The B.C. government is committed to improving the system of support for children and youth with special needs, and is continually working to enhance access, quality and co-ordination of services.
* Overall, government provides more than $600 million to fund more than 90 services and supports for children and youth with significant special needs.
* Since 2000-01, MCFD funding for children and youth with special needs has more than doubled - from $84 million to almost $190 million.
* As a result of budget increases and program development, approximately 30,000 children and youth with special needs access a range of intervention and support services funded by MCFD.
* MCFD works in collaboration with other ministries to provide a continuum of services and to develop strategies and approaches to improve access, quality and co-ordination of services.
* This includes implementing:
o The cross-ministry Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) Framework for Action by MCFD and the Ministries of Education and Health (February 2008)
o Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Building on Strengths - A Provincial Plan for British Columbia 2008 - 2018, a 10-year plan developed with input from nine ministries (March 2008)
o The cross-ministry Transition Planning Protocol for Youth with Special Needs, an agreement between nine government organizations to work together to support the transition of youth with special needs to adulthood (November 2009).
* MCFD's budget for autism intervention and funding programs is now $42 million, more than 10 times the 2001 budget of $4.1 million.
* Funding for Early Intervention Therapy services, which includes occupational, physical and speech therapy, has increased by over 50 per cent - from $20.2 million in 2000-01 to $30.8 million in 2010-11.
* Funding for School-Aged Therapy services (occupational therapy and physical therapy for school-aged children with special needs) has increased seven times since 2000-01 - from $600 thousand to $4.3 million in 2010-11.
* The CYSN family support budget is almost $40.2 million - $12.7 million or 46 per cent more than in 2001 ($27.5 million).
* Supported child development funding has increased by 51 per cent since 2004/05 from $37.7 million to about $57.0 million.
* B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada with a provincewide Key Worker Program. Since 2006, approximately 2,000 children and their families have accessed services provided by 52 contracted agencies. The current budget is $4.3 million.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 812-3616 (cell)
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect