June 11th, 2021

The Little Program that Could

By: Katie Hagedorn, FamilyHome/SIL/LHIN Support Coordinator

The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) program at Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR) has long been affectionately known as ‘the little program that could.’ It has chugged along for years supporting a handful of people. This has worked well. This year though, it has begun to change. We always knew that EAFWR was able to provide LHIN support in a unique way; with one consistent Direct Support Person that builds a relationship with the person receiving support. . This year, we began looking at ways to formalize the program and potentially support more people using our unique model.

Some words that describe EAFWR to me include innovative, creative, open, servant leadership – all of which have been evident in the development of the LHIN program. We’ve been given space to create a vision, and more importantly support and encouragement in bringing the vision to life. Creativity, change and innovation have not been shied away from and rather have been welcomed in a thoughtful and planned way. Our vision includes increasing the number of people served, creating processes for smooth beginnings and transitions, and communicating far and wide about this program and the benefits our service delivery model can offer.

Though I am not new to EAFWR, I have only worked in the LHIN program for the past year. I have found this work to be energizing, with opportunities for growth, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this exciting work!