Services - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta


Show Answer What services does the FSCD program provide?

FSCD provides information and referrals, as well as a range of supports and services to families of children with disabilities. Information and referral supports are available to all families regardless of eligibility for the FSCD program. 

  • Individual and family counselling
  • Assistance with the cost of clothing and footwear needs related to the child’s disability
  • Assistance with the cost of attending medical appointments, such as parking, mileage, meals, accommodations, and sibling care 
  • A range of respite services
  • Assistance with extraordinary child care needs related to the child's disability
  • A range of aide supports including behavioural, developmental and community supports or assistance with personal care activities
  • Assistance with some of the extraordinary costs for prescription drugs, prescribed formulas and diets, ambulance or medical supplies
  • Specialized services for children with severe disabilities, involving support and consultation from occupational or physical therapists, speech language pathologists, psychologists and aides
  • Temporary out of home placements may also be provided.

Show Answer How does the FSCD program decide what services I receive?

You and your FSCD worker will work together to identify your goals and priorities for your child and family, the supports and resources already available to you and the supports and services your family needs to help strengthen your ability to promote your child’s development and participation in activities of daily living. Your FSCD worker will also consult with their supervisor or others as needed to help make decisions about the FSCD services that will be provided.

Recognizing that families are the primary source of care and support for children with disabilities, and the benefits of having strong, natural support networks for families and individuals with disabilities, FSCD services are intended to build upon the strengths, abilities and resources that families already have. The FSCD program is voluntary and parents decide whether or not to use the supports and services FSCD offers. Parents always remain guardians of their child. Parents remain responsible for all the typical costs, care needs and other activities or obligations associated with raising their child. Families are expected to access the supports, services and resources already available to them (e.g. employer health benefits plan) before the FSCD program will provide similar services or funding.

Show Answer How long does it take for services to commence?

If you are eligible for the FSCD program, an FSCD worker will meet with you to discuss your goals, priorities and your family’s individual needs as soon as possible. The FSCD worker will work together with you to determine how the FSCD program can assist you in achieving your goals and what services you require. You will receive an FSCD agreement, identifying the services that the program will provide and may start accessing services as soon as your agreement is completed and signed. The program aims to have agreements in place within 20 working days after you have met with your FSCD worker to determine your needs.

Show Answer What services does the FSCD program provide for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

FSCD services are not based on the child’s age or specific diagnosis but on the unique needs of each family and child. Services may include information, referral and co-ordination supports, respite, aide services, counseling, child care, medical appointment supports, health related supports, specialized services for children with severe disabilities including autism, and out-of-home living arrangements.

Show Answer Can I arrange an out of home placement for my child?

If you have an open file with the FSCD program, call your FSCD worker to discuss your family's needs. If you do not have an FSCD file, please contact your local FSCD program to see if you and your child are eligible for the program. While the FSCD program is not able to co-ordinate an urgent out of home placement, there may be other supports and services that they can assist you with. If you feel overwhelmed with the care of your child right now and need immediate assistance, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1‑800‑387‑KIDS (5437).

Show Answer Does the FSCD program pay for camps?

If a child is attending a specialized camp, the FSCD program may assist with the extraordinary portion of the cost of the camp, over and above what a typical camp would cost, providing the camp is the most cost effective and appropriate form of respite or child care for a child age 13 years or older. The FSCD program does not pay registration fees for regular camps or other recreational activities. Paying for a child to attend a camp or other recreational activities is considered a normal parental responsibility.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program pay for parents to attend courses or conferences related to their child’s disability?

No, FSCD does not pay for parents to attend courses or conferences. Some insurance plans may cover the cost of disability-related training or conferences. There may be free or minimal cost disability-related courses online. Some courses and conferences offer reduced rates for early registration or subsidized rates for families experiencing financial hardship. Your FSCD worker may know of additional resources in your community that may provide assistance.

Show Answer Does the program provide transportation to school?

No, FSCD does not provide transportation to school. Parents should discuss their child’s transportation needs with their child’s school.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program provide tutoring?

No, FSCD does not provide tutoring. The FSCD program is not intended to address a child’s educational or academic needs.

Show Answer Can I receive funding to stay home to care for my child with a disability?

No, FSCD does not reimburse parents for care they provide to their child. FSCD workers are able to provide information about community resources or supports and services that may be available to address work-related childcare or other support needs.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program provide funding to bring a nanny here from another country?

No, FSCD does not provide funds to recruit a nanny from Alberta, other parts of Canada or other countries. FSCD does not sponsor or confirm employment for families who wish to bring non-Canadian persons into Canada to work as domestic care workers.

