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Upcoming events! – Virtual Nature Camp, Button Blanket Making, Grandparents Day, Contests and More.

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Upcoming events! – Virtual Nature Camp, Button Blanket Making, Grandparents Day, Contests and More.

Upcoming events:

  • Mini Button Blanket Making – Aug 10-27. Via Zoom. Open to Indigenous people across BC. Click here for details.
  • Virtual Nature Camp – Aug 10th and 17th. Via Zoom. Open to children raised by grandparents or other relatives. Click here for details
  • Every Child Matters T-Shirt Design Contest – Create a design for Orange Shirt Day.(Deadline for submissions Friday Aug. 28) Click here for details
  • Mobilize for Art Contest – Open to all children and youth (5-24) raised by grandparents or other relatives.(Deadline for submissions Sept. 4) Click here for details.
  • Grandparents Day – September 13th. Details coming soon.

Updated Caregiver Rates

The provincial government asked us to share this information with families:
“Increase to Caregiver Rates – July 2020

Key Messages

• In May 2020, the federal government announced the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will be increased in July for the 2020-21 benefit year.
• For the 2020-21 benefit year, the maximum CCB payment amounts will increase by 1.9%. Eligible families will receive a maximum $126 increase per year for children ages 0-5, and a maximum $106 increase per year for children ages 6-17.
• This increase will be provided to caregivers in July through an increase to the maintenance rate (also called the family care rate). The type of agreement the caregiver has will impact when the caregiver receives the first payment increase.
• The ministry receives the CCB amounts on behalf of all children and youth in care, as well as those under Interim and Temporary Custody to Other and Permanent Transfer of Custody Assistance arrangements.
• Adoptive parents are able to apply for CCB through the federal government and will not receive an increase to their maintenance rate.
• Specifically, the increase will be provided for eligible children and youth being cared for through a family care home agreement or out-of-care care agreement with the ministry and Delegated Aboriginal Agencies.
• In Budget 2019, the maintenance rate for Extended Family Program (EFP) families was aligned to the rate provided to foster caregivers; EFP families will also receive an increase to the maintenance rate in July 2020.
• We want to extend our gratitude for everything caregivers do in order to support children, youth and their families across the province.”

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Indigenous On-line Support Circles

Indigenous Parent Support Circle and Indigenous Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circle.

To download Indigenous Parent Support Circle click here Indig. Parent Online

To download Indigenous Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circle click here Indig. GRG Online

  • Parents – Tuesdays 6 pm to 7 pm via Zoom
  • Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – Mondays 6 pm to 7 pm via Zoom

TO JOIN CIRCLE OR TO GET MORE INFORMATION:

CALL 604-669-1616 EXT. 104
OR EMAIL danella.angus@parentsupportbc.ca

UPDATED MAY 15, 2020 Attention Kinship Caregivers: Important information from the Ministry for Children and Family Development 

UPDATE FROM MINISTRY: MAY 15, 2020

It has come to our attention that for those caregivers whose contracts are paid in arrears, the $300 increase to their maintenance payment for May will actually be issued in early June. This applies to: foster caregivers, those with Extended Family Program agreements, and those with agreements for interim and temporary custody orders.

For those with a section 54.01 or 54.1 permanent transfer of custody, the additional amount was paid on May 12th as anticipated. Any exceptions to this would be for those whose agreements were new or are not yet in place yet due to court delays.

The Resource leads in each SDA are aware of this and are answering any queries they receive.

Attention Kinship Caregivers: Important information from the Ministry for Children and Family Development

In response to the federal government’s temporary increase to the Canada Child Benefit, the ministry will be providing a temporary increase to the basic family care rate (also known as maintenance rate) for eligible caregivers.

Why is the federal government increasing the Canada Child Benefit?

As part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the federal government will be providing a temporary increase through the Federal Enhanced Canada Child Benefit to support Canadians.

How much is the Canada Child Benefit increasing?

The maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts will increase by $300 per child. Eligible families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment.

Who is eligible to receive the increase?

Caregivers who have a Family Care Home Agreement or Out of Care Agreement with the ministry and/or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency will receive the temporary increase to maintenance rates. More specifically, the following caregivers will receive the increase:

  • Foster caregivers;
  • Interim and Temporary Custody to Other;
  • Permanent Transfer of Custody; and
  • Extended Family Program.

Does the rate increase impact caregivers under the Children in the Home of a Relative (CIHR)?

The Children in the Home of a Relative program is administered by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and they do not receive basic family care rate provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Caregivers under the CIHR program who have custody or guardianship under the Family Law Act can apply to the Canada Revenue Agency to receive the Canada Child Benefit.

 

 

Parenting Support During COVID-19

Parent Support Services is offering the following services during this health emergency.

To download a poster click here.

Online Parenting Support Circles 

Now more than ever, parents need the time and space to connect. Our Support Circles are here to provide a Safe and Confidential space for parents and grandparents and others raising a relative’s child. It is a chance to share challenges, concerns, questions and offer the support you need during COVID 19. We have Circles happening throughout the day. To register or find out more, connect with the regional program staff in your area or call our toll free number 1-877-345-9777.

Parent Support Circles:

  • Indigenous Circles – 6 pm Tuesdays
  • Other Parent Support Circles – Mondays 9 pm, Tuesdays 1 pm, Wednesdays 1 pm, Thursdays 6 pm.

