2013-14 Annual Report

Letter from Executive Director, Ron McCauley

These are indeed challenging times for agencies and families supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and complex needs in Ontario. We are all anxiously awaiting the Ombudsman’s report into the lack of services for people with intellectual disabilities in Ontario. Although the report has yet to be tabled every indication is that it will highlight a sector that is woefully underserviced and underfunded. Earlier this year the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s Select Committee on Developmental Services delivered their final report. In the introduction to this report we read that “the Committee heard repeatedly that individuals and families who need developmental services and supports are in crisis. We heard that after struggling to obtain services and enduring waitlists for years, many families feel pushed to the brink of disaster. Only when they are forced into crisis are they able to access desperately needed assistance. When that happens, others are bumped further down the waitlists.”

It is a well-documented fact that Ontario is in the midst of a housing crisis as it relates to individuals with an intellectual disability. (e.g. Ending the Wait, Sept. 2013; Intensive Housing Model Review for Clients with Developmental Disabilities and Complex Needs, HSC Vision Group March 2014).

Nowhere is this crisis more evident than in the case of individuals who, in addition to their intellectual disability, present with challenging behaviours and complex needs.

These individuals typically challenge multiple services across a variety of sectors, most notably Health, and multiple Emergency Room visits. Furthermore when these individuals find their way into hospital or community treatment beds they are very difficult to discharge to the community. This is largely due to two factors: 1) a serious lack of supportive housing options, and 2) the overall lack of community capacity to service individuals with complex presentations, especially when these needs are unlikely to change over time in spite of behavioural and medical intervention.

It is our mission at New Leaf to provide the resources needed to support these individuals and families, and we are proud of our work toward this goal, but years of underfunding are making this task more difficult to accomplish.

We are encouraged by the fact that the Ministry of Community and Social Services has announced the creation of the Developmental Services Task Force that will actively work to develop a framework for capacity building in the area of housing for people with developmental disabilities. We are also encouraged by the recent budgetary announcement of $810 million to our sector over the next few years. We look forward to working with our ministry partners to ensure that these funds are applied judiciously to serve the people most in need. To this end we have been active players in the work of the Toronto Networks of Specialized Care who with funding from the Toronto Regional office of MCSS and the Toronto Central LHIN recently completed a study and review of intensive housing models for clients with developmental disabilities and complex needs.

You will note from reading the Treasurer’s report that we managed to end this past fiscal year with a balanced budget. We were also able to meet our Pay Equity obligations by increasing staff salaries by approximately 1%.

I am also pleased to report that this year we reached an agreement with Service Employees International Union Local 1 Canada to renew the Collective Agreement. The current agreement will take us through to February 28, 2016.

We are very pleased to report that with one time funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services we were able to successfully install fire suppression sprinkler systems in 5 of our homes, and we have recently been approved for funding to complete the remaining homes this current fiscal year.

In closing and as I review the work of the past year I am once again impressed by the creativity and dedication of our management team and staff who working under very challenging conditions always strive to provide the best possible services to the people we support. It is because of the dedication, vision and creativity of our people that New Leaf has become a very well respected member of the service provide community. I am especially proud of the leadership demonstrated day in and day out by our directors and managers who working with a dedicated and committed staff body continue to make New Leaf a leader in the delivery of residential and day services to individuals with complex needs.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the board of directors for their continued guidance and support to me and to the agency.

  Nowhere is this crisis more evident than in the case of individuals who, in addition to their intellectual disability, present with challenging behaviours and complex needs.

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2013-14 Financial Statements

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