Our History

We are updating our latest history and most recent activities of SSAHPC. This page is updated as available. Keep checking for more new information on these two(2) Direct Funding programs.

Past Initiatives and History of SSAHPC and some facts about SSAH and Passport Direct Funding programs from 1982 - Present

1982:

Phase I & II of SSAH Initiated


1987:

More requests than funding available


1989:

Liberal Minister John Sweeney announced expansion of the program to adults with a Developmental Disability and to children with a Physical Disability and added $10 million

Provincial Coalition on SSAH formed to advocate for “Sweeney’s Promise” (January)

6000 families using $14 million (January)

Liberal Minister Charles Beer released new Program Guidelines and implements “Sweeney’s Promise”, the $10 million is to be phased in over 3 years (July)

Process and content of new Guidelines completely unacceptable to the Provincial Coalition on SSAH


1990:

NDP elected. SSAH Provincial Reference Group established by MCSS with 3 sub groups to study guidelines, monitor the program and look at future issues.

SSAHPC presented Position Statement focused on 5 Main Issues

1. That the Special Services At Home Program be considered a primary home support option for individuals and families in Ontario.2. That the funding base of the Special Services At Home Program be expanded.3. That an option for longer-term annualized commitments of home supports be provided.

4. That the Special Services At Home Program be expanded to cover other people with disabilities who have home and community support needs similar to those provided through the SSAH.

5. That the Special Services At Home Program ensure that families or Individuals be given the option of controlling the funds allocated under this Program for services to them.


1991:

New Guidelines released, a collaborative effort


1992:

MCSS commissioned an external evaluation of SSAH


1993:

Ministry receives 26 recommendations (best practices) to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and to enhance the consistency of delivery of the program from the MCSS Reference Group/Stakeholders Group and are accepted by the Operations Branch of MCSS (May) (not implemented)

Results of external evaluation of SSAH provided (March)

MCSS Stakeholder Group tables a report on the future of SSAH for the consideration by MCSS Senior Management (October)

SSAH Family Alliance formed to lobby to double the amount of SSAH funding from $26 million to $52 million (November)

SSAH Family Alliance holds successful Fax Campaign throughout the province for lobby effort to increase funds to SSAH

NDP Minister Tony Silipo announced $2 million additional funding, and excluded SSAH from the expenditure control plan

$28 million SSAH for over 9000 families


1994:

MCSS SSAH Reference for SSAH Group (made of stakeholders) met with new Director of Developmental Services, Brian Lowe to discuss implementation of the October 1993 Report on the future of SSAH

Ministry disbanded the MCSS Reference Group. (To date, no action)

SSAH Family Alliance presents two briefs to MCSS:

-“9000 Families Can’t Be Wrong” (April)

-“Families Do It Better” (July)

Families meet with Minister Silipo (July 7,1994)


1995:

Minister Tony Silipo announced $6 million more to SSAH; the program already served 10,000 families with $31 million (press release MCSS January 31, 1995) which meant the total SSAH budget $37 million

MCSS responded to recommendations with improvements – portability to move from one community to another within Ontario, a review and revision of appeal process to ensure fairness & equity along with a timely decision and allowed families administer their own contracts

MCSS provides breakdown of Special Needs Program Funding which included:

SSAH Phase I1995/96 Total Allocation $ 36,764 millionExpenditure $ 36,911 million

1996/97 Allocation $ 35,837 million

PC government elected (September)


1996:

Ministry Directive June 12, 1996 – reapplications will not be guaranteed at the level of support previously approved. – SSAH will be time limited as it was originally intended. Family Alliance raised concern over these issues at the Minister’s Advisory Committee


1997:

SSAH Strategy Sessions held at FAO annual conference April 26/97

$36 million for 13,000 families receiving SSAH according to research from the Government Estimates Book (Winter 1997)


1998:

MCSS had not met with SSAH PC since 1995. SSAH PC participates in reviewing draft of new SSAH application; changes made to language, form structure, eliminated the need for supplementary information requests which families found very tedious. (December)


1999:

MCSS under spent SSAH budget by $905,600 for fiscal year 1997/98

Appeal to the Freedom of Information Commissioner, article The Compass, FAO newsletter (Spring 1999)


2000:

SSAHPC Met With Minister John Baird (December) presented

Position Statement focused on 5 Main Issues

1. That the Special Services At Home Program be considered a primary home support option for individuals and families in Ontario.2. That the funding base of the Special Services At Home Program be expanded.3. That an option for longer-term annualized commitments of home supports be provided.

4. That the Special Services At Home Program be expanded to cover other people with disabilities who have home and community support needs similar to those provided through the SSAH.

5. That the Special Services At Home Program ensure that families or Individuals be given the option of controlling the funds allocated under this Program for services to them.


2001:

SSAH program statistics received by SSAH PC. $56.4 million for 16,900 individuals Total Allocation $59.1 for 2000/01. (Oct 2001)

Session At OACL Conference in Ottawa by SSAH PC, sharing stories, information and best practices. (May)

Changes in Administration: SSAH divested from Southwestern Regional Center in the Southwest region. Local Community Group takes on the administration only of the SSAH program. Ministry retains approvals and allocation functions. (Oct. 2001)

SSAH PC takes part in “A Statement from Ontario Disability Organizations” asking the Ministry to allocate 25% of any new funding directly toward Individualized Funding arrangements.

