Welcome to Contact Hamilton
Important Information about the Child and Youth Access Program, July 10 2018
Hello, we are glad you are here!
We are currently experiencing very high volumes at this time. We are working very hard to make sure we give each of you the time you need to consult with us. Our team is also making some important changes to our service model so that we can serve you as quickly as possible. As we work on making this change, our response to you could take longer than usual, up to 3 weeks. This is a short term issue as we change our service model.
We would like to assure you that:
We truly appreciate you reaching out to our agency. We look forward to connecting with you and offering you the information and referral support you need.
While you wait for our call, here is some important information for you to keep handy:
- Your call or email is very important to us and we will respond to you as quickly as possible
- You will have the time you need when we speak with you
- Priority and crisis situations are responded to as they arise
- We understand the impact waiting has on you and are working toward better response times by changing our service model
- For information about the various children’s services in Hamilton as well as links to credible information sites about mental health, developmental disability and autism, please visit our “About Children’s Services” tab or click here http://contacthamilton.com/main/childrens-services/
- Kids Help Phone-Kids Help Phone is Canada's only national 24-hour, bilingual and anonymous phone counselling, web counselling and referral service for children and youth. 1-800-668-6868 or click here: https://kidshelpphone.ca/what-is-kids-help-phone They have an app as well, “Always There” available on android and IOS devices.
Thank you for your patience and for your support. We look forward to connecting with you soon.
The Contact Hamilton Access Team
- 911 – for emergency needs
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:
1. Have social, emotional, behavioural, psychiatric and/or developmental concerns AND
2. Are under the age of 18 AND
3. 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:
1. 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.
2. 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:
1. The child/youth is presenting with a social, emotional, behavioural, psychiatric or developmental concern AND
2. Be under of the age of 18 AND
3. Live in Hamilton AND
4. Appropriate consent is 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: July 11, 2018