Winter Edition I March 11, 2021
BeConnected acknowledges and respects the traditional and unseeded territories of the Lkwungen (Songhees), Xwsepsum (Esquimalt), and WSÁNEĆ (Saanich), Hul’qumi’numon (Cowichan), and K’ómoks (Comox) Nations on which we provide our services and supports.
Winter at BeConnected
We would like to thank and acknowledge all BeConnected personnel who made it safely to work in order to provide our individuals with the supports they need during our brief winter storm!
What's New?
Welcome Rebecca!
We would like to welcome Rebecca Wood to BeConnected! Rebecca is completing her final practicum with BeConnected, splitting her time between Head Office where she is working on independent projects and Onyx House where she is gaining frontline experience.

Q&A with Rebecca

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am 29 years young, born and raised in beautiful Victoria, B.C. I am living on the traditional territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ nation and I am grateful to learn and grow here. I am currently finishing up my Bachelor of Social Work degree with UVic. 

What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
Outgoing, courageous, and compassionate.

What have you enjoyed most about your practicum experience so far?
Spending quality time and building relationships with the residents in BeConnected homes and learning more about how BeConnected is structured.

What job do you hope to find after graduation?
My long-term goal would be to work in geriatric social work settings, in palliative care, or alongside people who live with dementia- but I am open to all opportunities for learning experiences!

What’s a fun fact about you?
I spend most of my time getting lost in the woods and mountains with my Airedale terrier Frankie!
Recent Events
Pink Shirt Day
Bullying is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes, and online. Recognized annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Nova Scotia in 2007 when two students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, took a stand against homophobic bullying after a new grade 10 student was harassed and threatened for wearing the colour pink.

This year for Pink Shirt Day, we are focusing on working together and treating others with dignity and respect. We are thinking about our actions and whether they serve to lift people up, or tear people down. 

Over the past year, COVID-19 has shown us how important we are to each other, and how our actions may help, or they may hurt, other people. Pink Shirt Day is a good day to consider our role in making sure everyone in our community feels safe and loved.

#lifteachotherup #kindnessmatters #pinkshirtday2021
Virtual Events
While COVID-19 has forced us to cancel many of our in person gatherings we have been able to adapt a few activities to a virtual platform to stay connected.

BeConnected artists have been supported to attend Art Therapy with Vahini via Zoom! Sessions run on Friday afternoons. Contact your Coordinator if you are interested in attending!
SABF has also been meeting virtually each month. It's been great to see everyone! Last meeting we learned all about the many cultural holidays held in February with a special edition BINGO game. Next meeting is scheduled for March 16th. See you there!
Upcoming Events
Spring Food Drive
Local food banks receive a large amount of donations around the holiday season but by Spring the shelves are often bare. Therefore BeConnected has committed to running our Annual Food Drive in the Spring of each year to help those in need.

BeConnected's office and program locations are now collecting donations of non-perishable food items. Please drop off any donations by March 31st.

All donations will be given to the Mustard Seed Food Bank.
Challenger Baseball
The Challenger baseball season is approaching!

BeConnected is a proud sponsor of the Hampton Little League Challenger Baseball Program.

Registration is now open for the 2021 season. Challenger baseball games run on Saturday mornings from April-June (dependent on COVID-19 restrictions).

Virtual Operation Trackshoes
Unfortunately Operation Trackshoes will not have an in-person event this year, however they are still celebrating the spirit of Operation Trackshoes by hosting a virtual event.
Virtual gatherings for counsellors and competitors will be held on the first three weekends in June over Zoom.

These get-togethers will be about an hour in length and will include a walk through of the OT weekend with video clips, a chat about our previous experiences, and hopefully some surprise guest appearances.
If interested in attending one of the sessions, email Operation Trackshoes with your name, email address, and phone number of the key contact person who will be responsible for coordinating your group for the Zoom session.
As space may be limited, please email by March 15th if you are interested in participating.
Accreditation 2021
Preparation for BeConnected’s (BSS’s) SEVENTH accreditation survey is well underway with our site survey scheduled to occur in May or June of 2021. BeConnected has much pride in our accomplishments of past accreditations, and anticipates our upcoming survey will be equally successful!

What about COVID-19 Restrictions?

When an organization’s accreditation requires renewal, CARF sends a team of surveyors from the USA and Canada to conduct the survey in person. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic travel is restricted and visitors in BeConnected programs are limited in order to protect the individuals we support and our personnel.

