FSF Testimonials from those we Serve – March 2017


Having an Independent Facilitator supporting our family has been good. She has been able to go over some goals with our son and he shares things with her that he does not with us. It has offered some suggestions such as other avenues to pursue to meet goals. This support was more personal support and it is more consistent than previous help. Also, there is more of a follow up from visit to visit. Our Facilitator was able to work one-on-one and as someone that is not part of the family offers another avenue of communication and assistance. Parent


Having this support has been very helpful. It’s like getting a new set of eyes looking into my daughter’s life. It has helped me to open up to ideas that I never thought of for my child. She is now more involved in the community. I see new opportunities for her and place more importance on community involvement. This support is more involved. It’s more hands on. My daughter calls the worker who becomes ” Her people”. Our Facilitator is a person who works very hard to understand my child and finds ways to inform and teach about opportunities and possibilities for her.Parent


It’s really sweet for me to see my brother talk directly to you – that he can handle that type of relationship. Sibling


We have been working together to plan for my daughter’s future. We have discussed things that may not have come up otherwise. The meetings have made me realize how much I speak for my daughter and how I need to let her speak for herself more. Since we began working together, my daughter is moving into a condo on her own and talking about taking buses and getting volunteer jobs and talking about how she feels with her worker.
My daughter’s Facilitator has been helping give her a voice. We have all overprotected her and spoken for her for so long. Other supports deal with the present, to keep her busy and not at home being bored or losing her skills….but this time it is about her having a future and planning for her independence.
Our Facilitator has been caring and a fabulous listener. She has also been a mediator to listen to my needs and my daughter’s needs. To help us understand each other’s perspectives. Our Facilitator was a safe place for my daughter to vent or have a voice or talk about her fears. Once they just made cookies when we were not on the same page as a family and helped my daughter to understand that her Mom has fears and problems too.
In the future we hope to continue having an independent facilitator for more talking ….more spending time together…..helping to make my daughter understand the work EVERYONE has to put in to help her to move to the next level of independence.Parent


I have received valuable information from our Facilitator. Lots of encouragement from her. She helped to bring me to a few organizations and tried to help us to get a volunteer job for my son. Our Facilitator provides lots of information to us. She took me to those organizations and helped me to do the negotiating of supports. She has given us lots of encouragement and has been willing to understand our son. She has tried to understand his strength and needs.
With the other organizations, our son was only a client. Zero understanding. They gave us no encouragement and never gave us any advice or provided extra information. They only information was their own organization programs. That was not right. The Facilitator is someone a family can rely on. She is willing to support and have good listening skills. Understand the family and the person she or he supports. Guiding the person or the family to obtain a future that is best and suitable. Our Facilitator is doing a great job and guiding me to obtain a better future for our son. I now understand what our son needs and his strengths, this will lead to better support in future. Parent


Independent Facilitation has been very helpful. My eyes have opened up to what is possible for a home for my son. It’s not as uncomfortable talking about the future anymore. It has forced us as a family to talk about the future. People close to our family are also becoming part of the process which is very comforting. It helped us realize that he deserves a home of his own and some independence, like everyone else and that a typical group home is not always the best thing. I learned that he has his own voice and deserves to be heard. I find the whole process more hands on.
We as a family, are starting to think and plan for the future. We are encouraged to think outside of the box. We are getting input from people that have actually helped families put a plan in place, for an independent home and have been there for the entire process. Our family is working together to decide what we want. We are not being slotted or fit into a preexisting spot somewhere. The facilitator is part of an ongoing process to help families plan for their loved one. She helps ensure the family member has as full a life as possible and is safe. To open people’s eyes to what’s possible. Parent


I really like spending time with you, you help me a lot Individual being served



I felt my son has been well supported. My son was able to find seasonal part-time work with the help of a Facilitator. My son now knows that when you work you earn money. I am now aware that my son can work. I feel that this support is geared to finding employment by understanding the strength of my son so he can be successful. Parent


Having a Facilitator has been a great asset for us. Our son has been better at going to different places and looking for other options for full time housing. Our Facilitator comes to our home in the evening and this is wonderful. Parent


