OVERVIEW

CHILDREN AND YOUTH WITH SUPPORT NEEDS
FAMILY CONNECTION CENTRE

The Central Okanagan Family Connections Centre (FCC), operated by arc programs, uses an integrated, multi-disciplinary model to deliver a continuum of services for children and youth with support needs and their families. Kelowna and the surrounding communities in the Central Okanagan (Peachland to Oyama) is one of four communities in BC using this model. The Family Connections Centre is funded by the BC Ministry for Children and Family Development. Arc programs is a community-based, multi-service agency that has been providing a range of specialized child, youth, and family services in Kelowna for over thirty years.

The goal of the FCC is to support and improve the quality of life for children, youth, and families in the context of their community by supporting them to:

To ensure we meet the diverse and complex range of presenting needs, arc programs has formed a coalition with select community agencies who have the experience and expertise to implement this distinctive service delivery model. Our primary community agency partners are: bgc Okanagan, Kids Physio Group, Meridian Rehabilitation, and the YMCA of Southern Interior BC. Other involved partners include the City of Kelowna Recreation Services and the Options social skills development program. The Ministry for Children and Family Development (MCFD) will also provide outreach Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) services through the Centre to those that require and are eligible for this service. In addition, those that are eligible will receive Disability Services through MCFD to access respite and other specialized supports, including a CYSN social worker. All services provided at the FCC, including MCFD services, are voluntary. The FCC provides a “one-stop” service access point whereby families can receive a needs-based, rather than diagnosis-based, assessment to determine their service needs. Our streamlined approach facilitates an individualized planning process, connecting families efficiently and effectively with services that address their individual needs. The FCC further offers a welcoming environment for diverse members of our community, emphasizing culturally responsive services. Families will have continuity with their Care Coordinator, to assist with navigation and support throughout their journey with the FCC, while also creating connections within community and beyond to secure needed supports and resources.
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Care Coordinators

The child or youth and/or family will meet with an Intake Care Coordinator when they walk-in to the FCC, or as soon as they have an online or in-person appointment (after completing the referral online or over the phone or through a community referral. The Care Coordinator then meets and gets to know the family and facilitates and coordinates referrals to relevant services within and outside of the FCC, or to MCFD Disability and/or provincial services as per the family’s individualized plan. The Care Coordinator then develops a plan with the family to address their priorities and needs, coordinating between the various services both within and outside of the Family Connection Centre (FCC).
The Care Coordinator provides guidance regarding:

Support Planning

Support plans are developed collaboratively with persons served using a family and person-centred planning approach. My Support Plans include the contributions from the natural and professional circle of support of the child or youth. These are based on a comprehensive assessment approach, including the About My Child assessment to inform the child or youth’s My Support Plan.

Planning for Transition to Adulthood

Older youth can access a team of professionals to support their planning for the transition to adulthood. This could include transitioning to CLBC, or other supports available in the community, depending on eligibility and fit. This planning with the Care Coordinator includes exploring adult service options, connections to community supports, and assistance with coordinating with relevant service providers.

Educational Services

Educational services are delivered in person, video, in group and individual settings with the individual and/or their caregiver and circle of support, to develop their knowledge of neurodiverse and physical disability related needs. This includes self-care, communication, and mindfulness. This can also include caregiver support group models as well as psycho-educational group formats.

Functional Assessments

Standardized functional assessments (the Vineland-3, PEDI-CAT, and GMFCS) are used to evaluate the strengths, barriers, functional abilities, health conditions and support needs of the child or youth to determine eligibility for MCFD Disability Services. This is a voluntary service that provides a CYSN social worker instead of an FCC Care Coordinator, and access to respite and other specialized services.

Clinical Mental Health Services at the FCC

Clinical mental health services are provided by MCFD child and youth mental health clinicians and may be provided for eligible children and youth with support needs. Clinical services can be delivered on site, via outreach, and/or via videoconference.

BECOME A PART OF OUR COMMUNITY

Families in the four pilot areas will be able to access a broad range of supports through the family connection centre (FCC), some of which they may not currently have access to at all. The pilots will provide an integrated approach to services, delivered by multidisciplinary teams, and will assist in coordinating services with other service providers such as schools and MCFD. Family connections centres have been designed to be responsive to the changing needs of children/youth and families. This community-based model allows families to access information, resources, supports and services without needing to connect with MCFD at all.

These services are available to families through MCFD’s Disability Services stream. If you would like to see if your child/youth is eligible, you can connect with a pilot family connections centre to begin the assessment process, and we encourage all families to check what is available through the pilot family connections centre (FCC) before making that decision. Pilot FCCs offer a variety of services that will support the quality of life for children, youth and families by assisting them to work towards personally meaningful outcomes, experience meaningful social inclusion and participation and feel empowered by fostering and supporting families with skills, knowledge, and tools.
MCFD funded occupational and physical therapy previously provided through SAT will now be available through pilot family connections centres. Therapists at the pilot family connections centre (FCC) will work collaboratively with families and schools to develop a support plan that complements learning supports at school. Depending on local arrangements, therapists may work with children and youth in school, in the community, at home, or at the local FCC. In many cases, the therapy team (either the team you have in place through SAET or the pilot FCC team) will work with the school-based team to ensure that services are aligned and complementary.
The pilot family connections centres will use a variety of strategies to ensure that children, youth, and their families are able to access responsive services. This includes offering service in locations other than the pilot family connections centre (FCC) (home, community, etc.) and offering group and virtual service to complement in-person and one-on-one options. Pilot family connections centres will have an established process to ensure that children/youth most urgently in need of support are prioritized for access. Staff from the pilot FCCs will work with each family to provide them with the resources they need.