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Family Directed Respite

Family Directed Respite Funding Guidelines and Application
Pending approval on available funds
Family Directed Respite (FDR) funding is a reimbursement program intended to assist families who are not currently connected to Ministry funded respite/camp programs, to develop and direct their own unique respite plans. Family Directed Respite funding is administered on behalf of the Toronto Respite Network via Geneva Centre for Autism.
The Family Directed Respite Funding is from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to serve as an enhancement for families to access respite services in their communities. There is no guarantee of the availability of these funds. 

•Child must be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
•Child is eligible from the age of 2 until their 18th birthday
•Child must reside with a caregiver and be a permanent resident of Toronto
•Families accessing Ministry funded respite/camp programs may not be eligible. If you have questionsabout the programs you are currently accessing, please contact them directly to inquire about funding received

FDR will cover:
Given the current situation with COVID- 19, eligible expenses have been extended to include in home and online respite programs until further notice. The timing to use the funds will remain unchanged. You can use these funds for services from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024.

The expanded use of funds can include:
•Camp fees to a limit of $750/ week (exceptions may be considered if 1:1 support is included inprogram cost)
•Respite Program fees to a limit of $150/day
•Staffing Support (in home, in a camp, respite program, social group, recreational group,specialized class or lesson) to a limit of $25/ hour. Workers must be 18+ and live outside of thefamily home
•Social Groups, Recreational Groups, Specialized classes, lessons (guitar, swimming, karate etc.)

FDR will NOT cover:
•Meals, busing, t-shirts, or other costs associated with program/camp
•Assistive devices or equipment
•Daycare fees
•Activity costs (field trip fees, memberships, etc.)
•Tutoring, therapy or therapeutic recreational programs (ABA, IBI, OT, SLP, PT)
• Administrative or registration fees
• Home care or cleaning costs

Important information:
• It will be a lottery selection
• Lottery selection will not be made until after the application deadline has passed
• There is a limited amount of funding per year to serve many families
• This is a reimbursement funding process. Your costs will be reimbursed once you have submitted
valid receipt of payment (program or service must be completed)
• If any portion of the application is missing, it will not be processed
• The application covers a 1-year period; families are encouraged to apply yearly
• If selected, the caregiver is responsible for tracking the money spent and for invoicing
• Funds may only be used in Ontario
• Summer requests will not exceed a maximum of 4 total weeks of support for all services

Application process opens on January 23, 2023 and closes on February 20, 2023. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. No exceptions will be made. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
You will be sent an email confirmation once your application has been received. Only selected applicants will be notified. Confirmation of funding will be sent to families by April 3, 2023.

Checklist and Required Documentation
  • Copy of medical documentation of Autism Spectrum Disorder (doctor’s letter, psychological assessment etc.)
  • Copy of Child’s Canadian Birth Certificate or Immigration Status in Canada
  • Proof of Address (current driver’s license, utility bill, hydro, internet, rental/lease agreement etc.)
  • Signed, witnessed and dated the Release of Information
  • Signed, witnessed and dated the Family Agreement and Release
  • All sections of the application must be completed (if any portion of the application is missing, it will not be processed)
* Please note: All documents MUST be sent annually with each application

Pleases submit your application via

PLEASE NOTE: We will NOT make exceptions for late applications. If you have any questions about the application or eligibility, please email

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