Community Inquires and MCFD answers - COVID19 supports

Community inquires and MCFD answers - COVID19 supports



On March 30th 2020 the Ministry of Child and Family (MCFD) announced expanded supports to help youth in care during the pandemic. Those supports promised that
1) "youth and young adults from care will continue receiving the same level of service during the pandemic, even if they were set to age out." 
2) "young adults (enrolled in the Agreements with Young Adults Program) may also be eligible to receive an extension of AYA support beyond the current maximum of 48 months."

Naturally, there have been questions about what those supports would look like, and how they would be implemented from the MCFD to the ground level were they would be accessible to youth. MCFD initiated phone conversation relevant to the implementation of COVID19 and Expanded Supports for Youth in Care and throughout the month of April held weekly check ins to take answers from the community lifted up by the Fostering Change team.

There are almost 40 questions that were answered by MCFD in detail regarding the expanded supports, and access to those supports. 

  • You can find the Frequently Asked Questions page here that may help answer some general questions.
  • To see the answers from the community inquires - see below. 

If you have further questions, and would like your lived expertise/perspective added the conversation -
take part in the survey from Fostering Change.
The survey was created with a holistic health lens in mind, and is user friendly. It is meant for youth with lived expertise in/from care and those that support youth.
If this describes you - take a few moments to share your experience with access to technology, the TELUS Mobility for Good Program, access to the Expanded Supports, and housing and food security during COVID19.

 



FAQ

Ministry of Children and Family Development

COVID-19 AND EXTENDED SUPPORTS FOR YOUTH IN CARE

Updated: April 27, 2020

 

For non-medical-related questions about COVID-19, call 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268- 4319). Service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Call 811 or your primary care provider if you are concerned you may have been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

For general health-related questions, call 1-833-784-4397. Service is available from 7:00 a.m. to midnight EST.

For general information on COVID-19, see the BC Centre for Disease Control online resources at http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/

If you think you may have symptoms, the BC Centre for Disease Control’s self- assessment tool can help you determine if you need further assessment of testing for COVID-19: http://covid19.thrive.health


WEEK OF APRIL 7, 2020

Q1. When should foster parents, and staff (Foster Parents and Group Homes) expect direct communication?

The ministry’s approach for implementing emergency responses announced by the

Minister have been developed and are currently in the approval process with ministry leadership. Communication with foster parents and staff has been identified as a primary priority activity in communication planning.


Q2. Are foster parents and staff receiving different, tailored communication?

Yes, it is expected that foster parents and staff will receive different, tailored communication specific to their needs and responsibilities. Change management and communication planning is underway.


Q3. When will all youth in care be given the means to connect during this time?

It is important to MCFD that youth are staying connected and have the resources to do so. If a youth needs access to technology, we encourage them to speak to their worker about their technology needs.


Q4. From a youth perspective - what should they understand from the communication they are given? What do they need to know?

MCFD’s intention is that nobody ages out of services. Each youth and young adult has their own unique needs and circumstances, and there are different ways we are envisioning to support them. To find out about what type of support is available check out: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/covid-19- information/youth-young-adults-response-to-covid-19


Q5. Can a youth on an AYA also receive Persons with Disability financial supports?

The financial support provided through Disability Assistance depends on the size of families, or if there is more than one person in a family with the Persons with Disability designation. Disability Assistance rates are similar to AYA rates. A Social Worker can work with a youth or young adult to determine the right fit on an individual basis.


Q6. If a youth doesn't want to stay in their placement of shelter (Foster parent, Group Home) what are their options?

As part of the emergency responses approved for young adults, the ministry has developed options for young adults who are turning 19 during the time of the pandemic.

For young adults who do not wish to remain in their current home, other options for support include: participation in the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program (for those who are eligible), support to enroll in Provincial and/or Federal benefits, or support to enroll in Income Assistance.

Young adults are encouraged to connect with their MCFD/DAA worker to determine and discuss what supports are available to them.


Q7. Are you able to provide clarity on plans relevant to youth in and from care and emergency housing placements?

Youth who are in care and need an emergency placement, can contact their current social worker to discuss options, or call Provincial Centralized Screening to talk with a social worker.


Q8. What measures have you introduced and what will they mean for youth in care?

