In response to feedback received directly from families, the government is making changes to improve the delivery of school based rehabilitation services (occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech-language pathology) for children and youth.
These changes will support a more seamless service experience as children start school or move between service providers, in settings that best meet their needs, regardless of where they live or who delivers the services.
WHAT ARE SCHOOL BASED REHABILITATION SERVICES?
The former School Health Professional Service Program will now be referred to as School-Based Rehabilitation Services. School Based Rehabilitation Services (SBRS) include Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech-Language Pathology provided to school-aged children in their publicly-funded school.
The School Based Rehabilitation Services Program (SBRS), including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech-language pathology, aims to ensure that every child has the support they need to fully participate in school.
On January 1, 2019 the responsibility for the existing SBRS program was transferred from the Southeast Local Health Integration Network (SELHIN) to Kingston Health Sciences Centre-KidsInclusive (KidsInclusive) as part of Ontario’s multi-step process to create a more seamless experience for children with special needs. In order to avoid disruption of services for students and families, the SELHIN’s existing contracts with CommuniCare Therapy and Kaymar Rehabilitation were maintained for 2019.
Now, we have reached a point where we have the opportunity to develop a more integrated service delivery model. In order to create this delivery model, Kingston Health Sciences Centre-KidsInclusive has made the decision to directly provide all school based rehabilitation services when the current contracts expire on December 31, 2019. Many Children’s Treatment Centers in the province are moving toward this delivery approach as of January 1, 2020 because of the advantages it provides, such as
• Providing a more centralized and seamless service experience as children transition to school or between service providers
• Greater consistency of service delivery approach across service delivery area
KidsInclusive is well positioned to take the next step towards greater integration of rehabilitation services for children and youth. This is just one of many ways we are working towards creating the responsive model that families have long been asking for.
We will be working closely with families, school boards and partner agencies throughout this important transition. Thank you for your understanding during this time of change. We will be in touch with all affected families to communicate more specific information in December.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please note: FAQ’s will be updated throughout this transition as questions are brought forward from families, school boards and partner agencies.
Why is the School Based Rehabilitation Services model being changed?
The goal of a more integrated delivery model is for children and youth with special needs and their families to access a broad range of rehabilitation services (occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech-language pathology) seamlessly from birth through to the end of school, throughout the calendar year, and in ways and settings that best meet the needs of the child and family.
Beginning in January 2020, Kingston Health Science’s Centre – KidsInclusive (KidsInclusive) will be working to improve the model of this service to achieve an integrated system of delivery; this is something that the families we serve have been asking of us for some time.
How is the new model better for patients and families?
Bringing the services in house enables us to better integrate school based services with current services for early years and school aged children. Currently, some children, youth and families may receive multiple recommendations from multiple care providers. An integrated model offers:
• A more seamless service experience from birth to school exit
• Child, youth and family-centred service
• Access to a broader range of high quality services
• Services delivered in settings that are most appropriate to the needs of children and youth, and as convenient as possible to families
What does this mean for my child?
As we transition, each child’s service plan will be evaluated. It is possible that your child will work with a new therapist in the new year. We will keep all families informed as we continue to carefully plan this transition period.
When will the transition take place?
Current School Based Rehabilitation Services programming will continue until the contracts with Kaymar Rehabilitation and CommuniCare Therapy end on December 31, 2019. There will be a transition period in January as we bring on new staff and spend time orienting both new and existing staff.
KidsInclusive is working closely with families, school boards and partner agencies to ensure that services will be responsive and supportive to the needs of the children and youth being served.
How are families being notified of this change?
KidsInclusive will be communicating with affected families by letter in early October. Therapists are asked to direct families to the FAQ on the KidsInclusive website should they have further questions.
Where can I learn more?
You can learn more about what the province is doing to integrate rehabilitation services at: http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/professionals/specialneeds/strategy.aspx
KidsInclusive/EnfantsInclus is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that students will not experience gaps or disruptions as a result of this transfer. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 613-544-3400 ext. 3175.