Progress Report - June 2015
Vision for Waterloo Region’s Child and Youth Mental Health System
Children, youth and families get compassionate, quality mental health supports when and where they need them.
Dear Community Partner:
This year marks a new beginning for child and youth mental health in Waterloo Region. Lutherwood and seven local agencies that deliver children’s mental health services have begun planning a system transformation to ensure that children, youth and their families will know what children’s mental health services are available and how to access those high quality services in our community. This is the first newsletter in a series that will inform you of our progress, invite your participation, and identify how these changes affect our community partner agencies.
In 2012, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) released its Moving on Mental Health plan for change. With a goal to create “a stronger, more coherent and accountable system of care that will ultimately support improved mental health outcomes for children and youth,” the plan is focused on creating and supporting clearer ‘pathways’ to care, defining a consistent set of core services across Ontario, establishing lead agencies, creating a new funding model, and enhancing regulatory support.
The following year, MCYS identified seven ‘core services’ – specific children’s mental health services that must be available across Ontario, as well as 33 service areas, each of which will have a designated lead agency to plan and coordinate child and youth mental health services.
To date, the ministry has identified 17 of its 33 lead agencies and Lutherwood was selected as lead agency for Waterloo Region. So far, the lead agencies have been learning, information sharing and planning together with MCYS, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health in order to coordinate our progress across agencies, ministries and Ontario.
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has created a framework and environment for change, and has encouraged the lead agencies to figure out the what and how aspects of change locally. As this transformation has broad implications, Lutherwood chose to engage all local MCYS-funded children’s mental health (‘core service’) partners as our first priority. As many of us have been working together on planning councils, service collaboratives and other initiatives for years, this was an easy first step and has led to the creation of a Lead Agency Advisory Council. This Council is a team of decision-makers representing the seven core service partners (Carizon Family and Community Services, Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Family & Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region, Grand River Hospital, KW Counselling, Langs, Wilmot Family Resource Centre), MCYS, the Local Health Integration Network, Waterloo Region and Waterloo Catholic District School Boards, Waterloo Regional Police Service and White Owl Native Ancestry Association.
Since its first meeting last winter, the Advisory Council has developed a vision (above) for our local system and submitted two plans required by MCYS. The first plan is our Core Services Delivery Plan which focuses on child and youth mental health services, and the second is a Community Mental Health Plan which focuses on the interface with many other service providers that support children and youth.
As we are given greater responsibility for the planning and delivery of core services over the next year, the Council will help us refine the priorities and activities outlined in the Core Services Delivery Plan and the Community Mental Health Plan, and support their implementation.
Over the course of the summer, we will be approaching additional agencies and the broader community of interest to help us plan and implement improvements to the system, particularly the transitions into and out of our combined systems.
We hope this information is helpful and thank you for your interest and ongoing support. Questions regarding the Moving on Mental Health transformation, the Lead Agency Advisory Council and our local initiatives can be directed to Randy Penney, Director, Lead Agency, at 519-884-1470 x1221.