From the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services, Services for Persons with Disabilities:
Executive SummaryTo read the entire report, click here (added to the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services website on Monday, June 30th, 2008).
In November 2006, the Department of Community Services, Services for Persons with Disabilities Program commenced a review of all residential services for persons with disabilities in Nova Scotia. Helen Patriquin, a private consultant, conducted the review under the direction of Mildred Colbourne, Director, Services for Persons with Disabilities Program, and with the assistance of program and regional staff working with persons with disabilities.
The consultant conducted site visits at various residential options and also distributed a questionnaire to other service providers. All information was documented and analyzed in conjunction with departmental resources, especially the program area and the regional offices.
The Services for Persons with Disabilities program area provides residential and other supports to three broad population groups:
Approximately 4,800 individuals with disabilities are provided services and support at this time. Another 400 individuals are currently awaiting services.
- Individuals with intellectual disabilities.
- Individuals with long-term mental illness.
- Individuals with physical disabilities.
This report provides the findings, recommendations and a plan to address the action items, or areas of concern, that have been identified. Major themes were recognized throughout the review and are the focus of this report. These themes include:
This report provides a comprehensive examination of current services and supports for individuals with disabilities. It is with great gratification that we can state that because of the tremendous commitment of staff of the Department of Community Services and the many service providers throughout the sector, the system has been able to serve the needs of individuals with disabilities despite the current limitations. These limitations, however, are at a critical point and must be addressed to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to a range of services and supports that will enable them to live to their fullest potential within their communities.
- Leadership and direction for the program.
- Governance and leadership in the sector.
- Integration and coordination of services and supports.
- Programming and supports for individuals with disabilities.
- Quality and best practices.
- Eligibility criteria and assessment processes.
- Waiting lists and residential options.
- Human resource issues.
- Infrastructure issues.
The plan outlined further in this document details a long-term strategy to address the gaps in residential services and supports for persons with disabilities. These recommendations have been developed following extensive consultation and review of best practices in other jurisdictions, along with current research, such as the Kirby Report (2006). While preliminary costing has been completed at this time, further work is required to specify the funding commitment required on a per year basis to move the strategy forward.
The Department of Community Services would like to thank all of those individuals and organizations that assisted in this review through participation in a site visit, completion of questionnaires, attendance at meetings, and other input. Certainly without this level of participation we would not have been able to move forward.
Investment to Improve Quality of Life for Persons with Disabilities (June 17, 2008)