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For years, child advocate Irwin Elman has been a voice for the voiceless. That voice has now been silenced

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

… with the Ford government’s decision last fall… tens of thousands of Ontario’s most vulnerable children and youth will lose the sympathetic ear — and advocacy — of several dozen staff dedicated to their well-being. These kids include First Nations children and youth, those seeking or receiving services from children’s aid societies, children’s mental health and youth criminal justice systems and those with disabilities or attending provincial schools for the deaf, blind and developmentally disabled.

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Posted in Child & Family Delivery System | No Comments »

Death knell for basic income: How participants will spend their last cheque

Monday, March 25th, 2019

The goal was to see if regular payments with few conditions would give people living in poverty the security and opportunity to reach their full potential. The project aimed to measure the basic income’s impact on food security, health, housing, education and employment. It was also testing whether a basic income would be a simpler and more economical way to deliver social assistance, a program mired in rules and bureaucracy.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

Children’s agency slams Ford government’s autism funding changes

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Kinark is the only regional service provider — so far — to publicly oppose the changes announced by Lisa MacLeod, minister of children, community and social services last month… Under the overhaul, provincial funding will no longer be administered by nine regional service providers and instead flow directly to families who will use the money to buy therapy from private therapists or publicly funded agencies… A new independent agency to be established in the next year will administer “childhood budgets” to families based on household income and a child’s age.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »

Basic income project improved lives, but ‘now it’s back to the food bank’

Monday, March 4th, 2019

Participants reported less stress and depression, fewer health problems and a greater ability to work, buy healthy food, upgrade their education and secure stable housing… Participants receive their last payment at the end of March — barely 18 months after most began receiving the extra money — and before the government was able to do any followup studies. The project’s goal was to determine whether regular, unconditional payments improve housing, health, education, employment and social outcomes for people living on social assistance or low-wage jobs in an efficient and non-stigmatizing way.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

Questions swirl around therapy at centre of Ontario’s autism changes

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

About one in 66 children in Canada is diagnosed with autism. More than 100,000 Ontarians, including about 40,000 kids, have the disorder… The lack of consultation with adults living with autism has been a longtime concern for Dr. Kevin Stoddart, director of the Toronto-based Redpath Centre, Ontario’s largest mental health treatment centre for adults and youth on the autism spectrum… the mental health of people with autism requires “more focused investigation.”

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‘Humans are suffering’: Axing of basic income pilot project leaves trail of broken dreams

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The Star and other media organizations have documented how participants have been able to eat healthier food, buy warm clothing, move into stable housing and enrol in college… In addition to the court challenge, mayors of the pilot communities, international researchers, the Hamilton and Thunder Bay Chambers of Commerce, 900 medical professionals and the CEOs of 120 Canadian companies have called on both Queen’s Park and Ottawa to continue the research project the remaining two years.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

Provincial cuts leave adults with disabilities ‘hanging on a ledge’

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

Parents unable to manage or co-ordinate their adult son or daughter’s daily life believe the only options are day programs, which cost as much as $35,000 a year, or residential care, that typically runs at $140,000 annually, McGill says. Independent facilitators, however, work with individuals to discover their dreams, interests and goals and connect them with much less costly community resources.

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Posted in Inclusion Delivery System | No Comments »

Autistic teen Miles Kirsh: Province steps in to provide housing

Friday, September 28th, 2012

September 24, 2012
The provincial ombudsman’s office has assured Donna Kirsh that Ontario’s social services ministry is working to find a way to keep her 19-year-old autistic son in respite care until funding for permanent group home care is available… In the meantime, the Barrie-area respite home where Miles has been staying since Sept. 5 has reduced its $400-a-day cost by $80.

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Posted in Child & Family Delivery System | 1 Comment »

Frantic parents search for housing for severely autistic son

Monday, September 24th, 2012

September 22, 2012
[Despite] an additional $25 million for residential services for people in urgent need… the need has likely far exceeded the funds… “This is a provincial, system-wide problem and it is bad in all regions”… waiting lists for residential care are growing daily and many people are falling through the cracks. “Some end up in hospital, long-term care and prisons”…

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Ontario dead last in terms of inequality, poverty and funding for public services

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

August 29, 2012
… according to Ontario’s finance ministry and 2012 budget, the province spends less than any other province on public programs and services. Provincial budget advisor Don Drummond said this is a sign of fiscal prudence and good management. But… Ontarians are paying for this through reduced services and the highest user fees in the country. Last spring’s cuts to social assistance, school closures, cancelled hospital projects, delayed child benefits, eroded social housing budgets and public sector restructuring that will result in “thousands” of lost jobs, will only make matters worse…

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Posted in Governance Policy Context | 8 Comments »

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