The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act

Support Services


Who is eligible to receive support services?

Support services may be provided to vulnerable persons, within available resources. The Act defines a vulnerable person as an adult with a mental disability who needs assistance to meet his or her basic personal care or property management needs. Mental disability means a significant intellectual impairment plus impaired adaptive behavior, both having occurred before the age of 18 years. Persons meeting these conditions are eligible to receive support services.

What are support services?

Support services include a broad range of programs, services and supports that may be provided to vulnerable persons through Manitoba Family Services. Besides the ongoing support that a community service worker provides, the following are some of the support services that may be available:
  • Residential Services
Residential Services support vulnerable persons in a range of living options that provide varying levels of care and support. For example, a vulnerable person may live in a supported apartment, a community residence or an approved private residential option in the community. As well, support may be available to assist vulnerable persons to live in their parental home, a foster home or independently.
  • Day Services
Day services provide a range of options that respond to the vocational, social and personal care needs of vulnerable persons. Day services may assist a vulnerable person in finding a job and also provide supports to enable that individual to maintain the job. Alternatively, when vulnerable persons need to learn work skills or life skills, Day Services can offer tools, resources and supports necessary to acquire these skills.

How does a vulnerable person get support services?

The Act states that an individual plan must be developed for every vulnerable person who receives support services. Through the individual planning process, support services are identified.
The planning process helps the vulnerable person to identify and move towards a desired future. The vulnerable person, members of that person's support network, and the substitute decision maker or committee (if any) work with a community service worker to identify the person's strengths, needs and dreams for the future. The vulnerable person and the planning team can then begin to determine what services and supports are required. Services may include those provided through Manitoba Family Services as well as those available in the larger community. This process results in a written document called an individual plan.

What happens if persons are denied services or are not satisfied with the support services they are receiving?

If disputes arise about eligibility for service or about the support services provided to a vulnerable person, Manitoba Family Services may appoint a mediator to try to settle the dispute.
Regardless of whether mediation is attempted, a vulnerable person, substitute decision maker or committee (if any) may appeal such disputes to the Social Services Appeal Board. Disputes that are not eligible for appeal are those involving increased funding or changes to policy.