The Ottawa Resolution Service for Adults with a Development Difficulty
and the Children's Resolution Mechanism

We have recently become aware of and made use of the local Resolution Committee (The Ottawa Resolution for Adults with a Development Difficulty) to help us in our search for a residential placement, with supports, for our adult autistic son, Adrian. Our experiences with that committee are detailed below. We are told that similar committees exist in all areas of the Province both for adults and children with development difficulties.

We have tried unsuccessfully for several years to find solutions in Ottawa for the service and residential needs of our adult autistic son. Only when we promised to take and leave him at the Ministry offices at Rideau Street were we advised of the Resolution Services available to people at such an impasse. Within the space of a month we have made use of this service and describe the results below. (There is a similar service through Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre for children called the Children's Resolution Mechanism.)

The Ottawa Resolution Service for Adults with a Development Disability is a relatively new service for an adult with a development disability who:

  • is at serious and imminent risk of harm to him/herself or others, and is unable to access services; or
  • is at risk of family breakdown, if supports and services are not provided; or
  • is at risk of receiving a more intrusive response in the absence of supports; or
  • requires support that is beyond the current capacity of an individual agency and/or the service system.

(Source: Because you asked ... Questions and Answers about the Ottawa Resolution Service, a publication of Citizen Advocacy, also available in French.)

In early December we went to this Resolution Service on behalf of our adult autistic son as he lost access to several services and was likely to lose more. (The Resolution Service operates through Citizen Advocacy on Parkdale, 761-9522.)

The Ottawa service system for the developmentally disabled to this point had been unable to provide any solutions to our son's needs beyond referring us to Service Coordination, an agency incapable of action, hamstrung by the lack access to adequate funding.

We first had to make our case to a staff member of Citizen Advocacy, who is the Chair/Facilitator of the Resolution Service. She has to ensure we had explored all other avenues before the case could be taken on. She has to ensure that what is being asked for is beyond the scope of the system.

Then she summarizes the case for review by a Steering Committee. We, as referrers, were also asked to attend the Steering Committee meeting. (The Developmentally Disabled individual is also able to attend should this be desirable.)

The Steering Committee met with us in late December and found we did have a case that could go to this Resolution Committee. We then met with that Resolution Committee on January 7th. The players on the Committee were from agencies that could provide the type of help we needed, nominated both by us and Citizen Advocacy. We also could nominate any other people we felt could be of use. (In addition to the agencies, we nominated our son's SSAH careworker and his OCTC behavioural consultant.)

(Note: the one agency that will not take place in the Resolution hearings is the one agency that has the dollars for funding: the Ministry of Community and Family Services.) The objective of the Resolution meeting is to come up with an action plan to resolve the situation met by the Developmentally Disabled individual.

Our meeting resulted in an action plan to resolve our son's residential needs and his behavioural needs. The plan requests the Ministry to provide annualised funding to meet his residential needs and his behavioural needs.

It specifies who is to develop elements of the plan, when these are to be completed, and what is to happen should funding not be provided. (Another Resolution meeting.)

We are very hopeful this Resolution process will result in our son gaining the security and certainty of a suitable residential placement, with the necessary supports. We recommend this process to any other caregivers and the developmentally disabled who meet the criteria listed above. Our recommendation is made before we know whether the recommended Resolution action items are funded and actualized. Having our case heard has been of great therapeutic value in itself!  Being taken seriously has been invaluable. Having a proposed residential solution being endorsed by all for presentation to the Ministry for funding has been a wonderful eye opener. And having our dreams and hopes become possibilities has been an answer to our prayers.

-Anne and John Toft, Ottawa