The Crown corporation that oversees the care of developmentally disabled adults in British Columbia is under the microscope.
In the legislature last week the Official Opposition along with Independent Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson called for an independent review of Community Living B.C.
Opposition MLAs have asked the government to review the gap that exists when a developmentally disabled person turns 19 and is transitioned out of children and youth services into the CLBC system.
CLBC is tasked with providing care to developmentally disabled adults either in their homes or in a group-home setting when they reach the age of 19 years.
Simpson says the challenges of the corporation are beyond financial. He says a conversation with the minister responsible revealed that the corporation has to manage its business within the constraints of its budget — which comes from government. “The problem with that approach is people with disabilities are not widgets; it’s not a sales dynamic; it’s not a business dynamic,” Simpson says.
In his experience, Simpson says, CLBC has been trying to get other agencies, like health, to pick up costs.
With a waitlist of 2,800 individuals across the province who require services from CLBC there are limited funds to provide the correct level of service an individual requires.
“What the parent is trying to do is get a plan in place that meets their child’s needs. What CLBC is trying to do is manage it as a financial transaction.”
Simpson knows of developmentally disabled individuals who have ended up being placed in seniors facilities. He says he’s also found parents who have attempted to establish a transition plan several years in advance of their children turning 19 and receive little support from partnering agencies like CLBC.
The government’s response to the call for an independent review is that it is putting more money into the CLBC and will look at situations on a case-by-case basis.
In the recent speech from the throne, Premier Christy Clark indicated the government would be undertaking a review of all Crown corporations starting in January 2012. Simpson isn’t sure whether CLBC will be included in that review.