About Us

Our Mission

The mandate of the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre  is to provide education, support, and assistance to British Columbians with personal planning for the purposes of:

  1. Enabling adults, who need help with decision making NOW due to a disability from birth, an injury or illness during childhood or a disability during adulthood (advanced dementia, serious stroke, resident in long term care,…), to use Representation Agreements under section 7 as a legal alternative to adult guardianship/Committeeship, AND
  2. Enabling adults who want to make a Representation Agreement under section 9 and related planning documents in the event of FUTURE mental incapacity due to illness, injury, or disability.

The Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization and was incorporated in 1995 as the Representation Agreement Resource Centre (RARC).

Nidus/RARC was founded by individuals and community groups who were involved in the community-based reform of  British Columbia’s adult guardianship legislation. The intent was to ensure the public had a resource for information on Representation Agreements (a BC law) and other personal planning tools. The founding groups were the Alzheimer Society of BC, BC Association for Community Living, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities, Council of Senior Citizen’s Organizations, Family Link, and Network of Burnaby Seniors.

In 2008, RARC changed its name to the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre to better reflect the broadening scope of its work as a resource centre, which had expanded beyond just Representation Agreements. Nidus is a Latin term for nest, a symbol of safety, support, and self-development.

Nidus is currently the only community-based resource in Canada devoted to personal planning. Its existence sets British Columbia apart as a leader in addressing the critical needs of an aging population.

Nidus is the expert on Representation Agreements. Some refer to Representation Agreements made under section 7 as a legal model for supported decision making.  B.C.’s Representation Agreement Act inspired Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (2008) which calls on governments to implement legislation that ensures all adults receive support with decision making without the need to take away or restrict their rights as happens under adult guardianship. The Convention was ratified by Canada in 2010.

The Nidus Resource Centre serves the entire province of British Columbia and is located in Vancouver.

The Nidus Resource Centre provides, as funding allows::

  • public legal education on personal planning and related matters.
  • Representation Agreement forms,
  • training for volunteers and groups.
  • problem solving and coaching in support of best practices for attorneys, representatives and monitors.
  • policy consultation for third parties.

The Resource Centre also operates a centralized Registry, called the Nidus Registry for personal planning documents and other important information and documents in case of a health crisis or other emergency.

The Nidus Resource Centre relies on donations and modest fees-for-services. Over the years, Nidus has received grants from a variety of sources for specific projects but has no ongoing grant funding..

Board of Directors

The Nidus Board of Directors for 2022 includes the following:

Arlene Schouten (President) – formerly Family Support worker with MSA Society for Community Living. Arlene has been involved with the development of the Representation Agreement Act and has helped many individuals and families, including seniors, to make and use Representation Agreements. Arlene is on the Board of Directors of the Community Living Society (CLS). Arlene is an advisor to self-advocate organizations in the Fraser Valley.

Dawn Hemingway (Vice-President) – is an instructor and Professor in the School of Social Work, University of BC (Prince George). Dawn serves on many Boards in the region of the northern health authority. Dawn was co-chair of the BC Government Poverty Reduction Advisory Panel. Dawn was chosen to serve on the Advisory Council for the Seniors Advocate of BC. Dawn is on the Board of Directors of the Community Response Network of BC.

Shelley Lecerf (Treasurer)

Ron Usher

Robyn Humphries

Susan Tolley





Nidus staff, Board of Directors and volunteers at the United Way 2014 Community Spirit Awards dinner.

Nidus is a Latin term for nest: a symbol of safety, support and self-development.

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Nidus is a registered Canadian charity BN 889408332RR0001.

© 2024 Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre. All rights reserved.