Are you looking for help? Not sure where to start? Below is a select list of services and supports that are available to families of children and youth with special needs in BC:
Family Support Institute of BC
The Family Support Institute of BC (FSI) is a provincial not for profit society committed to supporting families who have a family member with a disability. FSI is unique in Canada and the only grassroots family-to-family organization with a broad volunteer base. FSI supports and services are free to any family.
Family Support is creating a non-judgmental place where families can find information, guidance, understanding and connections. Our network helps to reduce isolation and loneliness by creating a space where people feel understood and are able to focus on celebrating their family members’ abilities. FSI has trained volunteer Resource Parents/Resource Family Members (RPs/RFMs) in most communities throughout British Columbia.
227 6th Street
New Westminster, BC V3L 3A5
Phone: (604) 540-8374 ext. 523
Toll Free: 1-800-441-5403
Fax: (604) 540-9374
Autism Information Services BC
As a provincial information centre for autism and related disorders, Autism Information Services BC provides information, support and training to families, service providers, and community professionals across BC. Their experienced staff are available to explain the range of best practice treatments; how to effectively use your Autism Funding; and to help you navigate the BC service system.
8:30am - 4:30pm (M-F)
Call Toll-free: 1 844 878-4700
In-person: 3688 Cessna Drive Richmond, BC V7B 1C7
Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities (STADD) offers Navigator services for transitioning youth and their families in 145 communities across BC. Navigators act as the primary point of contact for individuals in coordinating transition planning and access to supports and services through the transition period of 16-24 years old.
Navigators help organize a youth’s transition planning team and develop a person-centered transition plan. STADD encourages and supports information-sharing between government and community resources and leads the coordination of all involved.
Family Navigators at Child Development Centres
Some child development centres also have dedicated family navigators to provide information about community resources, ways to access them, navigate systems such as health, social services schools and other networks both locally and provincially, and facilitate opportunities for parent or peer networking. For example, the Nanaimo Child Development Centre has a Family Resource Navigator Program. Contact your local child development centre to see if a navigator is available near you.
Children & Youth with Support Needs
Specialized service and funding options from the Ministry of Family and Child Development (MCFD) may be available for children or teens who have support needs and their families. Please note that, in most cases, certain eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify. Children and Youth with Support Needs (CYSN) staff are available to discuss what services might be available and provide other useful information or support.
Contact a local CYSN office.