Family Support for Children with Disabilities Program (FSCD)



FEBRUARY 18, 2021 CSS Ken Dropko, MEd Memo Regarding Applications for Alberta Critical Worker Benefit

Good afternoon CSS partners,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary impact on frontline service providers delivering supports to the most vulnerable Albertans. In appreciation for the continued efforts of frontline workers, the Government of Alberta recently announced the Alberta Critical Worker Benefit Program.  Additional information is available at:

Along with a number of other essential workers, this program will provide eligible essential workers working in Preventive Community Services (PCS) funded sexual assault centres, family violence prevention agencies and Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) with a one-time payment of $1,200 in recognition of their hard work providing Albertans with the care and critical services they need.

These essential workers have taken on additional challenges to meet the increased health and personal care needs of the clients they serve and this additional pay is an acknowledgment of the extraordinary efforts they continue to make as they care for others.

Funding will be distributed to service providers in a lump-sum payment using a separate grant agreement issued to each eligible service provider. I have attached information on the eligibility criteria, as well as the Schedule C, which will be used to submit your request for the benefit. Please ensure to read all background information to ensure your understanding of the eligibility criteria.

Copy of Schedule C – Data and Invoice Template – FCS should be forwarded to [email protected] by March 5, 2021. Subject line: [Agency Name] Essential Worker Benefit Application

ACWB Guidelines for Social Services Sector-FCS-Feb16

Once received, your application will be reviewed by department staff and if it meets the eligibility criteria, a grant agreement will be provided to facilitate the transfer of employee benefits to you. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the benefit is provided to each identified eligible employee.

The contacts below can help in answering questions regarding the application process:

Sexual Assault Centres – Janet Pavlic; [email protected]
Family Violence Prevention – Donna Barker; [email protected]
FCSS – Nicole Nowakowski; [email protected]

Ken Dropko, MEd Executive Director, Civil Society and Community Initiatives Branch Preventive Community Services Division Ministry of Community and Social Services

[email protected]

Additional Related


Alberta’s Government Is Providing $68.5 Million To Protect Vulnerable Albertans And Staff Feb 3, 2021
Alberta’s government is providing $68.5 million to protect vulnerable Albertans and staff in continuing care and residential addiction and mental health treatment facilities, as well as home care clients, from COVID-19.

Organizations operating during the period of March 15, 2020 to March 31, 2021 will be eligible.
Information on how to apply for funding will be posted on in the coming weeks.

This one-time funding will support operators of non-contracted licensed supportive living and both contracted and non-contracted home care, hospices and residential addiction and mental health treatment centres.

It will help operators pay for increased staffing, additional cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.Funding to support operators providing essential services varies by sector and will be calculated based on the number of spaces in each facility or on an hourly basis for home care:

  • $48 million for non-contracted licensed supportive living
  • $9.9 million for residential addiction and mental health treatment facilities
  • $9.6 million for home care
  • $1 million for residential community hospice

February 2, 2021 Update from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough


ALIGN wants to gather your thoughts, questions and comments regarding the
Ministry Survey through this ALIGN survey so we can accurately address your concerns and compliments with the Minister.

We really are hoping for people to help us out by completing the FSCD survey. We are wanting to send the results to the Minister with a request for a meeting regarding the FSCD review and the agency’s role.

The Minister is aware that we are completing this survey, we have made her aware of some of the concerns from the agency’s perspective and she has asked to see the survey results. We will be sending those to her later next week.

Rhonda Barraclough


Alberta’s Government Will Continue The Current Service Model With Residential And Personal Care Facilities For People With Disabilities In Edmonton And Calgary.
News Release Supporting Services For Albertans With Disabilities January 29, 2021
There were 150 responses to the survey that was sent to the families and guardians of individuals using these facilities. Overall, the majority of respondents indicated they prefer to have their loved ones stay at the current locations, served by current staff. They indicated they are opposed to transitioning to new service providers. After reviewing the feedback and data, the government has decided to continue the current model of service delivery at these facilities. Read Full


To FSCD Service Provider
Re: New ALIGN Survey Deadline Feb 5, 2021
Announcement From: ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough

