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Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel’s Recommendations Welcomed by Hands

Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel’s Recommendations Welcomed by Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca

On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) released the Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel (Advisory Panel) Report, providing recommendations for a sustainable, needs-based Ontario Autism Program. At Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca (Hands) we have always believed strongly in providing services that meet the needs of families. We acknowledge the thoughtful work of the Advisory Panel to provide recommendations that reflect the needs of children and youth with autism, and their families in our communities, including our Indigenous and Francophone families.

“As a Northern Ontario service provider, we appreciate the support of the Advisory Panel to provide services that represent the unique challenges facing families in Northern communities, including those in rural and remote areas,” said Paul Laperriere, Interim CEO, Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca. “The Advisory Panel has specifically identified the need for technology to effectively build capacity for service delivery in the North. For several years, Hands’ service model has leveraged digital technology as a way to reach families and provide ongoing support.  We look forward to continuing to provide accessible services as part of a Northern solution.”

Hands, as the Lead Agency for Child and Youth Mental Health in Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound, also supports the Report’s emphasis on the importance of mental health treatments for children and youth with an autism diagnosis. At Hands, we continue to integrate our autism, mental health and early intervention services to provide families with the appropriate treatment in support of their family journey.

Hands remains committed to providing autism services to families in our communities. Throughout this transition, we encourage families to call our Family Service Coordinators for a personal consultation and to create an individualized plan, by calling 1.800.668.8555 ext. 1333 or emailing autism@handstfhn.ca.

We look forward to continuing to work with MCCSS to implement strategies based on the Advisory Panel’s recommendations and to continue delivering needs-based services to children, youth and families across the North.