Frequently Asked Questions - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Frequently Asked Questions

Show Answer What is the purpose of the committee visiting my facility?

Committee members visit facilities in order to obtain feedback from service recipients and their families/guardians regarding their satisfaction with the services provided.

Show Answer How do the committee members identify themselves?

All committee members carry picture identification and business cards. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 780‑427‑3010 to speak with the committee’s support staff. To be connected toll free, please dial 310‑0000.

Show Answer Under what authority does the committee operate?

The committee operates under the authority of the Social Care Facilities Review Committee Act and reports to the Minister of Human Services. Under this act, the committee is authorized to visit: those facilities that provide care, treatment or shelter and which are funded, wholly or partly, by Human Services;  as well as a day care facility as defined in the Social Care Facilities Licensing Act.

Show Answer How does the committee choose which facilities to visit?

The facilities under the committee’s jurisdiction include: foster homes, child and youth facilities (e.g. group homes), day cares, out of school care centres and women’s emergency shelters. Facilities are randomly selected from within Human Services to ensure an unbiased, representative sample.

Show Answer How frequently can I expect a visit?

The frequency of visits depends on the number of facilities in the region. The committee has a three-year visit plan that ensures facilities in all regions are visited without duplication. Depending upon the number of facilities located in a region, facilities may be visited as often as every three years.

Show Answer How are visits arranged and how long do they take?

Committee members will contact a facility to schedule a visit at a time that is convenient for the service recipients, service providers and the committee members. Visits range from one to three hours depending on the size of the facility.

Show Answer What type of information do committee members gather when they visit?

Committee members speak with service recipients about their experiences and make general observations about the facility environment. Participants are not required to answer any questions they do not want to. Some examples asked of children or youth would include:

  • Do you go to school?
  • What kind of social activities do you participate in?
  • Have you gone on a vacation?
  • Do you like the physical environment (e.g. your room)?

Example questions asked of service providers (e.g. foster parents, staff) would include:

  • How are things going in your foster home?
  • Do the children in your group home receive the services they need?
  • Do you know what appropriate day care child-staff ratios are?
  • Are programs for shelter residents, their children and partners available here?

Example questions for parents accessing services at a day care or out of school care facility would include:

  • Why did you choose this centre?
  • Is the food provided for your child varied, nutritious and provided in sufficient quantity?
  • Tell us about the activities provided for your children.

Show Answer Who is interviewed and why?

The focus of the committee’s interviews is to hear from service recipients (e.g. residents of child and youth facilities or women’s shelters) in order to determine their level of satisfaction with the services provided. Additionally, committee members interview service providers (e.g. day care staff, foster parents) to obtain information regarding their satisfaction with the services they are delivering.

Show Answer Do members need a guardian’s consent to interview a child?

Written consent is obtained from a child’s legal guardian prior to an interview. To provide children and/or youth the opportunity to speak candidly of their experiences in care, it is preferred that children be interviewed individually. Additionally, young children and children with limited verbal skills or developmental disabilities may need assistance in effectively communicating. Children and youth may request that a support person such as an Elder, caseworker or guardian be present during their interview.

Show Answer Can a service recipient refuse to be interviewed?

Yes. The committee respects the wishes of any service recipient who does not wish to participate.

Show Answer Can a service provider refuse to participate?

If a service provider doesn’t wish to participate, he/she can call the Social Care Facilities Review Committee at 780‑638‑1249. He or she may also speak with his/her foster care support worker or Human Services regional contact person.

Show Answer How is the information from the interviews used?

Information gathered from a visit is compiled into individual facility reports. These reports are reviewed by the Minister of Human Services. The individual reports are used to compile statistics and prepare annual reports.

Information is collected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Individual names or identifying information are not included in either individual facility or annual reports.

Show Answer With whom is the information shared?

To protect the anonymity of service recipients, only large child and youth facilities with a minimum of 20 children as well as day care and out of school care centres receive copies of the facility report. For other facilitiesincluding foster homes, small child and youth care facilities and women’s sheltersonly the Minister of Human Services receives the facility report. Day care and out of school care reports are also shared with the respective Human Services regional leadership.

Annual reports are tabled in the legislature by the Minister of Human Services. Copies are then forwarded to each facility that participated in the reviews. View a copy of the most recent annual report.

Show Answer How can I give my feedback if I am unable to be present for the visit?

Surveys and self-addressed envelopes are provided to service recipients and staff who are unable to be present for the visit. These may be returned to the committee via mail or submitted to the facility manager in the sealed envelope for collection during the committee’s visit. Survey respondents are invited to include their name and phone number so members can contact them if they need clarification regarding any significant concerns.

Visit feedback forms are forwarded to each facility to be completed following a visit. The committee values participants’ feedback and appreciates service providers and youth taking the time to complete and return the form.

Show Answer What happens when the committee hears a concern from a service recipient?

The committee informs the appropriate authorities who follow-up on significant concerns heard from service recipients (e.g. Human Services staff, health inspector). Members are required by law to forward information to the appropriate authorities when they are informed that children are being abused or neglected, or if children plan to hurt themselves or others.

Show Answer Can I expect my concerns will be addressed or resolved as a result of a visit?

The committee’s mandate is to report their findings to the Minister of Human Services. Significant concerns are reported to the appropriate authorities for follow-up purposes. During a visit, service providers are encouraged to speak with their regional Human Services staff, agency or community advocacy groups or the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate regarding concerns.

Modified: 2012-09-25
PID: 15046