A note from the Shari Monsma, President of Fairness for Children Raised by Relatives.
I am so thankful that for the first time ever, all caregivers in B.C. were acknowledged in the provincial budget and not just those in Foster Care. This means that we are being heard, our MLA/MP campaigns, our meetings with MCFD, and others are working. See more information below on who is eligible for the 47% increase in benefits.
Unfortunately, these increases don’t cover all of our caregivers, be assured we are continuing to advocate for not only these groups but all of you. I am happy to announce that a letter I sent to our new premiere on January 20th with documents related to these concerns was answered just a couple of days ago. The good news is he acknowledge those issues and passed our message on to the Minister of Children and Families. Even though we have sent the same information to her, it will have a lot more pull coming from him. We are currently in conversations with the Strategic Initiatives group within MCFD and they assured me by email today that they are working with both MCFD and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (who administers the financial aspect of the CHIR program) to ensure we can resolve these inequities.
We are not giving up and we will not stop until we ensure ALL KINSHIP CAREGIVERS receive equal benefits across B.C.
Below is clarification of who will be entitled to these benefits as of April 1, 2023, as provided by Jane Bouey of Parent Support Services:
If the child you are raising is in an out-of-care agreement (Extended Family Program Agreement, interim or temporary Custody order to a person other than a parent, or a permanent transfer of custody) – Effective April 1st you will be receiving an increase in your maintenance payments.
Out-of-care arrangements are:
- An Extended Family Program (EFP) Agreement under s. 8;
- An interim custody order to a person other than a parent under s. 35(2)(d);
- A temporary custody order to a person other than a parent under s. 41(1)(b), s. 42.2(4)(a), s. 42.2(4)(c), s. 44(1)(b), or s. 54.01(9)(b);
- A permanent transfer of custody to a person other than a parent (following an EFP Agreement or a temporary custody order) under s. 54.01;
- A permanent transfer of custody to a person other than a parent (following a continuing custody order) under s. 54.1.
|Current Rate||Effective April 1st|
|Children aged 0-11||$1024.64||$1465.86|
|Youth aged 12-19||1124.19||$1655.91|
Jane Bouey also shared the following:
“Soon to be launched are Enhanced Out-of-Care Support Agreements for some children with special needs who are being raised by their relatives. Again, these are for those on Extended Family Program Agreements, interim or temporary Custody orders to a person other than a parent, or permanent transfers of custody. Details to come soon! There are also improvements for children aging out of care coming down the line.
We are extremely aware that for the families of children who are not on these agreements/orders – these raises for some and not others are very frustrating.”
I assure you as President of Fairness I will keep on top of all of these changes and relay them to you as soon as I am able. We will continue to work with PSS and other allies to ensure we continue to improve supports for all kinship caregivers.
Remember if you have further questions related to this or anything to do with kinship programs and supports you can contact the Kinship Care Help Line at 1-855-474-9777 (Toll-Free: call for no charge outside of Greater Vancouver). Leave a message and an advocate will call you back as soon as possible.