Schedule of Events


1:00pm to 3:00pm - AGM General Session

*Divisional Sessions will be taking place prior to the General Session and all registrants for the General Session will automatically be registered for their respective Divisional Session

  • Indigenous Services: October 5, 1-2pm
  • General Services: October 12, 10am - 12pm
  • Community Living Services: October 12, 1-3pm


9:00am to 9:30am - Registration and Introduction

9:30am to 10:00am - Getting to Know You: A Mixer Elixir - Carol Ann Fried

Join our event emcee as she opens the conference with some unique fun and games. We will kickstart the event with an energetic networking session – a meet and treat like no other…

10:00am to 11:30am - Masks, Jabs and CERB...Oh My! - A Legal Year in Review - Matthew Cooperwilliams

This session will review this year`s important workplace law decisions from courts, boards and tribunals. Topics will include decisions arising from the pandemic as well as important general developments. Employers should expect an energetic and high-level overview of cases, with a focus on the practical implications and real-world effects of these decisions on their workplaces.

11:30am to 12:00pm - Morning Break

12:00pm to 1:00pm - Community Social Services Awards of Excellence sponsored by TELUS

1:00pm to 1:15pm - Let's Move! Jest for the Health of It Carol Ann Fried

Time to aid digestion and move your body!

1:15pm to 2:15pm - Worldview Skills for Transforming Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Relations Jessie Sutherland

We all know that decolonization and building respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and communities is a critical issue. When we really think about it, we can see that at the heart of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships, you will find the imposition of one worldview over another.

In essence, Indigenous people, worldviews and wisdom were "pushed out". Creating the conditions for genuine collaboration involves learning about worldviews-what they are, why they matter and the skills we need to engage respectfully with clients, partners and community members. When we overlook worldviews, we are more likely to inadvertently continue the legacy of imposing our worldview on others. When we learn and practice worldview skills, we build the foundation for increased respect, understanding and trust.

In this session, you will learn to build quality relationships with diverse clients and community members using a belonging lens as well as building your worldview skills fluency and competency. This session is ideal for leaders looking to build and strengthen relationships with any given community or demographic. We will focus on case studies and promising practices to build quality relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, clients and partners.

2:15pm to 2:30pm - Afternoon Break

2:30pm  to 3:30pm- Start as you mean to Go on: Intentional Approaches to Governance and Leadership in a Time of Mergers - John Jennings and Rachel O'Connor

For a number of years social services organizations have been wrestling with questions about mergers. Organizations understand the pros - such as scale, ability to invest, ability to influence, talent and succession, etc. In the past, the barriers and challenges have often outweighed the momentum to proceed. In the current moment, that balance is shifting. Driven by government expectations, increasing complexity in technology and service ecosystems, talent pressures at the senior-most levels of the sector, and the anticipated long-term economic and social pain of the post-COVID era, mergers are back on the minds of many organizations.

There are many factors to consider and dimensions to explore. In our interactive session, we’ll explore the governance and leadership aspects (setting aside the many other legal, financial, and operational dimensions). Throughout, we’ll talk about how to keep the focus on the long-term. The finish line isn’t closing a merger and constituting the board and leadership, but getting to the next level of adding value in support of the mission and the societal outcomes you are trying to create. We’ll explore a number of topics together including: opportunities to be proactive; establishing shared purpose, vision and mission for new entities; principles and process for selecting Directors and Chair; considerations for change management, integration, culture and people strategy; among others.

We’ll examine all of the above from a mindset of alignment on purpose and values, and care for people through the full process. You will leave with considerations for every stage - and specific guidance for what you board should be talking about right now.

3:30pm - Wrap Up


9:30am to 10:00am - Acting Up Just for Fun Carol Ann Fried

After your orange juice, stimulate those creative juices to prepare you for a full and stimulating conference day.

10:00am to 11:30am - HRLR Consultants Panel: Top Calls and Queries - Sara Grujin, Mike Laverty and Courtney McLachlan

Always an engaging and eye-opening session, join this year's panel of CSSEA HRLR Consultants as they shed light on the issues that have hit their Inboxes and phone lines the most often. The panel will bring case studies and share stories on noteworthy queries that may have implications in your workplaces as well. Expect a lively and dynamic discussion that will cover a broad range of HRLR topics.

11:30am to 12:00pm - Morning Break

12:00pm to 12:15pm - Finding Your Joy Spot: From Playfullness to Fun Carol Ann Fried

Experience how laughter and play will provide energy, joy and a special kind of connection with your fellow delegates.

12:15pm to 1:15pm - The Founding and Future of the Community Social Services Health and Safety Council - Satvinder Basran and Gentil Mateus

After five years of research and consultation with the community social services sector, the Community Social Services Health and Safety Council is now an official health and safety organization - a first of its kind entity for the sector in BC. This session will provide a high-level overview of what it took to get here, as well as the structure, role and governance that makes up the new Council. In addition, it will provide roadmap for the future, discussing new initiatives, resources and training opportunities that members can look forward to as they build increasingly healthy workforces.  

1:15pm to 2:00pm - Education on Demand: Introducing New Training at CSSEA - Drew Bird

CSSEA will be launching a series of web-based training modules that aim to address various topics that are of common concern among the membership. Join the architect of these sessions as he introduces the functionality and mechanics of what you and your staff can expect once they go live.   

2:00pm to 2:15pm - Wrap up