(BLACK PRESS file photo)

(BLACK PRESS file photo)

City of Lacombe, Lacombe FCSS sign agreement for emergency social services

FCSS, City sign Memorandum of Understanding for delivery of emergency social services

The City of Lacombe and Lacombe and District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate the agency’s delivery of emergency social services (ESS) when requested by the municipality.

“The Lacombe and District FCSS has served our community for over 50 years,” said Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Goudy. ”Acting as the City’s social services delivery agent during the current COVID19 pandemic is a natural extension of this long-standing partnership. This structure was developed and adopted through the Lacombe Emergency Management Agency.”

ESS is a “people-centered approach” to emergency management that addresses the needs of people and communities impacted by the emergency—in this instance, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lacombe and District FCSS, in partnership with the City’s Emergency Management Agency, are working together to address community needs related to the current COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Lacombe and District FCSS Executive Director Susan MacDonald. ““Additionally, FCSS with working directly with the Province to meet resident needs arising from the restrictions imposed by the Public Health Orders. We are coordinating services provided by local community groups and helping them access funding.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City activated its Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) on March 17, 2020. FCSS has designated an ESS Branch Director to work in the City’s ECC for as long as it is activated.

The ESS Branch Director will execute direction from, and advise, the City’s ECC on the needs of people affected by an emergency. This includes those harmed or at risk of harm, and the suitable services and delivery methods to mitigate the harm and help the community recover when the emergency has passed.

“Having this agreement in place puts the City in a better position to help the community at large when social support services are needed,” said Eric Graham, Deputy Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management. “Our plans align with the Government of Alberta’s approach and efforts to contain this public health crisis.”

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The MOU is in effect from March 18, 2020, through to December 31, 2020, and may be renewed annually until superseded by an alternate agreement between the two parties.

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