Provincial Services for children and youth with support needs

In the communities of Prince Rupert, Smithers, Terrace and Kelowna, the Ministry of Children and Family Development will be piloting a new service approach that will deliver services through three complementary service streams - Provincial Services, Disability Services and pilot family connections centres. These service streams will provide families with key services that will support their child or youth’s support needs. 

Provincial Services include 

Information Services 

Autism Information Services BC (AIS BC) will continue to offer provincial autism information, orientation, navigation, resources, and referral services to support families in the pilot areas to make informed service delivery decisions to address their child and youth’s support needs.  

If families in the four communities with pilot family connections centres have concerns about their child or youth’s general development, they can connect with AIS BC or their local family connections centre to access information about community supports and services. Families can also call MCFD’s CYSN resource line to learn about services for families at1-833-882-0024. 

Individualized Autism Funding Programs  

Families of children and youth who have a current diagnosis of autism continue to be eligible to access services through the Individualized Autism Funding programs or they may access services through their local pilot family connections centre.  

For families in the four areas who choose to continue to access services through the Individualized Autism Funding programs, their invoice payment process with the Autism Funding Branch remains unchanged.  

For families who are accessing services through Individualized Autism Funding programs and want to start to access services from their pilot family connections centre, they can contact AIS BC or their local centre directly to obtain more information about making the change. Forms to confirm a family’s choice to pause Individualized Autism Funding and start accessing services at the pilot family connections centre will be available online. 

For families in the four areas whose child or youth receives a new diagnosis of autism, AIS BC is available to help them to learn more about their service choices.  

At Home Program Medical Benefits and School-Aged Extended Therapies in pilot communities 

At Home Program Medical Benefits has new admissions and eligibility criteria in the four pilot areas designed to assist families to access medically necessary equipment and supplies to support their child or youth’s growth and development.  

School-Aged Extended Therapies (SAET) enhances the primary Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy services available through the School-Aged Therapy (SAT) program and school district Speech-Language Pathology services. In the four pilot areas Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy will be offered through family connection centers. Massage therapy and Chiropractic services will only be offered by the At Home Program through SAET benefit plan. 

Families in the four pilot communities currently accessing SAET can choose to remain with their current service approach, or receive therapy services through the pilot family connection center in their community. 

Children or youth newly eligible for At Home Program Medical Benefits will choose between starting a SAET benefit plan, or receive therapy services through the pilot family connection center in their community. 

Eligible youth can access their existing SAET benefit plan until age 18 or access services and supports through a pilot family connection center until age 19. 

At Home Program Medical Benefits has made changes to better serve children, youth, and their families across the province. Medically necessary equipment, supplies, and certain health benefits may be available to eligible children or youth with minimal cost to families.