Welcome to Contact Hamilton
Wait Time Update for Contact Hamilton Children and Youth ACCESS Program:
Thank you for referring to us!
Please note that we are experiencing very high volumes and are doing our best to attend to everyone’s unique needs. We prioritize the most urgent situations first. Please know that when we call you, you will get our undivided attention and we will take the time necessary to understand your situation and the services you need.
While you wait to speak with us, we will share some helpful resources about mental health and developmental resources that you can use right away, including child and youth mental health walk in counselling.
Thank you for your understanding and patience, we look forward to talking with you.
Contact Hamilton is an entry point to services for children and youth with emotional, behavioural or developmental concerns and adults with developmental disabilities. We Provide:
- Information about available services
- Central intake and referral
- Coordination of services
- Planning for the children's and developmental services systems.
Please see below for more information!
Who We Work With
Contact Hamilton works on behalf of children and youth that:
- Have social, emotional, behavioural, psychiatric and/or developmental concerns AND
- Are under the age of 18 AND
- Live in the City of Hamilton
What We Do
Contact Hamilton is the “single point of access” to most children and youth services that are funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. This means that the only way to be referred to these services is through Contact Hamilton. Contact Hamilton is also aware of all community services and supports for children and youth in Hamilton. If you think you may need a service for child or youth, a good place to call is Contact Hamilton.
Contact Hamilton provides the following services:
- We provide information to anyone who calls us about available services and supports in the Hamilton community as well as information about how to access services.
- For people that want to find services and supports and with consent, we will collect information about their situation and needs (we call this an “intake”) and then we make recommendations about the services we think that can be of help. With consent, we will make referrals.
Contact Hamilton also does the following:
- Works with agencies to coordinate waiting lists so that access to services is fair and based on need
- On behalf of the community, we host the Residential Placement Advisory Committee (RPAC). RPAC is a process where the community reviews the placement of children and youth who are temporarily living outside of their home in a facility that has more than 10 treatment beds. This is a requirement under the Child and Family Services Act.
- Provides information to the children's services system (service providers) and the Ministry of Children's and Youth Services to help with system planning.
Who Can Call Us....
For General Information
Anyone can call us if they want information about what services and supports may be available for children, youth and their families in Hamilton or for information about how to access services. Consent is not required for general information requests. We receive lots of information requests from youth, families, service providers, physician's offices, other government offices etc. Everyone is welcome.
To Request Services
Anyone can refer a child/youth to Contact Hamilton for services and supports as long as they have appropriate consent to do so.
- If you are referring a youth aged 16 years of age or older, consent is required from that youth.
- If you are referring a child or youth under the age of 16 years, consent is required from their legal guardian.>
- Youth aged 12 years or older can request counselling services without the consent of their guardian if they wish – this is outlined in the Child and Family Services Act.
Who Can Provide Consent?
If anyone other than the youth 12-15 years of age is requesting services for the youth, then consent must be provided by the legal guardian (or designate) of the youth.
- Where the youth's parents are living together and raising their children together, either parent may provide verbal consent.
- Where the parents are living separately and apart, Contact Hamilton is required to collect written documentation in order to determine from whom consent is required. An intake appointment cannot occur until this document is received and reviewed. The Intake Coordinator will help determine what kind of documents are needed (court orders, Separation Agreements, Letters of Permission, etc).
- Where the parents are living separately and apart, and there is no custody order or separation agreement in place, Contact Hamilton staff will determine from whom consent is required by taking into consideration the current living arrangements and situation of the child.
How to Get In Touch With Us
If you need information or would like to find services and supports, you can reach us in the following ways:
Mail or in person:
Contact Hamilton for Children's and Developmental Services
140 King Street East, Suite 4
How We Help
First time callers and people that are not registered clients with Contact Hamilton will speak with an Intake Coordinator.
If you are looking for information, the Intake Coordinator will listen to your request and provide you with the information you need. If this is all that you need, then the call will end here. You are welcome to call back any time in the future if you have new information or service needs.
If you are looking for services, the Intake Coordinator will make sure that the child/youth is eligible for services in Hamilton. To be eligible for services:
- The child/youth is presenting with a social, emotional, behavioural, psychiatric or developmental concern AND
- Be under of the age of 18 AND
- Live in Hamilton AND
- Have appropriate consent in place.
The Intake Process
If the child/youth is eligible, the Intake Coordinator will set up an intake appointment date and time for the youth/guardian and one of our Resource Coordinators. The date and time of the intake appointment will depend on everyone's availability. The intake appointment usually happens over the telephone but sometimes an in-office appointment is required to accommodate special situations like the need for interpreters or when access to a private telephone line or private space is not possible. The intake appointment usually takes 45-60 minutes.
Service Recommendations and Referrals
After the intake information is collected, the Resource Coordinator will speak with the youth/guardian about the available services and supports that are the best match for them. The youth over 16 or the guardian will decide what services and supports they wish to explore.
If consent is provided for a service that is funded by the Ministry of Children's and Youth Services, then the Resource Coordinator will make and monitor that referral.
If consent is provided for a service that is not funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, then it is up to the youth/guardian and their support system to follow through on connecting with that service. Where the youth/guardian requires assistance, the Resource Coordinator will help with making that referral.
At any time the youth or guardian need more information or their contact information changes (e.g. address, phone number) or their situation changes (there are new needs or the situation is getting worse), then the youth/guardian should call their Resource Coordinator. The Resource Coordinator will update the information that they have on file and together with the youth/guardian will determine what the next steps are, e.g. new referrals, organizing a meeting.
The youth/guardian is welcome to call their Resource Coordinator with any questions. We are here to help.
Last modified: January 21, 2020