Hi all,
Earlier this week we sent out a notice regarding the Ministry survey and some of our thoughts on FSCD.
We want to gather your thoughts, questions and comments through this ALIGN survey so we can accurately address your concerns and compliments with the Minister.In the next few weeks we will be writing to the Minister and she has asked to see the results of this survey and we hope that your feedback will be taken into consideration as the FSCD redesign and planning is underway.
You can see the Ministers Memo HERE. As a result, we will have to have a very short turn around on this survey. Can you please have it returned to us within 2 weeks, end of day Feb. 5, 2021

Update January 24, 2021

Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) Survey
Feedback will assist FSCD better understand how effectively the program supports families while identifying opportunities to improve sustainability.“What We Heard” report will be available following the engagement.
Deadline Feb 1, 2021


Update January 22, 2021

Minister responds to parents’ concerns over FSCD survey

“I’ve heard your concerns about the FSCD survey and I touch on them in this interview on CBC Radio Active. My focus is on families and the supports they need and deserve.”
– Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney (Twitter)

CBC Radio Active speaks to Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney about the FSCD Survey/review regarding the criticism it’s faced. Jan. 22, 2021 Listen Here

Update December 2020

Q/A on COVID-1for Alberta’s disability sector Published weekly from April to July 2020. Resumed on a bi-weekly schedule December 2020 Bi-weekly Q/A on COVID-19: For Alberta’s disability sector December 2020

FSCD In-Planning Caseload by Region December 1, 2020

FSCD Active Caseload by Region December 1, 2020

Update November 2020

Alberta Education Guidance: Return to Remote Learning Education
Excerpt Supporting students with disabilities
All students with disabilities who require support and services in any grade and students in outreach programs can continue to receive supports and services in-person at school, regardless of the shifts to at-home learning before and after the winter break. This exemption for in-person learning was based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health in consultation with parents, schools are expected to continue to provide students with disabilities with services and support they need. Parents should work with their teacher and school principal on appropriate arrangements.

Update October 2020

Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) & Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) : 2018-19 family and guardian survey October 1, 2020

ALIGN Newsletter What’s Happening in the Disability Sector? October 2020
The Disabilities Sector is potentially in a risky place. Many of the agencies that provide services for children and families also provide services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) or Family Supports for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) services. It is important that we support Alberta Council for Disability Services (ACDS) advocacy work as it may have a collateral effect on many of your colleagues. What is the issue? On June 10, the Government of Alberta (GoA) issued a notice to  Read Full Bulletin and Learn More about ACDS Social Media

Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for people with disabilities

Update September 2020

FSCD Active Caseload by Disability Type September 1, 2020
Provincial Parent Advisory Committee, Family Support for Children with Disabilities annual report| Updated June 2, 2020

See Alberta Government – tag FSCD for ongoing updates

Alberta Government Release July 30, 2019

The Persons with Developmental Disabilities review panel’s engagement report is now available online.

The report summarizes input from thousands of Albertans who shared their views about the PDD program. Feedback focused on themes of eligibility, program access, service delivery, staff training, and communication between the disability community and government.

In response to the significant input, and in keeping with the province’s commitment to open dialogue with the disability community, the Alberta government is establishing two new ongoing engagement groups.

The Disability Advisory Forum will provide the minister of community and social services with advice on matters relevant to Albertans with disabilities. Participation at forum meetings will be sought from provincial-level organizations representing the full range of disability community perspectives, including self-advocates, families, Indigenous communities, service providers, community disability workers and other interested parties. Membership will vary depending on the topic under consideration. The first forum will be convened in the fall to discuss PDD eligibility. Eligibility is a key issue identified in the report, and by the disability community. Participants of this first forum discussion will include the PDD review panel co-chairs and additional members from the disability community.

The Service Provider Partnership Committee will serve as a link between the Alberta Council of Disability Services and the Ministry of Community and Social Services to alleviate administrative challenges and other operational concerns.  READ FULL RELEASE

Update July 18, 2019

Update to ALIGN Executive Director from Roxanne Gerbrandt Executive Director/Statutory Director (FSCD and PDD) Disability Services Branch Ministry of Community and Social ServicesThis note is to let you know about a recent change to online systems, which Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) and Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) clients use, in case you receive questions from individuals and families.