Youth and young adults from care will continue receiving the same level of service throughout the pandemic, even if they were set to age out. That means caregivers will be supported to allow youth to stay in their foster home, contracted residential agency or with extended family under the Extended Family program past the age of 19 and throughout the pandemic.

Youth supported under Independent Living Agreements or Youth Agreements and turning 19 will have their agreements extended, allowing them to continue to receive monthly support during the pandemic.

Young adults who are enrolled in the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program will continue to receive financial support despite school closures and other training program interruptions caused by the current pandemic.

These emergency measures will help young people safely stay where they are.

Q9. Will foster caregivers and other caregivers (such as contracted residential agencies) get additional monthly funding?

Caregivers will continue to receive the same level of monthly support, but support will now be extended to allow arrangements to continue past a youth’s 19th birthday.

Social workers are reaching out to caregivers to modify agreements where extensions are needed during the pandemic period.


Q10. How long will these measures be in place?

These are interim, emergency steps we’re taking to ensure youth don’t fall through the cracks during this pandemic.

The ministry will take its guidance from the Public Health Officer and align with broader government approaches to determine the term of emergency pandemic measures.


Q11. What about young adults on AYA whose programs have been impacted due to COVID-19?

All young adults who are currently on an AYA will continue to receive funding during the pandemic period and may be eligible for an extension of AYA support beyond the current maximum of 48 months to account for program interruptions caused by COVID-19.


Q12. Why not use AYA as a mechanism to support every young adult who is aging out of care?

The Agreements with Young Adults program is a legislated program with specific eligibility requirements. It is intended to support those young adults who are pursuing educational, training, therapeutic or life skills programs.

Though we continue to work with partners to explore further improvements to the program and eligibility over the long term, we recognized that some immediate steps were needed to help young people during the pandemic.

We are working to ensure that all young adults who are currently on an AYA continue to receive funding during the pandemic period.

For young adults who have aged out and are not participating in an AYA, additional efforts will be made to locate and connect them to programming options and other lines of available support, like the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers.


Q13. Have you reached out to all youth in care since the pandemic started? What have you told them? What have you been doing to support them up to now?

We have communicated with youth through their social workers, sending a letter to all young adults participating in the AYA program in each Service Delivery Area or Delegated Aboriginal Agency. Updates were also sent to youth-serving organizations.

The letters acknowledge the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and physical distancing measures which may be impacting their employment and participation in programs and causing concern about their support from the Ministry.

They also provide links to credible and accurate information about COVID-19 and include the Public Health Officer’s advice on how to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections.

With these new emergency measures now in place, we will be following up to help youth access supports and get help fast.

We are also meeting with Fostering Change on a weekly basis.


Q14. What other option does a youth have if they do not want to remain in their current placement?

Young adults can opt to apply for Income Assistance with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (SDPR).


Q15. What about youth who are scheduled to transition to Community Living BC (CLBC) during this pandemic?

Youth in care who are scheduled to transition to CLBC during this pandemic will be supported on an individual case-by-case basis.

CLBC will work closely with MCFD and DAAs to support a smooth transition for these youth.

Q16. What about those youth who are turning 19, during the pandemic, on a youth agreement or independent living agreement?

Youth nearing the end of a youth agreement or an independent living agreement, will be given an option to continue receiving funding for the duration of the pandemic.

Social workers will contact youth to walk them through this process.

Q17. There are youth who applied several weeks ago for the AYA program (and are eligible) and have not received approval for participation. Will the ministry address these delays in approvals?

We don’t want people falling through cracks.

Ministry staff are in the process of developing practice bulletins, which help provide guidance to social workers working directly with youth about how we can implement the range of youth emergency measures.

We will include special attention to identifying opportunities to expedite approvals and ensure youth are not left waiting for long periods of time to get into the program.


Q18. How will the most vulnerable youth be reached?

This is something we need help to achieve through leveraging social media and umbrella organizations like First Call or the Federation of BC Youth In Care Networks (FBCYICN) to reach out to youth and get them connected to supports.

We encourage anyone with contact with youth in or from care to refer to our Youth and Young Adults page (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social- supports/covid-19-information/youth-young-adults-response-to-covid-19) or AgedOut.com for additional information.


