Family Supports for Children with Disabilities
Family Supports for Children with Disabilities is a voluntary program that provides social work support and financial resources to families to assist with the care and support required to meet the special developmental needs of their child with disability. Services are intended to strengthen families and support parents in caring for their children.
Eligibility for the program looks beyond the child’s disability to examine all relevant factors that affect the child’s ability to participate in society.
In order to be eligible for the program, a family must have identified unmet needs as a result of raising a child with a disability. The child with a disability must:
- have a severe disability that is life long and significantly limits a child’s ability to function in normal daily living. This includes children with medically complex conditions, physical disabilities, and/or intellectual impairment who may or may not have behavioural and/or emotional difficulties.
- have a letter of support from a professional that is a member of a licensing body that speaks to the child’s limited ability to function in normal daily living. (For the purpose of this program, examples of professional who may verify a child’s limited ability to function in normal daily living include: physician/surgeon/nurse practitioner, optometrist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, school psychologist, and/or speech language pathologist and social worker.)
- be a resident of New Brunswick for the past three months.
- have a valid New Brunswick Medicare card
- be under 19 years of age.
A parent/guardian must:
- be a resident of New Brunswick for the past three months with valid Medicare cards.
- participate in an assessment of strengths and unmet needs to determine case plan including providing the documentation and additional family information and sign all related forms required.
- financially participate in the case plan based on the Family Financial Contribution toward Services Scale, when applicable.
The Family Supports for Children with Disabilities program provides social work support and financial resources to families to assist with the care and support required to meet the special developmental needs of their child with disability.
As this is a voluntary program, families are expected to actively participate in the case plan. There is a family financial contribution towards services, when applicable. Also, families with private health insurance are required to use these benefits first.
To apply for the program, a parent or guardian contacts the local office of the Department of Social Development.
A family who meets the pre-assessment qualifications will be contacted by a social worker to make arrangements to complete the application process. The application process includes providing information about the child and family’s strengths and unmet needs and the names of professionals or organizations providing services to the child and family. Information about family income will also be gathered to determine the amount of family financial contribution towards services, if any.
A case plan is developed based on an assessment of the child’s developmental needs, the child and family’s strengths and unmet needs. Service options provided to eligible families depend on the assessed unmet needs of the child and family and the resources available. Examples of service options include relief care reimbursement, supplementary child care for children over the age of 12, assistance with medical transportation, medical and rehabilitation equipment. Enhanced service options will be available for families raising children with disabilities with a high level of assessed unmet needs. These families may receive support to participate in specialized or intensive interventions, parent training or other applicable education programs for families raising children with disabilities.
The Family Supports for Children with Disabilities program has a two-pronged service delivery model which allows families to self-manage their case plan or request the support of a social worker. Families who opt for the self-managed model will initially meet with Social Development to determine their strengths and unmet needs to develop a case plan. The family would manage the services to address their needs themselves thereafter. Families who request the ongoing support of a social worker will meet with the social worker to determine their strengths and needs to develop a case plan and in addition receive regular contact, advocacy and support from the social worker.
Family-Centred meetings are available to families involved in the program to provide the opportunity for family members and professionals to come together to identify key objectives and priorities. Supports and services provided in both service delivery models are reviewed on an annual basis
|Social Development Regional Offices|