Information about Transition Planning For Youth Aged 14-18 Years Living in Hamilton

What is transition planning?

Transition planning is a process that helps youth aged 14 – 18 years of age and their families develop a planned and coordinated transition from childhood to adulthood. It is a dynamic and ongoing process; plans change as the person and their circumstances change.

The main goal of transition planning is to support the young person in ways that help him or her live in the community, maintaining and strengthening the young person’s connections with parents, siblings and relatives, foster families and any other individuals who are important to the person, as well as connections with his or her community, culture and religion.

Youth and their family are involved in the planning process and, as much as possible, decisions about his or her care and services are driven by his or her needs, preferences, interests and strengths. Transition Planning includes the involvement of people who are important to the young person, as determined by the young person.

Who do I call if I am interested in transition planning or have questions?

If you live in Hamilton and are between the ages of 14-18 and you are interested in transition planning support OR you have questions about this, all you need to do is call Contact Hamilton at 905-570-8888 and ask to speak to the Transition Coordinator.

Please see information below specific to the Hamilton Community.

If you live in Niagara, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations of the Grand River or Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, please call your local Contact agency:

  • Contact Niagara, 905-684-3407
  • Contact Brant, 519-758-8228
  • Contact Haldimand-Norfolk (a division of REACH), 519-587-2682

What happens during this planning process?

One agency is identified for the youth that will ensure that at least once per year, transition planning occurs and that the plan is documented. Together the agency, youth and family will determine who should be invited to the planning meetings.   Youth will have one coordinated plan that is updated at least once a year or when there are significant changes in the youth’s situation.

Each agency has their own transition planning process but generally, the process involves the following:

  • Learning about the youth’s interests
  • Identifying opportunities for expanding the youth’s social and community connections
  • Preparing the youth and family for the end of children’s services at age 18 and
  • Helping the youth and family connect with adult developmental services if they are interested in adult developmental services when the youth turns 18
  • Agencies providing services to the youth try to coordinate their service plans so that the youth and family experience services in a way that makes the most sense and is consistent

What kinds of things should I be thinking about when planning for the future?

What is important to you? What do you like? What do you want to learn? What goals do you have? Sometimes, finding the answers to these types of questions can be challenging. Please click on the links below for some helpful resources that can help you get started thinking about your future:

We are also very pleased to offer a link to the Partners for Planning resource. Partners for Planning is a non-profit organization started by and for families caring for a relative with a disability. They developed the Resources Network to help families plan for a good life and a secure future for their loved ones. Focused on future planning, the P4P Resource Network provides free tools, presentations and strategies to help families:

  • Access financial resources and develop a long term financial plan
  • Address isolation and build supportive relationships
  • Discover options for home
  • Create a will and estate plan
  • Develop paid and volunteer opportunities

Who gets a copy of the transition plan?

The transition plan belongs to the youth and family and therefore they are provided with a copy of the plan. Everyone involved in the planning process gets a copy of the plan and any updates.

Who will help us with applying for adult developmental services

Beginning at age 16, with your permission, Contact Hamilton will refer the youth to Developmental Services Ontario Hamilton-Niagara Region (DSO HNR). In preparation for the youth’s 18th birthday, the DSO HNR can help youth and families plan for their adult service needs when the youth is 16 and 17 by:

  • Providing information about adult developmental services
  • Determining if the youth is eligible for adult developmental services and supports
  • If they are eligible, completing the application for services
  • Registering the youth’s service needs
  • Referrals for adult services are made only after the age of 18

Many children’s services end at age 18 (some end at age 21). If you are interested in adult developmental services, you will need to apply for them. Contact Hamilton will help you by referring you to the DSO HNR.

With your permission, to assist the referral to the DSO HNR, Contact Hamilton will include as much eligibility information as possible. Contact Hamilton will check their files to see what information is already available. If we have some/all of it, with your permission, we will send it to the DSO HNR. If we do not have the information or only have some of it, we will send the DSO HNR what we have and we will let you know what you need to provide and you can send it directly to the DSO HNR (DSO HNR fax number is: 905-667-0671).

This is what the DSO will need in order to determine if you are eligible for adult developmental services and supports:

  • A psychological assessment** or report signed by a psychologist or psychological associate registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario (or equivalent body in another province) that states the individual has a developmental disability in accordance with the Act and Regulation

AND

  • Proof of age (document displays individual’s name and date of birth); these documents can include but are not limited to: birth or baptismal certificate, Passport, driver’s license, Ontario Health Card

AND

  • Proof of Ontario residency (document displays the individual’s name, address and citizenship status); these documents can include but are not limited to: rental or lease agreement; statement of direct deposit for ODSP; employer record (pay stub or letter from employer on company letterhead); mailed bank account statements (does not include automated teller receipts or bank books) or; utility bill

AND

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship, landed immigrant status or permission to stay by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (these documents can include Passport, naturalization certificate; immigration documents or; Minister’s permit)

**if you do not have a psychological assessment, the DSO HNR will accept any reports that you may have. The DSO HNR will review all of the information you provide in order to determine if we can confirm eligibility. If eligibility cannot be confirmed with the documents that you have provided, the DSO HNR will let you know what the next steps are.

When the DSO HNR receives the referral, an Intake Coordinator from the DSO HNR will call you and:

  • Let you know that they have received the referral
  • Let you know if they have all the information they need to confirm eligibility
  • Once they have reviewed your eligibility information, they will let you know if you are eligible for adult developmental services

If you are confirmed to be eligible for adult developmental services, you will be assigned a DSO HNR Access Coordinator. The Access Coordinator who will call you to schedule the application appointments; at that time, the Access Coordinator will share with you information about who needs to be part of the application process and how you can prepare for the meetings.

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