Cuts, gaps & impacts

Community living partners call for $70M to stem crisis amid new reports of abuses

The BC Community Living Action Group today issued a press release and backgrounder explaining the funding gap underlying BC’s growing community living crisis. MOMS is a partner in BC CLAG, which includes other provincial family advocacy groups, self advocates, contracted community agencies and sector employees.

“For immediate release: August 31, 2011: The BC Community Living Action Group (BC‐CLAG) strongly urges Premier Christy Clark to act immediately to approve $70 million in new provincial funding to stem the province’s growing community living crisis.

“A BC‐CLAG analysis of Community Living BC (CLBC) projections shows that at least $70 million is needed immediately to address the existing support backlog. Each year, hundreds of youths with developmental disabilities reach the age of 19 and turn to CLBC as they age out of supports funded by the Ministry for Children and Families. Despite this fact, CLBC’s operating budget to serve this population has remained static from 2010 through 2014 at $681 million annually…” Read more

The announcement follows more troubling news reports on the risks and devastating human impacts for adults with developmental disabilities and the aging families trying to support many of them without critical supports. The reports contradict assurances from the BC Premier and Minister Harry Bloy that no one would be forced to move from their home under CLBC’s “service redesign” program, which is seeking to reduce care costs to cover the provincial funding shortfall.

BC CLAG and its partner groups have been appealing to Premier Christy Clark to take urgent action for months now. In addition to resolving the funding shortfall, CLAG and its partners have repeatedly urged the Premier to establish independent provincial oversight to monitor and report publicly on the health and safety of adults in government care. There is particular concern over the lack of monitoring to assess the impacts of CLBC’s cost-cutting efforts, such as closing group homes and forcibly relocating adults to lower-cost, unlicenced private foster arrangements.

Media reports:

  • The Province: Editorial: Program cuts hurt the most vulnerable
  • CTV News: Advocates fear cutbacks put the disabled at risk
  • Vancouver Sun: Family members decry closures of group homes
  • News 1130: Special needs families upset over funding cuts
  • Richmond Review: Families speak out over group home closure
  • Vancouver Observer: Disabled adults and families devastated by province’s proposed group home closures
  • Vancouver Sun: Government misleading families over group home closures, NDP says
  • Victoria Times Colonist: Paul Willcocks: CLBC service cuts hurt most vulnerable
  • Vancouver Sun Op Ed: Alanna Hendren: The crisis in BC’s community living sector
  • Vancouver Sun: Group home closures shock, horrify families

Take Action!

When Christy Clark became BC’s Premier, she promised to listen and to put families first. Despite hundreds of letters from desperate families and appeals from the public, the NDP Opposition and the news media, she has so far failed to do either.

If you haven’t yet added your voice, please consider writing the Premier at premier@gov.bc.ca and ask her to take immediate action by investing $70 million to restore the devastating cuts in community living.

Dawn & Cyndi, MOMS

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