VICTORIA - The Province is making progress in its commitment to improve supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families, announced Minister of Social Development Stephanie Cadieux.
Since the release of the comprehensive 12-point plan in January, an inter-ministry team - including the ministries of Social Development, Children and Family Development, Education and Health, along with Community Living BC (CLBC) - has been working to develop an integrated delivery system to provide a long-term resolution for individuals, families, home-care providers and others. A number of initiatives and changes are underway to address the 12 recommendations outlined in the plan.
The Province is providing an additional $179 million over the next three years to improve supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Part of the new funding will be allocated to families with transitioning youth, providing a minimum of $2,800 annually for respite services, or an equivalent amount of money where another service is preferred. Approximately 750 families are eligible for this new minimum level of support, with additional funding and services available to young adults with higher needs.
CLBC is also increasing community inclusion supports, including employment-related services, for approximately 200 young adults as a direct result of increased funding.
Over the next two months, a series of targeted self-advocate consultations will take place throughout the province, giving people with developmental disabilities input on decisions and policies that affect their lives. This is the first step in a broader consultation process, with the next phase planned for the fall. That step will include family members, service providers, self-advocates and community representatives.
In addition, CLBC has recently distributed a call to action for the Community Action Employment Plan to individuals, families, service providers and community councils. Thirty community facilitators will help lead consultations to strengthen employment supports for individuals with developmental disabilities in B.C. These conversations will assist the Province and CLBC to deliver on the recommendation to increase employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
The inter-ministry team is also creating a volunteer reference committee and website to ensure individuals and their families have the opportunity to be engaged and informed. The volunteer reference committee will provide advice and feedback to government on the development of an integrated service delivery model to ensure that the work being done to deliver on the remaining recommendations in the action plan meets the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. A call for volunteers will be issued in the coming weeks.
To keep people informed, a fully accessible website will provide regular updates about the continuing progress government is making toward completing all 12 recommendations to improve services to people with developmental disabilities. The site is expected to launch in early June.
Ministry of Social Development