Ontario’s Ombudsman is calling for a systemic overhaul to help adults with developmental disabilities in crisis.
Paul Dubé says the systemic failure to help desperate families who are unable to care for loved ones with developmental disabilities has left vulnerable people in dire and often dangerous circumstances.
Dubé says in his report that there were more than 1,400 complaints from families of adults with developmental disabilities who are in crisis situations, including being abandoned, abused, unnecessarily hospitalized and jailed.
He says these “extreme and egregious cases” highlight a dire need for greater supports, services and more rigorous monitoring – and amount to “a modern-day version of institutionalization.”
Community and Social Services Minister Helena Jaczek and her Ministry have already committed to accepting and implementing all 60 of his recommendations – including to report back to him on their progress.–
Despite the government’s announcement in 2014 of $810 million over three years for developmental services, “progress has been incremental,” the Ombudsman reports. “There is still marked inconsistency in how limited funds are prioritized and distributed” and families struggle with “interminable waitlist delays,” leaving some so desperate that they have abandoned their loved ones.
Among his recommendations are that the Ministry formally recognize its role in directly assisting with crisis cases, and direct its regional offices and service agencies that adults with developmental disabilities should not be returned to abusive situations or housed inappropriately in hospitals or long-term care facilities.
— Ontario Ombudsman (@Ont_Ombudsman) August 24, 2016