Find answers to commonly asked questions:

Program FAQs

What is this grant program and why is it important?

This program originated in response to the priority to improve maternity care in the Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan. Helping to cover the costs of doula care is important to ensure that Aboriginal families have the choice to work with a doula and are able to access these services without a cost barrier.

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) and First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) are proud to offer grant funding for financial support to go towards prenatal, birth and post-partum doula services for Aboriginal families. Both BCAAFC and FNHA recognize what a special time pregnancy, birth and early parenting is and would like to make sure that Aboriginal families have the appropriate supports that they need to feel comfortable and confident during this journey.

What is the maximum payment amount of the grant?

This grant program provides up to $1,000 of coverage for each pregnancy in a family.

The invoice amount varies as it depends on the doulas level of experience.

Why does this grant program have survey forms? Do I need to fill it out?

It is important to BCAAFC and FNHA to learn from the experiences of women, families and doulas to understand what has been successful in the Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program and to understand how the grant program can be improved.

Feedback from the surveys will help to inform continued discussions about the value and benefits of improving access to doula services and addressing current cost barriers.

Completion of the surveys is voluntary and anonymous.

Family FAQs

Who is eligible to apply?

Families where the pregnant woman or her partner (if applicable) self-identify as Aboriginal (First Nations, Metis and Inuit)

The pregnant woman and her partner (if applicable) must live in BC (and reside either on or off reserve)

This program is based on a First come first serve policy until funds become fully allocated.  

Families who are expected to birth before March 1, 2018.

Families expected to birth after Feb. 28, 2018 will not be eligible to apply within this current 2017-18 fiscal year.  

How do you apply?

The Family must submit a completed 'Family Referral and Registration form'

Families are encouraged to find a doula in their area that suits their needs. This may involve contacting multiple doulas, before finding a right ‘fit’ for the family. The program does not assign doulas for this reasoning. There are certain circumstances where there are limited doulas; If you would like assistance in finding a doula in your area, feel free to contact the BCAAFC Program administrator.

The completed form is to be send via fax, scan or mailed to the BCAAFC Program Administrator.

Women and families can self-refer or be referred by a care provider and/or support organization to the program. We recommend a support organization to be included on the application as they can provide (if applicable) more wrap around services for the family that complement the program.

If you need assistance in filling out the paperwork, please ask a care provider you trust to help or contact the BCAAFC Program Administrator.

What is a doula and how does a doula support pregnant women and families?

A doula provides emotional, physical, and spiritual support for women and families during pregnancy, labour and after birth.

The continuous, supportive care that a doula provides during pregnancy and labour and after birth has a number of benefits, including:

  • Helping women and their families feel comfortable and supported in their decisions;
  • Assist women and families in communicating their decisions with caregivers (such as physicians and or/midwives), as well as supporting decisions made as labor progresses;
  • Helping women and their families communicate their expectations, hopes, and any concerns about the birth of their baby;
  • Helping women find their strength and place of power in giving birth;
  • Helping partners and families feel more confident in being involved and providing support;
  • Helping women have positive birth, breastfeeding, and bonding experiences;
  • Providing basic social and emotional support for women and families following birth, in the home or community;
  • Connecting women and families to additional supports when and if possible; and
  • Building on the role of the traditional aunty, some doulas can assist in honoring traditional and spiritual practices and beliefs associated with maternity care and support the language and cultural needs of the woman and her family.

Doula care has been affiliated with positive outcomes including increased likelihood of vaginal birth, decreased likelihood of interventions during labour such as epidurals, and increased likelihood of the successful initiation and duration of breastfeeding.

How do you find a doula?

Find a Doula in your area:

OR

*IMPORTANT: Not all doulas on the two above websites are pre-approved through our program. Make sure to check with the doula or contact the Program Administrator at BCAAFC before sending in the application.

