Service Delivery Options for Families in Kelowna and the Northwest
Families whose children are diagnosed with autism and who live in the areas around Prince Rupert/Haida Gwaii, Smithers, Terrace, or Kelowna, where pilot family connections centres (FCCs) are located, now have two choices on how to access services and supports:
- Through their local pilot family connections centre (FCC)
- Through the Individualized Autism Funding (IAF) Program
Note that no matter what choice is made, all children and youth are eligible to access the Infant Development Program or Aboriginal Infant Development Program and Supported Child Development or Aboriginal Supported Child Development.
To learn more about the pilot approach in four communities to help guide your family’s decision, visit: Piloting a CYSN service approach in four communities
If applying for autism funding
Get a diagnostic assessment
Apply for funding once your child has had an assessment and diagnosis.
Foster parents and other caregivers should talk to a guardianship worker or social worker about a child in their care.
Prepare your application
Compile the following documents to accompany your application. Useful documents are available on the forms and resources page:
- Autism Funding Application for Autism Funding
- Documentation of Autism Diagnosis
- Proof that the child is under age 18 (birth certificate)
- Current BC Services Card/Driver's License (as proof of residency)
- Indicate who the Agreement Signatory* will be
After completing the application form and reviewing your documents, visit a local CYSN office to submit your application and documentation for autism funding.
* The Agreement Signatory is the parent or guardian responsible for managing the child’s autism funding. A detailed description of these responsibilities are outlined in the Autism Programs Autism Agreement and within policy “A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs pages 17, 19, 37. It is recommended that this information be reviewed prior to deciding who will sign the Autism Agreement. There can be only one Agreement Signatory per agreement.”
After submitting an application for autism funding, parents or guardians will receive two copies of an Autism Funding Agreement in the mail. Both copies must be signed by the Agreement Signatory and returned to the Autism Funding Program within two weeks.
Parents or guardians will then receive a letter that outlines how much funding they're qualified for and the funding period dates. They can start using their funding for:
Can a family switch the way they access services?
Yes, children and youth can switch between the pilot family connections centre and individualized funding during the pilot at any time, but can choose to switch back to individualized funding only once.
Pausing Individualized Autism Funding and Accessing FCC Services:
- Families can pause individualized autism funding (IAF) and switch to receiving services through the FCC at any time.
- Families can self-refer to the FCC and may choose to discuss potential service options with the FCC before making the switch.
- To switch, families must inform the Autism Funding Branch (AFB) that they want to pause their IAF program by submitting a Notice to Change Service to the AFB.
- Families should schedule an appointment with the local FCC and, if the child or youth is receiving more than one service, they work with a Primary Support Coordinator to create a My Support Plan and then begin services that best meet the needs of their child or youth.
- If the switch occurs while the child or youth still has unspent funds in their yearly individualized autism funding period, these funds can continue to be used to purchase eligible IAF services until the end of the funding period or until all allowable funds have been exhausted (i.e., the child or youth will be able to receive individualized autism funding services at the same time they receive services and supports through the FCC until the end of their funding period or until their funds are exhausted).
- All IAF invoices must be submitted within six months of the last date of service or equipment purchase.
Resuming or Starting Individualized Autism Funding and Leaving FCC Services:
- Families can switch from receiving services through the FCC to accessing individualized autism funding (IAF) at any time.
- If the family has never accessed IAF, they can start the process to receive funding by applying for autism funding using the Autism Funding Application Form here and submitting a Notice to Change Services and Supports to the Autism Funding Branch (AFB).
- If the family has previously accessed IAF, they can resume funding by notifying their FCC primary support coordinator and submitting a Notice to change services and supports from FCCs to IAF form to the AFB.
- Once the notice to change form has been received and confirmed by the AFB, access to individualized autism funding will begin on the first day of the month after receiving notification.
- Children or youth accessing IAF will not be able to access eligible services offered through the FCC.
- Once on the IAF program, families will be responsible for coordinating services and supports.