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VPA - A Family Guide to the Vulnerable Persons Act

Planning - Q & A

Some Frequently Asked Questions

1. My daughter is 15 years old. Is it too early to begin planning?

Absolutely not. The more time that you have to create the dream and plan for the future, the better. Talk with the school and let them know that you are beginning to think about your daughter’s coming of age. Be persistent and assertive. The Department of Education has an information package called “Manitoba Transition Planning Process Support Guidelines for Students with Special Needs Reaching Age 16.” Contact your school or call the Department directly for your copy.

2. My son is 18 years old but we have not done any transitional planning yet. Is it too late to do transitional planning and if not how do I start?

It is never too late for planning; in fact planning will happen throughout our sons/daughters’ lives. Most schools are becoming more aware of how important a transitional plan is. Some schools are still not facilitating the planning for adulthood, which leaves the job to us. Contact your local Department of Family Services office or ACL Manitoba for assistance. You will find phone numbers at the back of this book.

3. The VPA talks about services but how can we access them on behalf of our daughter?

Contact your local Department of Family Services office to get more information about supports/services in your area. Read the ‘person centered planning’ portion of this book. It will help you understand the kind of planning that you might want to have to help get you started. There are many families and professionals around the province that you can turn to who have been through it. Remember, just because a specific type of service is not available in your community doesn't mean that it's out of reach for your family. New services are being developed on an ongoing basis in response to a demand created by families just like yours.

4. Everyone seems to have more services than my daughter. Why is this?

In Manitoba, children are entitled to services adults are not. As families we need to get very good at being assertive, persistent and advocate for what our sons/daughters need and want. Speak to other families and find out the processes that they used. Work together with your local Association for Community Living or contact ACL Manitoba for more information. Ultimately don’t be intimidated about asking and then asking again. Remember…the squeaky wheel . . .

5. My son doesn’t have a support network. How can I help create one?

A support network can be formal or informal. The first step may be sitting down with your son and family to identify all the people (family members and friends) who are part of your lives. Then take a look at that list and think about who are the trusted, responsible individuals that you and your son might turn to for support. Consider inviting those people for dessert or a barbecue and discussing the concept of “community” and “support.” Reach out to other families who have support networks in place for advice. There are organizations that may be able to help you. Some of them are listed at the back of this book. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask. You may be surprised at the positive responses you will receive.

6. My daughter wants to move out but my CSW tells me that there is not enough money to make this happen. What can we do?

What’s important for us to understand is that a lack of government resources doesn’t have to stop us from being innovative. Another reality that we as families need to recognize is that for most of us, government will not meet all of our needs. Whether they should or not is another book entirely. This does not mean you should stop advocating for government resources. Rather this may be a perfect opportunity to connect with other families and community to develop new and creative options. There are a number of families around the province who have balanced resources and support needs in very interesting ways. Do some research.

7. Whose job is it to initiate a person-centered plan?

Sometimes service providers do. Sometimes the Department of Family Services staff do. Sometimes families do. Anyone can initiate a planning process anytime they feel that it is needed. There are many trained facilitators around the province who would be able to help. Contact our office if you need more information