More disability funding support announced for N.S families

Karla MacFarlane speaks in this file photo. (Healey photo)

From a press release:

HALIFAX/EAST HANTS: An investment by the province means families caring for children with disabilities are now eligible for more financial support, the Minister responsible for the file said.

Beginning in April, more than 650 families will receive additional funding to participate in family, community and peer events and activities, and get more respite funding for summer camps and other types of care.

For eligible families, unused monthly respite funds will also carry over so they are not lost.

“We recognize children with disabilities are more likely to achieve their full potential when families are supported to care for children at home,” said Karla MacFarlane, Minister of Community Services. “This funding will help families access support services and programs for their children and ease some of the added costs they face.”

The Direct Family Support for Children program provides funding for families who care for children with disabilities at home. This $3.5-million investment will provide an increase of $100 to $200 per month for each family.

In addition, a new inclusion benefit will provide an extra $115 per month per child to participate in relevant activities.

Summer respite funding will increase to a maximum of $2,000 for all families regardless of the child’s age, which is particularly important since schools are closed and families may require additional support.

Families who receive more than $500 per month for respite can now carry over unused funding from one month to another within a fiscal year, allowing more flexibility to use it at their convenience.

“This announcement is an exciting and much-needed investment in the disability community. The improved access to crucial respite support will reach more families across the province who are in need. This increase is long overdue, and we are pleased to see this being implemented as promised.”
     – Cynthia Carroll, Executive Director, Autism Nova Scotia, and a member of the Nova Scotia Respite Partnership

“These changes are big for our family and will enable us to keep a daily routine and balance during summer break – the increase to summer respite funding is priceless. The inclusion benefit will allow us to enrol in one-on-one swimming lessons or other programs which help my children integrate into society and learn everyday skills. This is a major milestone for our family.”
     – C.P., parent of children with disabilities, East Hants