You may remember that I wrote in November that the Minister of Housing and Social Development said that new eligibility criteria would be ready in a month…. I have heard recently that Rich Coleman has said that it will now be ready in the fall.
In the 2009 BC Government Budget, money is allocated to help deal with people who have an IQ over seventy and yet functionally are not able to be in community unsupported.
Fair enough, it takes times to draft new policy that is effective and fair.
I understand that there is a committee under the Ministry of Housing and Social Development that is considering the subject of what tool is used and what criteria is employed to determine eligibility. I hope that one goal of the policy is to ensure that the most vulnerable are looked after immediately and that in the meantime they do not fall through the cracks.
For me, the most vulnerable people are in the care of the state and have no family. If people with intellectual disabilities are turning 19, and do not meet the eligibility criteria, they will be cast out in the community and unsupported. This puts them at extreme risk.
And for people that have families, if they are stressed because of lack of support, the family unit is at risk, and therefore the safety net of the person with a disability is at risk. These are the people who are most vulnerable and must be protected.
People with disabilities cannot wait anymore, even for good policy. They need help now. The money is there and the need is there. Let’s get on with it and in the meantime ensure that people who are in immediate need are looked after.
Stayed tuned… UNTAPE is keeping an eye on this issue.