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News

Response to MCFD’s Guidelines on Virtual Care

BC-ABA has submitted a formal response by the British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis (BC-ABA) to the MCFD Guidelines for Virtual Care Providers dated April 8th, 2020. You may view the response below or download it as a PDF.


Attn:
Honourable Katrine Conroy
Ministry of Children and Family Development

April 22, 2020

To Whom it May Concern:

This document is a formal response by the British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis (BC-ABA) to the MCFD Guidelines for Virtual Care Providers dated April 8th, 20201. The MCFD Guidelines for Virtual Care Providers outline regulations for the use of Autism Funding by families and service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic and specify which services may be eligible for virtual care. Virtual care is taken to refer to intervention services provided via distance through telecommunication technology (for the remainder of this document, referred to as ‘telehealth services’).

BC-ABA would like to address two policies in MCFD Guidelines document that are not consistent with current research on telehealth service delivery (MCFD Guidelines for Virtual Care Providers, p. 3):

Q7: What are MCFD’s guidelines for Virtual Care for providers?

A7: Service providers are expected to comply with the standards set by their regulatory colleges related to Virtual Care and all other service practices. To bill Autism Funding Branch the following is required:

  • Child/youth must be present for the session
  • Child/youth must have already been assessed by the practitioner in a face to face
    meeting

Response to Point 1: Guideline that child/youth must be present for the session

The requirement to have a child present during all direct services is not consistent with current research and best practice in autism service provision, regardless of whether services are delivered in person or via telehealth. While caregiver support at times involves live coaching during interactions with their child, there are a number of situations in which would be harmful and clinically contraindicated to require a child to be present during all service provision, as it may limit the information a caregiver is able to share with a service provider and limit access to crucial services during an already stressful time.

Response to Point 2: Child/youth must have already been assessed by the practitioner in a face to face meeting

Research evidence supports the use of telehealth as an effective service delivery option, without the need for face to face meetings at any point during assessment or intervention (e.g., see systematic review by Fergusen, Craig, & Dounavi, 2019; Lindgren et al., 2016). Furthermore, families living in remote communities, families with new diagnoses, and families in the process of accessing services that have not yet been started would be unable to receive services indefinitely. Including effective telehealth services as an eligible expense for AFU funding would allow families to access much needed services during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, especially since MCFD has stated they will not be expending funding terms during this time. It is inappropriate and harmful to families to require in person services when research has demonstrated the effectiveness of telehealth services without this component.

Limiting the conditions under which families can access services during a public health crisis will be severely detrimental to children with ASD in our province and their families.

We appreciate your prompt action in remediating these potentially harmful policies.

Sincerely,

The British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis

 


1 “Common Questions and Answers for Service Providers Supporting Families Accessing Autism Funding” Access from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/family-and-social-supports/covid-19/qa_autism_funding_apr7_spapprovedcontent.pdf on April 16th, 2020


References

Fergusen, J., Craig, E. A., Dounavi, K. (2019). Telehealth as a Model for Providing Behaviour Analytic Interventions to Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49, 582-616. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-018-3724-5

Lindgren, S., Wacker, D., Suess, A., Scheitz, K., Pelzel, K., Kopelman, T., Lee, J., Romani, P., Waldon, D. (2016). Telehealth and Autism: Treating Challenging Behavior at Lower Cost, Pediatrics, 137 (2), S167-S175. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4727312/


 

Message from BC-ABA Board

Dear members,

Our newly elected board held its first meeting on April 6 and our priority agenda item focused on the impact the current COVID-19 crisis is having on our members and those clients to whom we provide services. We are compiling a database of resources that we will share soon and are planning to offer free webinars on topics that are important to you. Keep an eye on your inboxes and social media for a survey to gather information on what your priorities are in terms of learning and support.

If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please contact us at info@bc-aba.org

 

BC-ABA Conference Bursary

Application and Instructions

The British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis will be offering up to ten bursaries to assist conference attendees with the costs of traveling to the conference from other areas of the province.

The bursary amount for 2020 is $150 cash plus free conference/workshop registration.

Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered for this bursary:

  • Be a current member of BC-ABA
  • Reside in one of the following regions of British Columbia:
    • Coastal Region (e.g., Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands)
    • Interior Region (e.g., Thompson, Okanagan, Cariboo, Kootenays)
    • Northern Region (e.g., Terrace, Prince George, Haida Gwaii, Peace region)
      Residents of Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton will not be considered for this bursary
  • Priority will be given to those who have not previously received a conference travel bursary

Selection Criteria

Bursary applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are selected, you will receive a cheque at the conference. You must attend to receive the bursary.

To Apply

Fill out the bursary application form and submit the completed form as well as proof of address electronically to treasurer@bc-aba.org.

The deadline for bursary applications is midnight on January 31, 2020. Hard copies and late applications will not be accepted.

