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STADD: Helping Youth with Developmental Disabilities and Families Plan for Future

Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities, or STADD, is a provincial government program that can help youth and their families plan for these decisions and have a smoother transition to adulthood.

The following is an update from STADD, the "Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities" program with the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.

The transition to adulthood is an important time for young people with developmental disabilities and their families. It can be both exciting and challenging, a time of uncertainty but also new possibilities. Decisions must be made about where the young adult will live, whether they will continue their education or find a job, what kinds of activities they would like to try, and how they can meet new friends and be part of a community.

Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities, or STADD, is a provincial government program that can help youth and their families plan for these decisions and have a smoother transition to adulthood.

STADD helps young people develop transition plans so they are prepared to make decisions about their future as they move into adulthood. STADD also provides more streamlined access to information, government services, and other supports.

STADD started as a pilot project in four sites – Nanaimo, Kamloops, Surrey and Prince George – and more sites are planned for the future. STADD is a cross-ministry and multi-agency program that involves community outreach through school districts, health authorities, employment centres and Delegated Aboriginal Agencies.

How does STADD work?

Navigators begin by meeting with youth and their families to develop a full picture of the young person that includes the youth’s needs, hopes, and dreams. A support team is identified or created and may include teachers, health workers or other government staff, as well as people who play an important role in the youth’s life, and who can support the youth’s transition into adulthood.

The Navigator, the youth, the family and the support team work together to develop a transition plan that includes the young person’s goals – which could include housing, education, employment, health services and financial supports.

The support team works with the youth, the family and the Navigator to implement the transition plan and access services and supports needed to achieve the goals identified.

Austin is one of the individuals STADD has been working with.

At 18, Austin had the dream of finding a job and to “function in society like everyone else.” Austin’s parents didn’t know where to start with transition planning to help Austin achieve his goals. A STADD Navigator helped the family with forms, understanding eligibility requirements, and the processes involved in accessing a range of services.

The Navigator connected Austin and his family to CLBC, and through CLBC, Austin was able to access funding for a life skills worker. The worker takes Austin into the community so he can gain skills in daily living. The Navigator also connected Austin to a program designed to support individuals with barriers to employment.

Austin joined the program and on his own, began doing research on work training options. He learned about a Heavy Equipment Operator course and decided – on his own – to enroll. With the support of the Navigator and his instructors, Austin applied and was accepted. He is now doing the course, and hopes to find employment in that field. 

Austin continues to go out into the community on his own. He has gained confidence and has big dreams for the future. He still lives with his parents, but he has the long term goal of living on his own. With his growing independence, Austin could achieve this goal in the future.

To date, more than 850 individuals and families have accessed STADD services.

To find out more about STADD, and whether the STADD service is available in your community, you can call 1-855-356-5609 or 250-356-5609. If you have a service provider already (such as Ministry of Children and Family Development, Community Living BC, Ministry of Education), they can also refer you to STADD.