Here are some places that offer financial help to families:
Post Adoption Assistance – British Columbia’s Post Adoption Assistance Program provides financial support for children placed through the ministry who are designated as having special needs.
Children who have been adopted through MCFD may be eligible for funding for therapy with little to no out of pocket expenses from the parent. Pre-approval is required and can take weeks on the part of MCFD to set up.
MCFD website: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/adoption/paa.htm
At Home Program (Ministry of Children and Family Development) – The At Home Program assists parents with some of the extraordinary costs of caring for a child with severe disabilities at home through a range of health supports and services.
Children who are receiving medical benefits through this program are eligible for funding for private therapy after the age of 5.
Autism funding (Ministry of Children and Family Development) – Autism funding is available for children who have previously received a diagnosis. There are 2 funding models: before 6 and after 6 years of age.
MCFD website: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/autism/funding_programs.htm
Canadian Tire Jumpstart Program – Kids aged 4 to 18 from families in financial need can receive funding to help with registration fees, equipment and/or transportation for sports programs.
Charities – There are a number of BC and national charities that provide funding for specific and limited amounts of therapy. These charities often require a detailed application form as well as disclosure of family financial information, but can be a great way to secure funding for a certain block of therapy.
Funding often takes a few months to approve and usually have an end date as to when the funding will expire.
President’s choice children’s charity:
CKNW Orphan’s fund:
Variety Children’s Charity:
The Jo Dickey Foundation:
You may have extended medical coverage through your place of employment. Often extended medical coverage has a yearly amount, with capped maximums and pays a portion of the appointment (often 80%).
Some extended medical companies are now starting with direct billing for their portion of the therapy billing.
Fraser Valley Down syndrome Society – Subsidies available to help with the cost of therapies and educational programs to qualifying families in the Fraser Valley of B.C.
For applications, email Jodie and Sylvie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Homeschool (Distributed Learning programs) – Some parents who have children with extra needs have chosen to educate their children through distributed learning (DL) programs. Unlike homeschooling, where the parents create and implement the curriculum, distributed learning environments are schooling opportunities where the school provide varying amounts of direction and support.
Many children who are eligible for extra supports in public school are also eligible for extra funding through the DL schools. Parents, in consultation with their DL schools, have chosen to use this funding for direct therapy services. In this model the DL school pays the therapist directly and there are no out of pocket fees for the parent.
For more information about DL schools in BC and funding, visit the Ministry of education website: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/independentschools/bc_guide/dl_program.htm
Lower Mainland Down syndrome Society – Provides subsidies to help families with children who have Down syndrome. Call for information.
Post Secondary Scholarship Program – The Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society financially assists students (with Down syndrome) seeking post-secondary education through providing two post-secondary scholarships up to a maximum of $250 each, per calendar year.
Phone: (604) 591-2722