Q19. Will there be additional discretionary funds released to former youth in care (in addition to AYA or Independent Living financial assistance)?

The ministry has always provided discretionary funds to youth on a case-by-case basis

– where the needs of the youth and the clinical judgment of the social worker determine the level of support. We want youth and social workers to maintain this level flexibility and we will continue to operate using the same case-by case approach.


Q20. What about youth who can’t attend school or programming in spring but would like to enroll in September and are not on a AYA contract currently. Will they still be eligible for AYA support?

They could be. We need to look at these scenarios on a case-by-case basis.

Young adults in this position should contact their local MCFD/DAA office or former social worker to discuss these options.


Q21. Youth historically experienced barriers in applying to AYA program including being turned away at an administrative level (inadequate documentation as ‘proof’ of enrolment). How will you ensure this doesn’t happen?

Emergency measures to support youth are intended to be accessible.

We want to streamline access to support.

Practice directives – which provide guidance to social workers – are currently under development to support implementation of these emergency measures.

We will ensure to incorporate consideration for how the AYA program can be administratively streamlined to support youth during this time.


Q22. You have mentioned there will be a point person to assist youth in navigating these supports. Who is this person?

There is not a single point person. The ministry has taken this approach:

- If you feel that any of these emergency measures could apply to you or someone you know, please contact your local MCFD office or Delegated Aboriginal Agency (DAA) for more information.

- You can do this by reaching out to your local MCFD/DAA office regarding these additional services (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family- social-supports/data-monitoring-quality-assurance/find-services-for- children-teens-families)

- You can also contact the Representative for Children and Youth at rcy@rcybc.ca or call 1-800-476-3933. The Representative’s Office can support you in making the right connections within your local MCFD or DAA office

Q23. How are social workers being supported?

• Social workers throughout MCFD and DAAs will be receiving practice guidance to ensure they are well equipped to support the range of youth who require these emergency measures during the pandemic.
• Social workers will be in contact with caregivers, youth, and others over coming days to begin the process of ensuring everything is in place for ongoing support.
If at any time, you have further questions, please contact your local MCFD office or Delegated Aboriginal Agency (DAA) for more information.
• You can also contact the Representative for Children and Youth at rcy@rcybc.ca or call 1-800-476-3933. The Representatives Office can support you in making the right connections within your local MCFD or DAA office.

WEEK OF APRIL 15, 2020
Q24. What about youth residing in bail beds, shelters, youth custody centers, or who are experiencing homelessness?
• Youth who are vulnerable due to homelessness and other issues may be involved in youth justice system.
• Youth who are attending community-based youth justice residential programs such as Full Time Attendance Programs (FTAPs) or bail programs must have a transition plan developed to address youth’s needs for their safe return to their home community.

• 
For youth in custody centres, Youth Probation Officers work collaboratively with custody case management, Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services (YFPS), and other members of youth care team to ensure there is a transition plan developed and 
updated regularly to address youths needs and community safety upon release from custody.

Youth Probation Officers work collaboratively with, Social Workers, Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services, community agencies, and others to ensure each youth who are experiencing homelessness have a viable and up to date transition plan that addresses residence, overall safety and supervision.

Plans for youth must include a stable residential option upon their return to their community. Youth shelters are not considered appropriate housing options.

The youth health and safety as well as the safety of the community is taken into consideration in all planning.

All precautions and protocols regarding public health directives related to COVID -19 pandemic are part of the plan.

The conditions of any applicable court orders are also considered in development of plans.


Q25.
What is MCFD’s plan if a youth’s time in custody comes to an end and they are supposed to return to the community?

Youth who are in custody as part of a sentence or on remand will have a community Youth Probation Officer assigned to them.

Youth Probation Officers work collaboratively with Custody Case Management, Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services (YFPS) and other members of youth care team to ensure there is a transition plan developed and updated regularly to address youth’s needs and community safety upon release from custody.

Plans for youth must include a stable residential option upon their return to their community. Youth shelters are not considered appropriate housing options.

Custody services, in conjunction with community partners, ensure that youth have appropriate transportation to their place of residence, upon release.

The youth’s health, and safety as well as the safety of the community are taken into consideration in all planning.

