"So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
~ Christopher Reeve

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Alternative Family Support ... Part of the Services for Persons with Disabilities Program

The third (and last) "new" program offered under the Services for Persons with Disabilities program is the Alternative Family Support Program. Although not really so 'new' (the "foster family" approach for adults with disabilities was around under the old Community Support for Adults program), it has a new policy behind it, so let's take a look.

The Alternative Family Support Program (AFS Program) is said to "allow for placement in an approved, private family home, where support and supervision is provided for up to two individuals unrelated to the AFS Provider". Funding is provided to include such items as room and board, support and supervision, and respite. The idea is to partner with and access a variety of community support resources "to address the holistic needs of individuals with disabilities".

To be eligible for the AFS Program the individual must meet the following criteria:
  • the individual’s assessed support needs can be successfully accommodated in an AFS setting;
  • appropriate supports identified through the assessment and Individual Support Plan processes are available;
  • the individual does not require long term or ongoing night awake support;
  • the individual or the "person acting on their behalf" have agreed that the available AFS placement is an appropriate residential program option.

The term "person acting on their behalf" is defined in the Policy as "(i) any person who acts on the [disabled]Individual’s behalf when the [disabled]Individual has given written permission; (ii) the [disabled] Individual’s legal guardian; or (iii) a person with power of attorney for the [disabled]Individual".

Meaning that if, for example, you have taken the necessary steps to become your adult child's legal guardian, you will have the right to agree or disagree with such a placement. If you haven't taken these steps, you might want to reconsider this option.

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