Project aims to smooth way for parents of disabled

Alberta families trying to get help for their disabled children will face less red tape and obstacles thanks to a provincial government pilot project that aims to provide more seamless service delivery through the transition to adulthood.

Alberta families trying to get help for their disabled children will face less red tape and obstacles thanks to a provincial government pilot project that aims to provide more seamless service delivery through the transition to adulthood.

Red Deer MLAs Mary Anne Jablonski and Cal Dallas, in the midst of a cabinet tour of Alberta on Tuesday, spoke at Red Deer’s Provincial Building about a successful Alberta Supports pilot program that’s now being expanded.

The pilot was started by the provincial government in 2010 with 23 families who have disabled children between 14 and 17 years of age.

While these disabled teenagers had been signed up for appropriate child-based government programs, they must reapply for similar adults programs after turning 18, said Jablonski.

She noted this re-application process was a big hurdle as families were forced to visit various government departments and repeat their case histories to different staff workers. Most parents of severely disabled children also have to apply for guardianship once their kids become adults, and register them for disability pensions.

“It’s frustrating enough to have a child with disabilities . . . we don’t need to make their life any more difficult,” said Jablonski.

The pilot program simplified the process by creating a single entry-point for parents who are applying for adult programs for their children.

This worked well for Central Albertans Kerri and Darryl Wilkie.

The couple had to apply for Alberta Supports services for their daughter Stephanie after moving to Alberta from Ottawa just over four years ago and were not relishing the idea of having to “navigate” through different departments and case workers once again, now that their 17-year-old daughter is approaching adulthood.

But the pilot project brought the services to the Wilkies instead. Darryl said representatives of eight agencies sat down with them to discuss the needs of their daughter, who has a rare neurological disease that causes seizures.

As a result, “customizing” services for Stephanie took far less time and no waits, either in person on the phone.

“Before, we had to go to various organizations or look up information on websites . . . this time they called us,” said Kerri, who liked meeting with various agency staff in person.

Dallas and Jablonski are pleased that the pilot program, designed to simplify the process and enable families to become more involved and informed, was so successful.

The MLAs hope it will soon be implemented provincewide by Human Services Minister Dave Hancock.

A single-access approach is already available for other Alberta Supports services for children through to seniors. For information on Alberta’s social programs, call 1-877-644-9992.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman checks out a jobs advertisement sign during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto in April. Alberta’s unemployment rate this past month was 11.1 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. This is nearly half a point lower than October when the unemployment rate was 10.7 per cent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Job recovery in Alberta remains uneven: ATB Financial

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, employment in Alberta’s hospitality sector remains down the… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels winger Arshdeep Bains had two assists in the first period Monday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes in WHL action in Lethbridge. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Hurricanes hand Red Deer Rebels ninth straight loss

Hurricanes 5 Rebels 2 (Saturday) Hurricanes 8 Rebels 5 (Monday) The goals… Continue reading

Red Deer City Hall. (File photo)
Red Deerians will see a slight tax increase, but the municipal portion is at zero per cent

The provincial educational requisition went up by about half a per cent

The length of grass on people’s lawns could be part of the new Community Standards bylaw being considered by Red Deer city council. (Black Press file photo).
Loitering, noise complaints, swearing covered in proposed bylaw

A few old rules could be dropped and new rules added

Letters
Letter: Leaders like MLA Jason Stephan should work towards greater good

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan talks about the devastating social and… Continue reading

Opinion
Opinion: Women, hit hardest by pandemic, key to economic recovery

Events of the past year have laid bare the many disparities and… Continue reading

Children at the Port Angeles Boys & Girls Club practice social distancing throughout the day to minimize the spreading of germs and potentially the coronavirus. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula
Opinion: Teach young people these five principles

At all ages, young people may be the subject of mean behaviours… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: MLAs need to think about all Albertans

I was surprised to find more than a dozen UCP MLAs were… Continue reading

Sweden skip Niklas Edin makes a shot against Scotland in the Men's World Curling Championship gold medal final in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 11, 2021. Curling's Humpty's Champions Cup in Calgary has been pushed back a day due to the delayed finish of the men's world championship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 12, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

Most Read