Special Needs Strategy Update

February 26, 2015

Huron & Perth Counties, ON – Having a child with special needs may present parents with some unique challenges in getting the services they need. It can often be confusing to know where to turn.

Locally, agencies providing services to children and youth with special needs residing in Huron and Perth Counties have come together to develop local proposals to improve the coordination of services and to integrate rehabilitation services.

“An Ontario where children and youth with special needs get the timely and effective services they need to participate fully at home, at school, in the community, and as they prepare to achieve their goals for adulthood.” (Special Needs Strategy vision)

To achieve this vision, a provincial strategy is being put in place to:

  • Identify children’s needs earlier and get them the right help sooner;
  • Coordinate service planning for children and youth with multiple and/or complex needs; and
  • Make rehabilitation services (speech-language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy) more seamless from birth through the school years.

Coordinated Service Planning will mean that children and youth who have multiple and/or complex needs and their families:

  • Can have one coordinated service plan that is built around their strengths and needs
  • Won’t have to tell their stories over and over again
  • Will have a ‘go to’ person when they have a question about their service plans and someone who is responsible for monitoring the child’s plan and evolving service needs

Integrated Delivery of Rehabilitation Services will mean that children and youth will receive rehabilitation services that are:

  • Seamless from birth through school exit
  • Built around their goals for home, school and the community
  • Delivered in the way and in the place that meets the needs of the child and family

Parents and youth have an important role to play in helping to plan improvements in the coordination of services and the integration of rehabilitation services in Huron and Perth Counties.

Parents of children or youth with special needs who are or were involved with service providers from multiple agencies, or who are or were receiving rehabilitation services, are asked to share their experiences and thoughts. This can be done using an on-line survey which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/huron-perth-parents. By calling 211, parents can ask for a paper copy of the survey or they can arrange for the survey to be done over the telephone.

Young people who receive or who have received rehabilitation services, or who have received services from more than one agency, are also being asked to share their thoughts and experiences. An on-line survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/huron-perth-youth. By calling 211, youth can ask for a paper copy of the survey or they can arrange for the survey to be done over the telephone.

If you would like to learn more about the provincial Special Needs Strategy visit: http://specialneedsstrategy.children.gov.on.ca.

For more information on the development of local proposals and on how input can be provided, please contact huron.perth.special.needs@gmail.com.

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 TO LEARN MORE…
For more information contact Michele Gaynor, Ontario Works Manager, County of Huron at 519.482.8505.

The spokespersons are Mary Louise LaBerge or Nancy Summers, Co-Chairs, Huron Perth Proposal Development Table.

For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)
scronin@huroncounty.ca