In 1997, the Ministry of Community and Social Services released a policy called Making Services Work for People. This policy was created because the Ministry kept hearing from people and families that finding help for themselves or their family members was very difficult and confusing and that they didn’t know who to call. Another big issue that people and their families identified was feeling stressed and frustrated by having to repeat their personal stories multiple times before someone could help them. Making Services Work for People directed communities to find solutions to these problems so that the system could be improved.
In 1999, after a community process, Contact Hamilton was created to make it easier for people living in Hamilton to get the information and services they needed. On June 1 2000, Contact Hamilton “opened its doors” and became the agency that people called if they wanted information about or access to the following Hamilton-based services:
- Services for children and youth with social, emotional, behavioural, psychiatric issues or concerns
- Services for children and youth with developmental concerns including autism
- Services for adults with developmental disabilities.
In 2008, the Ministry of Community and Social Services passed a new Act called the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act. This marked the beginning of transformation in the adult developmental services sector. Among other things, this new act introduced the following:
- The creation of single point of access agencies across the nine regions of the province (now called Developmental Service Ontario [DSO])
- A standardized application process – no matter where you live in the province of Ontario, the process of applying for services and supports should be the same
- The creation of quality assurance measures and standards to improve the quality of service experienced by people with developmental disabilities
- The option for direct funding – greater control is given to people to purchase services where they like and to develop their own model of service that is unique and reflective of their needs/wants.
In 2010, following an “expression of interest” process, Contact Hamilton was declared as one of the nine DSOs in the province – the DSO for the Hamilton-Niagara Region. Among other things, what this meant for Contact Hamilton was an expansion of their mandate for adult developmental services from Hamilton to now including the communities within the Hamilton-Niagara region: Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk, Hamilton, Niagara, Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. On July 1st 2011, the DSO HNR “opened its doors”.
Access to children’s services continues through the Children’s Services division of Contact Hamilton and remains focused on Hamilton citizens.
In April 2012, Contact Hamilton was identified as the Designated Passport Agency for the administration of the Passport Funding program for the communities of Hamilton, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Previous to this Contact Hamilton was the Designated Passport Agency for the city of Hamilton.
Board of Directors
Contact Hamilton is governed by a voluntary board of directors, operating under a policy governance model. Board meetings occur monthly and are open to the public to observe.
For further information about the meeting dates or to enquire about attending a meeting, please call Dayna Setzkorn at 905-522-3304 ext. 229 or 1-877-376-4674.
We currently have vacancies on our board and are looking for people who are interested in becoming board members. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please call Dayna Setzkorn at 905-522-3304 ext. 229 or 1-877-376-4674. For an application package, please click here.
As of September 2016,
|Name||Position on Board||Term||Profile|
|Matthew Fletcher||Chair||2014-2020||Matt lives in Hamilton. Matt is a police officer with the Hamilton Police Service. He is also a family member and represents lived experience.|
|Mary Westerhof||Past Chair||2011-2017||Mary lives in Hamilton and is a retired Registered Nurse. Mary is currently the Coordinator and Teaching Professor for the Developmental Service Worker apprenticeship program at Mohawk College fennel campus.|
|Susan Barberstock||Vice Chair||2013-2019||Susan lives in Brant and is the Executive Director of the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.|
|Marissa Genevieve||Director||2015-2019||Marissa lives in Niagara and works for the Region of Niagara as a case manager in the Ontario Works program.|
|Kieu Duong||Director||2014-2020||Kieu lives in Hamilton and is an audit manager for Vine and Partners LLP.|
|David Brown||Director||2015-2020||David lives in Niagara and is a communications consultant.|
|Daniela DiNardo||Director||2015-2020||Daniela lives in Hamilton and is completing a masters at the University of Toronto. Her undergraduate studies focussed on early childhood development and education.|
|Joanne Bergin||Director||2015-2021||Joanne lives in Niagara and works as a Project Manager in Health Care. Joanne is a family member and represents lived experience.|
|Miriam Gracey||Director||2015-2021||Miriam lives in Hamilton and is a campaign manager for the United Way of Burlington / Greater Hamilton. Miriam is a family member and represents lived experience.|
|Peter Annand||Director||2015-2021||Peter lives in Brant and is a senior account manager at ArcelorMittal Dofasco. Peter is a family member and represents lived experience.|
*Lea Pollard, Executive Director (ex-officio)
Contact Hamilton is funded by the following Ministries:
- Ministry of Children and Youth Services (Children’s Services division)
- Ministry of Community and Social Services (DSO HNR division and Passport division)
Our Mandate is:
- Providing information about available children’s services (in Hamilton) and adult developmental services (in the Hamilton-Niagara Region)
- Being the single point of access or one place people call if they wish to apply for services from the children’s sector or the adult developmental services sector.
- Hosting the “resolution process” for situations involving children and youth that are complex or highly urgent and where access to services is difficult.
- Providing information to the community and to the Ministries to help with planning the service system.
Our Vision is:
- Inclusive communities where barriers are eliminated, where everyone belongs and realizes their hopes and dreams.
Our Mission is:
- Contact Hamilton ensures individuals and caregivers have access to information, available services and supports they need. To this end we assist people in applying for services and supports.
- We serve children and youth presenting with social, emotional, behavioural and/or developmental concerns living in Hamilton.
- We serve adults with a developmental disability that live in Hamilton-Niagara Region (communities of Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Niagara, Hamilton, Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation).
- We provide our communities with system-level information about community services for children and youth and for adults with a developmental disability.
Service Principles and Values
Our Service Principles and Values are:
- Everyone fully participating in community life
- Everyone having the opportunity to define their needs and wants
- Everyone being treated with dignity and kindness
- Everyone having access to our services in a meaningful and appropriate way
- Providing services that are flexible, fair and prompt
- Leading by example and being proactive
- Making a positive difference in the lives of the people and communities we serve
- Answering to all our stakeholders including individuals, families, communities, service providers and funders
- Challenging ourselves to be the best we can
In 2011, Contact Hamilton changed significantly as an organization. It took on two regional programs on behalf of adults with developmental disabilities (Developmental Services Ontario Hamilton-Niagara Region and Passport for Community Living) while still maintaining access responsibilities for people seeking services for Hamilton children and youth.
The following priorities reflect a balance of both internal and external goals that will guide the organization from September 2012 – September 2015.
Priority One: Quality Improvement
This means we will actively seek out feedback in order to make our services the best they can be.
Priority Two: Enhanced Community Awareness
This means that we will make sure people and organizations know who we are and what we do and how we can work together.
Priority Three: A well-governed and an accessible and inclusive organization
This means that we will make sure that our board is open and welcoming of diversity and governs the organization to the best of its ability.
Priority Four: A healthy workplace
This means that Contact Hamilton is the best place to work where staff feel valued.
For the full version of our Strategic Plan, which includes our Strategic Priorities, Mission and Vision statements, and our Service Principles and Values, please click here.
Broader Public Sector Accountability Act Items
Contact Hamilton is a Broader Public Sector organization. As such, we are required to post our Perquisites Policy, a list of all perquisites offered by the organization (embedded in our Perquisites Policy) and our Reimbursement of Expenses Policy.