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Toolkit

Navigating the Department of Community Services (Nova Scotia)

AIDE Canada
This Toolkit will provide individuals and their families information about the Department of Community Services (DCS) in Nova Scotia. The Toolkit will breakdown the different programs DCS provides, how to contact DCSfor supports and what programs and funding is available.
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Navigating the

Department of

Community Services

Helping individuals with Autism and their families navigate the Department of Community Services support and funding programs.

Navigating DCS

Acknowledgments

This Toolkit was written and designed by Autism Nova Scotia. The organization would like to thank the Government of Nova Scotia for their support and feedback during the review process.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners, AIDE Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada for their funding and support during the creation of the Funding Toolkit.

Copyright © 2021. Autism Nova Scotia

Navigating DCS

Index

Navigating DCS Index

1

Where to start?

2

Nova Scotia Zones

3

What is the Department of Community Services

4

How do I decide what the best option is for me?

5

When to apply for support?

6

How to apply for support?

7

Financial Assessment

8

Functional Assessment

9

My child is under 18-where do I go for assistance?

10

What is the Disability Support Program?

11

Disability Support Program Eligibility

12

The Disability Support Program Waitlist

13

What is the Income Assistance Program?

14

How to apply for Income Assistance?

15

I am over 19-where do I go for support?

16

I am over 19-where do I go for more support?

17

I have more questions-where do I go?

18

1

Navigating DCS

Where to start?

Navigating DCS

The Department of Community Services (DCS) provides support and funding for families and individuals in need of assistance.

This booklet will explain:

The Department of Community Services

Who to reach out to for help

How to reach out for help

How an individual qualifies for help

DCS programs

2

NavigatingThe HousingDCSToolkitNovaIndexScotia Zones

Nova Scotia-Zones

Each zone in Nova Scotia has different support centres to reach out to. The number for each centre as well as Mi’kmaw Family & Children’s Services are below:

1.Central Zone: 1-902-424-5074

2.Northern Zone: 1-902-755-7023

3.Eastern Zone: 1-902-563-3302

4.Western Zone: 1-902-679-5146

5.Eskasoni Office: 1-902-379-2433

6.Indian Brook Office: 1-902-758-3553

31

Navigating DCS

What is the Department of Community Services?

Department of Community Services

The Department of Community Services (DCS) is part of the Government of Nova Scotia. DCS helps individuals and families through 3 different programs.

 

Child, Youth

 

 

Employment

 

 

Disability

 

 

 

Support & Income

 

 

 

Family Support

 

 

 

 

Support Program

 

 

 

Assistance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community

 

Income Assistance

 

Flex Funding

 

Residential Services.

 

Employment

 

Alternative Family

 

 

 

 

Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children in Care.

 

 

Support Services

 

Direct Family Support

Alternative Family

 

Standard Household

 

 

for Children

 

 

Licensed Home for

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Care.

 

 

Rate.

 

 

Special Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Navigating DCS

How do I decide what is the best option for me?

Care Coordinator

A Care Coordinator will help an individual find the best funding and support option for them.

Role of the Care Coordinator:

The Care Coordinator will be assigned after an individual calls the Department of Community Services to set up an intake appointment.

The Care Coordinator will work with each individual to complete a financial and functional needs assessment.

The Care Coordinator will determine how much assistance is available for an individual after their assessments are completed.

The Care Coordinator will determine what housing option is available for an individual based on their assessment.

An individual will have the same Care Coordinator unless they move to a different zone or province.

5

Navigating DCS

When to apply for support?

When to apply for help:

It is important to start early when applying to the Department of Community Services (DCS) for support.

Under 18:

Families looking for support for their child should reach out early when looking to receive funding and support.

A child who is receiving Disability Support Program services through DCS prior to 18 will automatically move to adult services

Over 19:

It is recommended to call 1 year before an individual turns 19 to put their name on the waitlist. Only a certain number of individuals receive support every year.

6

Navigating DCS

How to apply for Support?

Who to contact:

When determining an individual’s eligibility they must contact the Department of Community Services for an intake appointment to set up a functional and financial assessment.

Learn how to contact Department of Community Services (DCS)

CALL DCS #

1-902-424-6111

0-18 years

19+ years

Ask for Direct Family Support for Children.