Grandparent Raising Grandchildren (Kinship Care) Circles:

  • Indigenous GRG – Mondays 6 pm
  • Other Grandparent and other Kinship Circles – Biweekly – Mondays 10am, Tuesdays 6pm, Wednesdays 6:30pm, Thursdays 1pm, Thursdays 6pm

BC Parenting Support Line 

Need to talk? Are you juggling home, work, homeschooling and childcare? Are the new changes stressful and taking a toll on your emotional and mental health? Talk to a skilled support worker. Call our provincial parent support line 1-877-345-9777. Open Monday to Friday 10 am to 4 pm.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren/Kinship Care Support Line

If you’re a grandparent or other relative raising a family member’s child, you can get information and advice from the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) Support Line to:

  • Deal with complex services systems such as the Ministry of Children and Family Development
  • Find the answers, assistance, and resources you need to prevent or solve problems
  • Learn about benefits and services that will support your whole family

The GRG Support Line is staffed by two part-time advocates trained in advocacy, social work, family law, and government services related to kinship caregiving. Contact the GRG Support Line grgline (at) parentsupportbc.ca or 604-558-4740 (Greater Vancouver) 1-855-474-9777 (call no charge, outside Greater Vancouver). Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am to 2pm. Outside of office hours, leave a voicemail message or send an email, which will be returned as soon as possible.

To download a poster click here.

Watch this video on parenting and COVID-19

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7z-OOyzIaD0?autoplay=1&feature=oembed&wmode=opaque

Province provides emergency fund for children with special needs

From the Ministry of Children and Family Development

“The B.C. government is providing a new Emergency Relief Support Fund and has added service flexibility for parents of children with special needs to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘We have been hearing from families of children with special needs that they are facing a lot of uncertainty right now,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “We want to help, so we’re offering these families emergency funding and allowing more flexibility in our supports. Our government is committed to helping make life a little easier during this unprecedented and very challenging time.’

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is establishing an Emergency Relief Support Fund for children and youth with special needs and their families. The fund will provide a direct payment of $225 per month to eligible families over the next three months (to June 30, 2020).

Using a needs-based approach, the emergency funding will support 50% more of the eligible families that are currently awaiting services. This payment can be used to purchase supports that help alleviate stress. These could include:

  • meal preparation and grocery shopping assistance;
  • homemaking services;
  • caregiver relief support (e.g., funded support to allow a family member to provide temporary care for a child or youth);
  • counselling services, online or by phone; and
  • and other services that support family functioning.

Policy guidelines for many Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) services will be more flexible to ensure families continue to benefit from other funding and supports, even as access to many in-person school and community-based services remain limited:

  • Families with children in care on a special needs agreement or a voluntary care agreement will not have to make monthly maintenance payments for the duration of the pandemic period. This will provide temporary relief to parents who may be struggling with income or housing insecurity related to the pandemic.
  • Supported Child Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development programs will be able to extend extra staffing during school hours to help with the reduced availability of school-based services. Children of parents who are essential service providers and need extra staffing supports for their child will continue to receive those throughout the pandemic period.
  • Eligibility and access to At Home Program medical benefits will be relaxed, and any families receiving benefits will continue to do so without the need for a reassessment during the pandemic period.
  • Parameters on services purchased with Autism Funding will be expanded, allowing families to use up to 35% of funding to purchase equipment and items that assist in home learning and virtual instructional approaches.Families may direct their child’s Autism Funding to access family counselling and therapy services with a qualified provider for all age categories accessing the Autism Funding program.
  • MCFD recognizes that each child and family faces unique circumstances and has unique needs. Families are encouraged to reach out to their CYSN worker to see how they can benefit from emergency help.

The Emergency Relief Support Fund is sustained by a $900,000 investment. This is part of government’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan to provide income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services.”

“Parents and guardians of school-aged children who are looking for education supports are urged to contact their school principal. The Ministry of Education frequently updates FAQS for families online: https://www.gov.bc.ca/safeschools”

Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times (by Fragile X)

PSS is hoping that you and your family are managing in these uncertain times. We want to share this message from Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada, along with their resource: Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times.

The FXRFC has chosen to postpone its 2020 Family Fun Day as a result of a scheduling issue and the uncertainty created by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. In the meantime, please keep an eye on our website for any further updates.

Click here for the Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertian Times Full Packet

Covid-19 and Supporting Parents

Parent Support Services Society of BC understands that these are stressful times for everyone, and that those in a parenting role face particular challenges. We know it is difficult.

Our mission is to support healthy families (including that of our staff), and therefore we are operating with skeleton staff during this pandemic. We are monitoring messages and will return phone calls and emails as soon as possible.

  • Our Kinship Care (Grandparents Raising Grandchildren) Support Line is operating with regular hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (10-2 pm). Toll free 1-855-474-9777 or email grgline@parentsupportbc.ca.
  • Following the recommendations of the Provincial Health Office, Bonnie Henry – Support Circle meetings are cancelled through till the end of March. We will revisit this decision, based on medical recommendations at that time.
  • All Parenting Workshops and Trainings are postponed till further notice.

We are currently exploring alternative ways to provide some of this much needed support and connection.

Our priority is the health and well-being of the families we serve. Please follow the advice of the health authorities, wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds, maintain a safe social distance of 2 meters from each other when outside of our home. Cough into your elbow or sleeve. Avoid social gatherings. http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19 (Info is available here in multiple languages).

Look to our Facebook page for resources and ideas – https://www.facebook.com/ParentSupportBC/

The BC Council of Families recommends these helpful articles for families making the best of self isolation:

Here are some links to helpful resources on talking with children about the current situation:

We understand that these restrictions may cause emotional hardship for you. While there is a call for social distance, we encourage you to find alternate ways to connect with others, by phone Facetime, and other creative methods. If you are in emotional crisis please contact https://crisiscentre.bc.ca. For Indigenous people: https://www.kuu-uscrisisline.ca For domestic violence https://bwss.org. Other emergencies call 911.

This is a unique opportunity for families to spend time together. If you have the opportunity, get outside for fresh air, exercise, and even a moment or two in nature.

Please monitor our website, social media for future updates, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.