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Ontario Releases New Requirements for Host Family Program

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Ontario Releases New Requirements for Host Family Program

Province Making Homes Safer For Adults With Developmental Disabilities

Ontario is releasing new requirements to increase the safety and security of adults with developmental disabilities who choose to live with a host family.

The province's Host Family Program enables adults with developmental disabilities to live with people who can provide care, support and supervision in a family setting. The program is one of a range of housing options available to adults with developmental disabilities to help promote independence and inclusion in their communities.

The new requirements are the result of extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and are consistent with several of the jury recommendations from the recent coroner's inquest into the death of Guy Mitchell, a Hamilton-area man with a developmental disability. Ontario is also creating a new working group and asking other stakeholders to consider the remaining jury recommendations in order to further improve safety for adults with developmental disabilities.

The requirements, which will come into effect on April 1, 2016, are being released now to give agencies a final chance to provide feedback and plan for implementation. The rules will strengthen the way agencies screen, select and evaluate host families and will ensure that the Host Family Program is delivered consistently across the province.

Improving housing options for adults with developmental disabilities supports the province's commitment to build stronger and more inclusive communities.

Quick Facts

  • About 67,000 adults have developmental disabilities in Ontario. About 18,000 adults receive residential supports, including the more than 1,500 adults who live with host families.
  • About 90 of Ontario’s 370 developmental services agencies administer the Host Family Program.
  • Ontario is investing $810 million over three years to support the transformation and modernization of developmental services, including up to $6 million over the next two years for innovative housing solutions for adults with developmental disabilities through the Developmental Services Housing Task Force.

Additional Resources


“The Host Family Program plays an important role in the fabric of residential supports for adults with developmental disabilities. The program gives individuals the opportunity to live in supportive family environments and feel more included in their communities. Implementing new requirements will help make the program a safer option for individuals.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek

Minister of Community and Social Services

“Host families open their homes to adults with developmental disabilities, giving them a place to live in their community and enhancing their opportunities to connect and contribute. We are proud to be working with the ministry to make this unique program better and safer for the individuals and families who participate in it.”

Anne Manley

Chair, Family Home Program Provincial Coordinators’ Association

Media Contacts



Health and Wellness Home and Community Law and Safety Children and Youth Parents People with Disabilities