by Morinville Online Staff
In a what it says is a significant stride towards improving the lives of families with children with disabilities, the Alberta government has unveiled an online platform designed to simplify and expedite the application process for vital support and services. The newly launched Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) online application aims to alleviate barriers families face while accessing essential resources for their children.
The government says the number of applications soared by 96 per cent since 2020-21. The increasing demand has led to longer waiting periods for families seeking support, with currently 33 per cent of applications being submitted without the necessary information and supporting documents. This pressing concern prompted the Alberta government to take a proactive approach and implement a user-friendly online platform to expedite service delivery.
By leveraging technology and collaboration, the new online platform will allow Albertans to conveniently check their eligibility for the FSCD program and submit the required supporting documents, streamlining the application process. Moreover, applicants can save their progress and return to the application later to make any necessary changes, ensuring a seamless and stress-free experience.
To ensure the system’s user-friendliness and efficiency, the government sought input from members of the FSCD Provincial Parent Advisory Committee, alongside representatives from prominent organizations such as Inclusion Alberta, Autism Alberta, and Autism Calgary. Their feedback and involvement proved instrumental in shaping the final version of the platform.
Kim Ward, executive director of the Society for Autism Support and Services, expressed delight over the government’s commitment to reducing waiting lists and improving efficiency. She said, “It is critical that autistic children and families have timely access to the services they require to thrive and experience success. We are thankful that the minister has been receptive to the concerns of the community and is actively working towards addressing them.”
Similarly, Lyndon Parakin, vice-president of the Autism Society Alberta, praised the government’s efforts in enhancing access to crucial services. He emphasized that timely support would greatly benefit children with disabilities and their families, fostering improved outcomes and overall well-being.
The new application portal has been carefully designed to be accessible across various devices, such as personal computers, mobile phones, and tablets. Moreover, Albertans can also access the platform through computers available at Alberta Supports Centres scattered throughout the province or through community agencies and public libraries.
“Alberta’s government is committed to reducing barriers to accessing important services. The new online application for Family Support for Children with Disabilities services will save time for Alberta families and allow caseworkers more time to focus on supporting families and children in accessing the supports and services they need,” said Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services.
The new application portal is accessible on multiple devices, such as personal computers, mobile phones or tablets. Albertans can also access computers at Alberta Supports Centres located throughout the province or through community agencies and public libraries.
Additional details can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/fscd-how-to-apply.aspx