Harris government boosts support to people with developmental disabilities

Archived Release

Harris government boosts support to people with developmental disabilities

Ministry of Community and Social Services

TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - Community and Social Services Minister John Baird announced today that agencies serving people with developmental disabilities throughout Ontario will be eligible for increased funding immediately. The funding is part of a multi-year budget commitment to improve the lives of those with developmental disabilities, and attract and maintain high quality staff.
"We want the money getting out to the people who need it most as quickly as possible," said Baird. "A significant portion of this year's funding is going directly to agencies to help them enhance services and attract more quality caregivers."
More than 260 agencies across Ontario will receive $31.7 million to address the challenge of high staff turnover and burnout. The funding will help agencies improve salaries and benefits, and offer more training and staff development.
"This funding recognizes the hard work and dedication of those on the front lines every day working with people with developmental disabilities," said David Barber, president of the Ontario Association for Community Living (OACL). "We are pleased that this government is working to ensure that agencies across Ontario can continue providing quality supports and services."
A total of $12.8 million will be used to expand community services such as Special Services at Home, day programming, and out-of-home respite care. An additional $7.3 million will support new places to live created for people with developmental disabilities.
"We are pleased that the government is listening and responding to the concerns of the developmental services sector," said Sue Dolan, president of Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS). "The new funding will assist in ensuring the continued quality of care for people with developmental disabilities and attracting recent college graduates to the sector."
Baird also announced that $5 million has been allocated for 64 new living spaces for people with developmental disabilities in 11 communities across Ontario. This funding will help address the growing need for living spaces for older children whose aging parents can no longer care for them, individuals with changing and multiple special needs, and young adults leaving the child welfare system.
"Aging parents should not have to worry about the future care of their adult children," said Baird. "Over the next five years, many new living spaces for people with developmental disabilities will be created in communities across Ontario to address this critical need."
In the May budget, the Harris government announced its multi-year plan consisting of $55 million this year - growing to $197 million annually - to revitalize the developmental services sector. An additional $67 million over five years to create more places to live for people with developmental disabilities was also announced.
"Providing support to the most vulnerable people in our society continues to be a priority for our government," said Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. "This plan assures individuals, their families, and others working with them that our commitment is long term."
The new funding will bring spending by the Harris government for people with developmental disabilities and their families to over $1 billion this year.

Contacts:
Dan Miles Dianne Lone
Minister's Office Ministry of Community and Social Services
(416) 325-5215 (416) 325-5156

Disponible en français

For more information visit http://www.gov.on.ca/CSS.

Backgrounder

INVESTING MORE THAN EVER BEFORE IN SERVICES AND SUPPORTS

The Harris government is taking a long-term approach to improving services and enhancing the independence of people with developmental disabilities with the single largest investment ever made in developmental services in Ontario.
Funding will soon flow to local communities to serve people with developmental disabilities and the individuals who provide them with care and support. The funding will grow to $197 million by the year 2006-2007 - to expand services for clients and to attract more quality caregivers.

$31.7 million More than 260 agencies across Ontario will receive
funding for salaries and benefits, training and staff
development.

$12.8 million The ministry's nine regional offices will work with
the developmental services sector to allocate funds to
expand day programs, Special Services at Home, and
out-of-home respite care. Some of this funding will be
used to address historic service pressures that have
been managed on a year-to-year basis.

$7.3 million The ministry will support new places to live for
people with developmental disabilities.

Creating new living spaces in the community

Expansion of community-based group homes is consistent with the government's goal of community living for all individuals with developmental disabilities. There is a need to increase the number of places to live in the community for adults whose aging parents can no longer care for them, individuals with changing and multiple special needs, and young adults leaving the child welfare system.

$5 million Capital funding will flow to communities this year,
allowing for the creation of 64 new living spaces.

The Harris government will invest a total of $67 million over five years to build new places in the community where adults with developmental disabilities can live.

Local breakdown

Brampton Brampton-Caledon Association 5 new spaces $410,000
for Community Living
Kitchener/Waterloo K-W Habilitation 5 new spaces $350,000
Nipissing West Nipissing Association 5 new spaces $275,000
for Community Living
Norfolk Norfolk Association for 5 new spaces $375,000
Community Living
Ottawa TAMIR Foundation 5 new spaces $350,000
Ottawa Service Coordination For 5 new spaces $450,000
Persons With Special Needs
Leeds-Grenville IMPAC Residential Services 5 new spaces $173,000
Bruce Bruce Peninsula Association 4 new spaces $350,000
for Community Living
Peterborough Peterborough and District 5 new spaces $300,000
Association for Community
Living
Thunder Bay OPTIONS Northwest PSS 5 new spaces $250,000
Toronto Toronto Association for 5 new spaces $600,000
Community Living
Toronto Christian Horizons 5 new spaces $627,000
Vaughan VITA Community Living 5 new spaces $530,000
Services

Providing support for vulnerable people

The Ministry of Community and Social Services is committed to ensuring that people with developmental disabilities receive the assistance they need to support their independence and strengthen their families and communities.
The ministry 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.
Currently, an estimated 48,000 children and adults receive developmental services and supports in their own homes or through community programs.
On top of the new money flowing from the Ontario budget, the Harris government has also increased developmental services funding as follows:

- $3.4 million to extend eligibility up to age five 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;

- $8.6 million in capital funding for the construction of more places to
live in the community for people with developmental disabilities; and

- $6 million in annualized funding to the Foundations program for the
creation of innovative day program options for approximately 500
individuals with developmental disabilities who are over 21 years old.

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

Disponible en français

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