FSCD does not assume any responsibility to either a family or employee after he/she has been sponsored and /or commenced employment with a family that receives funds through FSCD for domestic child care services.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program pay for home renovations?

No, FSCD does not pay for home renovations. The Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) may assist eligible Albertans with the cost of renovations required to make a home wheelchair-accessible. Further information on RAMP is available toll-free in Alberta by dialing 310‑0000, then 780‑427‑5760.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program pay for prescription formula and special diets?

If the family is eligible for the FSCD program, FSCD may assist with the costs for prescription formula or special diets when the need for the formula or the diet is directly related to the child’s disability; prescribed by a physician or registered dietician/nutritionist; the use of the diet or formula is based on established rehabilitative practices; and if the cost exceeds the typical costs associated with the child's nutritional needs. Established rehabilitative practices means the diet is commonly accepted by the relevant professional field, and identified through research to effectively treat or manage the condition it is being prescribed for.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program pay for service (guide, assistance) dogs?

No, FSCD does not provide funding for service dogs. Foundations such as National Service DogsWestern Guide and Assistance Dog Society or the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides can provide more information.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program pay for medical equipment?

No, FSCD does not pay for medical equipment. Inquiries regarding medical equipment should be directed to the Alberta Aids to Daily Living program.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program pay for nursing care?

No, FSCD does not pay for nursing care. Nursing care may be covered by your health insurance benefit plan or be provided by Home Care if necessary.

Show Answer Does the FSCD program pay for interpreters?

No, FSCD does not pay for interpreters, including American Sign Language interpreters. FSCD workers will:

  • Plan to meet with the family when someone within the family’s community/ church/ extended family who is fluent in English or sign language is available to interpret
  • Refer families to agencies that may assist with interpretation (e.g. Multi-Cultural Health Brokers in Edmonton)
  • Indentify staff within the region that speak different languages and can assist with interpretation for families

Show Answer What is respite?

Respite is intended to give a parent a temporary break from the full care and supervision needs of their child with a disability. FSCD may provide respite where there is a need for a break due to the disability related care needs of the child that exceeds those typical breaks that a parent might get when their child is in school, at daycare, participating in community activities, attending lessons, or the breaks that parents typically take through hiring a babysitter or the support of friends and family. Respite can be provided in or outside of the family’s home.

Show Answer Is there a maximum amount of respite that can be provided?

Since families do not all have the same needs, the amount and type of respite service they receive is based on the individual family needs. FSCD considers the need for respite only after exploring other forms of support and services the family has to address their child’s care needs. Respite is not intended to replace or supersede the important role that extended family and the family’s social support system can play in supporting parents and children.

Show Answer Can family members be paid to provide respite?

In unique circumstances when an adult relative, except for a parent, is the most appropriate person to provide respite, they may be paid to provide this service. Discuss your circumstances with your FSCD worker if you wish to hire a relative to provide respite services. Relatives that provide respite must be 18 years of age or older and their qualifications and skill level must be consistent with the child's care requirements. A parent or guardian cannot be paid to care for their child.

Show Answer Who is eligible for specialized services?

Eligibility for specialized services is based on the individual needs of the family and their child, not the child’s age or diagnosis. Specialized services are provided to families when:

  • Their child has a severe disability that is significantly limiting their ability to function in normal daily living activities;
  • They need to provide continual and ongoing assistance and supervision to ensure their child’s safety and ability to participate in normal daily living activities;
  • Their child has critical service needs in two or more areas, including behaviours, communication and social skills, physical abilities, cognitive abilities, or self-help skills;
  • Their service needs can not be met by other programs or services, including other less intrusive FSCD services; and
  • They need support to acquire specific skills, and learn strategies to help promote their child’s development and participation in normal daily living activities.

The term “severe disability” refers to the degree to which the child is limited in their ability to function in normal daily living activities and the extra care demands this creates for their family. Recognizing the importance of providing the right services at the right time, FSCD workers may need to consult with experts when making decisions about a family’s need for specialized services, and how specialized services may be most beneficial for a family of a child with a severe disability.

Show Answer Are specialized services only for children with autism / my child has autism, am I eligible for specialized services?

No. Specialized services are provided based on the individual needs of the family and their child, not the child’s age or specific diagnosis.

Show Answer What does the FSCD program consider a severe disability?

FSCD considers the severity of a child’s disability in terms of the impact that the diagnosis has on a child’s ability to function in the activities of normal daily living, and the need for their parents to provide continual and ongoing supervision and support to ensure the child’s safety and participation in daily living activities.

Show Answer What information do I need to provide if I am requesting specialized services?