On July 13, 2019, the Secure Identity and Access Management System (SIAMS) changed its secure sign-in over to MyAlberta Digital Identity (MADI).  This sign-in change impacts the MyAlbertaSupports and Online Claims Reimbursement (OCR) portals.  As a result of this change, users of both portals are required to either create a new MADI account or use their current MADI credentials.

To assist in users in understanding these changes and resolve issues, we’ve put together some helpful information for myAlbertaSupports and OCR users about the process.  An email was sent to current OCR users in late June with this information (attached).  Individuals and families may also contact the MADI help desk at 1-844-643-2789.  Staff will be there to assist from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.  People can also submit a question or comment about MADI electronically.

Thank you for your support in communicating this information to individuals and families who may come to you with questions.  If you have any questions about OCR please contact Kyle Dosser at 780-422-0413 or [email protected].  For questions about My Alberta Supports please contact Jayme Cox at 780-638-1312 or [email protected].

Update July 17, 2019

University of Calgary The School of Public Policy Publications SPP Research Paper Volume 12:20 July 2019 History of Developmental Disability in Alberta Nilima Sonpal-Valias

The Alberta government is in the midst of reviewing its Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program, which funds more than 12,000 adults and has a
budget totalling almost $1 billion. Despite numerous funding increases over the years, program beneficiaries, their families, advocates and service providers
feel the PDD program still has many challenges to overcome. The review and its aftermath offer a timely occasion for all these groups to offer their input and
make recommendations to help influence policy reform. The PDD program helps its beneficiaries to live at home, pursue employment opportunities, enjoy community access and receive specialized services from about 160 non-profit and for-profit community disability service providers. The program’s goal is to allow Albertans with developmental disabilities to live as independently and inclusively as possible in their communities…

Update July 11, 2019

Correspondence from Vicki Bertoia, Director Disability Advisory & Engagement Branch acting for Roxanne Gerbrandt, Executive Director Disability Supports, while she is on vacation for the next couple of weeks July 9, 2019

I wanted to check in with you on the FSCD program and provide you an update on where things are at.

The FSCD program has received some inquiries from concerned Albertan’s about FSCD contracts, FSCD contract renewals and FSCD approval processes. You may have recently heard in your networks that some parents have been worried about ongoing timely access to Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) supports and services.

The FSCD program continues to work in partnership with eligible families of children with disabilities to help parents with supports, services, community activities and some of the extraordinary costs related to a child’s disability.

We would like to assure you that new service agreements and renewals for existing families continue to be approved. The ministry is closely monitoring and managing service requests based on current policies.

As is normal practice, departmental staff are prioritizing services for Albertans with the most critical and urgent needs.

FSCD workers are continuing to work with families and will make service recommendations to the Regional Disability Director.

We appreciate your patience as the department reviews and approves these requests during the weeks ahead. We are notifying families once decisions are made about service required.

Should families have any questions, we encourage them to contact their FSCD worker.

Please feel welcome to contact me if you have any questions Rhonda.

Vicki Bertoia, Director Disability Advisory & Engagement Branch Disabilities, Inclusion & Accessibility Division Department of Community & Social Services (Bus) 780-422-2726 (Cell) 780-920-6906

Update Feb 13, 2019

Communication from Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Program Review Secretariat Feb 13, 2019

As you may know, the PDD Review Panel undertook an engagement this fall and winter. The panel received thoughtful input from Albertans across the province, including self-advocates, individuals receiving PDD services, family members, service providers, advocacy groups and community disability workers and other interested Albertans.

The following is a summary of participation for the initial engagement period:

  • 1,115 people attended community conversation sessions in St. Paul, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Calgary and Edmonton
  • 1,163 people completed an online questionnaire
  • 10 community organizations submitted input from self-facilitated discussions and 13 organizations gave presentations to the panel
  • 84 individuals made submissions either in writing, video or art formats

The panel is currently reviewing and analyzing all of the feedback and submissions that were received. Once that is completed, they will provide an initial report to the Minister of Community and Social Services on what they heard during the engagement period. The panel will then submit a final report to the Minister that includes specific and actionable recommendations.

