NAVIGATING THE CHANGE TO ADULT SUPPORT SERVICES
The changeover to adult support services can be confusing for families as adult children near eighteen years of age. Children’s services and supports are often very different from the adult system.
The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services – MCSS – is the funding body for Adult Developmental Services. Visit their website here.
DSO eligibility criteria:
- 18 years of age or older (can apply at 16)
- be a resident of Ontario and have a developmental disability
- individual must meet percentile criteria for cognitive and adaptive functioning (as documented in psychological assessment)
- reviews situations for urgent needs and refers accordingly
- confirms eligibility, completes an Application Package to determine each individual’s service/support needs
- provide information about available resources
- links eligible individuals to available MCSS funded services and supports
- Between the age of 14 to 16 years
- At the age of 16 years
- At the age of 17.5 years
- At the age of 18 years and older
- psychological assessment that indicates diagnosis
- adaptive and/or cognitive functioning assessment
- full scale IQ
Inform the psychologist that you are applying to the DSO. They will know what is needed to establish DSO eligibility.
- Gather your child’s previous assessments and school reports, as well as their IEP and ITP reports
- Apply for a Social Insurance Card, Birth Certificate and Ontario Health Card for your child
- adaptive/executive functioning abilities
If your child is found not eligible, a new psychological assessment (if the one originally provided was older), may help in meeting the requirements. Contact the DSO in your area to find out more information. If eligible, the DSO will contact you to complete an Application Package. They will provide information about the funded services and supports available to you and explain each option in detail with you. The Application Package includes a SIS (Supports Intensity Scale) to determine what your child’s current support are and what future needs may look like. The scale helps match the person to adult services as they turn eighteen. Some of the available supports and services for adults are:
- Residential Supports (Supported Independent Living, Group Home, Host Family Home)
- Caregiver Respite (if the person is living at home with family)
- Community Participation (Day Programs, Supported Employment/Volunteer programs)
- Passport Program (funds to access the community or receive support to develop self help skills, learn after high school or job readiness)
- Adult Protective Service Worker (a case worker who would assist an individual on a limited basis when living independently)
- Behaviour Management Services
Now is also a good time to start thinking about a Substitute Decision Maker or Public Guardian and Trustee for your adult child.
- your personal information (identification, etc)
- information about members of your household
- your household’s housing costs and other shelter-related costs
- your household’s income and assets
ODSP will provide you with a package of information to complete and send in before the individual is deemed eligible for ODSP. A youth that has been found eligible for adult services by the DSO (typically at 16yrs of age), can provide the letter of eligibility to ODSP in order to bypass the medical documentation needed to qualify. If a youth is not eligible for adult services via DSO, a doctor will be needed to complete the medical information required for the ODSP application.