Rate increase coming to supportive recovery homes

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    Judy Darcy, New Democrat spokesperson on health

    SURREY: For the first time in 10 years, the daily rates for eligible income assistance clients living at registered or licensed residences are increasing.

    Additionally, changes to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act will ensure that people living in supportive recovery homes throughout B.C. will be better protected and receive more personalized services and supports.

    The new regulatory requirements for registered supportive recovery homes will include:

    * ensuring employees have necessary training, skills and qualifications;

    * providing program and policy information upfront to individuals and families so they can make informed choices about whether the service is right for them;

    * developing a personal service plan for each resident to help them reach their recovery goals; and

    * supporting individuals to safely transition and connect to ongoing services and supports in the community when leaving recovery homes.

    “For far too long, people and their families have struggled to find safe, appropriate care during the most vulnerable times in their lives,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “These changes will help ensure the individual needs of people on a recovery journey are heard, understood and respected when seeking help from a supportive recovery home in B.C.”

    Changes to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act for supportive recovery homes will come into effect in December 2019.

    Daily rate changes for eligible income assistance clients will take effect Oct. 1, 2019. Rates for registered mental health and substance use homes will increase from $30.90 to $35.90 per day, rates for licensed mental health homes will increase from $30.90 to $45 per day, and rates for licensed substance use homes will increase from $40 to $45 per day. The daily rate is paid on behalf of eligible people receiving income assistance directly to their mental health or substance use facility.

    “A lot of the people supported by these facilities face additional and significant barriers as a result of poverty,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Rate increases are a step toward addressing the cost pressures that facility operators must manage, and these increases will ensure that our most vulnerable populations have access to the support they need, when they need it.”

    To assist supportive recovery home operators in meeting the new regulatory requirements, the Province is partnering with the Community Action Initiative to provide one-time grant funding. Registered supportive recovery operators can apply for up to $4,000 per residence. Applications for these grants will be available this fall.

    Supportive recovery homes offer services like psychosocial supports, relapse prevention and coping skills, peer counselling, medication management, meal services and social opportunities to people with addiction challenges in a residential setting.

    These regulatory changes and increase in daily rates are part of government’s actions outlined in A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for making the system of mental health and addictions care better for people by providing safe, quality supportive recovery services, no matter where a person lives in B.C.

    Implementing the mental health and addictions strategy is a shared priority with the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

    Scott Kolodychuk, operations manager, Trilogy House One said: “People who turn to a supportive recovery home are often at the end of their rope – desperate for help wherever they can find it. These changes will help families find some peace of mind ensuring registered supportive recovery homes will keep people’s loved ones safe and offer consistent, high-quality care no matter where they are in B.C.”

    Melinda Markey, provincial secretariat director, Community Action Initiative (CAI) said: “Over the past year, CAI has convened dialogue between community stakeholders and the provincial government regarding regulatory changes that will impact supportive recovery home operators and the individuals and families who access their services. For many who access a supportive recovery assisted living residence, engaging with staff is often the first support they receive. Staff use a variety of tools to build and maintain relationships with program participants and will now be supported through training grants to increase their knowledge in several key areas. With the provincial grants, operators will have additional resources to ensure their recovery home employees have the necessary training and skills to be able to work effectively with people on their journey to recovery.”

    Susan Sanderson, executive director, Realistic Success Recovery Society said: “Recovery home operators have been struggling to provide professional services without the financial recourses to adequately meet their obligations. This funding is essential for a strong and viable addiction recovery sector to meet the growing needs of our clients.”