Ontario launches pilot project for children and youth with complex needs

HAMILTON — Ontario is launching a pilot program at three children's hospitals to offer more services to kids with complex needs, such as developmental and intellectual disabilities and mental health concerns.

The government says it is spending $97 million over three years on the project at the McMaster Children’s Hospital, the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

The program is intended to connect families to a team of health-care professionals, including doctors, social workers and behavioural consultants.

The team would then collaborate to offer services such as adjusting medications, implementing behaviour support plans, doing mental health assessments and counselling.

Hospitals and local agencies working with children and youth with complex needs are set to identify kids who are eligible for the program, and the government says families can also inquire about it through their service providers.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones says this new and innovative pathway for treatment will help children with complex needs access care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2023.

The Canadian Press