Progress Report on Investment in Developmental Services
As approved in the 2014 Budget, the Ontario government is investing $810 million over three years to significantly strengthen community and developmental services, and continue system transformation so that people with developmental disabilities can live as independently as possible in our communities.
Eliminating the Waitlist for Children’s Direct Funding
The government has eliminated the 2014 waitlist for the Special Services at Home program in just eight months, far ahead of the commitment of two years in the 2014 Budget. Special Services at Home helps families pay for services in the family home or in the community for children with a physical or developmental disability.
The Passport program provides funding to help adults with a developmental disability to develop new skills, make the transition from school to the workplace and participate more fully in their communities. Since last fall, 6,000 people have been approved for new Passport funding, almost half the Budget target of 13,000, which was expected to take four years.
Increasing Housing Supports
Ontario continues to provide supports for urgent residential needs - 525 adults have now received new residential supports through the Budget commitment of 1,400 new residential supports over four years.
The Developmental Services Housing Task Force, appointed by the government, has started its work to recommend innovative housing solutions for adults with developmental disabilities. The task force launched a proposal call on March 13, 2015, to develop innovative housing solutions. The Housing Task Force will recommend the best ideas be funded as research and for demonstration projects.
Developing Innovative Community Partnerships and Ensuring Quality Services
In February 2015, the government committed $8 million for 38 local projects under the new Developmental Services Employment and Modernization Fund. These local projects will promote employment in the community for adults with developmental disabilities, and support person-centred and sustainable services.
Supporting Front-Line Workers Who Provide Community Services
The Ontario government accepted a recommendation from employer and union groups on the distribution of the 2014 Budget investment of $180 million over three years for low-wage, frontline workers in the developmental services sector. In early March, agencies were advised of their allocations.
Helping Connect Adults with Facilitators
Beginning in April 2015, the government will provide funding to the Ontario Independent Facilitation Network and seven partnering organizations to provide independent facilitation and planning to almost 1,100 adults with a developmental disability over the next two years. The project will help people with a developmental disability plan for their futures and major life transitions, and connect them and their families with broader community supports. The effectiveness of this service will also be evaluated as well as the possibility of making it available to more people in the future.