Community Living BC (CLBC) is pleased with the commitment made to individuals with developmental disabilities in the B.C. government’s 2021 budget. Budget 2021 includes an additional $70.2 million in provincial funding for CLBC, contributing to a total operating budget of $1.31 billion in 2021/22.
“CLBC supports people with developmental disabilities to achieve their goals in life and be welcomed and included in their communities,” said CLBC CEO Ross Chilton. “This year’s budget is a strong boost in helping us sustain existing supports, welcome young adults who are turning 19 and work with our service providers to continue to improve services.”
CLBC funds and monitors support services to adults with developmental disabilities in British Columbia. CLBC also serves individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder who need significant help with daily tasks. Services are provided through a network of service providers and include employment, community inclusion, housing and respite supports.
This funding will allow CLBC to maintain ongoing and new services for individuals, provide services to those who become eligible this year, and meet funding needs of service providers.
Each year, about 1,300 to 1,400 new people become eligible for CLBC services. Those eligible for services have grown from 12,735 in 2010 to an estimated 24,530 as of March 31, 2021 – about 5% per year. To understand how CLBC makes funding allocation decisions for individuals who have requested disability-related services, please visit our web site here.
Once CLBC learns of its overall approved budget for the year, staff in each region work as quicky as possible to finalize the plan for services it can fund. CLBC goes through a careful and dynamic process that takes several weeks to finalize funding decisions after the budget is announced. This includes completing a service demand assessment, reviewing this year’s available funding, and allocating funding so that those needing immediate, urgent support receive it and as many services as possible can be funded. The process ensures priority needs are met, and as many requests for services as possible receive funding. People with higher needs get more service. Those with the most urgent requests get service first. People in emergency situations – for example with no place to live – get the highest priority. CLBC works to confirm funding decisions for transitioning youth who have requested services by Summer or Fall.
This year CLBC will work with partners to help people with COVID-19 recovery and to continue to improve services. One of the areas impacted by COVID-19 has been employment of people with developmental disabilities. CLBC is working with Inclusion BC to implement funding to employment agencies to help individuals who have lost their jobs to return to work. Other projects underway include efforts to improve access to inclusive housing, as well as preparations to launch an innovative, new L.I.F.E based service to support Learning, Inclusion, Friendships and Employment.
CLBC will be consulting with key stakeholders in the development of its next Strategic Plan to be completed in January 2022. The new Strategic Plan will align with the sector priorities in the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s Reimagining Community Inclusion work: increase employment, improve services for Indigenous Peoples; increase access to inclusive housing, and improve health and wellbeing outcomes.