Ontario budget announces new program to support kids with medical, physical and developmental complexities
April 28, 2022
April 28, 2022, 4:30 p.m. – Three leading children’s hospitals welcome the investment of $32.3 million annually announced in today’s provincial budget for a new program that will support families of children with multiple complex medical, behavioural and social needs.
The Extensive Needs Integrated Pathway is led by CHEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and McMaster Children’s Hospital. The program will provide personalized care and wrap-around services for a subset of the population of children and youth with complex special needs in Ontario who have co-occurring medical, physical and developmental complexities and/or social vulnerabilities.
- “The children and families that will benefit most from this investment live with unimaginable struggles, often having to fight for access to care and to avoid falling through the cracks. Sometimes, they end up making frequent visits to the emergency department or even being admitted to hospital because of the lack of services. Every child and youth deserves to lead their best life with healthier outcomes and simpler journeys. This welcome investment is an important step toward that goal.” - Alex Munter, president & CEO, CHEO
- “We are heartened by this announcement in today’s budget. This new pathway will support those exceptionally complex children and youth who have consistently slipped through gaps in our current system. We can help them and their families get the support they need in a way that is coordinated, comprehensive and caring.” - Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
- “The Extensive Needs program truly puts children and families first. It will make a huge difference for children who require care across multiple streams, and simplify how families interact with a health system that was not designed to meet their child’s unique needs. It will mean more time spent in school and less missed days of work, fewer emergency visits, and reduced wait times for care. Ultimately, parents will spend less time navigating the system and have more time to focus on what’s most important – their child’s wellbeing.” - Bruce Squires, president, McMaster Children’s Hospital.
Integrated Care Pathway = Better Outcomes for Families
Following a comprehensive evaluation of needs to assess eligibility, a multi-disciplinary team of professionals will be available to support clients and families through the Extensive Needs Integrated Pathway. This may include, but are not limited to a neurologist, psychiatrist, developmental pediatrician, clinical psychologist, behavior analysts, social worker or youth counsellor.
The integrated pathway will help streamline the process for families with children and youth living with multiple medical, physical and developmental complexities and social vulnerabilities to access help in support of optimal health outcomes.
The pilot program will support some 1,140 children and youth in Ontario per year.