We now have a person to help navigate the system and research ways to help my child. The facilitator was able to accompany my child to explore programs/support in the community. It has always been a challenge for my child to fully understand/make decisions on his own. However, reliance on the parent does not help him develop the skills/confidence necessary for the future. A skilled facilitator helps in taking a bit of the burden from me as parent, and also helps him to start thinking through different options. He is more open/vocal when meeting with his facilitator. He is also more willing to express his thoughts.
Independent facilitation is a new concept to me and I am still learning. It seems to be different from previous supports which were medical based, case management for specific needs, or recreation based without clear goals/outcomes. To be helpful to my child and family, I feel that this kind of support needs to be ongoing as I do not anticipate he would be able to be fully independent due to cognitive limitations. The Facilitator is supportive and guiding him to make the best choice. Parent


I never thought my life would get this busy but man am I happy and loving it.
At work, they have this internal rewards program where you get recognized for different things and I’ve already been recognized four times since starting. Individual being served


Independent Facilitation has been wonderful! We have learned so many new things about how to support our daughter’s transition into her adult life. She has helped me learn about the community resources for my daughter and how to access them. My daughter has become more independent! She has gone to camp for a week by herself on the bus. I realize now that there are options for her life beyond day programs. It has helped us to see her as competent and capable rather than dependent. It has helped us to create a meaningful life for our daughter. Parent


She has been very helpful She is quick in finding solutions to problems that may be difficult to resolve. My son is close to finding work and going back to a healthy daily routine.It has provided an approach that places the person (our son) at the center and recognizes his wishes as the primary input. Helping people discover what they like and make their own action plans. Parent


It has been very supportive and we have learnt a lot. I feel like there is another family member guiding my son.  The support has helped with the stress levels and I do not feel like I am alone. My son has become more outgoing, he is starting to build a social network and is pushing himself to change things he is not happy about. I always know that my son would be an independent adult, but seeing him go through so many positive changes is amazing.
This support is different. We can see the caring and individual care that my son receives and the way the family is included in the process of what the facilitator and my son discuss with his permission. I feel like the facilitator is another part of the family, she does not tell my son what to do and how to do it, she helps him work through concerns and encourages him in what he wants to do. We want to continue with independent facilitation so that we to see my son as an individual. I am very happy with the wonderful service our family has received at this point and look forward to the next steps for my son. Parent


Our facilitator has been a great help in consulting with our daughter. She has organized for her to attend a work assessment program and explore other possibilities. It has taken a lot of pressure off the family and given our daughter some hope for the future. She knows she has an opportunity to explore potential employment with the support she will need. She also has our facilitator to discuss her situations in a trusting manner. We actually have tried to do many things before but to have our facilitator help we are able to have her experiences to look at the situation in different ways.
Our facilitator shows more interest than what others from different organizations have shown. She has gotten to know our daughter and that has had a very positive effect on her. In our case, there is tremendous pressure on the family. The facilitator has helped direct our daughters search for a valued future. We want the meetings with our daughter should continue on a timely basis a least until she has found employment and her future is secure. Parent


When I first met the Facilitator, I thought I would never see her again. I really thought so. Maybe accidentally two times and that’s it. But I see her there again.  She kept coming, and emailing and calling and I like that. It meant so much. She made me feel so happy. It made me feel good. Having a Facilitator makes me think that somebody could help me in my life and…..that is awesome. She’s helped me so much. The process for me is so exciting. With my life, she gives me some ideas, she talks to me when I feel down. My relationships, my mom, my life, everything. Individual being served


Facilitator is very supportive and offered alternatives and provided available resources which were very helpful.  She eased our stress in trying to decide ways to make our child’s life more meaningful. Our son looks forward to meet the facilitator and has somewhat learned how to express himself verbally, even though it’s minimal. This support made us realize that there are many different resources available to aid in his independence and to make use of the resources. This work is more individualized.  She was very knowledgeable and shared information with us. She made good recommendations and referrals, customized to our needs. She has a lot of patience We would like to have the facilitator as a resource person in our lives for as far as our needs arise. Very well done. Parent


Our Facilitator sort of steered us, or opened our eyes to different things. I mean, teaching us about the funding source was helpful because it covered my daughter’s camp week. I think the service is great because it’s geared towards the individual. Parent


When we were contacted by the DSO to find out if we were interested in this program, we were not all that confident that it might help my daughter with her needs . We were wrong. We are very fortunate to have our Facilitator, she is a real strength, with a clear understanding of  what resources are available to us , she is a keen listener, and always able to make suggestions with an understanding of our daughters needs and strengths. She works towards doing what needs to get done.
The support to us as a family, has been wonderful. To know that someone “on the outside”, was looking at avenues for her to pursue, based on how we envisioned our daughter’s capabilities was truly beneficial. Independent Facilitation is worthwhile to many families that would really benefit in the long-run. Many paid services do not have the one- on-one support, understanding of what the family is going through and the desire to diligently work, with an objective goal. It’s merely a job that they get paid to do. Parent


Our facilitator has been able to do a lot of the leg work for us. She’s really been listening well to what our son likes to do. He’s very smart. Very good with his hands. He will be successful with assembling bikes. He was very excited Monday to have his first pay cheque.