Stay tuned for further updates as the panel’s work continues.

Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Program Review Secretariat

CSS PDD Review January 2, 2019
Brief overviews of the results of engagement sessions for the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) review. Each report includes information on the number of participants and key themes or issues heard by the appointed review panel during each session.

Update Dec  10, 2018

Please take a minute and review Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) Submission to Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Program Review Panel Dec 2018. This submission is an excellent and thorough overview of key points for consideration. ALIGN Association encourage any FSCD members to also send in a submission if you are able to do so.

Rhonda Barraclough, ALIGN E.D. will be contacting Andrea Hesse the CEO from ACDS  to consider jointly meeting with the advocate to discuss the services to people with disabilities  and service providers.

More information is available at  Advocate’s for Persons with Disabilities (

Letter to ALIGN Association from Alberta’s Advocate’s for Persons with Disabilities Tony Flores November 19, 2018

This PDD Program Review Discussion Guide Fall 2018 is being used to assist in developing input to the panel.

New Advocate for Persons with Disabilities October 30, 2018

Update November 2, 2018

Voices of Albertan’s With Disabilities: Invitation to Sign on to the Open Letter Accessible Canada Act Bill C-81

New Advocate for Persons with Disabilities October 30, 2018

To Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN E.D. re: PDD Program Review – Discussion Guide and Presentation Invitations Nov, 2018 (Read Below)

As you may be aware, the Minister of Community and Social Services has appointed a community-led panel to oversee the review of the Persons with Development Disabilities (PDD) program.  The review panel will be seeking input from Albertans with developmental disabilities, their families and guardians and others involved in supporting their participation in the community about how PDD can support the personal choices, independence, priorities and needs of those who receive services through PDD.

The panel is focused on five topic areas in scope of the review:

· access to services and supports to meet individual needs and goals;

· a service delivery system that: responds to the needs of individuals and families;provides clear lines of accountability and oversight;

· training and supports to enable a skilled and well-trained workforce; and

· engagement with the disability community (i.e. individuals, families, guardians, service providers and workforce) at both the system and individual levels to provide clarity of purpose and outcomes.

In addition to a series of Community Conversation sessions being held throughout the province, there will be opportunities for organizations such as yours to make presentations to the PDD program review panel.
This PDD Program Review Discussion Guide Fall 2018 is being used to assist in developing input to the panel

If you are interested in presenting to the review panel, please contact the PDD Review Secretariat at [email protected] to:

·  confirm your interest in presenting to the review panel; and

·  select your preferred city/date to present

The scheduled dates and times to present to the review panel are:

·   Thursday, November 29, 2018 – CALGARY (between 1:00 – 4:45 p.m.)

·   Thursday, December 6, 2018 – EDMONTON (between 1:00 – 4:45 p.m.)

Presenters can expect to have 30 minutes to share information with the review panel and 15 minutes for questions and answers.

Please confirm your interest by Friday, November 16, 2018. You will then be advised of the specific time allotted for your presentation.

Community engagement tool kits are being shared with other community organizations that will have the option of hosting their own facilitated discussions to gather and share feedback for the PDD review panel.

To learn more about the review panel members and the various ways of providing input to the review panel, please visit


Dorothy Badry, Co-Chair       PDD Review Panel

Dick Sobsey, Co-Chair            PDD Review Panel

Ann Nicol, Co-Chair                PDD Review Panel

UPDATES OCTOBER 2018 ( PDD Review, Policies, Upcoming Listening Sessions)

ALIGN has been working with the regional directors and agencies to get some consistency in services delivery and contracting. FSCD children being in group care is also an area we are exploring to ensure that those children get the right services and the agencies are clear about the mandate with FSCD children and how to work with their families

Letter from Alberta Community and Social Services Office of the Minister re PDD Review October 12, 2018

Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Program Review
Today, the Minister of Community and Social Services announced the appointment of a community-led panel to oversee the review of the PDD program. The review panel will be seeking input from Albertans with developmental disabilities, their families and guardians and others involved in supporting their participation in the community about how PDD can support the personal choices, independence, priorities and needs of those who receive services through PDD
Letter from Community and Social Services Office of the Minister Ifran Sabir Oct 2, 2018


FSCD Action Plan – In response to the concerns raised by parents about the FSCD program the Ministry of Community and Support Services (CSS) have changed our Specialized Services policy, Family Centred Supports and Services policy, FSCD Program Outcomes Policy and Overarching Policies and Considerations Policy to confirm that direct services to children are supported and parent involvement is not required in the delivery of specialized services.

