Hands theFamilyHelpNetwork welcomes the August 4, 2020, announcement from the honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, regarding the launch of the first phase of Foundational Services for families in the Ontario Autism Program and is ready to help.
“We are proud to be recognized as a leading agency in providing Foundational and Core services to families with children on the Autism spectrum,” said Dr. Karen Grattan-Miscio, senior manager of autism services at Hands. “We recognize that this has been a difficult time for many families with the changes to Autism services compounded by the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement is a positive step and we look forward to working with the Ontario government to continue building capacity for families to support their child’s learning and development.”
Hands supports the creation of a needs-based system and is pleased to be able to help families as a recognized provider of Foundational Services. Foundational Services aim to provide families with tools to work with their child or youth and participate in their ongoing learning and development. Examples include family and peer mentoring, caregiver workshops, brief targeted consultations, transition supports and family clinic and workshop days. Hands has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic and currently offers a number of Foundational Services for families, including:
- Online Autism Clinics Summer 2020
- Online Autism Seminars Summer 2020
- Virtual Autism Consultations Summer 2020
- Caring For Caregivers Virtual Support Group
- Virtual “How To” Learning Series
“It is especially important that the government is tailoring services to regional needs,” said Dr. Grattan-Miscio. “As a Northern Ontario service provider, the area Hands serves is large and diverse both culturally and geographically, with many families from remote rural areas struggling to access needed service.”
Hands is committed to providing autism services to families in our communities throughout Northern Ontario. Families who need service can access Hands’ Autism services by calling 1.800.668.8555 ext. 1333 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.