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 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 residents.
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 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. For more information click here. 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 Aug 14, 2019
|Name||Position on Board||Term||Profile|
|Joanne Bergin||Chair||2015-2021||Joanne lives in Niagara and works at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington as a Project Manager in Information Technology. Joanne is a family member and represents lived experience.|
|Michael Lawlor||Vice-Chair||2017-2023||Michael lives in Hamilton and is a school administrator with the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. He has undergraduate degrees from McMaster and Brock Universities and a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto. Michael is particularly passionate about the well being of youth and is a regular liaison between adolescents and Contact Hamilton.|
|Matthew Fletcher||Past 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.|
|Kieu Duong||Director||2014-2020||Kieu lives in Hamilton and is the Chief Financial Officer for Associated Paving and Materials.|
|Crystal Donak||Director||2019-2025||Crystal has lived experience through family members. She lives in Hamilton and works with entrepreneurs, businesses and not-for profits to grow by relationship building using digital media. She has a business degree and is a Master of Communications (Candidate).|
|Aurelie Dimandja||Director||2017-2023||Aurelie lives in Stoney Creek. She is an Occupational Therapist Assistant/ Physiotherapist Assistant at the Brant Community Healthcare System.|
|April Bilton||Director||2017 – 2023||April lives in Hamilton and is a police officer with the Hamilton Police Service. April currently works with youth in downtown area High Schools. Prior to her career in policing April worked as a Human Resources Manager.|
*Lea Pollard, Executive Director (ex-officio)
Contact Hamilton is funded by the following Ministry:
- Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS)
Our Vision is:
- Thriving children and youth, empowered adults, strong families, inclusive communities.
Our Mission is:
To enhance quality of life by providing access to information and available services and supports
Service Principles and Values
Contact Hamilton is a values and principles-based organization and strives to adhere to these through its work and conduct.
To this end, Contact Hamilton’s central IDEA is:
Intégrité, النزاهة, Integrität, integrità, 廉正, integridade, integridad, سالمیت, chính trực
Contact Hamilton board, staff and volunteers will be trustworthy, honest, responsible and will treat people with dignity and respect
la diversité, تنوع, Vielfalt, diversità, 多样diversidade, diversidad, تنوع, sự đa dạng
Contact Hamilton board, staff and volunteers will be inclusive, fair, equitable, welcoming and provide a safe place to request and receive service
Empathie, العطف, Empathie, empatia, 同情, empatia, empatía, ہمدردی, đồng cảm
Contact Hamilton board, staff and volunteers will act with compassion, patience and will provide support and guidance
Responsabilité, المسائلة, Rechenschaftspflicht, responsabilità, 问责, prestação de contas, responsabilidad, احتساب, trách nhiệm giải trình
Contact Hamilton board, staff and volunteers will be transparent, responsive and strive for service excellence
In 2017 and 2018, the Board of Directors undertook a review of the organization’s Vision, Mission and Service Values and Principles. To support this process, they engaged stakeholders (consumers, families, staff, agency partners and funders). Revisions were made to the Vision, Mission and Service Principles and new Board Priorities were identified.
- To be a well informed Board
- To be a well governed Board
- To be a collaborative Board
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.