Support services are designed to provide caregiver matching as well as information and guidance to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. We will do our best to present you with a framework that allows you to navigate through the many challenges you or your family may experience when finding options for care, relief or community support.

What is Family Support?

DDA is dedicated to supporting families with our team of family support workers. Learn more what our team and resources can do for you and your family.

DDA Respite Services

Do you need a break?

Learn more about our respite services so you can get some much-needed rest.

Support Groups, Workshops & Events

Learn more about our local events and support groups in Vancouver and Richmond.


Family Support Workers provide information and support to families who have a child with a developmental disability. Family Support Workers are here to assist you to learn about and access services available at DDA and in the community. For every individual and family, the role of family support will be unique.

DDA also has a resource library of books and videos available at our head office.

If you have any questions about these or any other services call Terry Schenkel at 604-233-5433.

This program is supported entirely by grants and fundraising. If you would like to make a donation to the Family Support & Advocacy Program, please contact the 604-273-9778 for more information.


The Developmental Disabilities Association gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the United Way of the Lower Mainland in helping fund Family Support & Advocacy.

When might you need family support?
  • At times of transition in your child’s life – for example, the transition from preschool to kindergarten, from elementary to high school, from high school to college, etc.
  • When you need to advocate for services or financial assistance.
  • When you need to understand existing systems such as the school system, Ministry of Child and Family Development or Community Living BC.
  • When you want to connect with another family who understands what you are experiencing.
  • When you want to suggest a workshop or speaker, or learn about upcoming workshops.
  • When you feel alone or unheard in your efforts to advocate for your child.
Other Services We Offer
  • Family Support and Information Groups – meet monthly in Vancouver. It’s a great opportunity to come hear an interesting speaker and connect with other parents.
  • Respitality – Parents and caregivers can join our Respitality Program and enjoy a complimentary overnight stay at a local hotel.
  • Parent to Parent Support – If you have navigated through the maze of services for persons with a developmental disability and you would like to assist other families, please contact our Family Support Worker at 604-233-5433.


Sometimes you just need a break. Respite Services is here for you. We will arrange for a caregiver to take care of your loved one with a developmental disability. Whether it’s a short break to get some much-needed rest, or a planned vacation to get away for a few weeks, respite gives parents and primary caregivers a chance to relax and enjoy some time to themselves.

Respite is a vital part of the continuum of family services intended to support family stability and reduce stress.

All caregivers are certified in First Aid & CPR and undergo a thorough screening process including criminal record clearances, background checks, interviews and references. Caregivers that intend to provide respite in their own homes must also participate in a home study to ensure suitability and safety. Families also have the opportunity to meet and approve the respite caregiver before the service takes place.


Referrals to DDA Respite Services must be made by either the MCFD, or CLBC. We can also offer services to those with private funding, please call us for more information at 604-233-5433.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), Child and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) Office at   604-660-5437
Community Living BC (CLBC) at   604-660-3323

For further information about Respite Services:
Mailing Address:
3455 Kaslo Street
Vancouver, B.C. V5M 3H4
Telephone: 604 327-9111
Fax: 604 709-4553

If you are interested in becoming a Respite caregiver, send your cover letter and resume to


Working with participating hotels, our Respitality Program provides parents and caregivers a chance to rejuvenate and enjoy a complimentary overnight stay at a local hotel in Vancouver and Richmond. Please note this program is available to DDA members only. To be eligible for this program, please visit our membership page to sign up to be a DDA member.