All precautions and protocols regarding public health directives related to COVID-19 pandemic are part of the plan.

The conditions of any applicable court orders are also considered in development of plans.


Q26. Can they expand on what efforts are being made to locate young adults who have recently aged out of care - especially those without technology?

Social workers continue to be concerned for the safety and well-being of youth to whom we have a responsibility; our main goal is to continue to make sure that youth know that we care about them and we want to ensure they are supported.

While following the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations, Social Workers are encouraging and supporting: regular texting, telephone calls with youth; in office/community visits with youth while practicing physical distancing (when it’s safe to do so); ongoing connections with a youth’s extended family, friends and support circles.

If a young person does not have technology, every effort is being made to connect and support them to get technology so that they can remain connected.

We are utilizing platforms such as Agedout.com and the Federation of BC Youth In- Care Network (FBCYICN) as well as connecting with DAAs to share information regarding ways youth and young adults can access technology. For example:


TELUS Mobility For Good (M4G)

The M4G program offers young adults transitioning from care between the ages of 19 – 26 (inclusive) with free cell phones and no cost data plans for a two-year period. After the two years they are transitioned to a $35/mo. plan indefinitely.

To be eligible for the M4G program, a young adult must have been in temporary or permanent care of MCFD or a DAA as of their 19th birthday or meet the eligibility requirements for the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program. Specifically, the care statuses included are:

Permanent Care

-Continuing Custody Order (CCO) -Under the guardianship of a Director pursuant to the Infants Act -Under the guardianship of a Director of adoption under the Adoption Act

Temporary Care

-Special Needs Agreement (SNA) -Voluntary Care Agreement (VCA) -Interim Custody Order with a Director  -Temporary Custody Order with a Director

Out of Care

-Youth Agreement


For more information please go to TELUS Mobility for Good

M4G COVID-19 Response

For those already on the M4G program, TELUS has some tailored supports as part of their COVID-19 response:

For those who signed up for M4G as of Dec 2019, the M4G program has the Peace of Mind Functionality which slows down the speed after the allotted 3GB is used but eliminates the overage charges.

For those that signed up for M4G before December 2019, they currently do not have this functionality but they can email mobilityforgood@telus.com to be transferred to that new plan which includes the Peace of Mind Functionality.

For more information about TELUS’ response to COVID-19, please see the TELUS COVID-19 response site for updates about current and evolving supports available.

 

100 Pre-Paid Cell Phones (for anyone) – Eligibility and Process

For those youth/young adults that are NOT eligible for the M4G, TELUS has indicated that it can support up to 100 in BC with a prepaid program.

The details would be as follows:

100 refurbished devices, 100 SIM cards with a new phone number (no porting of existing phone numbers), 3GB of data, Unlimited nationwide talk & text.

- This would be on a prepaid $0/mo plan. TELUS can setup the account information to be generic TELUS information and the phone is not capable of incurring any overage charges.

- The lines could be cancelled in the future after the crisis is over as this is an emergency response to assist young adults during this crisis.

 

TELUS would rely on MCFD to identify the young adults for the 100 phones; we would need to develop a process to distribute the phones. Some considerations might be:

For those aging out of care during this time that are NOT eligible for T4G, Homeless youth, Youth recently returning to communities from the justice system.

 

Q27. Do they have an update on turn-around time?

MCFD’s Ministry Operations Centre (MOC) is working hard to distribute the phones to youth and young adults as soon as possible. Youth and young adults can connect with their social worker to access this resource.


Q28. Have all support staff (group homes, youth workers, foster parents) received the directives regarding the expanded supports?

MCFD and DAA staff (social workers, resource workers and youth workers) are being invited to attend orientation sessions that outline the emergency supports that are available.

Social workers are reaching out to foster parents and group homes to discuss available emergency supports on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, a Practice Bulletin will be posted on iConnect outlining supports available to youth and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Youth/YAC messaging package has been developed “from young people to young people” of BC with targeted social media messaging.

We have increased awareness that our offices are open and if youth who are vulnerable and needing safe housing and want to find a placement, we are strongly encouraging them to call the Ministry offices or Provincial Centralized Screening 1-800-663-9122 and speak with a social worker. We will help to explore placement options, reconnecting with family and community.

