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Firefly’s typical service environment has a number of challenges. Firefly is a multi-service organization that serves children and families across an expansive geography. Connecting with families and ensuring they have information about the service and a relationship with Firefly is a continual goal for the organization. The COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing requirements made it more challenging than ever to connect with families and caregivers.
- Firefly staff put their creativity and innovation for Northern solutions to work and came up with the concept of connecting with families, caregivers and educators via a virtual conference.
- The organization leveraged their existing experience in using technology and virtual solutions to connect with families across the sprawling districts of Kenora and Rainy River.
- Staff recognized families, caregivers and educators were at home and could connect via computer, tablet or smartphone – providing a non-intimidating way to get to know more about Firefly so that families would feel comfortable accessing services when needed.
- Staff worked quickly to pull together a two-day virtual event that provided connection to Firefly team members and shared information services.
- The Virtual Conference provided an intimate in-home experience to build a relationship with Firefly – a chance to learn and ask questions in a comfortable space.
- Also allowed the hurdles of travel costs and time to be bypassed.
- The Virtual Conference was the right innovation at the right time, as indicated with a registration of over 300 registrants from across Northern Ontario.
- The success also highlights the technology gap that exists for some communities, families and caregivers and COVID-19 has increased the focus and opportunity to address these inequities across the North.
- The response to the Virtual Conference has been so great that the Firefly team is already looking at ways to expand, possibly with virtual learning available quarterly around specific themes.
- COVID-19 requires physical distancing and a shift in how service is delivered.
- Firefly prioritizes connection to families and caregivers through the pandemic.
- Invitation to create and innovate.
- Staff-driven idea to host an open virtual event.
- Firefly IT Team provide assistance in setting up The Virtual Conference.
- 300+ registrants = more connection = stronger relationships with families and caregivers.
For more information on the Building Connections – Firefly Virtual Conference, contact:
- Ursula Larson email@example.com
To share your innovation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.