TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Leaders from 84 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 umbrella organization Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with
Special Needs (OASIS).
The 2013 OASIS Operating Pressures Survey was completed by 111 agencies,
representing 89% of the province's Developmental Services budget. The
survey examined what costs are increasing, how organizations are
managing increasing costs and innovative methods of cost mitigation.
"Inflationary costs pressures and labour unrest result from a sector now
facing its 5th year without base funding increases. Our services have
been dramatically impacted. These pressures are eroding our ability to
be responsive to the growing needs of families on waiting lists, and
the ability of our staff, to provide the highest quality of care to
vulnerable Ontarians," said, Michelle Marshall, Executive Director of
The Participation House Project (Durham Region), an OASIS member
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
services despite the reduction of staffing.
"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, and the ability of aging
families in my community who continue to support their adult children
as they face their own health challenges," continued, David Ferguson,
Executive Director at Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with a
Development Disability, and Chair of the OASIS Labour Relations
Committee, which coordinated the survey.
The operating pressures faced by service providers compound the
pressures on province-wide waiting lists that are currently estimated
at 20,000 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 costly and unneeded 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
"We've done our part; it's time for the government to do theirs.
Ontarians with developmental disabilities, their families, their loved
ones, and everyone working to improve their quality of life are
disappointed with the current approach to our most vulnerable
citizens," concluded Joris.
Image with caption: "Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (CNW Group/Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131121_C9639_PHOTO_EN_33693.jpg
SOURCE: Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS)
For further information:
For more information about the survey or OASIS member agencies, please contact Jane Joris, Executive Director and President of OASIS at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone c/o Amanda Brown at Community Living South Muskoka, 705-645-5494, ext. 285.