Developmental Services Leaders Meet to Discuss Coming Crisis

Developmental Services Leaders Meet to Discuss Coming Crisis (CNW Group/Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS))

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Leaders from over 165 adult developmental services agencies met today to discuss the results of a province wide study assessing the impact of operating pressures on the developmental services sector. The meeting was part of a province wide session hosted by Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS).

The OASIS survey of 139 agencies examined what costs are increasing, how organizations are managing increasing costs and innovative methods of cost mitigation.

"The data is crystal clear: inflationary cost pressures, labour unrest, and a 4 year funding freeze are rapidly eroding our ability, and the ability of our staff, to provide the highest quality of care to vulnerable Ontarians," said Michelle Marshall, Executive Director.

Participants shared real life examples of the impact their current operating environment is having on services, including the reduction of staffing hours in order to meet provincial directives that maintain service hours despite the absence of staff.

"We're at a crossroads. These pressures are pushing our agencies towards a precipice. It's not just quality of care that is at risk - I worry about the health and safety of our staff," continued David Ferguson, Executive Director.

Funding for the adult developmental services sector has been frozen at 2009 levels compounding the pressures on province wide waiting lists that currently exceed 19,000 vulnerable Ontarians.

"We understand the difficult economic situation facing our province. That's why we've worked collaboratively with the government to identify efficiencies, close institutions, and help return Ontarians to their home communities to be with loved ones, in turn further containing costs," said Jane Joris, President of OASIS.

These steps forward will rapidly become irrelevant if the government doesn't take a strategic look at how to fix the problems created by chronic underfunding.

Ontarians with developmental disabilities, their families, and everyone working to improve their quality of life are disappointed with the government's current approach to our most vulnerable citizens," concluded Joris.

Image with caption: "Developmental Services Leaders Meet to Discuss Coming Crisis (CNW Group/Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121122_C2594_PHOTO_EN_21072.jpg

SOURCE: Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS)

For further information:

For more information about the survey or OASIS member agencies, please visit the OASIS website at www.oasisonline.ca or contact OASIS President, Jane Joris at 519-381-7488 or at oasis@oasisonline.ca.