Paula Grant received the Legacy Premier’s Award in 2015 and was inducted into the Hall of Excellence the same year. She has committed her entire public service career to improving the lives of people with disabilities and their families in British Columbia. Since the beginning of her career more than 40 years ago, Paula’s unflagging energy and care have persevered. She has worked tirelessly to drive and influence the most significant provincial and national government initiatives undertaken to create more inclusive and community-based lives for people living with disabilities.
Paula began her career in 1975 as a social worker in Lillooet. In this remote community, she was solely responsible for adoptions, child welfare, family support, resource reviews, inspections, income assistance, family maintenance and reserve liaising.
In 1978, Paula moved to Victoria as manager of Childcare and Infant Development, where she oversaw the expansion of the Infant Development program and the implementation of the Rehabilitation Services program. Throughout the years, Paula’s contributions truly reflect partnerships between government and community.
In 1981, Paula became the first director of the Rehabilitation and Supports Services Division, launching government-funded programs for B.C. citizens with developmental disabilities. These included the Supported Child Care and At Home programs, which are still in operation today.
In her 24-year tenure, with what was then the Ministry of Human Resources, Paula instigated and directed essential government initiatives dedicated to improving government’s role in the lives of people with developmental disabilities, such as:
- The closure of B.C.’s institutions for the developmentally disabled.
- The move from sheltered workshops to a community inclusion approach for adults with developmental disabilities.
- Assisting with the Supported Independent Living program.
She also influenced legislation development, including the Adult Guardianship Act and Employment Standards Act 1996.
Paula became a founding member of the Community Living BC senior management team in 2005 as director of Policy and Quality Assurance. In 2012, she moved to the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation as executive director of the Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities project – a new model for supporting people with developmental disabilities.