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Family Support Groups

Support groups and grant funding information for families with children and youth with health conditions.

For the last 20 years, the Family Support Group or Network Committee has provided grant funding to grassroots support groups or networks who provide parent-to-parent support for families with children and youth with health conditions.

We are committed to supporting grassroots parent groups as they endeavor to provide helpful support and idea-sharing for families with children or youth with health conditions. They provide an opportunity for parents to share what they have learned along the way, and create networks of resources and support.

These groups are different than larger organizations, which have broader mandates of public education and research, paid staff and are able to carry out fundraising initiatives of their own.  

These groups are often dependent on the energy of one or two parents already challenged with the additional care required by a child or youth with a health condition.  Their mandate is more focused and their resources are often more limited.

It is our hope to support you in your efforts to help other parents in situations similar to your own.

Support groups

The following is a list of parent and family support groups in BC that have agrred to be listed on our website:


Our Extraordinary Kids

Provides support for parents of special needs children in British Columbia, via an online Facebook group, which allows parents to chat, ask questions and learn from each other.  The site also has information on things like applying for tax credits, or for government or charitable funding. Website:

Lower Mainland 

BC Hands & Voices
Provides support to families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Phone: 604-552-2254

The F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids Mental Health
Provides support, education and advocacy and navigation for children with mental health difficulties.
Phone: 604.878.3400 or 310-6789

Fraser Valley Down Syndrome Society
Provides support, education, and resources to families in the Fraser Valley with an individual who has Down syndrome.
Phone: 604-853-5563 or 604-755-0769


Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society-Burnaby
Provides support, education, comfort and resources to families and individuals with Down syndrome.
Phone: 604-591-2722

Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society-Langley
Provides support, education, comfort and resources to families and individuals with Down syndrome.
Phone: 604-591-2722

Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society-Surrey
Provides support, education, comfort and resources to families and individuals with Down syndrome.
Phone: 604-591-2722

Richmond Autism Parents Support Group (RAPS)
Provides parents the opportunity to share knowledge & experiences with each other, and to connect parents with information and resources.
Phone: 604-270-6566

Richmond Centre for Disability (RCD) Chinese Support Group
Provides information, resources, services, activities and support for families of children with special needs. 
Phone: 604-270-0868

Upside Down Parent Support Group
Provides support and information for parents who have a child with Down syndrome and are between the ages of 0-8 years old. 
Phone: 604-418-5231

Vancouver Parents Transition Group
Supports families and youth with disabilities who are transitioning from youth services (14 years and older) to young adulthood.
Phone: 604-222-2258

West Coast AIS-DSD Support Group
Provides support, networking, education and information about AIS and other disorders of sex development (DSD's)
Phone: 604-939-7334

​Thompson Okanagan

Osoyoos Autism Behavioural Centre
Provides support, information about available services, and access to guest speakers and professionals for families with children with autism.
Phone: 250-495-2289

Vancouver Island

Tourette Canada- Victoria Chapter
Provides direct support to families with children with Tourette Syndrome, via phone, email, meetings and special events.
Phone: 1-800-361-3120 63


Comfort funds grants

These funds are available for groups or networks that hold face-to-face meetings; they provide the little extras, like money for beverages and snacks, and those things that make meetings comfortable.

Extended services grants

These funds help groups or networks go over and above group meetings and provide money for things like newsletters, room rentals, website resources, honorariums for speakers, or child care during meetings.

Special project grants

These funds are allocated for one-time projects which create or provide innovative ways of connecting families with the support and resources they need.  We strongly encourage collaboration between groups; we believe there may be shared needs or learning opportunities across most groups, and we would love to see those needs met on a larger community, or province-wide scale.

Application process

We recognize that applying for a grant may sound daunting, so we have endeavored to make this application accessible to everyone;
it is relatively simple and our evaluation does not depend on the quality of the application language or wording, but rather on the goals and objectives you have set out for your group.

The grant funding is generously provided by the BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

For more information about applying for a grant, please contact Diane Hart, Director of Patient & Family-Centred Care at 604-875-2345 ext. 7687 or 

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