Ministry of Community & Social Services
Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities (OADD)
Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals With Special Needs (OASIS)
DEVELOPMENTAL SUPPORT SERVICES
The Developmental Support Program was established to assist individuals diagnosed with a developmental disability and their families. The goal of the Program is to provide a service that will enable these individuals to become full participating members in the life of the community. Services provided are determined by the program participant based upon his/her personal goals. Service users are empowered to determine which services best meet their individual needs. As the service users' needs change, they may re-direct their Case Managers accordingly.
Two of our eight Case Managers are designated to work with Youth aged 18 to 24 years who are transitioning from school to work and from home to independent living.
Some clients of the Developmental Support Services Program require intensive one-to-one training in order to acquire necessary independent living skills. The Lifeskills component of the Developmental Support Program provides this service.
The Developmental Support Services Program has five primary components:
- CASE MANAGEMENT
- EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
- INSTRUMENTAL COUNSELLING
- CRISIS MANAGEMENT
The Developmental Support Services staff (Case Managers) is responsible for overseeing the implementation and monitoring of the plan to meet the service users' identified needs and future goals. This process includes (but is not restricted to) the following tasks:
- To meet with service users and their families in order to confirm and determine present needs and identify future goals and desired outcomes on an ongoing basis.
- To facilitate the meeting of needs and goals through support and/or instruction
- To provide information about and/or assistance in accessing other services and programs so that service users' personal outcomes can be realized
- To recognize that, over time, needs and goals change and services and supports need to be adjusted. A Case Manager's awareness of service user needs, goals, and quality of life values will help them to negotiate and support service adjustments
- To acknowledge the fact that, core to case management is the relationship with the client. This relationship emphasizes trust, openness, empathy, and good listening skills in order to maintain continuity between goal planning and outcomes
- To facilitate open communication lines between service users, service agencies, and care providers in order to limit duplication or identify gaps in service
The Developmental Support Services Program advocates on behalf of individuals and/or their caregiver(s) to ensure that their rights are acknowledged and not compromised. Advocacy may be required when:
- The service user and his/her family unit or support system disagree
- A service user does not receive adequate medical, psychiatric, or dental care
- A service user has difficulty accessing social, health, and/or educational services
- A service user has problems securing appropriate accommodations, vocational programs, and/or employment
- A service user is in conflict with the criminal justice system
Emotional Support is provided to individuals and/or their caregiver(s) as required in all aspects of their lives. Assistance may be given in a number of ways including (but not restricted to) the following:
- Providing in-person support for community appointments, reviews, and/or assessments
- Providing emotional support during stressful life changes
- Providing on-going support to individuals related to inter-personal relationships and social development.
The Developmental Support Services Program provides life skills assistance and/or instruction. This is offered to clients of the program who live independently and may require assistance with:
- Community awareness and orientation (includes bus training)
- Developing basic budgeting and money management skills
- Learning how to access community programs, services, and/or institutions
- Understanding sexuality and sexual education
- Developing a higher level of independence regarding personal hygiene and activities of daily living
- Improving communication and/or social skills
- Increasing safety awareness and developing strategies
The most time-intensive function of the Developmental Support Services Program is that of Crisis Management where service users are assisted in adapting to and/or coping with unexpected change. It is important to note that this component is NOT offered on a twenty-four hour basis and that these unexpected circumstances often interfere with, and take priority over, scheduled appointments. Unexpected events may include:
- Death of spouse, caregiver, or friend
- Change in accommodations or forced eviction
- Loss of job or vocational program
- Change in financial situation
- Conflict with the law
- Psychiatric or behavioural distress
- Involvement with the Children's Aid Society or other family service providers
- Change in medical condition or medical emergency
- Any situation involving health, safety, and security issues that require essential supports to be made available immediately to the service user
ACCESSING THE DEVELOPMENTAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM
Individuals requiring the services of the Developmental Support Services Program must utilize the Central Access and Referral Program located at the Sudbury YWCA. Further information may be obtained by going to their website at www.ywcasudbury.com.
Additional information is available by contacting the Sudbury Community Service Centre Inc.