On December 8, 2021, the Provincial Auditor of Saskatchewan released Volume 2 of their 2021 Report. Among the many audits within the report, this volume included data, findings, and recommendations regarding the quality of care in Ministry of Social Services funded and licensed homes that support adults with intellectual disabilities. We encourage everyone to read the full report here.
Many of the issues and concerns raised in the report are well-known to our Inclusion staff and have been highlighted internally. As such, we also feel that the report doesn’t fully capture the context of the increase in serious incident reports. It’s important to note that individuals living in group homes spent significantly more time at home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which increased the probability of incident occurrences. We wish to highlight the resilience shown by people living in group homes who had their lives disrupted by the pandemic. Our staff have invested time listening to their experience, including within the ICAN Self-Advocacy initiative.
This report also makes clear that changes need to be made within the Ministry and provides a list of specific and detailed recommendations that we fully support. We value our collaborations with the Ministry and Community Living Service Delivery (CLSD) and feel that by implementing these recommendations, the Ministry could improve how they serve individuals with intellectual disabilities and increase their quality of life. We appreciate the dedication shown by service providers in the disability sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have generally seen organizations respond to serious incidents with concern and urgency.
We want to reassure everyone we support as well as their families that we are aware of the report’s findings and the concerns surrounding them. This report demonstrates not only the many issues that individuals with intellectual disabilities face but also why the mission of our organization is so vital. Our advocacy work, partnerships, and initiatives are critical to the people we support and ensure that they are valued, supported and included members of society and have opportunities and choices in all aspects of life.