Connecting with Children’s disABILITY Services

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Children’s disABILITY Services pamphlet (PDF 266KB)
I think my child may have a disability or developmental delay, who should I contact?
Visit your family doctor or your child’s doctor and explain your concerns.  Children develop in the same basic ways, but some develop more slowly than others.  Some children may need special support to help them develop. If your child needs support, your doctor may make a referral to a clinic for further information and assessment.
How do I make contact with the Children's disABILITY Services (CDS) Program?
Call your regional or community area office. The link to this information can be found at the end of this FAQ section. You will be asked for basic information, including your name, address and telephone number. Basic information about your child will also be requested, including diagnostic information if known. You will also be asked what type of assistance you are looking for. This information will be used to begin the process of determining eligibility for CDS.  A CDS staff person will contact you and advise you of next steps in the process.
What if my child already has a diagnosis and I have the assessment information?
Check with the professional who made the diagnosis to see if a referral to CDS has been made. If this has occurred you can call your regional or community area office to check on the status of your child’s referral. If a referral has not occurred, you can call your regional or community area office and initiate the referral. The link to regional and community area contact information can be found at the end of this FAQ section.
I recently moved or am thinking of moving to Manitoba.  Who do I call and what information will I need?
You can call the regional or community area that you have moved to or plan to move to. You will be asked for some basic information including your name, address and telephone number. You may also be asked to complete a referral form. As part of the referral process, you may be asked to provide documentation from a qualified professional as it relates to your child’s diagnosis.
What kinds of Services and Supports are available?
Support for families with children with disabilities depends on the unique circumstances of each family, the needs of the child, the presence of extended family and availability of neighborhood supports. Once eligibility for CDS has been determined, a Family Services Worker will be assigned to meet with you and discuss your family’s circumstances. The Family Services Worker works in partnership with you to develop a Service Plan that addresses the unique needs of your child and family.
There is a menu of services available through the CDS program. Depending on your family’s needs assessment, your Service Plan may include the following services and supports:
    • Respite: Respite can be provided in or outside of the child’s home for caregivers who may need a short-term break from care giving. For children who have lifelong, complex medical needs, respite can be provided by a registered nurse or a specially trained care provider.  
    • Child development Program for Pre-school Children: Child Development Workers work with caregivers to identify their child’s strengths and goals. Together they find ways to assist the child to develop and learn new skills. Services may be provided in the child’s home or a child care setting.
    • Supplies and Equipment: Children’s disABILITY Services may cover the cost of certain supplies and equipment that are necessary as a result of a child’s disability.
    • Transportation: Assistance may be available for families who need financial support to cover the cost of transportation to and from medical appointments and specialized services for their child with disabilities. This is typically for families in rural and northern Manitoba who may need to travel significant distances to access medical sevices.
    • Therapy: A Family Services Worker can refer families to the Provincial Outreach Therapy for Children (POTC) program or the Children’s Therapy Initiative (CTI). Therapies that may be available include: occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and audiology. These services may be provided in the family home, a child care setting or at school.
    • Home/Vehicle Modifications: Funds may be available for making modifications to a family’s home or vehicle to accommodate the child’s disability.
    • After School Care for Adolescents: After school care is provided in a group setting and may be available for adolescents who are no longer able to access child care but still require care and supervision outside of school hours.
    • Summer Gap Programming:  This service supports children to maintain their skills during the summer months by providing for the extraordinary costs needed to help children access the programs and activities that promote what they have learned during the school year.
    • Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Parents/caregivers raising a child with ASD may be eligible for ABA, an intensive intervention program that teaches parents/caregivers strategies to support their child’s behavioural development.
    • Behavioural Services: Behavioural specialists may provide an assessment of a child’s challenging behaviours and together with the family, develop a plan that addresses the child’s needs.
Are there limits to these services?
The level of service and support provided to your family will depend on your particular circumstances and the needs of your child. If the circumstances of your family change, services could also change.  Your Family Services Worker will be available to discuss the needs of your family and the availability of services and supports.
For more information about Children's disABILITY Services, please contact a Winnipeg Service Location or Rural and Northern Service Location in your area. 
Is there a Children’s disABILITY Services program pamphlet available?
Yes.  Please click on the PDF file link to the Children’s disABILITY Services pamphlet.