In late 2021, BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) announced sweeping changes to how it intends to provide funding and services to children and youth with disabilities. Since that time, parents, advocates, and service providers have raised questions and concerns about various elements of the proposed new system. This includes the needs-assessment tools the new system will rely on to decide which children with disabilities should receive support. Caregivers are expected to fill these in online.
An analysis by Dr. Pat Mirenda, Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia, supports concerns that these proposed tools have not been properly assessed by MCFD, in terms of their fit for ensuring that children have access to services.
To date, MCFD has not provided details of how it intends to use these pediatric evaluation tools, known as PEDI-CAT and Vineland-3. The only jurisdiction where this combination has been used internationally is Australia, where a study revealed that the PEDI-CAT tool disqualified 25% of children whose parents were concerned and whose pediatricians referred them for assessment. The Vineland-3 tool disqualified 4% of children.
In a recent letter to MCFD, a collective of organizations who work with and support families of children with disabilities, including ACT, noted that more consultation is needed to ensure that over reliance on these assessment tools will not cause harm or exclude children and families from the supports and services they need.
The British Columbia Disability Collective is a group of BC-based organizations, as well as clinicians, researchers, and businesses with hundreds of years of combined experience supporting tens of thousands of children and youth with disabilities and complex needs. They thank Dr. Mirenda for her analysis of a complex issue.
Inclusive Rally in Victoria
Wed, February 9, 2022
11:30AM- 1:30 PM PST
BC Legislative Building, Victoria
Join parents, advocates, caregivers and service providers of the most vulnerable children in BC on February 9th in person on the lawn of the BC Legislature in Victoria, as well as virtually for those that cannot attend in person. This is an Inclusive Rally to keep the pressure on the BC NDP and the Minister of Children and Family Development to Stop, Consult and Listen to all concerns with regards to the elimination of individual autism funding, the At Home Program and moving to a hub/centre-based system. There has been extensive criticism of the new framework by families, Indigenous leaders, opposition parties, disability groups and the media.
It is the position of the rally organizers that if MCFD really wants to help children with FASD, Down syndrome, ADHD and other disabilities, then the Minister should engage in meaningful consultation and give the choice of individual funding.
MCFD Announces CYSN Family Connection Centre Sessions
Please join the Ministry of Children and Family Development for small group sessions to discuss and explore the journey of children and youth with support needs and their families in the family connections centres. To maximize time for discussion and answer as many questions as they can, they will email you some pre-recorded materials to watch in advance.
LIMITED SPACES ARE AVAILABLE. REGISTER TO SECURE YOUR SEAT.