Provincial/Territorial Updates

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September 10, 2007 - BC Update
British Columbia has closed all of its large institutions, however, many individuals with developmental disabilities continue to reside in continuing care facilities and large residential settings in the community.

At this year’s annual general meeting held in June, the BC Association for Community Living passed a resolution urging Community Living BC (the crown corporation responsible for community living services) to:

1) Close or reduce the size of all mini-institutions (residential facilities) by March 2009, so that no more than 5 people with developmental disabilities are living together; 2) Immediately develop and implement a "no admissions  policy" to mini-institutions (residential facilities) where more than 4 people with developmental disabilities live, and 3) Ensure residential options of their choice are provided to individuals affected by this policy.

In a recent report on residential options in the province, CLBC acknowledged that closing large institutions is just part of the process of de-institutionalization. A comprehensive literature review completed for the report confirmed that people in small community homes (one to three people) fare better than those who live in large facilities. The report suggests that funding issues have made it difficult to change the configuration of many large facilities. One of the key recommendations of the report states "That CLBC establish a moratorium on admissions to homes of greater than 5 individuals."

In British Columbia, the challenge is clear - there are currently more than 700 individuals living in homes with 5 or more individuals, including several facilities with 16 to 19 individuals residing in each. CLBC has set a number of objectives for the next phase of its project, including a commitment "to engage in community development work to transform supports and create new opportunities within the current funding envelope".

The extent of the issue of mini-institutions in BC is now better understood and the clear benefits of smaller living arrangements have been confirmed. It remains to be seen whether significant down-sizing of mini-institutions will be accomplished in the near future with current funding levels. BC provides an excellent illustration that closing large institutions is just one step in the process of achieving community living and inclusion for all people.

February 3, 2004 - BC Update
British Columbia has closed all its large institutions.  There is one program left that houses 25 people and it is slotted to close in 2004.  There are a number of homes with 8 – 12 people living in them.   There are many people living in group home settings, which are not as individualized as people would like