Province provides funding for children and youth

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:58 PDT, Mon June 22, 2020

Last Updated: 2:57 PDT, Tue July 7, 2020

New provincial funding will support children with special needs and youth aging out of care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A final round of the short-term Emergency Relief Support fund for children and youth with special needs and their families will provide a direct payment of $225 per month for up to three months to assist eligible families. This will be available from July 1 to Sept. 30, and will reach twice as many families as the first round of funding, helping them to access critical supports.

Flexible parameters regarding autism funding and the temporary suspension on maintenance payments for children on special needs agreements will remain through to Aug. 31. Flexible use of respite funding will continue for families until March 31, 2021.

Measures to ensure youth and young adults from care continue receiving the same level of service, even if they were set to age out, have been extended to Sept. 30. Youth living in foster care, contracted residential agencies or with relatives through the extended family program are able to stay where they are.

Independent living and youth agreements will be extended, and participants in the Agreements with Young Adults program can continue to receive funding. The program also has a new temporary life-skills option with expanded program access, including cultural programs, and fewer required hours of participation per week.

Social workers are reaching out to youth and young adults to support them and modify agreements where extensions are needed over this time frame. Families accessing children and youth with special needs (CYSN) supports are encouraged to contact their local ministry office or speak with their CYSN worker to see how they can benefit from emergency help.

For questions about CYSN programs or to apply for the Emergency Relief Support Fund, contact a local CYSN office.

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