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Individualized Funding

In B.C., families and individuals may choose to use individualized funding as a way to get support and services they need. This means that they plan the supports they need, apply for funds directly from the provincial government, and then hire the services they need from within the community.

Community Living BC (CLBC) is the Crown Agency that provides funding for supports and services for people with developmental disabilities. The Individualized Funding section of the CLBC website can answer many of the questions you have about individualized funding.

What is Individualized Funding?

Individualized Funding (IF) is a method of delivering services by providing funds directly to individuals or their families, so that they can purchase individualized services that support their own vision of how they want to live and how they want to participate in their community. With appropriate planning and management supports, Individualized Funding can be made available to anyone who wants it, regardless of their perceived "capacity."

For many families and individuals, Individualized Funding represents an opportunity for more flexibility, portability and choice in services, and a more equitable relationship with service providers. It facilitates self-determination and contributes to a better quality of life, better overall health and a greater capacity for citizenship.

History of Individualized Funding

Over the past four decades, Individualized Funding has evolved as a public policy option internationally, and a growing number of Individualized Funding initiatives have developed around the world. A variety of models of Individualized Funding are operating in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and various states in the US.

B.C. has been a pioneer in developing Individualized Funding for people with disabilities since the mid-1970s. The province operated an Individualized Funding project for four years during the 1990s, which demonstrated both Individualized Funding and independent planning for adults with developmental disabilities and their families. A dedicated group of families connected to that project formed the Individualized Funding Family Coalition. In addition, the Individualized Funding Project, associated with the BC Coalition for People with Disabilities, lobbied and provided information on IF.

For several years, there have been some limited or modified versions of Individualized Funding available in BC. However, in the fall of 2001, the provincial government's Core Review of Services provided an opportunity to convince the government to develop Individualized Funding on a broader scale in B.C. A coalition of family members, individuals with disabilities, and service providers came together as the Community Living Coalition. They proposed a transformation of community living services that would enable greater community input to the planning of services and make the option of Individualized Funding available across the province.

Our Policy on Individualized Funding

To help ensure that individuals with a developmental disability and their families have the option to choose individualized funding for the purchase of services and supports, we created a social policy on individualized funding. Read the policy here.