After the long awaited Paul Dube, Ombudsman’s report was released Wed. Aug. 24th, 2016, SSAHPC members have read this document with tears, anger and frustration. The link for this report is on our web site- News page and FB page.
Please read one parent’s perspective who has said it best ! Please feel free to share this page with other families, your neighbours, relatives and friends. You could even share with your provincial M.P.P.
A Parent’s Perspective – August 27th, 2016
Families throughout Ontario have waited patiently for the Ombudsman’s report, “Nowhere to Turn: Investigation into the Ministry of Community and Social Services’ response to situations of crisis involving adults with developmental disabilities”. During nearly four years Ombudsman staff received about 1,500 complaints from families in extreme distress whose sons and daughters have been failed by a broken system that left them to flounder in hospitals, long term care facilities, homeless shelters and even prisons.
A wise man once told me if I couldn’t figure out what went wrong to “follow the money” and it would lead to some answers. When we try to follow the money at the Ministry for Community and Social Services we find a reduction of regions in the province from 9 to 5 but no decrease in staff. We find millions of dollars spent on what some parents call dehumanizing, tortuous assessments done on individuals every five years with no services or reasonable funding as an outcome. We find bureaucrats willing to place people with developmental disabilities in hospitals at huge expense rather than support that person at home or in his community for a fraction of the price. We find elderly parents trying to create solutions for their children being left unfunded and unheard. We find not-for-profit agencies turning away people because they have no funds to pay for its services. We find a ministry that funds agencies at twice the dollars that it funds an individual living in the family home, to pay for the same supports.
The saddest most shocking part of the report is the telling of stories of tremendous neglect and indifference to the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. One thinks of the mandate of physicians to “Do no harm” and wishes it could be adopted by this bureaucracy. When did it happen that authorities could so easily turn a blind eye to conditions so egregious that they brought hardened police to tears and disbelief regarding the levels of degradation people must live in? So often throughout the report, we are told that it is the police who fight fiercely for better care for individuals and are shocked when met with a bureaucracy that does not respond. Constantly we are told of a ministry that cannot or will not respond to any crisis.
Minister Helena Jaczek has apologized to the individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who have been so terribly hurt by the Developmental Service system. She has promised to act on all the Report’s recommendations. Words are nice, but it is actions that people with developmental disabilities and their families need now. It is too late for some; too late for Guy Mitchell and for many others whose tragic stories have not been told in the newspapers. We are grateful for this report from the Ombudsman. It is long and filled with hours of hard, painstaking work to reveal the facts. Now it is up to the ministry to do the right thing and to do it now. *********