Component: Respite Services

Legislation: Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017

Service description

The Enhanced Respite for Medically Fragile and/or Technology Dependent Children (Enhanced Respite) program provides funding directly to families of medically fragile and/or technology dependent children to purchase respite services. It can be provided in addition to other respite services.

People served

Enhanced respite is a grant provided to families who are caring for a child/youth who is under the age of 18, lives at home and is medically fragile and/or depends on a technological device, and requires care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Program/service features

Beginning in 2023-24, families may be eligible for up to $4,130 annually, per child.

Families, who may qualify for this grant have children who

  • rely on medical and technological equipment, such as mechanical ventilators, apnea monitors, renal dialysis, urinary catheters, colostomy bags
  • are administered drugs intravenously
  • rely on tracheotomy tube care, suctioning, oxygen support or tube feeding

Specific service provided

Children/youth who meet the eligible criteria and fall within one of the following categories of care requirements will qualify for Enhanced Respite

  • Group 1: Children dependent at least part of each day on mechanical ventilators
  • Group 2: Children requiring prolonged intravenous administration of nutritional substances/drugs
  • Group 3: Children with prolonged dependence on other device-based support for tracheotomy tube care, suctioning, oxygen support and/or tube feeding
  • Group 4: Children with prolonged dependence on other devices which compensate for vital body functions who require daily or near daily nursing care, including children requiring apnea monitors, renal dialysis due to kidney failure and/or urinary catheters or colostomy bags plus substantial nursing care
  • Group 5: Children who are medically fragile according to the care requirements, but do not use a technology device

Program goals

To provide relief to families who are caring for a child/youth who is medically fragile and/or depends on a technological device, and requires care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Ministry expectations

Services are child and family-centred and support the diverse needs of families in a way that is culturally safe, promotes equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression.

Services will be

  • reflective and responsive to children, families and communities’ strengths and needs
  • accountable to the children, families, and communities 
  • sensitive to the social, linguistic, and cultural diversity of families and Indigenous communities
  • staffed by individuals with the appropriate range of skills and abilities necessary to respond effectively to the needs of children and families
  • based on the child/youth’s assessed needs, preferences and available individual, agency, community, and contracted ministry resources

Reporting requirements

The following service data will be reported on at an Interim and final period. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates.

Service data nameDefinition

Ministry-funded agency expenditures: Enhanced Respite

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver this service in the Funding Year (cumulative).