March 7, 2017

Ontario Increasing Support for Adults with Developmental Disabilities who have Complex Needs

Province Working to Make Services Better for Those Who Need Them Most

Ontario is improving supports and services for adults with developmental disabilities who have complex and multiple needs.

Beginning this spring, Ontario will introduce three new measures to help improve the lives of adults with complex needs - for example a framework for adults who have both a developmental disability and a mental illness to ensure they can access the supports they need, including:

  • A refreshed mandate for the Community Networks of Specialized Care will help agencies across the province coordinate services for people with developmental disabilities. These agencies will bring together professionals in various fields — including health, and justice — to coordinate access to quality services for these individuals. The refreshed mandate   includes a specific role for complex support coordinators, who will focus on addressing the needs of these adults.
  • Cross sector engagement on a new Dual Diagnosis Framework. This framework will address the need for greater coordination and integration of health and developmental services supports for individuals with a dual diagnosis.

  • Guidelines for supporting adults with developmental disabilities and Long-Term Care Homes. The guidelines will assist individuals when applying for, transitioning into and living in a long-term care home by improving knowledge, planning and service coordination between the developmental services sector and the Long-Term Care home sectors.

Improving access to services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities who have complex and multiple needs is part of the government’s plan to linking people with appropriate supports and services in their community.


“Our government is taking action to address gaps and challenges in the developmental services system to protect adults with developmental disabilities that also have complex and multiple needs. These initiatives also reflect our overall approach to our vision of an inclusive, individualised and person-centred approach to serving some of the province’s most vulnerable people.”
- Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services

“I’m pleased to partner with Minister Dr. Jaczek on supporting adults with developmental disabilities who have complex and multiple needs in removing barriers to the services they require. These important initiatives are part of Ontario’s plan to transform our mental health and addictions system to best ensure that everyone in need receives access to high quality care that is accessible and equitable.”
- Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Quick Facts

  • The Community Networks of Specialized Care are in five Regions across Ontario to help increase coordination of supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. There is awareness that there are some adults with developmental disabilities with complex and multiple needs that would benefit from increased coordinated supports within and across sectors.
  • Ontario recently released new measures to provide faster access to mental health services for thousands of people, which responds to advice from the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council’s second annual report, Moving Forward: Better Mental Health Means Better Health.

Learn More

Lyndsay Miller, Minister’s Office, 416-325-5450
Kristen Tedesco, Communications, 416-325-5178