ODEN Executive Director, Joe Dale, and ODEN Employer Champion League member, Mark Wafer, were invited to a pre-budget event in Hamilton this morning where MCSS Minister McMeekin just announced $810 million in funding over the next three years.
If approved, this will be the largest spending bump in history for the Developmental Services sector. Five priority areas were discussed for allocation of funding:
1. Support for elimination of wait lists for direct funding programs such as ‘Passports’ and ‘Special Services at Home’
2. Support for life transitions, particularly leaving school
3. Support for improvements in Residential Care, providing 1400 new residential spots
4. Supporting and promoting innovation and community partnerships, by:
5. Expanding Host Family Program and Supported Independent Living
6. Providing support for employment opportunities such as pre-employment training; and, employer awareness as young adults leave school and look to enter the job market
7. Providing and supporting innovative partnerships that lead to shared community living solutions and cost efficiencies
8. Support for front-line workers providing community services
Please keep in mind that all of these changes are dependent upon the budget being passed in the legislature.