New “Emergency Fund for Children with Special Needs” in BC – COVID-19
New Emergency Fund for Children with Special Needs: $225/month
Emergency Funding: $225 per Month
The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is establishing an Emergency Relief Support Fund for children and youth with special needs and their families. The fund will provide a direct payment of $225 per month to eligible families over the next three months (to June 30, 2020).
How to Apply: Contact your CYSN Worker
Families are encouraged to reach out to their Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) worker to see if they can benefit from this emergency help during the COVID-19. Using a needs-based approach, the emergency funding will support families that are currently awaiting services. This payment can be used to purchase supports that help alleviate stress. These could include:
- meal preparation and grocery shopping assistance;
- homemaking services;
- caregiver relief support (e.g., funded support to allow a family member to provide temporary care for a child or youth);
- counselling services, online or by phone; and
- other services that support family functioning.
Flexible Guidelines: Emergency Access
Policy guidelines for many Children and Youth with Special Needs services will be more flexible to ensure families continue to benefit from other funding and supports, even as access to many in-person school and community-based services remain limited:
- Families with children in care on a special needs agreement or a voluntary care agreement will not have to make monthly maintenance payments for the duration of the pandemic period. This will provide temporary relief to parents who may be struggling with income or housing insecurity related to the pandemic.
- Supported Child Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development programs will be able to extend extra staffing during school hours to help with the reduced availability of school-based services. Children of parents who are essential service providers and need extra staffing supports for their child will continue to receive those throughout the pandemic period.
- Eligibility and access to At Home Program medical benefits will be relaxed, and any families receiving benefits will continue to do so without the need for a reassessment during the pandemic period.
- Parameters on services purchased with Autism Funding will be expanded, allowing families to use up to 35% of funding to purchase equipment and items that assist in home learning and virtual instructional approaches.
- Families may direct their child’s Autism Funding to access family counselling and therapy services with a qualified provider for all age categories accessing the Autism Funding program.
The ministry recognizes that each child and family faces unique circumstances and has unique needs. Families are encouraged to reach out to their CYSN worker to see if they can benefit.
COVID-19 News and Links
Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL)
- Strengthening Families – Federal COVID-related Benefits & People with a Disability
CACL highlights some of the benefits that are already available to people with a disability and some of the ideas we’re working on to make federal programs more responsive to the needs of people with an intellectual disability and their families.
- COVID-19 Triage Protocols & the Rights of People with Disabilities:
An open letter to Prime Minster Trudeau — As COVID-19 spreads across our communities, medical resources are being overwhelmed. Consequently, healthcare providers are preparing to implement triage systems to prioritize the provision of care. In fact, we are already seeing such triage systems being implemented in some jurisdictions. Decisions are being made about who will get access, who will live, and who is likely going to die.
Human Rights Statement – Canadian Down Syndrome Society
- A Response to the COVID-19 Crisis in Canada Focusing on the Health & Well-Being of Persons with Down Syndrome
This statement encompasses the Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s (CDSS) commitment to and continued strong focus on the human rights of individuals with Down syndrome. At this difficult time, we call on and encourage Canadian governments and regional ethics committees to ensure basic human rights are upheld.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- KSA and KPU donate $200,000 for KPU students during COVID-19 pandemic
The Kwantlen Student Association has donated $100,000 in emergency funding for students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. To match this generous gift, KPU will also donate $100,000.
Province of British Columbia
- Interim Guidance to Social Service Providers for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in their Facilities
The goal of COVID-19 public health measures in social service providers is to, as much as possible, prevent the introduction and/or spreading of the virus in social service settings and/or prevent transmission between clients and staff.
- Province helps essential service workers find child care:
Child care spaces will be prioritized for children whose parents work in public health and health services, social services, law enforcement, first responders and emergency response sectors. Additional spaces will then be given to families working in other crucial roles, defined as essential service workers.
- Province provides emergency fund for children with special needs
The B.C. government is providing a new Emergency Relief Support Fund and has added service flexibility for parents of children with special needs to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government of Canada:
- Emergency preparedness guide for people with disabilities/special needs:
Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility. All Canadians are encouraged to be prepared to cope for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency, while emergency workers focus on those in urgent need. This guide provides information on preparing an emergency plan and kit for people with disabilities / special needs and for caregivers.
Ontario COVID Response
- Emergency preparedness guide for people with disabilities/special needs
This Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities and/or Special Needs was prepared by the Government of Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management in partnership with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.
- COVID-19: Guidance for Prevention and Care
This guide is intended for educating care providers of people with IDD. As we learn more about COVID-19, the information contained in this guide could change or be supplemented.
Canadian Government: CERB
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
What is is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
Apply Now: If you have lost employment or self-employment income due to COVID-19 (Note: You do NOT need to apply if you are already receiving EI Benefits.)
Find out more:
- Learn More and Apply: Questions and Answers on the CERB