We have engaged in a consultation with Foster Parent Support organizations across the province to discuss best practices in supporting young people in resources.

We are also participating in Town Hall meetings to directly connect with young people to hear firsthand regarding their concerns.


Q29. How is MCFD ensuring that youth who were experiencing homelessness, or are without a placement prior to COVID are now in a placement or housed?

As part of the emergency responses, the ministry has developed options for young adults who are turning 19 during the time of the pandemic.

Those options include: participation in the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program (for those who are eligible), support to enroll in Provincial and/or Federal benefits, or support to enroll in Income Assistance access (last resort).

We have also temporarily revised the AYA life-skills program criteria to create greater flexibility for young adults to participate.

Eligibility of the program criteria includes opening the availability of life-skills opportunities that may already exist in a young adult’s community, providing support for young adults to connect with culture, and promoting geographical equity and access to existing online programs.

All young adults admitted to AYA based on the temporarily revised criteria will remain on the program for the term of their agreements (on average 12 weeks) – even if government responses to COVID are lifted sooner.

Young adults are encouraged to connect with their MCFD/DAA worker to determine and discuss what supports are available to them.

We are also utilizing platforms such as Agedout.com and the Federation of BC Youth In-Care Network (FBCYICN) to share information regarding ways youth and young adults can access supports available to them during the pandemic.


Q30. How will MCFD ensure that contracted or funded residential agencies are accepting youth?

Social workers are reaching out to caregivers and care providers to modify agreements where extensions are needed during the pandemic period.

Q31. What is MCFD doing to ensure that no youth “loses” a placement during COVID?

To ensure no youth loses a placement during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (the ministry) has put emergency measures in place that will allow youth aging out of care to maintain their current living arrangements during this pandemic and continue to receive financial supports. Specific measures include:

Youth in foster care, out of care placements, extended family programs, and contracted residential agencies will be supported to stay where they are, using new emergency measures the ministry has put in place. Ministry staff will be reaching out to youth, caregivers and agencies to develop or modify agreements that will allow for care providers to continue supporting youth past their 19th birthday.

For youth living on Independent Living Agreements and Youth Agreements, the ministry will be providing options that will allow them to continue to receive monthly living expenses past their 19th birthday. Social workers will be reaching out individually to these youth to walk them through this process.

Q32. Is MCFD still sourcing placements for youth in care to ensure that no youth in care experiences homelessness or lack of placement at this time?

We are supporting youth to stay in their current placements past their 19th birthday through the Temporary COVID-19 Housing Agreement.

The new draft agreements are based on existing agreements in use at MCFD (Family Care Home Agreement, and subsequent schedules, as well as the ILA/YAG Agreement). Two ‘new’ agreements were developed – one to support ILAs/YAGs, and one for the remaining in and out of care statuses.

For those young adults who do not wish to stay with their current placement, options include: participation in the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program (for those who are eligible), support to enroll in Provincial and/or Federal benefits, or support to enroll in Income Assistance.

Q33. How is MCFD ensuring that youth are being reached by social workers and getting cellphones and will be able to continuously get cellphones even if they lose them, sell them, etc.?

Social workers continue to be concerned for the safety and well being of youth to whom we have a responsibility; our main goal is to continue to make sure that youth know that we care about them and we want to ensure they are supported.

While following the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations, social workers are encouraging and supporting: regular texting, telephone calls with youth; in office/community visits with youth while practicing physical distancing (when it’s safe to do so); ongoing connections with a youth’s extended family, friends and support circles.

If a young person does not have technology, every effort is being made to connect and support them to get technology so that they can remain connected.

Social workers will consult with the Team Leaders as needed regarding concerns for youth and case planning. Practice Consultants and Analysts are available to support work on complex cases as needed.

A Practice Bulletin is in for approval to provide frontline information on how to work with vulnerable youth.

We are utilizing platforms such as Agedout.com and the Federation of BC Youth In-Care Network (FBCYICN) as well as connecting with DAAs to share information regarding ways youth and young adults can access technology.

TELUS has developed a COVID-19 response to assist more youth and young adults in accessing technology. See Question 19 for info on M4G.