Leave a message for intake.

Community Services will send a package (consent forms, personal information forms, basic information on family, verification of income.)

Ask for the Disability Support Program for Adults.

Leave a message for intake.

Community Services will send out medical forms to be filled out by physician.

DCS will contact you to set up an in-home assessment.

After your assessment there will be a wait period to determine eligibility for Direct Family Support.

*If not found eligible you can appeal the process. Contact your Care Coordinator for more information.

7

Navigating DCS

Financial Assessment

An individual’s Care Coordinator will complete a financial assessment. If an individual is over 19 then only their income will be assessed unless they are living with their spouse. During a financial assessment for children (18 years and younger) their family/support network they are living with will be assessed.

Financial Assessment Process

An individual under 18 or an

 

An individual 19+ or older

adult with a spouse

 

without a spouse

 

 

 

• Assess the guardians income or

 

• Assess the applicants financial

an individual and their spouses

 

information.

financial information.

 

• Assess applicants income /

• Consider individuals’ support

 

assets.

needs & associated costs.

 

• Consider applicants support

 

 

needs & associated costs.

 

 

 

8

Navigating DCS

Functional Assessment

An individual’s Care Coordinator will complete a functional assessment to determine the level of support needed:

How to set up a Functional Assessment

An individual will call Direct Family Services to connect with a Care Coordinator.

A Care Coordinator will conduct a functional assessment.

The Care Coordinator will rate the individual’s level of support needs based on their:

Activities of Daily Living

Health Status

Medical conditions

Behaviour

Safety

Program Support Options

A Care Coordinator will send their final assessment to the Casework Supervisor.

Level of Support Needs:

Level 1: Mild

Level 2: Moderate

Level 3: High

Level 4: Enriched

Level 5: Intensive

9

Navigating DCS

My child is under 18 - where do I go for assistance?

The Department of Community Services helps families in need through the Child, Youth, Family Support Program. See below for how they may be able to help you.

Child, Youth, Family Support

Adoption

& Foster Care

Children in Care Children in Crisis

Child Abuse

 

Prevention

 

& Early

& Register

 

 

Intervention

 

 

 

 

 

Information about different types of adoption as well as more information about foster care for prospective parents.

Options when children cannot stay in family home:

Children in care.

Alternative family care.

Community

Residential Services.

A safe place for children to stay when they are in crisis.

Secure Care at the Wood Street Centre.


• Information

Prevention and


for people who

early intervention


suspect a child


within child


is being abused.


welfare is a


• The Child


Abuse Register

proactive and


is used to

early approach


confirm if


to strengthening


people have


been found by

children, youth


the court to

and families.


have abused


 


children.

 

10

Navigating DCS

What is the Disability Support Program?

The Disability Support Program is part of the Department of Community Services. They help individuals who are eligible with receiving disability related supports, funding, and supported housing.

Direct Family

 

Independent

 

 

Flex

 

Alternative

 

Housing

Support for

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living

 

 

Program

 

Family Program

 

Options

Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support for

 

Community

 

Flex

 

Supports

 

• Independent

families who

 

based living

 

 

Independent

 

persons with

 

Living Options.

meet the income

 

option that

 

 

Funding.

 

disabilities in

 

• Alternative

 

 

Flex Living

 

 

criteria with

 

provides

 

 

an approved,

 

 

 

 

 

Family Program.

 

 

 

with Family

 

 

a child with a

 

funding for

 

 

 

private family

 

 

 

 

Funding.

 

 

 

disability under

 

support

 

 

 

own that is not

 

• Licensed Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 years old.

 

services.

 

 

 

 

their family’s

 

for special care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Disability Support Programs require an application for approval as

well as a functional and financial assessment.

11

Navigating DCS

Disability Support Program Eligibility

The Disability Support Program has eligibility criteria that must be met for an individual to be able to access support.

