Let’s Talk CP: Collaborative focus groups to identify gaps in care

We want to better understand how Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island helps support Island kids and youth living with cerebral palsy, physical disabilities, or complex needs. In order to hear directly from families, guardians, health care practitioners, and service providers, we hosted focus groups in Victoria, the Comox Valley, and Nanaimo this summer.

And those conversations aren’t over yet. In fact, they’re just getting started.


What is Let’s Talk CP?

Let’s Talk CP is a series of discussion groups focusing on the well-being of Island kids living with cerebral palsy and other complex needs. There were five held across Vancouver Island between June and August.

The goal was to come together for open discussions, and then celebrate what’s working well, highlight gaps in care, and think of potential opportunities to provide better support. The sessions also provided an opportunity to bring together a range of voices and opinions. Families and caregivers with direct experience, health professionals, Foundation board members, and donor representatives all attended to share their thoughts.

Simply, Let’s Talk CP is about connecting, brainstorming and sharing. It’s about determining how the community thinks Island kids and youth with CP and complex needs should be better supported, then carefully considering all the input to make those visions a reality.


What happened at these discussion groups?

Each of the five discussion groups was a collaborative event. Foundation staff, as well as Karen Lai, an accessibility and inclusion consultant, worked with attendees to talk about community needs. Everything from the accessibility of medical services to community education about the spectrum of CP was discussed and analyzed.

As attendees spoke, Minh Ngo, a graphic recorder from Fuselight Creative, made notes. The result was a creative representation of the entire session. A graphic ‘gallery walk’ took place at the end of the sessions allowing for review, feedback, and more sharing.


So, what did we learn?

During these sessions, we got a real sense of what’s needed to create a system that better supports the needs of the community. Simply, we learned a lot. But the learning is far from over.

We have an online survey that asks questions addressed in the Let’s Talk CP focus groups. It’s open until September 14, meaning anyone who couldn’t make it to a Let’s Talk CP session, or anyone who wants to add new thoughts, can still take part.

Then, we’ll be compiling a report that details the knowledge gained from all five events and the survey results. This will help the Foundation as we continue to find ways to better support these Island kids and their families.

Get involved! It’s time to talk.

Take the online survey here before September 14. 

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