MCFCS Minister announces new monies to SSAH along with announcement, agency/service revitalization dollars. Exact amount to the SSAH program is unknown as it is part of monies to day programming, and out-of-home respite care. (September)

$4.8 million added to SSAH (2001/2002)


2002:

SSAHPC makes Presentation to Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs highlighting the fact that there was $ 25 million more requested than funded (March 6)

Postcard Campaign to the Premier to increase the funding by at least $25 million to SSAH and to make it a First Choice option. (Spring/Summer)

SSAH Actual 2001/02 year $61M for 18,500 individuals


2003:

Families from Windsor Essex Family Network met with Peter Steckenreiter SW Director at the government’s request to share what families want and need from SSAH (January)

Letter to SSAH PC from Cynthia Lees, A.D.M. for MCFCS ( February 27 )

+ Total SSAH funds $66M for 17,200 individuals

+ That there are 1032 families/individuals on waiting list

Families from Thunder Bay Family Network present petitions to Michel Gravelle, their local M.P.P. for presentation in the legislature (May)

SSAHPC meeting with ADM Andrea Maurice & Myra Wiener, Director of Developmental Disabilities and present Position Statement focused on 5 Main Issues ( May 26)

1. A First Choice Program: That the Special Services At Home Program be considered a primary home support option for individuals and families in Ontario2. Enhanced Funding $25 million more: That the funding base of the Special Services At Home Program be expanded3. Refinement and Streamlining Application Process: That an option for longer-term annualized commitments of home supports be provided; move to a 3-5 year application process; change from deficit language

4. Disabilities are Lifelong: Funding mobility – when individuals move out of the family home; SSAH transition to IF; that SSAH be expanded to cover other people with disabilities who have home and community support needs similar to those provided through the SSAH

5. It’s time for a substantive review of the SSAH Program: It’s time for the Ministry to do a substantive review of the SSAH Program – and time for a broad based stakeholder consultation process – hearing other voices from families and individuals, beyond the ones normally heard through regional offices. Make sure that the ministry acts on recommendations – not like the inaction of 1993

Families from Sarnia-Lambton Family Network hold information meeting re: Father’s Day Fax Campaign and SSAH cutbacks to local families (June)

Families all over Ontario send faxes and letters of support to SSAH PC

Father’s Day Fax campaign to Minister Brenda Elliott (June10-15)

OFFICIAL launch of SSAHPC web site Sept 15, 2003. The SSAH program serves 18,500 individuals and families


2004:

Developed the Bill of Rights for Families who use SSAH in consultation with Family Alliance Ontario


2005:

Received a grant from the Regal Foundation /CACL to carry out “Kitchen Table Talks in London, Toronto and Ottawa
Over 2000 Families on the waitlist for SSAH Support.

Facts received from MCSS for the year 2005-06 . Click here to view the SSAH statistics from 2005-06 in a
letter we received from the Deputy Minister, April 2007

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In 2005/06, the Passport Program was initiated to provide direct funding for a smoother transition for young people and ongoing support for adults with a developmental disability – to participate in the community – once they are no longer in school.

Far more people have been kept waiting – some of them have had no support for years, since leaving school.

2006:

$ 12 M funding added to SSAH . Many families who have long waited finally have received some SSAH support.


2007:

Co Chair and 2 members of the SSAHPC working committee met with Minister Meilleur .
The Co Chairs, Beth French and Alison Ouellette received the Family Alliance Ontario Leadership Awards at the Family Alliance Ontario’s annual conference April 28, 2007.

May 2007 $3 M added to the SSAH program.

SSAH Stats


2008:

SSAHPC releases Position Paper, “ Keep it Simple, Keep it Flexible; 27,000 Families Deserve the Best” January 17, 2008


Facts received from MCSS for the year 2008/09  Click here for a letter of details
We are happy to report the Ministry of Community and Social Services in their new legislation, provides the opportunity for families to receive Direct Funding. We see this as a very positive expansion of SSAH. However, we want to emphasize the importance of SSAH which continues to be an essential program for Ontario families.

Despite the success of SSAH and these new opportunities of Direct Funding without additional funds neither will meet the current needs.

We encourage you to contact your Local MPP to share your SSAH story and the need for additional funding for the program. SSAH is a very viable and effective use of funding for families to enable their family member to live a full, inclusive and involved life in their community.

2009:

$99 M serves 28,637 families with SSAH support
Families meet with the ADM, Alex Bezzina regarding the new protocols initiated in April 2009; SSAHPC believe these are UNFAIR to families
Wait list climbs to 4000 families; families requesting enhanced respite are even on Wait lists !

To contact your Region office for SSAH, Look for the list of Regional Offices on our links page to the provincial government
or our most recent newsletter, Special edition, June 2009.


2011

SSAHPC expands mandate to include advocacy for Passport Funding.

“Shocking Wait list” 9600 families according to the Auditors Report March 31, 2011.
Information : June 21st, 2011. The government has informed us “The SSAH program for adults will be merged with the Passport funding program as of April 1st, 2012”. Current funding levels are committed until March 31, 2013. Therefore as of April 1st, 2012 your SSAH funds becomes Passport funds.

In March 2011, 4,500 people were on the Passport funding wait list; all had been determined to be eligible, but were receiving no money.

The Auditor General reported (on December 5, 2011) that in the 2010/11 fiscal year,
2,700 people received a total of $31Million (or an average of $11,500 each) in Passport funding.
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  • Families are very alarmed because – in reality – new Passport funding appears to be totally unavailable!
  • The Passport waiting list continues to grow.
  • Many more people remain on the waiting list than have ever received Passport funding.
  • Young people with developmental disabilities are not eligible for Passport funding while they attend school.

2012

The MCSS website says: “Passport is changing. Starting April 1, 2012, direct funding for adults with a developmental disability is available through Passport.”
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Passport has become the sole mechanism for direct funding to adults with developmental disabilities and they must apply through Developmental Service Ontario/DSO.

SSAH publishes new Guidelines.

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