customized, inclusive and creative supports and services. This includes walking people through the process of forming a Microboard™ and accessing funds through Individualized Funding.

We advocate provincially on the broader issues that affect those we assist, and work with like-minded agencies to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote and secure innovative and individualized community options for people with disabilities. We provide: 

  • support and encouragement to think about what a good life means to you
  • person centred planning
  • networking opportunities
  • information and education
  • facilitated problem solving
  • service development
  • budget creation
  • negotiation support
  • sample employment documents; and
  • assistance with paperwork.

Our Guiding Principles

We Believe:

  • that relationships are the most important component of a person’s life
  • that all people have the capacity for self-determination
  • that all planning and decisions made with or for a person must be based on his/her strengths, wishes, needs and interests; and
  • that all people have gifts to share with those around them and their wider community.