Bear Essentials is a lifeline for families

Raising a child who needs specialized health supports requires everything parents can give.  The cost of care for children living with chronic and/or complex healthcare needs is significant.  Without intervention and support, this can lead to financial hardship and may impact the mental health of families.

Bear Essentials is a family support program that assists with the costs of health-related travel and equipment for Island kids. The program is designed for families that struggle to afford the associated costs or that have barriers limiting their ability to access health care or equipment for their child. Learn more here about how we will work to ensure Bear Essentials reduces these barriers to improve health outcomes for children, youth, and their families across Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands.

Bear Essentials is a program accessed through referral only. A health care professional familiar with a child’s needs and family circumstances should complete the online application on their behalf, with the consent of the applicant’s parent or primary guardian.

Eligible applicants must meet all the following conditions:

  • 0 to 19 years old (prenatal up to 20th birthday)
  • live on Vancouver Island or the surrounding islands
  • have a medical condition, health challenge, or disability confirmed by a health care professional
  • require financial support to cover the cost of the item(s) in the application, and
  • have not exceeded the lifetime Bear Essentials maximum of $10,000.

The Bear Essentials application process is now online. If you have any difficulty submitting an application please contact our Program Navigator at 250 940 4948 or 1 833 751 0874

Step 1:

Review program guidelines for eligibility and how to apply. The appendix includes a printable consent form.

Step 2:

Complete the application on behalf of a child or youth in need.

To stay connected with our Program Navigator throughout the application process or for more information about the Bear Essentials Program please contact:

Cheryl Jordan, Program Navigator

Email: bearessentials@islandkidsfirst.com

Telephone: 250 940 4948

Toll-free: +1 833 751 0874

Island kids need you

Thank you for supporting the Bear Essentials program.