AutismBC is at the Legislature is presenting their report, Parent and Caregiver Perspectives on Family Connections Centres, and to urge Premier David Eby to reverse the NDP’s ‘callous and harmful decision’ to end direct funding for children with autism, as 96 per cent of survey participants want continued access to the program.
“AutismBC has done the research that the NDP should have done before announcing their ill-thought-out policy change more than a year ago, and it’s time for David Eby to show some respect to the families before him and immediately reverse the autism funding clawback,” said Karin Kirkpatrick, BC Liberal Critic for Children, Family Development and Childcare. “For the past year, the autism community has held multiple rallies, including two in front of David Eby’s office, to voice their fears that forced transition to the Family Connections Centres will be traumatic for children and families, create another waitlist and make families compete against one another for resources and services in a system they are already struggling with. If the Premier wants to do good by these parents, he must stop the top-down approach now.”
The survey of 1,563 participants shows that parents and caregivers of autistic children overwhelmingly anticipate the change in service model to have a negative impact, and are concerned about having current connections with service providers disrupted. Based on the findings, AutismBC urges the NDP to maintain all existing supports and services, until a formal policy review can be conducted to get the best support in place for all neurodivergent and disabled children.
“The BC Liberals have opposed this unfair funding clawback from day one but the NDP have simply refused to listen, leaving thousands of families scared for their future,” added Kirkpatrick. “This report has valuable feedback regarding the availability and accessibility of supports for children and families. It is my hope that David Eby will do the right thing, adopt the recommendations and give families the support they need and deserve.”