Picture a grant that will help children and youth with special needs gain greater access to their community, have more mobility and independence, and supports their families in caring for them in their own home.
That vision is now a reality. The Ministry of Children and Family Development is matching a generous gift of $1 million from a Vancouver Foundation donor. The total grant of $2 million will go to the foundation's Giving in Action Society for its Children and Youth with Special Needs Fund.
Established in 2006, the fund helps families make home renovations (such as lifts, ramps, flooring upgrades or door-widening), and/or purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, and/or make modifications to an existing family vehicle. The fund assists families by ensuring they have the things they need for their child to be more mobile and gain more independence - allowing them to live in their family home instead of a hospital or care home. This helps children and youth gain better access to their school, community and recreational activities - and more importantly, they are surrounded by their family and friends.
Families with a child or youth with special needs (up to 19 years old), from any part of the province, can apply for one-time capital grants from Giving in Action. Those who wish to make a grant application can go to: www.givinginaction.ca
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development provided a one-time grant of $10 million in 2006 to the Vancouver Foundation to launch the Children and Youth with Special Needs Fund.
- The fund helps meet the needs of children, youth and their families that are not currently funded through other relevant government funded programs, and works collaboratively with other non-government funding groups such as the Variety Club of B.C.
- The Giving in Action Society was established by the Vancouver Foundation in 2006 to administer both the Children and Youth with Special Needs Fund and the Family Independence Fund.
- The Family Independence Fund was created with contributions of $30 million from Community Living British Columbia. The Family Independence Fund helps families, who have children or adults with developmental disabilities living at home, throughout the province. Grants help families to stay together by addressing accessibility issues in their home and community.
- The Vancouver Foundation is the largest of Canada's 170 community foundations, and it has been operating since 1943. The Vancouver Foundation helps people give back to the communities they care about, in a way that is simple, convenient and lasting.
- Overall, government provides more than $600 million to fund more than 90 services and supports for children and youth with significant special needs and their families.
- Since 2000-01, ministry 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 the ministry.
For more information on the Vancouver Foundation, go to: www.vancouverfoundation.ca
To find out more about available programs and services for children and youth with special needs in B.C., go to: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/spec_needs/index.htm
To find out more about Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, go to: http://www.bcchildrens.ca/AboutUs/SHHCC/default.htm
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development