CYSN Disability Services in four pilot areas

What are Disability Services? 

Disability Services include a range of services to support families of children and youth who have a prolonged disability and complex support needs. Families who are eligible for these services can also access services offered through the pilot family connections centre and the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) Provincial Services. They may have many professionals supporting their health, development, and well-being. 

See more information on pilot family connections centres in the four areas. 

Children and youth with support needs (CYSN) Workers will serve as the primary support coordinator for children/youth and their families who are eligible for Disability Services. CYSN Workers will ensure the child or youth and their family are supported to:  

  • Participate in a regular support planning process 

  • Identify and work towards priority Quality of Life outcomes 

  • Maintain and/or build a support network of natural and formal supports and services 

  • Navigate and coordinate available supports and services 

What Disability Services can be accessed through the pilot family connections centres? 

Disability Services includes respite (direct funded and agency coordinated), parenting and professional support, and home maker services.   

Assigned CYSN Workers will facilitate access to services and will ensure that various transitions (into school, to adulthood, in and out of various services, etc.) are carefully coordinated. 

Eligibility for Disability Services 

Eligibility for Disability Services will be determined using one of three approved functional assessments – PediCAT, Vineland III, or the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). 

If a child or youth's functional assessment score is within the moderate range, a CYSN Worker will be assigned to complete a Family Needs Assessment to confirm eligibility. 

If the functional assessment score is within the significant range, they are eligible for Disability Services without a Family Needs Assessment.  

Frequently asked questions on Disability Services in the pilot family connections centres 


Will all families of children/youth who are eligible for Disability Services in the four areas be able to access respite? 

Just like today families will receive respite based on a child or youth and their family's needs.  


Is diagnosis still important? 

For many children/youth and families, accurate diagnostic information is incredibly important. It helps deepen understanding of why certain things might naturally be challenging and the types of support that might be helpful. It is information that can inform support planning and service navigation. 

It is important to note that diagnosis is not required to access services through a pilot family connections centre or the Disability Services stream in MCFD. Supports and services through other organizations such as school districts and Community Living BC (CLBC) may still require a diagnosis. The pilot family connections centre will help families navigate how to apply to get an assessment provided through Ministry of Health.   


What functional needs assessments are accepted and who will complete them? 

Up-to-date Vineland 3, PEDI-CAT or GMFCS are accepted when assessing eligibility for Disability Services. These assessments are available through the pilot family connections centre where professionals with the appropriate credentials complete the assessments with input from the child/youth and family. The professionals who can complete the assessments include physical therapists, speech and language pathologists and occupational therapists who must follow their college of practice’s scope of practice. MCFD will also accept these assessments when they are completed via other avenues (school, privately, physician, etc.). These assessments are only for families wanting/needing access to MCFD services – all families have access to family connections centre services without an assessment. 

If a child/youth has an assessment that was completed before a pilot family connections centre opened, MCFD will also accept up to date Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System 3rd edition (ABAS 3) and/or Vineland 2 assessments to determine eligibility for Disability Services. 

For children aged 3-7 years, the assessment must have been completed within the past two years. For children over 8 years of age, the assessment must have been completed within the past four years. Children and youth with functional assessment scores in the significant range will not require a reassessment.