Children and Youth with Special Needs

COVID-19 update: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact every aspect of Canadians lives. In recognition of this, we have extended the response deadline for the Employment Supports RFP by two weeks. The deadline is now: Friday, April 3, 2020.   

RFP Opportunity to address BC Ministry of Children and Family Development Research Evidence Needs

MSFHR has issued a request for proposals to support the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development’s research evidence needs. The closing date is 4 p.m. PST, Friday, April 3, 2020.

Employment Supports: aims to address the topic area of employment supports for youth with barriers (i.e., mental health and/or substance use).


In 2005, MSFHR supported the Government of British Columbia in a multi-ministry initiative to enhance services to children and youth with special needs (CYSN). MSFHR provided facilitation and support for a number of projects, including an inventory of related research, an environmental scan of best practices for knowledge translation, plans for two pilot projects to evaluate service delivery practices, and a national conference. The government of BC subsequently published a framework for action.

In 2017, a provincial cross-ministry Working Group engaged with MSFHR to explore how the Foundation might support the Working Group’s evidence needs relating to CYSN. Three topic areas were identified as priorities:

  1. Early intervention services for children who have or who are at risk of developmental delay or disability.
  2. Respite services and supports for families of CYSN.
  3. Employment supports for youth with multiple barriers with a focus on mental health and substance use.

Three task groups were struck comprised of government representative(s) and two or more Canadian researchers with expertise in the relevant topic area. Each group recommended commissioning a suite of research “products” – an integrated set of activities they considered might be of most value to inform policy development and service delivery planning in their respective topic area.

In October 2018, the cross-Ministry Working Group accepted the recommendations and commissioned MSFHR to proceed with implementing them over the next two years.

MSFHR will serve as the governing and oversight body for the initiative, which will see contract service provider(s) engaged to deliver an integrated suite of research and knowledge translation/mobilization activities for each of the three topic areas. 

Director, Knowledge Translation