Disability Support Program Eligibility

1

2

3

Have a diagnosis

1.Developmental and/or Intellectual Disability

2.Long-Term Mental Health Illness

3.Physical Disability

Age & Residency Requirements

1.Be 19 years or older

2.Allowed to legally live in Canada

3.A resident of Nova Scotia

4.Have a Nova Scotia Health Card

Assessments & Forms

Complete a Medical Assessment

Complete a Financial Assessment

Complete a Functional Assessment

Complete an application form

12

Navigating DCS

The Disability Support Program Waitlist

The Disability Support Program created a waitlist for individuals needing support. The waitlist is divided into a Service Request List and a Future Planning Registry waitlist.

Disability Support Program Waitlist

Disability Support Program Waitlist

Future Planning Registry

(2+ Years)

An individual or their family can request to have their name on the Disability Support Program Waitlist for the future.

When they are ready they can contact their Care Coordinator to have their name moved to the Service Request List.

Service Request List

(within 2 Years)

An individual who needs a service immediately or within 2 years will have their name put on this list if the service they need is not immediately available.

13

Navigating DCS

What is the Income Assistance Program?

The Income Assistance Program is part of the Department of Community Services. They help individuals who are eligible with receiving support and funding.

Income Assistance Program

Rent Supplement

Program

A rental subsidy is paid to landlords or cooperative/non-profit housing projects based on how much a family can afford.

Basic or

Special Needs

Basic or Special Needs Assistance can cover:

Transportation, childcare, eyeglasses, special diets, emergency dental care, funeral costs, prescription drug coverage, emergency shelter, emergency fuel to heat your home, a damage deposit to rent an apartment, furniture, and employment supports.

Benefit for Children

Child Tax Benefit:

Both provincial & federal governments pay a tax-free monthly benefit to eligible families with children under the age of 18.

School Supplies for Children:

Families will receive extra money to pay for school supplies.

14

Navigating DCS

How to apply for Income Assistance?

Who to contact:

When determining an individual’s eligibility they must contact the Department of Community Services to set-up a meeting with a Caseworker.

Applying for Income Assistance

Learn how to contact the Department of Community Services (DCS) for help

Call: 1-877-424-1177

Let them know you want to apply for Income

Assistance. When you call have this information nearby:

Bank statement for your account.

SIN #

NS Health Care #

Information about financial and family situation.

A caseworker will call to set up a meeting.

Bring to the meeting:

All members of households Health Card’s

All members of households SIN #

At the meeting the caseworker will have you fill out the

ESIA Intake/Application Form

After the meeting with your

Caseworker you will find out in

3-7 days if you are eligible.

*If not found eligible you can appeal the process. Contact your Care Coordinator for more information.

15

Navigating DCS

I am over 19 - where do I go for support?

The Government of Nova Scotia has support in place for eligible individuals who need

help with housing or finances.

How to receive support as an adult

Independent

 

Flex Individualized

 

Licensed Home

Living Support

 

Funding Program

 

for Special Care

 

 

 

 

 

Receive funding for

 

Funding to

 

Funds provided to

up to 31 hours of

 

participants living

 

the licensed home

support a week from

 

at home with their

 

to pay for rent, food,

a Service Provider.

 

families or who live

 

basic needs, and

 

 

independently with

 

spending money for

 

 

support from their

 

each resident.

 

 

families or personal

 

 

 

 

support networks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

Navigating DCS

I am over 19 and need more support - where do I go?

If you are an individual looking for more support the Government of Nova Scotia has income and employment support options available.

Employment Support & Income Assistance

Income

Assistance

This program provides people in financial need with assistance with basic needs such as food, rent, utilities like heat

and electricity, and clothing.

Employment

Support Services

This program helps people on Income Assistance to become

more self-sufficient.

Standard

Household Rate

Combines shelter and personal allowance dependent on an individual’s accommodation type and arrangement. It helps pay for basic needs (ie. food, clothing, shelter, utilities and personal items.

17

Navigating DCS

I have more questions - where do I go?

If you are looking for more information, use this list of resources:

Department of Community Services

https://novascotia.ca/coms/

Disability Support Program

https://novascotia.ca/coms/disabilities/index.html

Child, Youth, and Family Supports

https://novascotia.ca/coms/families/index.html

Income Assistance and Employment Support

https://novascotia.ca/coms/employment/index.html

Direct Family Support for Children (DFSC) Program Income Guidelines

https://novascotia.ca/coms/disabilities/DFSCIncomeGuidelines.html

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