Foster parents, adoptive caregivers, extended family members caring for children and Community Living BC (CLBC) home-share providers will each receive a boost in support payments—the first increase in 10 years—to make life more affordable and provide more support to some of B.C.’s most-vulnerable children and adults.
Budget 2019 provides approximately $64 million over three years to the Ministry of Children and Family Development and $45 million over three years to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to boost monthly caregiver rates.
For family members caring for children through the Extended Family Program, support will nearly double and will be paid at the same rate as foster caregivers. This increase is part of government’s commitment to meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and addresses recommendations by Grand Chief Ed John.
Budget 2019 will provide foster parents with an additional $179 each month to help cover basic necessities for children in their care, including food, shelter and clothing.
Eligible adoptive parents, many of them adding children with special needs and/or sibling groups to their families, will receive an additional $105 to $120 per month for post-adoption assistance to help meet increases in the costs of living.
Community Living BC home-share provider rates are based on the individual needs of the person in care. The $45 million in funding over three years is a 15% increase for the program. After 10 years without an increase in home-share provider funding, CLBC is updating the program rate structure to better align with the disability-related needs of each individual.
CLBC will be working with home-share providers over the next few weeks to work through the details. The rate increases will vary under the new rate structure, but all home share providers will receive an increase over the next two years.
In 2018, CLBC engaged with home-share providers to find out how government can better support them in their vital work. The primary concern reported was low rates, which had not kept up with rising household costs and growing demand for the program.
Rate increases for Ministry of Children and Family Development caregivers will come into effect April 1, 2019.
Background on caregiver rate increases:
Caregivers caring for children and youth
- Budget 2019 contains more than $64 million in funding over three years for the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to increase pay rates for:
- foster caregivers;
- caregivers of the Extended Family Program;
- transfer of guardianship/custody caregivers; and
- adoptive families who are eligible to receive post-adoption assistance.
- The monthly rate paid to caregivers, the maintenance rate, has not increased since 2009, while inflation has risen approximately 15% between 2009 and 2018.
- Maintenance rates are only one part of the financial model supporting the Province’s overall system of care for children and youth who are unable to live with their families either permanently or temporarily.
- Grand Chief Ed John’s 2016 report, Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness, and Reunification – From Root Causes to Root Solutions, called for changes to the financial model supporting the Province’s system of care to address a lack of resources for care providers, particularly within Indigenous communities.
- While MCFD is providing greater supports to keep families together when it is safe to do so, resulting in fewer children coming into care in the first place, there is still a need for skilled caregivers to care for children who cannot safely live with their parents. Static basic monthly payment rates have impacted the ministry’s ability to recruit and retain caregivers at a time when costs of living continue to rise and long-term caregivers are aging and retiring.
- The Budget 2019 rate increases are a result of an ongoing review of the system of care by MCFD.
Community Living Home Share Providers
- Budget 2019 contains $45 million in funding over three years for CLBC Home Share Providers, a 15% increase in funding for the program.
- The raise is the first home-share providers have received since 2009.
- Home sharing is a residential service option through Community Living BC (CLBC), under the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, in which an adult with a developmental disability shares a home with someone who is contracted to provide ongoing support to promote independence and inclusion.
- In 2018, Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, directed CLBC to engage with home-share providers to identify needs and provide recommendations. Rates were the top concern highlighted in the final report: https://www.communitylivingbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/HSP-Engagement-Report-Final.pdf
- More than 4,000 individuals with developmental disabilities in B.C. live with home-share providers.
- Individuals with disabilities choose the home-share provider that best meets their goals and preferences. Support is flexible and evolves with the changing needs of the individual.
- Home sharing now accounts for 61% of all residential settings for people with disabilities, compared to 51% in 2010.
- Home-share providers’ in-home support is integral to an inclusive province that supports the participation of people with disabilities in their community.