  • Contact the BCAAFC Doula Program Administrator (Brittany Morgan) at doulasupport@bcaafc.com or 250-388-5522 x205
  • Contact the Doula Services Association's referral line at 1-877-365-5588 (toll-free)
  • Ask your doctor, midwife, nurse or local healthcare provider to assist with a referral
  • Contact your local Friendship Centre

Does an application need to be sent in before doula care is provided?

Yes, to ensure that a doula receives confirmation that the care she will be providing will be compensated, it is important to submit the proposed services and estimated cost in advance for approval before care is provided.

Can the grant provide compensation for services from more than one doula?

Yes, a family can hire the services of more than one doula, keeping in mind that the $1,000 maximum coverage still applies.

For example, a pregnant woman who is traveling to a larger center to give birth may hire the services of a doula to support her birth and when she returns home, she may hire the services of a different doula closer to home to support her during the post-partum period.

Can I apply for only a Post-partum doula?

Yes, a family can apply for only a post-partum doula within 6 weeks following birth. The Doula is required to have post-partum training and experience.

Who gets reimbursed and how?

Doulas are reimbursed directly by BCAAFC.

After the submission and BCAAFC approval of the pre-approval form, doulas are asked to submit the BCAAFC grant invoice for their services to the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres for payment. Unless a family has requested doula services beyond the $1,000 maximum, there should be no financial payments required of pregnant women and their families.

Doula FAQs

Are there any doula requirements to be aware of for a doula to be considered qualified?

Yes, doulas must send in a completed ‘Compensation Pre-Approval Form for Birth and Postpartum Doula Service Providers’.

If the doula has both birth training and Post-partum training and experience, they are required to send in an application for each.

Within this application all doulas are to include copies of doula training certificate(s) and copies of DONA and/or DSA member certification. Also to be included are any related additional training/certificates that would be utilized in their doula services.

  • DONA certificate must include the membership number and a valid expiration date

OR

  • DSA BC must be on the experienced list/web referral list

How do you apply to become a pre-approved doula through the program?

All our doulas are required to be either DONA certified and/or on the DSA BC experience list/web-referral list before applying.

The doula must also submit a completed ‘Compensation Pre-approval Form for Birth and Postpartum Doula Service Providers’.

If you have any questions regarding the approval process, feel free to contact the BCAAFC Program Administrator.

The completed form is to be send via fax, scan or mailed to the BCAAFC Program Administrator.

Once the application form has been reviewed, the doula will receive a welcome e-mail and can start sending in client applications.

As the doula application does have to go under review and have certifications confirmed, please so not attach or send in client applications with your doula application until it has been approved.

Do I have to use the invoice template provided or can I use my own?

The BCAAFC invoice template provided is the preferred invoice format. This includes;

  • Full name of Doula
  • Full name of Client
  • Address: where the doula would like the check to be sent (please include City, and Postal Code). Please include a note if you would like the check to be made out to your business and/or organization.
  • Phone and e-mail
  • Invoice date

Invoices will be reviewed and processed which can take up to 2-3 weeks before a check is issued. An e-mail is usually sent to the doula when an invoice has been received. If you do not hear anything from the program in two weeks following sending in an invoice, please contact the Program Administrator for an update.

How does the doula get reimbursed?

Doulas are reimbursed directly by BCAAFC. Please include a note if you would like the check to be made out to your business and/or organization.

After the submission and BCAAFC approval of the family registration form, doulas are asked to submit the BCAAFC grant invoice for their services to the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres for payment. Unless a family has requested doula services beyond the $1,000 maximum, there should be no financial payments required of pregnant women and their families.

Invoices will be reviewed and processed which can take up to 2-3 weeks before a check is issued. An e-mail is usually sent to the doula when an invoice has been received. If you do not hear anything from the program in two weeks following sending in an invoice, please contact the Program Administrator for an update.

Can I submit multiple invoices during the period of time for each client?

No, a single invoice is only to be sent in following all doula services provided to the family. The only allowance to sending in more than one invoice is if the family works with more than one doula in which the doulas combined invoices are to stay within the $1000. In this case, each doula will still only be required to send in only one invoice.