Family Managed Services


To describe the Family Managed Services funding option.


Family Managed Services (FMS) allows for an Individual, their family or a person close to the Individual to manage the delivery of services to the Individual by hiring staff directly or by obtaining supports through a Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) approved service provider.

While most Family Managed Services are arranged and directed by family members, this role may also be fulfilled by a non-related member of the Individual’s close personal network. This person who fulfils this role is known as the Family Managed Services (FMS) Administrator.

The PDD program provides funding to FMS Administrators to manage the delivery of services and supports to the Individual. The FMS Administrator may choose to purchase services through an approved service provider or to hire staff directly using the Family Managed Service Agreement (FMSA). The FMSA is an agreement between the Minister (represented by the PDD Regional Director) and the FMS Administrator.

The Family Managed Services (FMS) Administrator must be approved by the PDD Regional Director to manage the delivery of services to the Individual. Typically, the FMS Administrator manages services for only one Individual, with the exception of managing services for siblings. When a FMS Administrator is managing services for more than one Individual, a separate FMS agreement is required for each Individual describing their desired outcomes, related services and funding.

Summary of Key Responsibilities of the FMS Administrator:

  • Arrange for the purchase and provision of services for the Individual being supported based on the PDD Outcome Plan and Schedule A of the agreement
  • Hire, supervise and pay employees or provide payment to an approved service provider upon receipt of services
  • Ensure that staff understand their responsibilities related to the Abuse Prevention and Response Protocol
  • Ensure that staff are not family members of the Individual being supported as outlined in Criteria for Payment of a Family Member unless there is an approved exemption to policy in place
  • Ensure that an Individual Support Plan (ISP) is in place
  • Submit a monthly claim of expenses after the end of that month using the Online Claims Reimbursement (OCR) Portal. Instruction on how to register for the OCR is contained in the letter that accompanies the FMS Agreement. OCR Getting Started Tip Sheet will be attached to the letter. If required, the invoice may be mailed to the PDD Regional Office for processing;
  • Maintain a separate bank account for PDD funds
  • Maintain and retain financial and program records relating to services provided for at least 10 years after the end or termination of the agreement. These records include:
    • Documentation related to supports and services including contact notes support/service plans, reports, and/or assessments
    • Bank statements for the separate account in which funds are deposited;
    • Expense receipts for any administrative and service delivery costs claimed; and
    • Payroll records including timesheets
  • At the discretion and request of PDD, provide receipts for monthly claims/invoices; and
  • As requested, meet with PDD regional staff to review and evaluate services.

Individual Support Planning

A very important role and responsibility of the FMS Administrator is to lead the development of an Individual Support Plan (ISP) in a collaborative process with the Individual/guardian and their support team. The ISP is informed by the PDD Outcome Plan already established by the Service Coordinator and the Individual and/or their support team. The Individual/guardian’s support team may include the Individual’s parents/family members, PDD regional staff, service providers, support staff and any other relevant stakeholders or people close to the individual. The Individual Support Plan will be provided to PDD regional staff by the FMS Administrator no later than three months following the commencement of services (see Service Design and Planning). The FMS Administrator is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the ISP to ensure the provision of support strategies, and the achievement of the Individual’s goals and desired outcomes. The FMS Administrator is responsible and accountable for reporting on services to the Minister (represented by PDD Regional Director).

Although, the FMS Administrator is not entitled to receive remuneration for providing or managing the services provided to the Individual, the FMS Administrator may be eligible for reimbursement of out-of-pocket administration expenses, such as bookkeeping fees, bank charges, etc. Administrative expenses which are eligible for reimbursement require the prior approval of PDD and must be identified in the agreement.

All PDD decisions regarding Family Managed Services, including decisions to not enter into an agreement with a FMS Administrator, may be resolved through the PDD Concerns Resolution Process.

Term of the FMS Agreement

The FMS Administrator will be provided with the option of entering into a multi-year agreement for up to three years to promote stability for longer-term planning, coordination of services and the achievement of positive outcomes.

Considerations for the term of the FMS Agreement include:

  • The individual’s circumstances and complexity of support needs
  • Familiarity and successful experience with previous FMS agreement(s).

Regardless of the term of the agreement, PDD regional staff will meet with the family and Individual at minimum annually to review changing needs and circumstances, the services being provided, and progress towards the identified goals and outcomes.

Hiring of Family Members to Provide Support Services

Under exceptional circumstances, the PDD Regional Director may approve the hiring of a family member (extended or immediate) to provide support services to the Individual through a FMS agreement.

