Resources for Parent Support & Education – Burnaby/Lower Mainland

Please find below a list of organizations (in alphabetical order) that provide education and support for families who have children with disabilities and which are convenient to families who live in Burnaby.  Some of these resources or events may be available both in-person or on-line from the comfort of your own home (using tele-conferencing or by downloading documents or web-casts).

Autism Community Training (ACT):  ACT provides a province-wide information and referral service and ongoing training to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families.  As well as facilitating live events in locations around the province, ACT has a library of on-line videos you can watch for free (log-in is required).

Autism Society of British Columbia:  The Society has on-line listing of resources for families and individuals and supports a Burnaby Parent Support Group.  You can find contact information on the Burnaby group facilitator at the site under Community Groups.

bc211: bc211 is a nonprofit organization that specializes in providing free information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC. Help line services include 211, the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS), the Problem Gambling Help Line, VictimLink BC, and the Youth Against Violence Line.

Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI):  BACI hosts a social music group for young children and their families, a Chinese parent support group, a self-advocate education and social group as well as occasional educational workshops for families and caregivers.  You can find the Events Calendar at the Blogsite.

Burnaby Infant Development Program:  IDP serves children from birth to three years old who live in Burnaby and are at risk for, or who already have, a delay in development. All our programs are “family centered.” This means that you, the parents, decide on what kind of support you need.

Burnaby Family Life:  Offers over 100 programs to members of the community, including parenting classes and parenting support groups. 

Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods: (CAN) is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia.  CAN works to support full inclusion within communities through education, promotion, and advocacy.  Some nice links to recreation resources.

Disability Alliance BC: (formerly the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities) The Alliance is very active in current disability issues as well as hosting a comprehensive on-line library of resources, historical information on disability in British Columbia. The Alliance has a particularly good resource base on BC Disability Benefits (PWD) including comprehensive guides on the supplements available and the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).

Down Syndrome Research Foundation:  The Foundation hosts educational opportunities in North Burnaby for families, children and adults.  There are some free on-line video presentations of previous workshops. Please visit the website for more program and registration information.

Epilepsy Society:  The society has a resource-rich website that features downloadable webcasts of their ongoing Lecture Series as well as timely support tips for every season.  The Society hosts monthly on-line support groups as well as the Lecture Series held at Vancouver Children’s Hospital.

Family Caregivers Network:  This Victoria-based organization has a full schedule of either webinar or tele-learning sessions for BC residents on topics of interest to family members who care for relatives who are ill, aging or who have a disability.  Some recent topics include, Empathy: A Key Skill for Family Caregivers, The Reluctant Caregiver and Self-Nurturing for Family Caregivers. The webinars are facilitated through the national organization The Caregiver’s Network.
Toll free Family Caregiver Help Line:  1.877.520.3267  We are available Mon – Fri:  8:30am — 4:00pm

Family Services of Greater Vancouver:  Provides affordable family councelling services to Burnaby families.  The program is designed to ensure that everyone who needs counselling, gets counselling. Fees for service are charged on a sliding scale based on household income. For those who don’t qualify for subsidy, fees are set between $75 – $125 per session.  Waitlist is 3 – 4 months. 

Family Support Institute (FSI):  Directed by families, the Family Support Institute works to bring families together to share their expertise, joys and challenges and the special understanding of having a son, daughter or family member with a disability. Support is available by phone, at community events or at workshops.  Click on the Resources link to subscribe to information newsletters and bulletins.

familyWORKs:  familyWORKs believes that families have the power and responsibility to lead the way in strengthening the participation of people with disabilities in our economic community. Click on the Chapters tab to find out about near by groups.  familyWORKS is a project of FSI.

Here to Help:  HeretoHelp is a project of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information.  Here to Help is a group of seven leading mental health and addictions non-profit agencies that have been working together since 2003 to help people live well and better prevent and manage mental health and substance use problems.

Inclusion BC:  Inclusion BC’s mission is to advocate for children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and their families to ensure justice, rights and opportunities in all areas of their lives.  In the family section on the website Inclusion BC has resources and links to many resources valuable to families including information about Inclusive Education, Dual Diagnosis, Inclusive Recreation and financial planning.

Kids In Burnaby:  The Burnaby Early Childhood Development Community Table is an intersectoral committee that is comprised of key stake holders in the ECD community in Burnaby. The Committee publishes a simple brochure to help families find appropriate child care in Burnaby and a regular newsletter with things to do with young children in Burnaby and sector news.

Kinsight: Kinsight has a wide range of parent support opportunities including support meetings and educational workshops which often take place nearby in Coquitlam.  Click on upcoming events for the full calendar.

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre:  BC’s mental health education resource for children youth and families has an on-line archive of educational workshops and presentations from their Pinwheel Education series.   Previous topics have included everything from Parenting and Video Games to IEPs.  Please visit the website for more information on the series.

Literacy Now Burnaby:  Literacy Now Burnaby is committed to building and enhancing literacy services, programs and networks in line with recommendations in the Burnaby Literacy Plan. Some nice resources including how to write in clear language.

Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society:  While based in Surrey, the Society does host Parent Education and Networking events occasionally in Burnaby.  Please subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest event listings:

MOSAIC:  Offers settlement services to a wide range of newcomers in the areas of employment, language and family needs.

NIDUS: Nidus provides information to British Columbians about personal planning, specializing in Representation Agreements and also operates a centralized Registry for personal planning documents.  The site is very user-friendly if you wish to create your own documents.  NIDUS also hosts monthly webinars that give you the opportunity to learn in more detail about personal planning documents and ask questions.

PLAN:  Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network has a full schedule of learning opportunities convenient to Burnaby families, including Wills, Trusts & Estate planning, RDSP Information and Building Personal Networks.  Please visit their website and click on “attend a workshop”.  Both in-person and tele-learning opportunities are available.

posAbilities:  Hosts an regular parent support group aimed at families who have adult family members with a developmental disability.   The group meets monthly in Burnaby. If you would like to RSVP and receive an agenda, please contact the Family Services Coordinator at or call (604) 299-4001 extension 270.

Spotlight on Mental Health:  This peer-run site is for the people who use mental health services and their friends, families and supporters.  There is a wide range of information about local education events and support groups for individuals, family members and caregivers.

Support Worker Central:  Finding compatible support workers to assist you or your family member with a disability can be challenging. Support Worker Central is an online database designed to match individuals, families and agencies with support workers in their communities. Support Worker Central is a project of FSI.

Tax benefits for British Columbian families:  The Canada Revenue Agency has a web video series outlining all available tax benefits for people with disabilities and their families.

Vela: Provides information and mentoring to individuals with disabilities and their trusted others who are looking for customized, inclusive and creative supports and services.  Their particular areas of expertise are forming a Microboard™ and accessing Individualized Funding from CLBC.

Yoyomama: This website (they also have a phone ap) compiles family-friendly events around the lower mainland.  Want to find out about any holiday-themed events? This is your go-to site.

MORE:  If you have a resource that you believe would be of benefit to families who have a family member with a disability and is easy to access by Burnaby families, please send your link to Rachel @