Ontario improves the quality of care for people with developmental disabilities

Archived Release

Ontario improves the quality of care for people with developmental disabilities

TORONTO, May 31 /CNW/ - Advocacy groups and developmental services agencies today applauded the government's ground breaking commitment over five years to help people with developmental disabilities.
Following on the Ontario Budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Community and Social Services Minister John Baird today announced a multi-year plan consisting of $55 million this year, growing to $197 million annually to enhance services and attract more quality caregivers. Baird also announced the government will be providing $67 million over five years to create more places for people with developmental disabilities to live.
"This is the single largest investment ever made in developmental services in this province's history and an unprecedented demonstration of the government's commitment to protect and support vulnerable people," said Baird. "This new funding reflects our long-term approach to respond to what individuals and their families, advocates, and people who work with people with developmental disabilities have told us is needed for people with developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible in their own communities."
The new funding will bring provincial spending for people with developmental disabilities and their families to over $1 billion this year.
"It is our duty as a government to care for the most vulnerable people in our society," said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. "We have made it a priority to commit to a level of funding that will significantly improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families in this province."
Speaking at Surrey Place Centre, Baird provided highlights of how this year's funding will be spent. It will be used to help people with developmental disabilities in three key areas:

- $31.7 million to support developmental service agencies to attract more
quality caregivers;
- $12.8 million to enhance a range of community services to support
individuals and their families, including Special Services at Home, day
programming, and out-of-home respite;
- $7.3 million to support new places to live in the community for people
with developmental disabilities, including adults who are currently
living at home with aging parents.

On top of the $67 million announced in this year's budget to create more places to live for people with developmental disabilities, the Minister announced today an additional $8.6 million to flow in the next few weeks to start this process immediately.
The Minister also restated his $20 million commitment to expand the Early Intervention for Autism program and $3.4 million to extend eligibility to age five for the Infant Development Program.
"This new funding from the Ontario government will go a long way to improving the quality of care for people with developmental disabilities in the province," said David Barber, president of the Ontario Association for Community Living. "These additional resources will improve the ability of our agencies to continue to provide quality supports and services."
The government consulted with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, as well as developmental service agencies, provincial organizations and advocacy groups to determine what services and supports were most needed and how funding could be used most efficiently.

Backgrounder
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DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES BACKGROUNDER

Providing support for vulnerable people

Providing services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families is an important responsibility and a priority for this government.
The Ministry of Community and Social Services provides funding for a range of services and supports for people with developmental disabilities. Services are delivered largely through community-based agencies that provide supports to help adults live independently, to help families care for adults and children at home, and to help people contribute to and participate in their communities.
Since 1974, the government has encouraged independence and self-direction for people with developmental disabilities by making it possible for them to move out of institutions into community settings.
Currently, an estimated 48,000 children and adults receive developmental services and supports in their own homes or in a supported community environment.

Investing more than ever before in services and supports

The Ministry of Community and Social Services is embarking on a long-term approach to improve services and enhance the independence of people with developmental disabilities with the single largest investment ever made in developmental services in Ontario.
Flowing from this year's Ontario budget, the government will spend an additional $55 million this year -- growing to $197 million by the year 2006- 2007 -- to expand services for people with developmental disabilities and to attract more quality caregivers.
An additional $67 million over the next five years will be used to build new places in the community where adults with developmental disabilities can live.
In 2001-2002, the Ministry will spend an additional $55 million on a range of new services and supports, including:

- $31.7 million to support developmental service agencies to attract more
quality caregivers;
- $12.8 million to enhance a range of community services to support
individuals and their families, including Special Services at Home, day
programming, and out-of-home respite;
- $7.3 million to support new places to live in the community for people
with developmental disabilities, including adults who are currently
living at home with aging parents.

In addition, it was announced that $67 million will be spent over the next five years to build more places for people with developmental disabilities to live in communities.
On top of the new money flowing from the Ontario budget, the government also announced it will increase funding for the following:

- $20 million to expand autism programs in order to increase access to
early intensive behavioural intervention services for children with
autism aged five and under;
- $3.4 million to extend up to age five eligibility for infant
development services currently available to assist children aged zero
to three who are at risk of delays in development or diagnosed with a
developmental disability; and,
- $8.6 million in capital funding to flow in the next few weeks to jump
start the construction of more places for people with developmental
disabilities to live in the community.

The new funding will bring provincial spending for people with developmental disabilities and their families to over $1 billion this year.

Disponible en fran├žais
For more information visit http://www.gov.on.ca/CSS.
For further information: Dan Miles, Minister's Office, (416) 325-5215; Dianne Lone, Ministry of Community and Social Services, (416) 325-5156