Improving client-care through shared knowledge.   

Each year The University of Calgary (U of C) offers a Certificate in Working with Homeless Populations, purposefully created for front-line workers in the homeless-serving sector. Any individual can take the course and those who complete it, receive  an academically recognized certificate with career building credentials. One of the purposes of the program is to encourage sharing of knowledge and best-practices from within the homeless-serving sector. Many individuals within Calgary’s Homeless-Serving Sector make presentations and teach modules for the Certificate Program.

The Certificate Program was formed through a partnership between The Alex Health Centre, Calgary Homeless Foundation, The Faculty of Social work at the University of Calgary, and the University of Calgary. Since its inception in 2009, over 250 people have graduated from the program, including some individuals with lived experience of homelessness. The program allows for a group of diverse industry professionals to come together and collaboratively discuss innovative solutions front-line workers can provide client care. As well, having individuals with lived experience in the program allows for true expression of what those experiencing homelessness need.

For more on the Certificate for Working with Homeless Populations program, please click here.

Data and research sharing is an important value within the Homeless-Serving Sector, as knowledge distribution allows us to collaborate and advance our practices for the betterment of everyone within the system, from those working front-lines to those accessing services. At the beginning of this year, Nick Falvo, PhD, Director of Research and Data at Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) presented a three-part series on homelessness. The topics he covered were:

  • Part 1 –Public Policy and Homelessness
  • Part 2 –Emerging trends in homelessness
  • Part 3 –Homelessness Advocacy

Nick’s three-part series showcases the value in providing education based on principles of inter-professional practice and competencies. Ultimately, this focus will provide a better systems and humanitarian response for individuals experiencing homelessness and practices focused on ending homelessness. He also highlights the importance of including various sectors in the conversation on ending homelessness, because these sectors may hold more powerful positions than one might realize.

Over the next three weeks, we will be publishing Nick’s presentation here. The first blog post will be published Tuesday, February 21, with the next two parts released the two following weeks. To read more by Nick Falvo see the CHF Research Blog, here.