Kamloops, BC from the air – a bridge crosses a river with hills on either side.

Community-Led Collaboration Project

Community conversations to inform change and build better support systems for children and youth with disabilities and their families.

Conversations To Inform More Inclusive, Culturally Safe, Needs-Based Approaches 

Every community is unique. So are the children and youth with disabilities and their families. This project builds on the existing strengths of community-based models, and explores what truly collaborative and connected networks can achieve together. 

The project provides 16 grants for British Columbia communities so they can design and host community conversations that offer service providers and families of children and youth with disabilities and support needs (up to age 19) an inclusive space to talk about their needs, wants, hopes, and expectations for better services and supports.

These insights will help inform how the Ministry of Children and Family Development delivers their Children and Youth with Support Needs program. Our vision is that these personal, local insights will drive more accessible, inclusive, culturally safe, and needs-based approaches to program delivery. 

Six communities have already held Community-Led Conversations, including:

  • Campbell River & Gold River
  • Castlegar
  • Kamloops
  • Port Alberni
  • Richmond
  • West Coast Vancouver Island

…and 17 more communities are designing and hosting their own community conversations with the support of Community Engagement Grants!

Designed For Safe, Inclusive, and Accessible Conversations

Beyond the initial conversation session, there are several check-ins with community members throughout the process to make sure their thoughts and feedback accurately reflect what was said, and how they feel. 

  1. Build Local Teams
    Build local teams of knowledge and expertise that can work with us to ensure the best approach to engagement for their community.
  2. Co-Design
    In partnership with local teams, co-design an inclusive, accessible, community-centred approach to engagement via Zoom.
  3. Session 1
    Host in-person sessions with youth, families and caregivers and community service providers.
  4. Virtual Report
    Deliver a virtual presentation to each community following Session 1.
  5. Session 2
    Virtual sessions with broader community partners. Deliver a summary of local community report and invite ideas/solutions.
  6. Summary
    Deliver a summary report of the engagement that belongs to and in each community. Report back to MCFD.

Four Guiding Principles Of Inclusive Community Conversations

Reconciliation and Decolonizing 

Reconciliation and decolonization guides our approach to community engagement. We’re committed to engagement that is inclusive, accessible, and culturally safe, with an appropriate approach that makes space for historically excluded voices and perspectives. 


Co-design with communities to plan an engagement that will inform how communities can create better  networks of support for children and youth with disabilities or support needs and their families. 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 British Columbia’s current system, and name the changes  needed to best support children and youth with disabilities or support needs and their families.​

Transparency and Timeliness

We’ll circulate timely summaries that keep participants informed and help ensure we captured what is most important to the community. We will also participate in regular meetings with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Community Engagement Grants: Conversations In Progress

These communities have been awarded grant-based funding to design, plan, and host community-led conversations:

  • qathet Region (Powell River area)
  • Nanaimo – Ladysmith
  • Vancouver
  • Mission
  • Chilliwack
  • Sea to Sky (Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton)
  • Cowichan Region
  • Sooke–Westshore
  • South Okanagan (Penticton, Oliver/Osoyoos, Cawston/Princeton, Osoyoos Indian Band and Upper Similkameen Indian Band)
  • Victoria
  • Parksville – Qualicum
  • Langley
  • Nechako Region (Vanderhoof, Saik’uz First Nation, Fort St James, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Fraser Lake, Nadleh Whut’en, Stellat’en Nation)
  • Fort St. John and District
  • Kootenay-Boundary
  • Saanich Peninsula
  • Gulf Islands

The Community-Led Collaboration Project and Community Grants is funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development

Inclusion BC’s Supporting Partners

Inclusive education means designing schools, programs, and activities so that all students can participate and learn together. Inclusive public neighbourhood schools are the heart of quality education systems. Erika Cedillo, Director of Public Policy and Program

Discover the services, supports, and systems we can help you access

Barriers to inclusion look different to different people and families. Learn about our advocacy services and partners to get started!

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