BACI co-hosts employment workshop for families


Event provides practical tools and tips to prepare young people for work
Camille Jensen

The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) recently partnered with the Family Support Institute (FSI), and posAbilities to host a workshop helping families develop ideas and strategies when finding employment for their loved ones.

Held March 3, the event saw more than 20 families attend to learn more. The day started with BACI’s senior manager of social and economic  inclusion Kevin Lusignan, who discussed another organization he supports as the project co-ordinator, FamilyWORKS.

The role of the grassroots family-led organization is to bring families together to engage and inform them on the possibilities of paid employment for their loved ones. Kevin presented on the importance of families developing their networks and social capital, making the point that most people find jobs through who they know rather than what they know.

Families can also support each other in networking, passing on potential opportunities that might be better for another family’s son or daughter than their own.

The afternoon saw FSI volunteer parent Rachelle Czerwinski present a condensed version of its workshop Families Promoting Employment First. Rachelle explored the early steps parents can take to prepare their children for employment. These can range from finding suitable volunteer opportunities to team sports and ensuring their children make deadlines.

FSI also provided hand-outs describing potential jobs for people who have an intellectual disability, the types of things they should be learning in school to be prepared for employment, as well as potential volunteer opportunities.

Carol Stinson, BACI family information and support, was one of four people who helped organize the event and says she thinks it was a positive experience for participants.

“I think this workshop was really helpful in that you’re coming away with tools,” Carol tells BACI Blast.

“It’s kind of a place to start from, it’s not so overwhelming thinking of employment when you’ve got a foundation there. I think in that way, people really appreciated that.”

She adds the workshop, and the 20 families attending, highlight the new opportunities for people who have a disability compared to 20 years ago.

“I think there has been a real evolution towards employment; real work for real money is a real achievable goal. It’s not easy, and there are a lot of things that have to be overcome . . . but in the meantime you’ve got the realization that it’s a possibility.”

Please leave your comments below or e-mail camille(at)


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