There are three respite service programs that are available across Ontario. “Community Care Access Centres”or CCASs offer services for children or youth who need at least one professional service that can’t be met on an outpatient basis but can be adequately treated at home. CCASs offer a number of Child and Family Services including personal support, physiotherapy, social work and speech and language therapy. If you would like to obtain any of these services, begin by contacting your local CCAS. A Care Coordinator will conduct a needs assess and work with your family to develop a service plan. They will also coordinate any services you require and provide referrals to other community supports.
For more information, please visit: http://www.ccac-ont.ca/Content.aspx?EnterpriseID=8&LanguageID=1&MenuID=55
“Special Services at Home” or SSAH is another government program that operates throughout Ontario. This program provides funding to families for special services either inside or outside the home. The amount of funding that a family receives depends on availability of services, existing supports, and the child’s needs. In order to qualify for SSAH support, a child or children must have a developmental or physical disability and live at home. The first step in obtaining SSAH support is completing a package that is available online: http://www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca/mbs/ssb/forms/ssbforms.nsf/AttachDocsPublish/006-1915~1/$File/1915.pdf
Families receiving funding from SSAH can access services from an organization called CHAPS or “Community Helpers for Active Participation”. CHAPS allows families to post ads about the help they need and to browse ads for available respite workers. To learn more about CHAPS services, please visit: http://www.respiteservices.com/
For more information on SSAH services, go to: http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/about/regionaloffices.aspx
In Quebec, respite services are accessed through CLSCs or “centre local de services communautaires,” which offer referrals and direct services. There many CLSCs throughout the province. For example, to view a list of CLSCs click here: http://www.santemontreal.qc.ca/en/chercher-une-adresse/#clsc or search online for a CLSC closest to using the key words CLSC and your city or town.
For respite services for parents and home care services for child who require assistance with daily living, Services D’aide a Domicile de Quebec is an option. The organization’s website is: http://www.aidedomicilequebec.com/ Please note that it is only available in French at present.
Another potentially helpful organization is “Enfants hanicapes et leur families” which provides assessment, intervention and support services to families with disabilities. Families must first complete an assessment through their local CLSC and then following the results of the assessment they may qualify for funding for respite services from the EHLF. To learn more, visit http://www.etrehumain.ca/fr/soins_et_services/soins_et_services_aux_enfants__aux_jeunes_et_a_leur_famille/ca_ne_va_pas_il_y_a_de_l_aide_pour_tous/enfants_handicapes_et_leur_famille.asp
Ontario families have the option of using their respite dollars to send their child or children to summer camp. Camp Winston (http://campwinston.com/) is one camp that is specifically for children and teens with complex neurological disorders. Another option is Camp Kodiak (http://www.campkodiak.com) which caters to children and teens with or without ADHD, LD and high functioning autism.
For Quebecers in the Montreal area, “NOVA Montreal Children’s Services” may be helpful. To access NOVA’s services, families must obtain a referral form a doctor stating the nature of the child’s disability and the exceptional needs of the child. NOVA will then send a specially trained NOVA Home Health Aide to the family home to provide personal services typically done by the parent. This support is given up to a maximum of 6 hours per week and is based on a support plan developed by a nurse from NOVA.