Navigating Social Services in Manitoba

Navigating Social Services in Manitoba

The Government of Manitoba offers social services to Manitobans who have a physical and/or mental disability. Resources and services listed below can be helpful when you have a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

ASDMB Resource Database

This ASDMB website has a resource database that offers information about autism and disability organizations in Manitoba. The database provides information about the organization, the services and programs it provides, and the area in Manitoba that it serves. To access this database, please click here.

Information for Manitobans with Disabilities

Information for Manitobans with Disabilities is a web-based tool that is located on the Government of Manitoba-Department of Families website. The web-based tool provides multiple fact sheets for Manitobans with disabilities to refer to in order to gain information about services and programs available to them. Each fact sheet acts as a starting guide to help Manitobans with disabilities and their families navigate their way through Manitoba services and programs.

To view the fact sheets on the Government of Manitoba website, please visit:

Children’s disAbility Services (CDS)

Children’s disABILITY Services (CDS) is a Government of Manitoba program under the supervision of the Department of Families. This program assists families who have children with developmental and/or physical disabilities. It provides families with services and programs to support parents, and enhance their child’s ability to grow in their community.


In order to become apart of the CDS program, your child must:

  • Be under the age of 18;
  • Live in Manitoba with their birth, adopted or extended family;
  • Have a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

How to Get A Referral to CDS

Families can be referred to CDS by:

  • The Child Developmental Clinic
  • A physician, developmental pediatrician, or clinical psychologist
  • Self-referral – families can contact CDS on their own and make a referral to have their child entered into program directly. Written confirmation of child’s diagnosis is required.

Your Child is Eligible, Now What?

Once CDS has deemed that your child is eligible for their program, your family will be assigned a Family Service Worker (FSW). A FSW works with families to determine goals and supports needed for their children, provide information and arrange services through CDS or other agencies that may be beneficial to the child. The FSW will be with your family until your child turns 18, or until your child no longer needs services.

Services Provided

Please visit the Children’s disAbility Services website for a complete list of services that your child may be provided in their program.

Contact Information

For more information on the CDS program, you will need to contact the Department of Families office in your area. Please visit the following websites for contact information:

Children’s Therapy Initiative

The Children’s Therapy Initiative began in 2002, provided by the Government of Manitoba and its partners to improve the coordination of therapy services in Manitoba. The initiative provides service to children from birth to 21 years of age who require occupational therapy, physiotherapy, audiology, and/or speech-language pathology services.

Children’s Therapy Initiative provides regionally based services that allow children to get the therapy services they need in their own communities.


Any child from birth to the age of 21 who has an identified developmental concern is eligible for this therapy. The developmental concern can be in areas such as speech, hearing, movement, learning and social development.

Contact Information

To get more information about service intake in your region, please visit the Children’s Therapy Initiative, available at the Specialized Services Children and Youth website

Provincial Outreach Therapy for Children (POTC)

The Provincial Outreach Therapy for Children is a Government of Manitoba Program that has partnered with the Rehabilitation Centre for Children, the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities and St. Amant. The POTC program works to promote independence, functional participation and inclusion in home and community for preschool aged children through therapy services.


In order to be a part of this program, your child must:

  • Be preschool age, or not have entered kindergarten;
  • Be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Services Provided

Therapy services offered are:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech-language pathology

Services are provided in the children’s natural environment, such as their home, preschool, or community center.

For more information about the Provincial Outreach Therapy for Children, contact the following:

Contact Person Supervisor, Outreach Therapy at SMD Director of Community Support Programs, St.Amant Director of Rehabilitation Therapies, RCC
Geographic Area Served City of Winnipeg South East Winnipeg Rural and Northern MB
Telephone 204-975-3265 204-256-4301 204-452-4311

St. Amant ABA Programming

St. Amant directs the Manitoba ABA Program for Children with Autism (MABACA). The MABACA is funded by the province of Manitoba, and it provides intensive ABA treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder. St. Amant offers early learning program activities and school-aged program activities. Each child in the program receives a prescribed number of hours for therapy per week, including time spent with a tutor, a senior tutor, and with a parent. A clinical consultant will supervise all hours spent in program. To learn more about ABA, please visit our “Therapy Options” page.

Contact information
Family Program Support Officer
St. Amant Autism Programs
Phone: (204) 256-4301, ext. 7041

OR visit St. Amant website for more information about their autism programs, available at:

Autism Outreach

Autism Outreach is a departmental service run through the Government of Manitoba.  The service is offered to preschool children diagnosed with ASD in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba.

Autism Outreach uses a DIR/Floortime approach that provides families with a play-based, child-led and flexible model of support for their preschool children with ASD.  An autism specialist will complete an initial assessment and work with the family and a child development coordinator to identify goals and priorities for the child. The Autism specialist then provides training and consultation to families during regular visits, in cooperation with the child development coordinator. The child development coordinator will follow your child throughout Autism Outreach to ensure the child’s service plan and family training is meeting the child’s needs and goals. Autism Outreach programming will continue until services are no longer required, or the child is no longer eligible for programming (usually in the kindergarten year). To learn more about Autism Outreach, please visit our “Therapy Options” page, or contact:

Autism Outreach – Autism Specialist
100-280 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB   R3C 0R8
Phone: (204) 945-2295

Child Developmental Clinic’s Program “Lets Get Started”

The Child Development Clinic runs a program for preschoolers based on the DIR/Floortime model called “Lets Get Started”. The team includes an Occupational Therapist, Social Worker and Early Childhood Educator facilitator. A child in this program receives 6 therapy sessions: 3 play sessions and 3 OT sessions. This service runs out of the Health Science Centre and is funded by the provincial government.

For more information, contact the CDC at:
Child Development Clinic
SSCY Centre
1155 Notre Dame Ave
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3G1
Fax: 204-258-6798

The Relate Program

The Relate Program is offered through the Rehabilitation Centre for Children. The program is open to children of any age with developmental disabilities that limit their ability to speak or communicate functionally. The goal is to train parents to restore the natural guiding relationship that normally exists between parents and children, and to help children learn to think and interact with the world in increasingly dynamic ways.  The Relate program uses RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) as a resource.

For more information, please contact:
Rehabilitation Centre for Children
633 Wellington Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M 0A8
Phone: (204) 452-4311‪‪(204) 452-4311
Fax: (204) 477-5547

To learn more about the therapies on which these MB social services are based, please visit our Therapy Options page.