WEEK OF APRIL 22, 2020

Q34. Will MCFD ensure that they are reviewing their pandemic/emergency response policies on an annual basis to ensure that services and responses to support children, youth and families, are relevant and current and up to date? Who?

MCFD had an emergency response plan in place, which was operationalized and adjusted to address the pandemic. Given that historically emergency responses have related primarily to fires and floods, we had to adjust.

The ministry will continue to learn from the pandemic and utilize the findings to inform future plans.


Q34 a. If so, how will you begin to enter this process and ensure that you engage the voices of Youth, Indigenous communities, DAAs, and RCY continuously?

Currently MCFD is engaging with the voices of youth through weekly calls with First Call. Their perspective continues to inform our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ongoing communication with DAAs, First Nations Leadership Council (FLNC) and the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) has occurred to ensure a coordinated response.


Q35. On what qualitative and quantitative grounds would the expanded supports for COVID- 19 cease to be offered?

Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have put emergency measures in place to ensure the safety of youth and young adults from care.

The expanded supports for COVID-19 are offered until June 30 at this time.

We are working to enhance existing services and programs for youth and young adults including improving AYA. This work continues to be a priority for the ministry.

The ministry is following the advice of the Provincial Health Officer, and programs will be responsive to this direction.

Q36. Concerning the suspension of parental visits with children in care - what exactly is meant by “essential, and non-essential” visits? What guidance is being given to agencies contracted to host supervised visits in this regard, especially for infants who need to breastfeed?

First as a point of clarity and not wanting to change the language in the question as it was presented, the Ministry has not used the language of “essential or non-essential” as it relates to access or visitation as we regard all connection between children and youth and their families and communities as essential.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the Provincial Director of Child Welfare had to make a decision regarding “in-person” connection between children and youth in care and their families. The Ministry takes its guidance from the Provincial Health Officer regarding physical distancing recommendations – to this end, on March 26th a decision was made suspend in-person access and move to more virtual ways of maintaining connections. The Ministry understands that there are situations where in-person is critical and therefore exceptions will be made.

This decision was reviewed on April 26th and the decision continues to stand and we are determining, on a case by case basis the need for in-person connection while continuing to support virtual visits.

In determining whether an in-person visit should occur we are considering:

-If the child/youth is First Nations, Inuit or Metis that the principles within An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis children, youth and families are applied which are the best interests of child, cultural continuity and substantive equality;

- Is the in-person visitation key to the child/youth’s sense of safety/well-being and/or due to special needs/circumstances where virtual visitation is not an option due to the potential for escalating trauma/anxiety and visitation can occur within the parameters of the instructions of the Provincial Health Officer;

-Is in person visitation for a child/youth in care with their family able to occur within the parameters of the instructions of the Provincial Health Officer and are all parties in agreement with the in person visitation (ex. caregivers who will either facilitate the visit and/or have the child/youth return to their home following the visit)?

Some examples of exceptional circumstances may include:

- Visitation with a parent(s) is part of a planned return to parent and in-person visitation can be conducted in a manner consistent with the guidance and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer;

- Due to a family circumstance where in-person visitation is in the child’s best interest and visitation can be conducted in a manner consistent with the guidance and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer (for example a breast feeding infant);

- Palliative child/youth in care or family member and visitation can be conducted in a manner consistent with the guidance and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer.

- Guidance to agencies contracted to host supervised access will very much be to support the child/youth and their family to follow the guidance and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer during the visitation.


Q37. All children and youth in all care should expect to receive the information and financial resources to thrive. When are they, and their caregivers, receiving the $300 COVID19 supplement from the federal government at this time?

In May 2020 there will be an increase of $300 in one time only funding to the maintenance payment, as a temporary measure.


Q38. Will caregivers currently receiving the Child in the Home of a Relative continue to receive the CIHR benefit were their child to age out during this COVID pandemic?

SDPR administers the CIHR program, and caregivers who want more information regarding the pandemic response should reach out to their SDPR worker.

After the age of 19, CIHR young adults can become eligible for income assistance (sometimes disability) as their own file, which is typically more money than CIHR. Given that SDPR recently eliminated the 2-year independence test it would be a quick transition, if needed. Additionally, SDPR has waived work search requirements during the COVID crisis, which again, further expedites this process.