The OCC and its members have identified two key advocacy priorities for caregivers:
Access to home care supports
Financial distress for caregivers
To that end, we advocate governments to address these concerns by:
1. Improving access to direct funding supports
2. Providing financial support to caregivers (Specific recommendations are under development)
More details about our advocacy recommendations can be found below. If you have any questions about how these recommendations were determined, what we are doing to advocate, or would like to help, please contact the Research and Advocacy Committee of the OCC.
Direct Funding Supports
Direct Funding programs allow clients, sometimes with the help of caregivers, to take an active and central role both in defining their needs and in determining how those needs are met. Instead of funding professionals or agencies to deliver services to a client, governments directly fund clients who opt into these programs to purchase services from providers of their choice. Ontario has four Direct Funding programs, each with its own structures and requirements:
Ministry of Health Programs
Family Managed Homecare - provides funding for individuals assessed as in need of homecare
Self-Managed Attendant Services - funds adults with physical disabilities to employ their own attendants to support the activities of daily living.
Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services
Passport Program - supports adults with developmental disabilities to be involved in their communities and live as independently as possible, as well as funding for caregiver respite services and supports for the primary caregivers of the client.
Special Services at Home - serves children with developmental or physical disabilities by providing funding for personal growth and development and family respite.
Ontario can build on its existing programs by learning from successes across Canada and around the world. Enhancing Direct Funded programs can provide caregivers with the respite and homecare supports they need to carry out their vital role while protecting their financial, physical, mental and emotional health. This in turn will help delay or avoid institutionalization and support our healthcare system.
To strengthen Ontario’s Direct Funding programs, we call on the government to:
Reform eligibility requirements to allow substitute decision-makers and caregivers to manage application and administrative processes.
Enhance program flexibility to allow family members to provide care
Increase accessibility by moving programs from reimbursement to reconciliation funding
Improve awareness of these programs and ease navigation
Reduce waitlists by transitioning increased funding to these programs over time
How You Can Help
There are many ways you can get involved with our advocacy around improving access to Direct Funding Supports.
1. You can reach out to your local MPP to request a meeting to discuss the Direct Funding Supports using our Meeting in a Box kit.
To learn more about how to engage your local MPP and about our asks regarding Direct Funding Supports, feel free to attend one of our upcoming webinars or watch a recording of them.
2. You can send a letter to your MPP
3. You can sign our petition.
If there are other ways you want to get involved, please feel free to contact us!
Financial Distress for Caregivers
We have heard time and again from caregivers about the financial impact of their responsibilities. The Research and Advocacy Committee is in the process of developing recommendations to the Ontario government on how best to address this concern. If you would like to get involved, please contact us.