Direct Family Support for Children

Direct Family Support for Children (DFSC) and Enhanced Family Support for Children (EFSC) provide funding to enable families to support their child with a disability at home. DFSC and EFSC provide funding for the purchase of respite services to assist with scheduled breaks for family care givers.  An enhanced funding component may be available for children and families who meet EFSC eligibility criteria.

The purpose of DFSC and EFSC is to support and maintain the integrity of families of eligible children and to:

  1. support children with disabilities to live at home;
  2. maximize family supports and community participation; and
  3. prevent or delay the need for an out of home placement.

To be eligible for the DFSC or EFSC the child and family must meet the following criteria:

  1. the family and child are permanent residents of Nova Scotia;
  2. the family and child are lawfully entitled to be in or to remain in Canada;
  3. the child is under 19 years of age;
  4. the child is living in the home of a family member/guardian;
  5. the child has been diagnosed by an approved clinician with a disability as defined as:
    1. a mild or moderate intellectual developmental disability with a significant behavioural challenge that has been documented within the last two years; or
    2. a severe intellectual developmental disability that has been documented within the last two years; or
    3. a significant physical disability with ongoing functional limitations that are a result of the disability which seriously limits their capacity to perform age appropriate activities of daily living; or
    4. a dual diagnosis consisting of any of the above.
  6. the family net income meets the DFSC Program Income Guidelines; and
  7. the child’s family agrees to participate in the assessment process.

Read more in the DFSC Policy (PDF).

Next steps

A specialized team is ready to help answer your questions, direct you to community resources, and support you through the application process for the Disability Support Program (DSP).

To connect with a team member, call our toll-free number at 1-877-424-1177 or visit a Community Services office Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.

To find your local office, click here.