Services for CYIC with Special Needs (CYSN)
2.01 Median Residential Cost per CYIC with Special Needs
Cost pressures often stem from a shortage of skilled foster parents, which translates into a higher usage of more expensive contracted resources. Other factors that can impact costs per case include the use of exceptional payments to service providers and the level of care required by the current caseload composition.
1,209 CYIC, identified with special needs, were cared for by MCFD paid residential resources at some point this period. They represented 21% of all the CYIC in paid residential care over the reporting period. The annualized median cost to provide residential care for these children and youth was approximately $58K.
The overall number of CYIC identified with Special Needs who received residential services over a 12 month period shows a decline of approximately 21%, from 1,525 at the baseline to 1,209 this period.
The higher median cost for non-Indigenous CYIC with special needs is partly a result of the Indigenous CYIC cohort being more likely as their non-Indigenous peers to be in foster care rather than contracted resources (which offer more complex and expensive care options). This is partly because these Indigenous CYIC are significantly younger (therefore more appropriately served in foster care) than their non-Indigenous counterparts; almost 40% were under the age of 12 compared to 25% of non-Indigenous CYIC with special needs. Indigenous CYIC also have a greater range of needs, many of which can be appropriately accommodated through foster care.
The Vancouver/Richmond and East Fraser SDAs had the highest median residential costs, at more than $100K for CYSN (all children).
The median annualized cost per CYIC with special needs has increased by 75% since the baseline, or an average of 12% per year but most of the increase occurred in the last year and was steeper for non-Indigenous CYIC than their Indigenous counterparts. Last year’s increase will likely fade in the next report when more children get identified as having special needs over time.
More than two thirds (70%) of the CYIC with special needs were aged 12 or older. The contrast with CYIC without identified special needs is significant: only approximately 39% of the CYIC without special needs were aged 12 or older.
Non-Indigenous CYIC with special needs identified were older than their Indigenous counterparts, with 3 out of every 4 CYIC aged 12 or older.