The recent announcement by BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), ending individualized funding by 2025, has galvanized families and organizations across disabilities to raise their voices together because MCFD’s new policy framework is so clearly unworkable.
Thousands of families of children with autism are distraught. Many of those whose children have other disabilities, chronically ignored in BC, are dubious that the government understands the complexities of what it is proposing. The lack of a budget and a detailed plan indicates that BC’s government is not prepared to fund the massive investment in clinicians and infrastructure that is required, after decades of neglect.
Organizations across disabilities are meeting. There is a growing consensus that one model imposed across the province in the name of equity, ignores the diversity of families and the children and adults they support. There is agreement that BC must have a proper child serving system that invests in, rather than neglects, children with disabilities. There is agreement that the Ministries of Education and Health must also transform their negligent practices to invest in neuro-diverse and disabled children to achieve their potential.
ACT believes, based on our experience and what families and clinicians are telling us, that now is the time for families to unite across disability and demand that all of BC’s political parties commit to a non-partisan investment in BC’s most vulnerable children. We are especially concerned that young children, whose access to diagnosis, therapy and education has been largely ignored throughout the pandemic, cannot wait while politicians debate which party is to blame.
Whether you are a family member, friend, service provider or ally, you can support children with disabilities and their families. Write a letter, sign the petition, meet with your MLA, join a rally – these are all effective ways of convincing our politicians that this is an issue that matters to British Columbians. ACT would appreciate being copied on letters emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign the petition
The petition supporting individualized funding has now reached over 17,500. Add your signature here and share!
Attend one of three rallies – or all three!
Wednesday, November 24: BC Legislature, Victoria
In support of individualized funding
Time: 11:00am – 2:00pm
[Register with Autism Support Network]
Thursday, November 25: BC Legislature, Victoria
Supporting equity for disabled children in BC schools
[Register with BCEd Access]
Friday, December 3: BC Government Offices, Vancouver
(Outfront of Canada Place)
Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
[Contact BCEdAccess at email@example.com]
How to Advocate for Investment in Children
It is time to get organized, not time to despair! Just because a government ministry announces a change, it doesn’t mean it will happen. ACT has put together ‘advocacy tips’ for families getting started. We also call on para-professionals, clinicians, educators, researchers and professional organizations to join with families and the organizations that represent them. Families are exhausted, they need your support and encouragement.
ACT’s “New MCFD Framework for Children with Support Needs” Resource Page
There is information coming from many different sources about the new framework for children with support needs. ACT is organizing this information on a special page of our website. Visit to see the latest information.
If you have a resource that ACT is missing on this page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACT’s Executive Director reports on MCFD’s chronic failure to meet the complex needs of children and disabilities
On November 9, a few hours after MCFD Minister Mitizi Dean met with over 20 representatives of community organizations, including AutismBC, Autism Support Network and Inclusion BC, CKNW carried an interview with Deborah Pugh, ACT’s Executive Director, and CKNW host, Jas Johal. They discussed the long wait lists for current services and the failure of successive BC governments to fund meaningful services for all children across disabilities. You can listen to the interview by scrolling through to 3:14 pm on CKNW’s ‘Audio Vault’ Audio on Demand (globalnews.ca) for November 9.
MCFD Information Sessions: Details to Come
MCFD has announced information sessions about family connections hubs for families, service providers and community partners. No registration details have been provided yet. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document was released as a follow up to the November 9 meeting with community partners.
ACT will add any new information to our MCFD Updates on ACT’s MCFD Framework page. Check the page for the for the latest updates.
If you are new to ACT, join our confidential email list for updates and more information as it becomes available: www.actcommunity.ca/mailing-list
Questions for ACT? Email us at email@example.com.