If you are requesting specialized services, you will be asked to provide copies of any of the following documents from your child’s heath professionals, school or the service providers working with your family and child (within the past five years):

  • Letters or reports about your child’s diagnosis.
  • Letters or reports from doctors or other health professionals involved with your child’s ongoing care, such as feeding clinic results, hearing and vision test results, medication trials, etc.
  • Clinical assessments or progress reports such as speech and language or physical therapy assessments
  • Your child’s current Individualized Program Plan (IPP) or other support plan from school as well as the previous year's plan (where applicable).

If you are already receiving specialized services and requesting continued services, the following documentation from your service provider is also required:

  • Your updated Individualized Service Plan (ISP) for the current year as well as the ISP from the previous year (where applicable)
  • The proposed ISP for the services being requested
  • Assessment or progress summaries from the health professionals on your specialized services team.

Your FSCD worker may ask for clarification or request additional information if the documents you have provided do not clearly describe your family’s needs or provide information that does not seem consistent with the services that you are requesting

Show Answer What is a Multi-Disciplinary Team?

The Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) is a group of health professionals established by the FSCD program to provide consultation to FSCD workers when making decisions about providing specialized services. The MDT is made up of the following health professionals who have experience and expert knowledge about services and best practices for children with severe disabilities and their families:

  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists

Show Answer What does the MDT do?

Recognizing the importance of providing the right services at the right time, FSCD workers seek consultation from the MDT about the need to provide specialized services. The MDT reviews and considers information provided by the family, their service provider(s) and other professionals working with the child/family and makes recommendations to the FSCD worker about the need, type and level of specialized services that may be the most helpful for a family and child. The health professionals participating on the MDT do not see the child, complete clinical assessments or make decisions about the FSCD services that a family receives.

Show Answer What happens at a MDT meeting?

The MDT members meet alone to review all of the information and documents that have been provided in advance of the meeting for their consideration. When the MDT members have finished reviewing the information and documents:

  • The family, their advocate or support person and service providers (where applicable) and the FSCD worker join the meeting to discuss the family’s and child’s needs, priorities and what they hope to achieve through specialized services; or
  • The FSCD worker, with the parent’s consent, joins the meeting to share information on behalf of the family.

The MDT members meet privately and work together as a team to develop their recommendations.

Show Answer How are MDT recommendations used?

MDT recommendations are part of the information the FSCD worker uses when making a decision about providing specialized services. The FSCD worker consults with their supervisor and others as needed and considers all of the information and documentation that a parent provides, including information from:

  • Their service providers
  • The child’s educational program
  • Other professionals working with the family and child
  • Clinical assessments and reports
  • The Individualized Service Plan (ISP)
  • Any other information relevant to the family and child’s needs and circumstances

Show Answer Will I get a copy of the MDT recommendations?

A copy of the MDT recommendations will be provided to you within 10 working days of the MDT meeting. Your FSCD worker will also meet with you to discuss the MDT recommendations.

Show Answer What is a specialized services team?

A specialized services team is a group of individuals who work together to develop and implement a single service plan to co-ordinate and deliver a family’s specialized services. The specialized services team includes the following based on the child and family's identified needs:

  • The parents and child;
  • Family members or other individuals significantly involved in the family’s life who the parent would like to be included;
  • Aides and other relevant professions; and
  • Health professionals such as psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, or speech-language pathologists.

Show Answer What is an Individualized Service Plan (ISP)?

An Individualized Service Plan (ISP) is a document that outlines the individualized strategies that the family and their specialized services team will follow as they work together to address the family’s and child’s identified needs and priorities. The ISP is a living document that changes over time to reflect the family’s priorities, the child’s developmental stage, planning for transitions and the progress being made toward the goals and objectives set by the family and their specialized services team. For families receiving specialized services, the ISP describes:

  • The goals or purpose for providing specialized services 
  • The steps necessary to achieve the goals
  • Ways of tracking progress towards achieving the goals

Show Answer Why is an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) needed?

Individualized Service Plans are needed to ensure the specialized services being provided are addressing the critical needs of the child and family, and are focused on achieving the goals that have been identified by the family and their specialized services team. A member of the team ensures it is updated to reflect the progress being made towards the goals. A good ISP increases the likelihood of success in achieving the desired goals, and is essential for any service designed to produce change.

Show Answer Where and how do I get an Individualized Service Plan (ISP)?

The Individualized Service Plan (ISP) is developed by the family and their specialized services team, who share responsibility for monitoring and accomplishing the goals outlined in the ISP.

Created: 2012-12-19
Modified: 2013-10-02
PID: 15775