April 5, 2017 – A new video shows the impact of the Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia’s Youth Navigator program and the challenges faced by youth with disabilities in BC “ageing out” and transitioning from childhood to adult services. In much the same way as youth in foster care age out of services at age 19, youth with disabilities in BC age out of services and supports when they reach the age of majority. The teen is no longer eligible for many programs and supports provided through Children’s’ Services. Youth with disabilities and their families must find their way through complex adult services to arrange the supports that they need. The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC’s (CPABC) Youth Navigator provides specialized information and referrals to connect youth in transition to adult services with the resources and services that they need.
Stacey Francis, who lives with cerebral palsy, says, “Prior to turning 18, I worked with a case manager, I had a regular physio program, I had support through assistive technology, and I had all these other supports I needed around school, doctors’ referrals and things like that. After turning 18, I was kind of on my own. I had no supports in these areas. I didn’t know who to see or who to talk to get these services that I needed, and I kind of found out I wasn’t entitled to them the way I was before.”
Feri Dehdar, CPABC executive director, says, “The Youth Navigator is a guide for youth and their families and caregivers to help then access the services and resources they need, when they can no longer access them through childhood service providers. Whether it’s disability benefits, health services, or school supports, we are here to help.”
The Youth Navigator service is available for youth and their parents, caregivers, planners and members of their Transition Support Team. To access the service, call 604 408 9484 or toll free 1-800-663-0004, or email Carrie Torrans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recognized by the 2013 City of Vancouver Award for Accessibility and Inclusivity, the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC has supported people living with CP and other disabilities for over 60 years.
The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC was started in 1954 by a group of parents who wanted to assist their children living with CP to reach their maximum potential within society. We provide support, education, and information throughout BC. Our Mission is: To raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy in the community; To assist those living with Cerebral Palsy to reach their maximum potential; and To work to see those living with Cerebral Palsy recognize their place as equals in a diverse society.