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Children and youth with special needs benefit from $2M grant

Picture a grant that will help children and youth with special needs gain greater access to their community, have more mobility and independence, and supports their families in caring for them in their own home

May 18, 2011 - VANCOUVER – Picture a grant that will help children and youth with special needs gain greater access to their community, have more mobility and independence, and supports their families in caring for them in their own home.

That vision is now a reality. The Ministry of Children and Family Development is matching a
generous gift of $1 million from a Vancouver Foundation donor. The total grant of $2 million
will go to the foundation’s Giving in Action Society for its Children and Youth with Special Needs
Fund.

Established in 2006, the fund helps families make home renovations (such as lifts, ramps,flooring upgrades or door-widening), and/or purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, and/or make modifications to an existing family vehicle. The fund assists families by ensuring they have the things they need for their child to be more mobile and gain more independence – allowing them to live in their family home instead of a hospital or care home. This helps children and youth gain better access to their school, community and recreational activities – and more importantly, they are surrounded by their family and friends.

Families with a child or youth with special needs (up to 19 years old), from any part of the province, can apply for one-time capital grants from Giving in Action. Those who wish to make a grant application can go to: www.givinginaction.ca

 
“The Giving in Action fund is about keeping families together, understanding that families with children and youth with special needs may need a little extra help in making that a reality. Our partnership with Vancouver Foundation means more families can adapt their homes to suit their individual needs, so that their children can remain living at home and have more opportunities to enjoy their favourite activities with their family and friends.”
~Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development

“This is an amazing organization – it has helped me tremendously. I am able to transport my son to and from his appointments, as well as his wheelchair. I would never have been able to purchase my van on my own. Thanks very much to everyone at Giving in Action for making this possible.”
~Clare Dobie, North Vancouver parent helped by Giving in Action

“We are very happy with both the renovation and van purchase – it has made things a lot easier for our son. The door has given him a lot of freedom to come and go as he pleases, he loves the idea that he is able to let our cat in and out of the house, and the van enables him to see everything on trips.”
~Owen Barclay, Surrey parent helped by Giving in Action

“To say Vancouver Foundation is pleased to work with the B.C. Government on this valuable program would be an understatement. This is an excellent example of a partnership between government and the non-profit sector that has a huge impact on the lives of grant recipients. These grants allow young people with disabilities to be more independent, confident, self-assured, included and happy.”
~Faye Wightman, president and CEO, Vancouver Foundation

“At Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, we work closely with families to support them in bringing their children back home from the Health Centre following rehabilitation for an illness or injury. I have seen first-hand what incredible value grants provide to families across B.C. to enable a child to live in the family home. This is fantastic news for families of children and youth with special needs.”
~Janice Duivestein, section head, Occupational Therapy, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, Vancouver

Quick Facts:

The Ministry of Children and Family Development provided a one-time grant of $10 million in 2006 to the Vancouver Foundation to launch the Children and Youth with Special Needs Fund. The fund helps meet the needs of children, youth and their families that are not currently funded through other relevant government funded programs, and works collaboratively with other non-government funding groups such as the Variety Club of B.C.

The Giving in Action Society was established by the Vancouver Foundation in 2006 to administer both the Children and Youth with Special Needs Fund and the Family Independence Fund.

The Family Independence Fund was created with contributions of $30 million from Community Living British Columbia. The Family Independence Fund helps families, who have children or adults with developmental disabilities living at home, throughout the province. Grants help families to stay together by addressing accessibility issues in their home and community.

Vancouver Foundation is the largest of Canada's 170 community foundations, and it has been operating since 1943. The Vancouver Foundation helps people give back to the communities they care about, in a way that is simple, convenient and lasting.

Overall, government provides more than $600 million to fund more than 90 services and supports for children and youth with significant special needs and their families.

Since 2000-01, ministry funding for children and youth with special needs has more than doubled – from $84 million to almost $190 million. As a result of budget increases and program development, approximately 30,000 children and youth with special needs access a range of intervention and support services funded by the ministry.

Learn More:
For more information on the Vancouver Foundation, go to: www.vancouverfoundation.ca

To find out more about available programs and services for children and youth with special needs in B.C., go to: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/spec_needs/index.htm

To find out more about Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, go to: http://www.bcchildrens.ca/AboutUs/SHHCC/default.htm

Contact:
Cindy Rose
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-1639

Vancouver Foundation helps build more vibrant and resilient communities in BC. We do this by harnessing the gifts of energy, ideas, time, and money of caring citizens to make meaningful and lasting impacts. We are Canada’s largest community foundation and we’ve been investing in communities since 1943.

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