An extended family member is anyone who is related to the Individual by blood, marriage, or adoption. An immediate family member is a parent, adult son/daughter, sibling or spouse. Regardless of the relationship to the Individual, the FMS Administrator will not be paid to provide the support services to the Individual.

If the FMS Administrator has determined that it is necessary to hire a family member to provide the supports identified in the FMS Agreement, they must first submit a request in writing to the PDD Director for review and approval as an exemption to policy.

The PDD Regional Director will review the request to hire extended family members (excluding immediate family members) according to the following criteria:

  • There are no other staffing resources available;
  • The Individual has needs that require a unique blend of knowledge and skill that cannot be provided by other staff and that are crucial in the implementation of the Individual Support Plan, including communication barriers, complex behavioral and/or physical needs.

Requests to hire an immediate family member (parent, adult son/daughter, sibling or spouse) or a legally appointed guardian may be approved by the PDD Regional Director under very exceptional circumstances. When that happens, the FMS Administrator should ensure:

  • The immediate family member and/or the legally appointed private guardian receiving payment do not reside in the same residence as the Individual
  • Approved funding will not include paying family members for activities that would be reasonably expected to be provided by one family member to another
  • Safeguards are available to prevent burnout (i.e. respite).

If the PDD Regional Director approves the request to hire an immediate family member or a legally appointed private guardian, the FMS Administrator is responsible to adhere to all terms and conditions identified in the FMS Agreement. The FMS Administrator must address any potential for conflict of interest by ensuring that the primary rationale for paying the immediate family member or legally appointed private guardian reflects the Individual’s circumstances and needs as opposed to financial considerations for the family member and/or legally appointed guardian. The PDD regional staff will monitor the arrangement to ensure that all conditions are adhered to.

In all circumstances, the skills and abilities of the immediate family member and/or private guardian must match the support needs of the Individual or a plan is in place to address orientation or training needs of the family member.

A legally appointed private guardian will not be paid for efforts made or for time expended on behalf of the Individual in exercising the authority and in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of a guardian as per Section 37 of the Adult Guardian and Trusteeship Act.

Policy exemptions for payment to an extended family member, immediate family member and/or legally appointed private guardian must be reviewed at least annually by PDD regional staff to ensure the criteria for approving the exemption continues to be met. Extra monitoring by PDD regional staff may be required in this regard.

Due to the requirement for the annual review of the policy exemption, multiyear agreements will not be considered when an exception to policy for hiring of family member is in effect.

When the FMS Administrator is also the Individual’s Private Guardian

For some Individuals the FMS Administrator is also the guardian. The guardian is legally required to make decisions in the areas in which they have decision-making authority, which may or may not include the identification of services for the Individual in the Individual Service Agreement). These are two very different roles. Keeping these roles separate is important to ensure that the Individual’s interests and needs are represented in the delivery of Family Managed Services.

Roles and responsibilities of both the Minister of Human Services (represented by the PDD Regional Director) and the FMS Administrator are identified within the FMS agreement clauses.

Supports to FMS Administrators that Provide PDD-funded Services to Individuals with Complex Service Needs

Individuals with complex service needs may be provided with PDD-funded services through Family Managed Services. Individuals with complex service needs are defined as Individuals who pose a significant risk, and/or are destructive to themselves, others, or property. They require intensive service and have or have had a history of one of more of the following diagnoses or life experiences:

  • A mental health disorder
  • Termination from services due to challenging behaviours
  • Specialized treatment for psychiatric and/or behavioural issues
  • Multi-system involvement
  • Incarceration(s) or criminal justice involvement
  • Chronic substance abuse/dependency problems

Supporting Individuals with complex service needs requires specialized expertise and resources. FMS Administrators providing supports to Individuals with complex service needs must adhere to the Complex Needs Policy. The PDD program has the following resources for FMS Administrators who are providing PDD-funded services to an Individual with complex service needs:

  • Funding for respite services that provide a break for primary, non-paid, and paid caregivers on a temporary basis (see Home Living Supports).
  • Funding for specialized supports that are intended to be short-term in order to assist caregivers and staff in determining and delivering appropriate services to better support Individuals, such as behavioural and professional consultative services (see Specialized Community Supports).

Resources for the Family Managed Services Administrator

Online resources are available to inform FMS Administrators of the Family Managed Services funding option and their responsibilities in delivery of services to the Individual. These resources include:

Legislative Authority

Created: 2013-08-16
Modified: 2019-11-14
^ Back to Top