Documents & Policiies
WHAT WE HEARD Feedback from parents, families and advocates in the Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) program June 2018

Letter from Minister Sabir to FSCD Colleagues June 29, 2018

Letter from Minister Sabir to FSCD Parents June 29, 2018

Policy 10-77 Specialized Services for Children with Severe Disabilities

Policy 2-7 Family-Centred Supports and Services

Policy 2-7 Family-Centred Supports and Services-2

Policy 7-3 Matters to be Considered

Policy 2-8 FSCD Program Outcomes

Information to Parents – Multi-Year Agreements

Information for Parents – FSCD Concerns Resolution

Information for Parents – FSCD Specialized Services Practices and Approa…

Information for Parents – General Specialized Services

FSCD Practice Shift – Service Provider Discussions September 2018-1


In May 2018, Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) listening sessions were held in Edmonton and Calgary.  This fall FSCD is hosting additional listening sessions to hear from you if what they heard in May is reflective of family’s concerns about FSCD specialized services; about the changes made in response; about communication between FSCD, parents and service providers; and how the FSCD Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) process can be more supportive to parents.

If you were not aware of the May listening sessions or the changes made in FSCD, please visit the FSCD website at  Here you will find a copy of the ‘What we Heard’ report as well as ‘tip sheets’ that provide updated and clarified information about FSCD specialized services.  The ‘What we Heard’ report highlights the concerns parents raised and the government’s commitment to changes.  You can also contact your FSCD worker or your regional office for more information about the policy updates and the practice shifts being made.

Below are the upcoming FSCD listening sessions across the province.  Parents, service providers and others are welcome to register to attend a session.   Each listening session is limited to 50 participants due to space and the desire to have small group discussions where FSCD can hear from you.  You can register to attend a listening session online through Eventbrite at

If you are a parent and require assistance with costs for your attendance such as travel, parking, and respite there will be assistance with these costs through your FSCD Agreement or reimbursement. You are welcome to bring your child with you however, there will not be onsite childcare.

If you are unable to attend one of the listening sessions, but want to comment on the “What we Heard Report”, the changes made, ways to improve communication and how the FSCD Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) process can be more supportive to families, you can provide your input by email to [email protected]. Alternatively, you can also go to the Listening Sessions Webpage  to provide feedback.

While the listening sessions will be focused on specific discussions as noted above, you are welcome to email [email protected] with any other concerns or comments you may have or to contact the Executive Director for Disability Services, Roxanne Gerbrandt at [email protected].

When you register, you will be able to select from any of the following listening sessions:

  • Grand Prairie, Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Calgary, Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Calgary, Thursday, October 11, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Calgary, Saturday, October 13, 2018, 2:00 to 4:00 pm
  • Lethbridge, Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Medicine Hat, Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Red Deer, Thursday, October 18, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Edmonton, Monday, October 22, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
  • Edmonton, Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Edmonton, Thursday, October 25, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Fort McMurray, Thursday, October 25, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  • St. Paul, Monday, October 29, 2018, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
  • Red Deer, Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 pm


Autism Calgary FSCD Program To Realign with Legislation
In response to pressures from families and community groups, the Government of Alberta is committing to changing policy and practice to appropriately realign the Family Support for Disabilities program to legislation and to better serve individuals and famlies living with Autism and other disabilities…

The Star Calgary July 18, 2018
‘Parent coaching’ no longer required under Alberta’s special-needs program
Community and Social Services Minister Irfan Sabir said come next month, the sessions for parents will no longer be required — a move he said is designed to ease the burden on parents.  “Parents will no longer be required to be involved in parent training or coaching,” Sabir said via phone Friday. “We will end all references to that kind of model in our practice and our policy…”

Inclusion Alberta – An update on Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) July 3, 2018
Overview of changes happening immediately and changes happening later this year

Sector News

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