In June 2020 CARF developed a new survey program called the Digitally Enabled Site Survey Program (DESS). This program allows surveyors to conduct the survey remotely using Microsoft Teams. Our upcoming survey will be conducted using this program. 

What else is new since 2018?

Each year, CARF collects feedback from the field and updates their standards manual to reflect continuous quality improvement. Occasionally, entire sections in the standards manual are overhauled to reflect current best practice. Since our last survey in 2018 CARF has revised and updated in their entirety six sections in the standards manuals, an unprecedented number.

These sections include: Workforce Development and Management (formally referred to as Human Resources), Technology, Performance Measurement and Management, Performance Improvement, Medication Use (CYS), and Promoting Non Violent Practices (CYS).

Learn more about CARF Accreditation in our most recent accreditation bulletin. If you have any questions about accreditation please contact your Coordinator or Kristen Kay (
Agency Updates
2021-2023 Strategic Plan
BeConnected’s Strategic Plan is updated annually and revised every three years. It is developed with input from persons served, personnel, and other stakeholders through our strategic dreaming exercise. It outlines how we will deliver on our vision and mission and our accomplishments from the previous plan. We commenced the strategic dreaming exercise for the next cycle last September and have now developed our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan. View the summary report below or contact Kristen ( for the full report.
Employee Wellness
Community Support Worker Roundtable
The Young Leaders of Victoria are excited to present a peer support group designed to provide Community Support Workers with a facilitated forum to discuss issues important to themselves and their work. Discussions will be facilitated by Registered Clinical Counsellor Jamie McCrum, who has worked in frontline and management positions in the Community Living sector.
Due to COVID-19 these sessions will occur over Microsoft Teams. Each cohort will participate in 4 sessions, occurring once a month.

As part of Young Leaders of Victoria BeConnected will cover the registration fee for employees. If interested in participating please complete the registration form and return to Chelsea at by Wednesday March 17, 2021.
Self-Care BINGO
The Government of Canada recently released a Self-Care BINGO Card. We acknowledge that not everyone has been equally affected by the pandemic and many individuals will require greater support to get through these challenging times than the self care actions in this game can provide*.

However we encourage people to take part in the spirit in which it was intended - to promote small actions of self-care in a fun and educational format. Employees who wish to take part in Self-Care BINGO can submit their card with 2 complete lines to Head Office by March 31, 2021 for the chance to win a prize.

*We would like to remind BeConnected employees they have free 24/7 access to the LifeWorks Employee & Family Assistance Program through their benefits package. LifeWorks is a confidential short term counseling, advisory, and information service. LifeWorks can be used to support employees through challenging times in both their personal and work life.
COVID-19 Update
Its been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We would like to thank and acknowledge BeConnected personnel who have continued to provide essential support to our individuals throughout this challenging time.
Vaccine Update
Last week it was announced that all residents and personnel of group homes and home shares will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting this month!

If individuals or family members have questions or concerns about the vaccine, we urge you to have a discussion with your primary care provide to help you decide if the vaccine is right for you.

We also understand that some individuals may need assistance from family or other legal decision makers to provide informed consent. The BC Public Guardian and Trustee can provide more information about who has the legal authority to provide consent to the vaccine.

While we are cautiously optimistic about the news of the vaccine we urge all individuals and personnel to remain diligent, follow all of the protective measures that we have in place, and follow the orders/recommendations of the BC Public Health Officer. While an end to the pandemic may now be in sight we still have an essential role to play in keeping each other safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
BeConnected Update
Since our last update:

  • BeConnected's Outbreak Response Team (BORT) met on February 25th for an update and refresh about COVID-19 prevention and response at BeConnected.

  • All individuals have had baseline health measurements taken (oxygen saturation rates, blood pressure, pulse, etc.) so that we can more effectively monitor individuals in the event of illness.

  • Developed an internal policy related to the COVID-19 Vaccine.

  • Sourcing personal protective equipment to ensure an adequate supply at all times.

  • Site preparations for Island Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

You can always view the latest COVID-19 information on our website.
Kristen Kay
Director, Programs and Service Quality
BeConnected Support Services

Head Office
240-4243 Glanford Ave | Victoria, BC | V8X 2J5
Ph: 250.727.3891 | Fx: 250.721.2571 |

Duncan Office
202-321 Festubert St | Duncan, BC | V9L 3T1
Ph: 250.748.3858 | Fx: 250.748.3859