BC-ABA Student Research Award

Application and Instructions

BC-ABA is holding its annual research award competition for undergraduate and graduate students. The results will be announced at the 12th Annual BC-ABA Conference on March 7th, 2020.

Award amounts will range from $500 for undergraduate students to $1000 for Masters or Doctoral students.

Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered for this research award:

  • Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program related to behaviour analysis
  • Be a current member of BC-ABA
  • Have recently completed a research project or be currently conducting research in behaviour analysis
  • Be willing to present your completed research project at the BC-ABA Annual Conference in March, 2020 or March, 2021.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be weighted using the following evaluation criteria:

  • Research proposal (page 3 of application): 50%
  • Scholarly contributions (page 4 of application): 25%
  • Distinctions, awards, research experience, and practicum or internship experience (page 5 of application): 25%

To Apply

Fill out the application form and submit it electronically to treasurer@bc-aba.org by midnight on January 31, 2020.

Hard copies and late applications will not be accepted.
The submitted application must be a maximum of four pages in length.

Call for Nominations 2020

BC-ABA is now accepting nominations for a number of positions on the BC-ABA Board of Directors for the 2020-2022 Term. If you have not served on the BC-ABA board yet, now is a great time to get involved! The following positions are available:

Position Term Criterion
President Elect March 2020 to March 2022 Full Member
Treasurer March 2020 to March 2022 Full Member
Member at Large – Elections March 2020 to March 2022 Full Member
Member at Large – Communications March 2020 to March 2022 Full Member
Member at Large – Conference March 2020 to March 2022 Full Member
Member at Large – Membership March 2020 to March 2022 Full Member
Student Representative March 2020 to March 2022 Student Member

If you or someone you know would be interested in filling one of the available positions on the board, please forward a completed nomination form to Claire Egan (MAL- Elections) at elections@bc-aba.org.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 10th, 2020.

NOMINATION FORM:

BC-ABA Board of Directors Nomination Form

Board Members must commit to in-person attendance at monthly meetings for their entire term (via video conference for those outside of the Lower Mainland). We meet approximately ten times per year, usually on the first Monday of the month from 10am to 11:30am.

To view a description of Roles and Responsibilities for Board Members in each available position click here.

Please note, all Nominees must be a current member of BC-ABA (Full or Student Member) and nomination forms must be completed by current BC-ABA members. Our membership renewal cycle began September 01, 2019. If your membership is not current and you would like to renew your BC-ABA membership for the 2019-2020 year, please click here and renew today!

Ballots will be sent by email to current members. Please ensure your email address is up to date with BC-ABA to receive your ballot. Add us to your address book.

Results of the election will be announced at the Annual General Meeting at our 12th Annual Conference March 7th, 2020.

Thank you for your participation!

Your BC-ABA Board of Directors

BC-ABA Student Research Award

Application and Instructions

BC-ABA will be holding a research award competition for undergraduate and graduate students. The results will be announced at the 11th Annual BC-ABA Conference on March 9, 2018.

Description:

The British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis will be holding a research award competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Award amounts will range from $500 for undergraduate students to $1000 for Masters or Doctoral students.

Eligibility:

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered for this research award:

  • Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program related to behaviour analysis
  • Be a current member of BC-ABA
  • Have recently completed a research project or be currently conducting research
  • Be willing to present your completed research project at the BC-ABA Annual Conference in March, 2019 or March, 2020

Selection Criteria:

Applications will be weighted using the following evaluation criteria:

  • Research proposal (page 3 of application): 50%
  • Scholarly contributions (page 4 of application): 25%
  • Distinctions, awards, research experience, and practicum or internship experience (page 5 of application): 25%

To Apply:

Complete the application form and submit it electronically to treasurer@bc-aba.org by midnight on January 31, 2019. Hard copies and late applications will not be accepted. The submitted application must be a maximum of five pages in length.

BC-ABA Conference Bursary

2019 Application and Instructions

Description:

The British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis will be offering up to five bursaries to assist conference attendees with the costs of traveling to the conference from other areas of the province. The bursary amount for 2019 is $150 cash plus free conference/workshop registration.

Eligibility:

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered for this bursary:

  • Be a current member of BC-ABA
  • Reside in one of the following regions of British Columbia:
    – Coastal Region (e.g., Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands)
    – Interior Region (e.g., Thompson, Okanagan, Cariboo, Kootenays)
    – Northern Region (e.g., Terrace, Prince George, Haida Gwaii, Peace region)
  • Residents of Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton will not be considered for this bursary

Selection Criteria:

Bursary applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

To Apply:

Fill out the bursary application form and submit the completed form as well as proof of address electronically to treasurer@bc-aba.org

The deadline for bursary applications is midnight on January 31, 2019. Hard copies and late applications will not be accepted.