Direct Family Support
The Direct Family Support (DFS) program provides supports and services, including Enhanced Family Support (EFS), to both children and adults with disabilities who live at home with their families. The intent of the program is to support and provide funding to eligible families to enable them to support their family member with a disability at home.
The purpose of the DFS program is:
- to enable individuals with disabilities to live at home
- to maximize family supports and community participation
- to prevent and/or delay the need for an out of home placement
- to establish a smooth and seamless transition between children's and adult's supports and services.
Eligibility: Direct Family Support for Children
To be eligible for the Direct Family Support for Children (DFSC) program the application and/or assessment process must identify and determine that the child/family meet the following criteria:
- The family and child are permanent residents of Nova Scotia.
- The child is under 19 years of age.
- The child is living in the home of a family member/guardian of the child.
- The child has been diagnosed by an approved clinician as having a mild or moderate intellectual disability with a significant behavioural challenge that has been documented within the last two years.
- The child has been diagnosed by an approved clinician as having a severe intellectual disability that has been documented within the last two years.
- The child has a significant physical disability with ongoing functional limitations that are a result of the disability and which seriously limits their capacity to perform age appropriate activities of daily living as determined by an approved clinician.
- The family meets the DFSC Program income guidelines.
- The family agrees to participate in the assessment process.
Eligibility: Direct Family Support for Adults
To be eligible for the Direct Family Support for Adults (DFSA) program the application and/or assessment process must identify and determine that the applicant/individual and their family meet the following criteria:
- The applicant and their family are permanent residents of Nova Scotia.
- The applicant is 19 years or over.
- The applicant is residing in the home of a family member or guardian.
- The applicant has a medical diagnosis of one or more of the following: intellectual disability, long term mental illness, or physical disability.
- The applicant and family have unmet needs as identified through the assessment process.
- The applicant meets the financial eligibility criteria as outlined in SPD policy and procedures.
- The applicant and their family agree to participate in the assessmentprocess as outlined in SPD policy and procedures.
Enhanced Family Support for Children and Adults
As part of the DFS Program, Enhanced Family Support provides funding to help families to support children and adults with disabilities at home when their care and support needs are considered extremely challenging and they require comprehensive, highly structured and skilled forms of support and intervention. This funding will allow families to hire support workers who have specialized training, education or experience related to the needs of the child or participant.
To be eligible for EFS, adult participants or children and their families must meet the requirements of the SPD/DFS Program and the EFS eligibility criteria, as outlined in the Enhanced Family Support for Adults Policy (EFSA) (PDF) and Enhanced Family Support for Children Policy (EFSC) (PDF).
For more information on the program, or to learn how to apply, contact the nearest office of the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.