There are several respite services and supports offered throughout Western Canada. Below is a detailed description of each Western province’s government-based respite program followed by a list of other (either non-profit or private) respite services and supports.
Government-based Respite Support Programs
The Government of Alberta’s “Family Support for Children with Disabilities” or FSCD provides information, referrals, and funding for support services including respite services. Importantly, this program’s definition of “disability” includes neurological and mental conditions, which means that parents of children with TS and associated conditions may be eligible. To apply for funding, you must fill out an application form and attach medical documentation confirming the disability or disabilities. The child must be under the age of 18 and either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
To learn more about this program, please visit: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/disability-services/15663.html
In comparison to Alberta’s FSCD program, BC’s “At Home Program” has narrower eligibility criteria. In order to receive funding for the respite services through the program, a child or youth must be dependent in three of the following four areas: eating, dressing, toileting, and washing. Funding from this program amounts to approximately $2400 – $2800 per year and is given either as direct deposit or reimbursement for respite expenses. After submitting an application (part of which must be filled out directly by a physician), an assessor will be sent to the family home to examine the child’s abilities in the four functional areas.
Take a look the program website, to access the application and additional information: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/at_home/index.htm
Saskatchewan’s government-based respite program has the most narrow eligibility criteria of all the Western provinces. In order to quality for respite support from the “Community Living Services Respite Program”, a child must have an intellectual disability. The application process includes filling out an application and taking part in a support needs assessment. The program is income tested, meaning families who earn over a certain amount, may not qualify for support.
The government of Manitoba also provides funding for respite services through “Children’s DisABILITY Services”. To quality, the child must have a mental disability, a development delay, autism, a lifelong physical disability that limits mobility or has either a high probability of developmental delay, a parent with a mental disability or a significant prematurity with medical or biological factors. Access to the services are determined on a case-by-case basis. To get the application process started, interested individuals must contact local Children’s DisABILITIES services: Winnipeg – http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/misc/loc/winnipeg.html or Rural and Northern Manitoba: http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/misc/loc/ruralnorthern.html
Non-governmental Respite Programs
Between Friends – A Calgary-based organization that offers summer day camp for children ages 14-17; membership is $25 per person and $45 for a family
Renfrew Educational Services - They offer a full-day respite program on Saturdays for children with special needs; based in Calgary
Camp He Ho Ha (Health, Hope Happiness) – a Seba Beach camp for individuals with any type of disaiblity that accepts applications from across the country
2. British Columbia
Langley Association for Community Living – Connects families with caregivers who are available for hire
Community Options for Children & Families, Victoria – offers in-home and out-of-home respite services for parents of children with physical or developmental disabilities, or a history of challenging behavior; fee for service
Camp Tamarack, Prince Albert – a camp for children and teens with one or more learning disabilities