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The Community-Led Collaboration Project is an opportunity for communities in British Columbia (B.C.) to engage in meaningful and inclusive conversations about how to create a better network of services and supports for children and youth with support needs and their families.  

The conversations, designed in partnership with communities, will help inform an inclusive, culturally safe, needs-based approach to providing supports and services that consider the specific circumstances of a community, the young people and families in need of support, and importantly, the voices of people not historically included.   

The Community-Led Collaboration Project aims to build on the existing strengths of community-based models and explore what truly collaborative and connected networks can achieve together for children and youth with support needs and their families. 

For these community conversations, children and youth with support needs are 0-19 years of age, have a disability diagnosed or undiagnosed, need support, and/or have a possible developmental delay.


 Upcoming Community Conversations:

Past Community Conversations:

Why Are We Doing This Project?

The Community-Led Collaboration Project has a vision of: 

  • Building culturally safe, inclusive, and accessible engagement that brings together communities in conversation about how to build better networks of services and supports for children and youth with support needs and their families.  
  • Partnering with communities to carry out engagement that ensures people feel truly heard. Importantly, we are giving space to those who have been historically excluded by placing their voices and perspectives firmly at the centre of our engagement strategy.  
  • Supporting communities to express what they need to best support children and youth with support needs and their families.  
  • Reporting community findings back to the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) with the expectation that the results will inform the future of services for children and youth with support needs in British Columbia. 


A Phased Approach

Our team will engage communities in a series of roundtables and virtual workshops. We will gather information and distribute key findings back to communities in a timely and transparent manner.      Our team will coordinate a community engagement grant program designed to support communities to engage in meaningful and inclusive conversations about how to create a better network of services and supports for children and youth with support needs and their families in British Columbia


Project’s Guiding Principles

  • Reconciliation & Decolonizing.
    Our commitment to reconciliation and decolonization is guiding our approach to community engagement. We are committed to engagement that is inclusive, accessible, and culturally safe, with an appropriate approach that makes space for historically excluded voices and perspectives. 
  • Collaboration.
    We are inviting community members to co-design an engagement that will inform how B.C. communities can create better networks of support for children and youth with support needs, and their families. We believe inclusive communities are healthier communities and this is a shared responsibility. 
  • Community-driven change.
    Our engagement presents an opportunity to build on the existing strengths of B.C.’s current system, and name the changes needed to best support children and youth with support needs and their families
  • Transparency and Timeliness.
    After each community engagement, we’ll circulate timely summaries that keep participants informed and help ensure we captured what is most important to the community to have a better network of services and supports. We will also participate in regular meetings with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to share what we learn in the communities with the expectation that the results directly inform the future of supports for children and youth with support needs in B.C.


The Communities We Will Visit:

Phase 1-Community Engagement (2023):

We’ll engage with initial communities in 2023:

  • Campbell River
  • Castlegar
  • Kamloops
  • Port Alberni
  • Richmond


Considerations for overall initial community selection:

  • Presence of willing community partners.​
  • Diversity of population sizes. ​
  • Rural, urban, remote, isolated, and/or accessible.​
  • Diversity of economy. ​
  • Newcomers to Canada. ​
  • Indigenous partners. ​
  • Number of service providers.​
  • Number of people using services (gaps in service).

In each community, there will be a local community engagement team that will work together to co-create the community engagement sessions.


Engagement Strategy:

During this project, we are following this process to engage communities and inform how services could be delivered more effectively.

graphic outlining the engagement sequence. See PDF link below this image for accessible version

Read the full PDF version here

Community Engagement Grants (2024)

We will share information about the community grants in the Fall of 2023. Any community across BC will be able to apply for one of the up to 25 grants to organize their own community-led engagement. We will provide a Community Engagement Guide based on our learnings from the initial communities.

Project Partners

BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

The BCAAFC is the umbrella organization for Friendship Centres across B.C. They work to promote, develop, and deliver accessible programs and services that support Indigenous peoples living in urban areas and away from home to achieve their vision of health, wellness, and prosperity.

Partner page: Friendship Centres – BCAAFC

The Federation of Community Social Services of BC

The Federation of Community Social Services of BC represents over 140 agencies who provide support to individuals and communities in B.C. They have been strengthening and supporting their members and B.C.’s community services sector by networking, exchanging information, building skills, and by consistently bringing a balanced perspective to discussions with provincial and national decision-makers.

Partner page: FCSSBC

BC Association for Child Development and Intervention

BCACDI agencies are non-profit and accredited, delivering a wide range of services to children and youth with special needs and their families. BCACDI works with the government, organizations, and other stakeholders to address issues impacting service delivery to children and youth with special needs.

Partner page: BCACDI

Inclusion BC

Inclusion BC is a non-profit provincial organization that advocates for the rights and opportunities of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. They are a federation of members that include people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and organizations that serve them.

Partner page: Inclusion BC


The Community-Led Collaboration Project’s facilitation efforts will be led by Apostrophe, a Vancouver-based communications firm. 

Firm’s page: Apostrophe 


Project Funder:

Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)


Project Duration:

24 months (January 2023 to December 2024)


Project Inquiries:

Please email us at






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