Financial assistance for pre-school children with autism (03/11/20)
Nov. 20, 2003ST. STEPHEN (CNB) – The New Brunswick government will provide financial assistance to families of preschool children with autism, Family and Community Services Minister Tony Huntjens announced today.
The Province will invest $2.8 million each year to deliver services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Announced today in conjunction with National Child Day, the funding will build on services already being received by families of children with autism.
Families of pre-kindergarten aged children with autism will receive evidenced-based services, including Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy. The Department of Family and Community Services (FCS) will provide up to $20,000 a year, per child to purchase services that are part of an approved case plan. The department will administer this service at a cost of about $1.8 million a year.
“Families of preschool aged children, already diagnosed and receiving services, can start receiving funding for additional evidence-based services immediately,” Huntjens said. “We have also issued a formal request for proposals to deliver training for para-professionals, professionals and parents who work with children with autism and to provide clinical supervision for autism support workers.”
New Brunswick has already received proposals to develop and deliver training. Under the Public Purchasing Act, a request for Proposals (RFP) must be issued with specific criteria outlined, before any contract can be awarded. That RFP has been issued. The department will administer the training and clinical supervision program and expects to spend $700,000 a year in this area.
The Province is investing $300,000 each year to support community-based initiatives and projects for persons with autism and their families. The community support strategy will be administered by the Department of Health and Wellness.
“A diagnosis of autism seriously impacts families and we must work with communities to support these families,” Huntjens said. “The Province is committed to improving the lives of children with autism and supporting their families.”
Family and Community Services, Education and Health and Wellness will continue working together to deliver integrated services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Background information follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Wade Wilson, Family and Community Services, 506-444-5267.
Backgrounder – Services for Pre-school Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
The New Brunswick Government is committed to providing services for preschool children with autism. Family and Community Services, Education and Health and Wellness are working together to deliver these services. Government is investing $2.8 million annually in new services for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders.
The initiative includes funding assistance for families to purchase evidence-based services, including Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy. Funding is also available to develop and deliver training in evidence-based interventions for paraprofessionals, professionals and parents who work with children with autism. Clinical supervision of paraprofessionals who deliver evidence-based interventions will be provided. Funding will also be available to support community-based initiatives and projects for persons with autism and their families.
Funding Assistance for Evidence-Based Services ($1.8 million)
$ Families of autistic children aged five years or under and not in the public school system can now access funding to assist in the purchase of evidence-based services, to a maximum of $20,000 per year.
$ This financial assistance is in addition to other services children may currently be receiving under the Early Childhood Initiatives Program, the Community Based Services for Children with Special Needs Program or other services offered under the Health Care System (i.e. speech language therapy, occupational therapy, etc.)
Training and Clinical Supervision Strategy ($700,000)
$ Family and Community Services has issued a request for proposals to develop and deliver training and clinical supervision of evidence-based therapies. This training is expected to begin in March 2004.
$ The successful bidder will develop a training program for Autism Support Workers, other paraprofessionals, professionals and parents who work with children with autism. It will be available in all regions of the province and delivered in both official languages.
$ The successful bidder will also be responsible for providing clinical supervision of paraprofessionals, who will be delivering evidence-based therapies.
Community Support Initiatives
$ The Department of Health and Wellness is administering a community support strategy which invests $300,000 annually to support community-based initiatives and projects for persons with autism and their families.