We get satisfaction from doing something good for somebody else and earning money and he’s able to do that. We’re really proud of him! He now understands what it is to go to work and to earn money. He had never been exposed to that. It’s like mom and dad. They have a job and I have a job. That’s a good feeling for him. He feels he belongs somewhere. Parent


This time we’ve seen more tangible results than in previous rounds with services. Our Facilitator has found an employer who’s willing to work with him. He is creative but it’s getting under the skin to find out what he can do. I think this may have triggered something in him – yes, I can be good! It’s not always easy to understand what he’s trying to say to you, but it’s there. Parent


Our daughter now has future plans, with realistic advice and an increase in advocacy. Our Facilitator has a more down to earth way and helpful in dealing with the “red tape jungle.” She is a trailblazer in the “jungle of red tape.” She is a permanent presence and support in our lives at this point. Parent


As a parent, I can get side tracked in the day to day obligations, just being there for my son and his sister in a thoughtful way. I can lose sight of the big picture and where to begin again. The Facilitator’s support and vision has been incredibly important to me and truly making a difference in our lives. Parent


Today at the IPRC, you brought our son’s voice to the table in a neutral, and non-paternalistic way. These meetings can tend to become a “love-fest” and easily distracted. Thank you for your support and for raising very valid points. Parent


I find that your insights help me to relate to Andrew in a more adult way.  It’s not always easy to stop playing mommy even when your kids grow up! Parent


Thanks for spearheading all of these options that I would never have thought of, nor felt at ease doing. Parent


At first I did not think my daughter was going to join the meeting.  Once she did she was in such a mood I didn’t think she was going to participate at all.  You were very skillful at drawing her out with your story telling and engaging personality.  That was impressive. Parent


Thank you for the information you gave to me yesterday. It gave me other choices to rethink the opportunities for my son when I had given up hope on what is available for my son. Parent


That’s great that he’s texting you the way he is. To reach out to you is huge. That usually would’t have been cool in his world. … It’s about being social, connecting with people, feeling confident. He’s really connecting with you. Trusting you. Thanks. Parent


You are exactly the type of resource person we need.  Thank you for your ideas and for coming into our lives at this point in time.  🙂 Parent


I came away from the last visit with thinking, I am proud of who my daughter has become. She has a full life. Thanks. Parent


I think it’s a rather positive change in his life because here is somebody he can interact with on a regular basis and what I really liked about the reassurance of the fact that they’re not there just for a day.  We are there for a longer time period of time, so it’s not that once we’re helping it’s an isolated help and then thank you.  It’s not like that.  The assurance – the very little assurance that when you hear somebody say “don’t worry we are with you” in a longer-term and we’re not going to abandon because if you are there for your son for sure, but we are there too. Parent


It’s like a very refreshing change.  It tells you there’s somebody, there’s help out there, real help not just the words.  Because long-term commitment is not easy to make and I have been through a lot with agencies.  We’re trying to work out things for my son’s past years and when I say I had given up, I’m not a person who gives up. Parent


But other than that she also provided some resources to me.  She would email me despite these new jobs that I’m going through from one job to the other, my training, my presentations. There was less time and it was at a time where I could practically communicate with somebody outside.  Because government offices close at 4pm and when you come home at 6pm or 8pm there’s no help.  And five days are gone because you have to work. Parent


You’re just one person.  So here now somebody was provided with resources.  It was not just a voicemail I was talking to, it was a live person who is nice, who is friendly, who is from a background who understands. What I really see is concerted effort to bring my son out of the shell.  That is the one thing. Then to make sure he understands where he’s moving in life and it is towards a positive direction and that’s extremely important because I want my son to be independent for sure.  So, we’re looking at his goals.  And do discuss a lot of things like let’s look for a short-term goal and a long-term goal. Parent