May 15, 2024

Family Directed Respite Funding (FDR Funding)

The application window is closed for this year. Please read below for our next application details:
Application Window Opens: February 2025
Application Window Closes:  March 2025


Family Directed Respite (FDR) funding is a reimbursement program intended to assist families who are not currently connected to Ministry funded respite or camp programs, to develop and direct their own unique respite plans. Family Directed Respite funding is administered on behalf of the Toronto Respite Network via Geneva Centre for Autism.


Family Directed Respite funding is provided by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to serve as an enhancement for families to access respite services in their communities. Each year, there is no guarantee of the availability of these funds.


Eligibility for FDR funding:

  • Child must be diagnosed with autism (ASD)
  • Child is eligible from the age of 2 until their 18th birthday
  • Child must reside with a caregiver and be a permanent resident of Toronto
  • Families accessing Ministry funded respite programs or Ministry funded camp programs are not eligible.


NOTE: If you have questions about the programs you are currently accessing, please contact them directly to inquire about the funding they receive


FDR funding will cover the following:

Please note, there have been changes for the 2024-2025 funding year. The timing to use the funds remain unchanged. You can use FDR funding for respite services or programs April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025.

  • Camp fees to a limit of $750/week (exceptions may be considered if 1:1 support is included in program cost)
  • Respite program fees to a limit of $150/day
  • Staffing support in a program (camp, respite program, social group, recreational group, specialized class or lesson) to a limit of $25/ hour. NOTE: Workers must be 18 yrs or older and live outside of the family home.
  • Social groups, recreational groups, specialized classes, lessons (piano, swimming, karate, etc.)


FDR will NOT cover:

  • Home staffing support (this is a change from last year)
  • Meals, busing, uniforms, or other costs associated with the program, lesson, or camp
  • Assistive devices or equipment
  • Daycare fees
  • Activity costs (field trip fees, membership fees, etc.)
  • Tutoring, therapy, or therapeutic recreational programs (ABA, IBI, OT, SLP, PT, etc.)
  • Transportation to and from the respite activity
  • Administrative or registration fees
  • Home care or cleaning costs


Important information:

  • There is a limited amount of funding per year to serve many families
  • Eligible applications will be placed in a pool, and applicants will be chosen by lottery selection
  • Lottery selection will not be made until after the application deadline has passed
  • This is a reimbursement funding process. Your costs will be reimbursed once you have submitted a valid receipt of payment for a program or service that has been completed
  • For example, if your child attends camp from July 8/24 to July 12/24, you can submit your proof of payment invoice starting July 13/24
  • If selected, the caregiver is responsible for tracking all monies spent and for invoicing using the forms provided
  • Funds may only be used in the province of Ontario
  • Summer requests must not exceed a maximum of 4 total weeks of support for all services


Required documentation to include with your application:

  • Copy of medical documentation of autism (doctor’s letter, psychological assessment, etc.)
  • Copy of child’s Canadian Birth Certificate or Immigration Status in Canada
  • Proof of address (current driver’s license, utility bill, hydro, internet, rental/lease agreement, etc.)
  • Your address must have a postal code starting with the letter 'M'
  • Signed, witnessed and dated the Release of Information (included in the application package)
  • Signed, witnessed and dated the Family Agreement and Release (included in the application package)
  • All sections of the application must be completed (if any portion of the application is missing, it will not be processed)
  • Please note: All documents MUST be sent annually with each application


Please submit your application via email to
If you have any questions about the application process or eligibility, please email