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Programs Funded through the Department of Health and Community Services

The following Programs may be accessed by Persons with Disabilities who meet program eligibility criteria and funded through the Department of Health and Community Services:

Special Child Welfare Allowance Program

This program provides assistance with the cost of services/supports to families with a child (under the age of eighteen years) who has a physical or intellectual disability living at home. The assistance is designed to enable families to purchase items and/or services which are necessary due to the child's disability. The amount of monthly assistance for each family is determined through a financial needs test.

For more information on accessing this service contact your regional health authority

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Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program

The Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program provides assistance in the purchase of pharmaceuticals, and some related medical supplies to residents who qualify for benefit coverage. The focus of the program is that residents of the province should not be denied access to health care because of financial need.

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Special Assistance Program – Medical equipment and supplies

The Special Assistance Program is a provincial program which provides basic medical supplies and equipment to assist with activities of daily living for individuals living in the community who meet the eligibility criteria for the program. Benefits of the program include:

  • medical supplies (such as dressings, catheters and incontinent supplies),
  • oxygen and related equipment and supplies,
  • Orthotics such as braces and burn garments, and
  • Equipment such as wheelchairs, commodes or walkers.

For more information on accessing this service contact your regional health authority

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Intervention Services

Intervention Services consists of two programs: Direct Home Services Program and Community Behavioural Services Program. The Direct Home Service Program also includes an Intensive Applied Behaviour Analysis Program for children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Direct Home Services Program:

The Direct Home Services Program is a government-funded program that is delivered by the regional health authorities. It is a voluntary, home-based early intervention program that is provided at no cost to the family. The program is offered to families with infants and preschool-aged children who display or are at risk for significant developmental delay. The goal of the program is to develop and implement individualized skill teaching and behavioural strategies with the family to achieve positive gains in the child’s development. A referral for the service can be made to the regional health authority by the family or a service provider (with the consent of the family) as soon as a developmental delay is suspected or identified. Regional health authority staff known as a child management specialist (CMS), visit the family within one month of receiving the referral to explain the program and determine eligibility. When a program space becomes available, the CMS will visit the family home on a weekly basis for the first six months of service and then bi-weekly thereafter, depending on the individual needs of the child and family. The parent(s) or primary caregiver is required to be present during home visits and committed to working on the program suggestions. Children are re-assessed every six months to determine developmental gains, identify new skills to be mastered, or to graduate the child if the need for the service is no longer required.

Intensive Applied Behavioural Analysis Program:

Initiated in 1999 as a pilot for preschool-aged children with autism, this component of the Direct Home Services Program has expanded over the years and is currently available for children up to Grade 3. A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder by a qualified professional is a prerequisite to receiving the service. Applied behavioural analysis is an evidence-based, best-practice approach to early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. Applied behavioural analysis utilizes well studied learning principles in a systematic way to teach skills that are meaningful for the child and the family. There is a focus on increasing positive behaviours and reducing or eliminating challenging behaviours through the use of positive programming principles. Eligible preschool-aged children may receive up to 30 hours per week of intensive intervention, and children in Kindergarten and Grades 1-3 may receive up to 15 hours and 10 hours per week, respectively. Regional CMS staff that are assigned to deliver the Intensive Applied Behavioural Analysis Program are known as senior therapists. These staff receive considerable training in applied behavioural analysis (skill teaching and principles of behaviour modification) and autism spectrum disorder. A senior therapist provides direct home-based training to families and home therapists, who will implement the individualized intensive skill teaching and behavioural programming.

Community Behavioural Services (CBSP):

This program is a government-funded service that is delivered through the regional health authorities. The Community Behavioural Services Program was initiated in 1982 and is a voluntary, community-based behavioural support program that is available for individuals school-aged and older. The program provides intervention and support to individuals with a developmental disability and significant behavioural concerns. The intervention is provided within the home and community environments in which behavioural difficulties occur. The Community Behavioural Services Program is a strengths-based program guided by a set of ideals that promote community inclusion, positive programming and least restrictive treatment principles. Regional health authority staff known as behaviour management specialists (BMS), visit the individual on a regular basis to complete a functional analysis/assessment and to develop and monitor a suitable approach to address behavioural concerns. Individuals in receipt of this program are reassessed every six months to determine progress and service eligibility. A referral to the program can be made by the family or a service provider (with the family’s consent) or the individual (if they are an adult). Participation of the individual’s parents or caregivers and the consistent implementation of programming are integral to the success of the program.

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Provincial Home Support Program

Home support services include the provision of personal and behavioural supports, household management and respite at the minimum level to maintain individual independence. Home support services are intended to supplement, not replace, service provided by the individual family and/or support network. Services are non-professional in nature and are delivered by an approved home support agency or by a home support worker hired by the individual or family.

Home support services may be either purchased privately by an individual or subsidized from public funds to a maximum financial ceiling. Referral for publicly funded home support service is through the Regional Health Authority and can be initiated by anyone, including the individual who is requiring service. To be eligible for a financial subsidy, the individual must undergo a functional and financial assessment by professional staff from the regional health authority.

List of Home Support Agencies PDF (23 KB)

For more information on accessing this service contact your regional health authority

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Therapeutic and Professional Services

Professional staff at the RHAs provides a range of therapeutic and professional services in a variety of settings which support persons with disabilities. Specific referrals and eligibility criteria must be met to access some services. Staff may include social workers, nurses, behavioural and child management specialists, dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and laboratory technicians.

For more information on accessing this service contact your regional health authority

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Residential Options

Residential options are available to adults with disabilities who meet program criteria and are unable to reside with the natural family. These include:

  1. Cooperative Apartment Program
    This program offers a private residential setting operated by an incorporated community board of directors and staffed by a live-in supervisor and relief staff. The private residences are usually rented houses and are shared by up to three adults with intellectual disabilities. The main emphasis is on skill teaching and support to enable more independent living rather than providing a permanent residence.

  2. Alternative Family Care Home Program
    This program offers private homes which have been approved by the Regional Health Authority for the purpose of providing room and board, supervision and personal and social support for up to two unrelated adults with intellectual disabilities in a family atmosphere. Supports and services are available as necessary. Monitoring and supervision is provided by the social worker assigned by the Regional Health Authority.

  3. Board and Lodging Supplement
    A Board and Lodging Supplement is a funding supplement that is available, based on assessed need, to an adult with psychiatric, physical and/or intellectual disabilities, 18 years of age and older, who reside with relatives or non-relatives. These adults have identified needs and require a higher board and lodging rate to live in these arrangements than is usually allowed. The basic rate of board and lodging is available through HRLE and the supplement is available through the RHAs.

  4. Individualized Living Arrangements
    An individualized living arrangement (ILA)is established when no other service option is available or appropriate for an adult with an intellectual disability, meeting home support criteria and unable to reside with their natural family. While this program usually supports one client per home, there may be situations approved where the living arrangements are shared by individuals who wish to reside together. The funding for basic income support is provided by the Department of Human Resources Labor and Employment with additional funding for home support and other related costs provided by the RHAs. Once established, the ILAs are managed by the individual, family, or operations committee.

  5. Shared Living Arrangements
    In some instances individuals with disabilities who require high level of home support may choose to share the cost of a living arrangement and home support staff. Funding may be provided from several sources such as the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment (HRLE)and the Regional Health Authorities (RHA). As in an individual living arrangement all benefits of income support including rent and heat and light supplements, and any other benefits available, are obtained from HRLE and supplemented as per policy by RHAs.

For more information on accessing this service contact your regional health authority

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