With combined efforts of the Ministry Children and Family Development, the mainstream Provincial Advisor for Supported Child Development, and the Aboriginal Infant Development Provincial Advisor the development of Aboriginal Supported Child Development Programs began in 2005.
Influenced by the Tsawwassen Accord from June 2002, key changes to the Supported Child Development provincial policy recognized the need to build capacity in Aboriginal communities to deliver Aboriginal specific Supported Child Development services. In efforts to support these changes, The Office of the Provincial Advisor of SCD and Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) hosted two Aboriginal SCD Symposiums. The purpose of each symposium was to bring together representatives from developing and emerging Aboriginal SCD initiatives across the province. The symposiums provided opportunities to meet face-to-face, share experiences, successes, strategies and expertise and to build relationships to provide ongoing support, mentoring and communication. Participants identified issues, strategies, next steps and planned for the future. Each symposium was attended by various communities and agencies across the province, both on and off reserve. There was equal representation of participants from each region and Elders from each region were invited to participate, provide guidance and direction.
In 2006, the Provincial Office of Supported Child Development released two major resources to support the continued growth of ASCD. These were the Aboriginal Supported Child Development Handbook and the Community Assessment Tool Kit which can be found on the ASCD this website under the Consultants Tab and then the link titled Resources.
Later in 2008, the MCFD released Children with Special Needs – A Framework for Action. This document highlights B.C.’s strategy for improving the system of support for children and youth with special needs and their families. The three key goals of this framework are:
- Improved Access – The right services at the right time
- Effective services – High-quality services with strong evaluation
- Coherent systems – Improved integration and coordination
The implementation of this framework also supported Aboriginal children and youth with special needs and ensure improved access to service, effective services that are integrated and coordinated.
In 2013, there are currently 46 different ASCD sites in varying stages of development. The different ASCD sites range in service delivery from some programs being “Capacity Building Initiatives”, some programs providing “Consultant only” services, and approximately 17 sites offering full ASCD services. ASCD sites that are “Capacity Building Initiatives’ are in the process of developing their program. “ Consultants only” services typically provides support to families and child care providers caring for children with extra needs, offers developmental assessments for children, develops care plans with child care settings, offers educational training opportunities and provides linkages to other related intervention services to support the child’s holistic development. Programs with the capacity to offer full ASCD Services includes all “Consultant only” supports in addition to providing extra staffing supports and funding.