Services you can apply to provide

As part of implementing the needs-based Ontario Autism Program, public and private organizations who wanted to deliver elements of the program could submit applications and community-based proposals to provide:

  • caregiver-mediated early years programs
  • Independent Intake Organization
  • urgent response services
  • entry to school program
  • foundational family services

All application periods have closed.

Caregiver-mediated early years programs

The call for applications to select service providers to deliver caregiver-mediated early years programs launched in December 2020 and closed on January 29, 2021.

The selection process was open to public and private providers.

Learn more about the programs and the providers that are now offering them.

Independent Intake Organization

Accerta Services Inc. was selected to lead the Independent Intake Organization in partnership with McMaster University, Autism Ontario, and HealthCare 365.

The Independent Intake Organization will be accountable to the ministry for overseeing and administering key elements of the Ontario Autism Program, within regions and across Ontario.

The goal of the Independent Intake Organization will be to support an integrated and consistent service delivery model for all families.

Its key responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • managing the intake and registration of children and youth entering the Ontario Autism Program
  • overseeing the waitlist for core clinical services
  • issuing funding to families and reconciling expenses
  • coordinating families’ access to different services and supports
  • hiring and training care coordinators who will:
    • work with families individually as a main point of contact
    • help families navigate different services, community supports, sources of funding and transition stages
    • be responsible for determining each child’s level of support need
  • establishing coordinated local networks of service providers
  • promoting quality improvements, capacity-building and program and service expansion
  • coordinating an independent review process for families

The call for applications to select the Independent Intake Organization launched in December 2020 and closed on February 26, 2021.

This selection process was open to government-funded organizations and non-government-funded agencies (non-profit or for-profit) in Ontario. Given the significance and scale of the role, applicants could partner with other organizations for a joint submission in order to meet all requirements.

Urgent response services

Urgent response services will be available to any child or youth registered in the Ontario Autism Program who meets defined criteria. These time-limited services will provide a rapid response to a specific, identified need to prevent further escalation or risk of harm to the child or youth, other people or property.

The services may include:

  • a short-term consultation with an interdisciplinary team that can include intervention specialists, family members and educators
  • time-limited respite support
  • identifying additional services within and outside of the Ontario Autism Program
  • direct support for families and/or professionals who work with the child to implement personalized behaviour interventions or therapy techniques

Regional-based proposals process

In June 2021, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services launched a regional-based proposals process to implement urgent response services for the Ontario Autism Program in each of the ministry’s five regional areas (central, east, north, Toronto and west).

Regional plans were developed by service providers (public and private), based on ministry guidelines.

A coordinating agency led the process in each region. Agencies submitted final proposals by the deadline, September 30, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The ministry is currently reviewing these proposals.

It is expected that urgent response services will begin in early 2022.

Additional information is available in the guidelines for the regional-based proposals process for urgent response services.

Entry to School Program

We have selected the providers for the Entry to School Program, which will help prepare children who are registered in the Ontario Autism Program to start kindergarten or Grade 1 for the first time. The program will include several stages:

  • a six-month, group-based, skill-building program focused on preparing children to start school
  • transition supports for children when they begin school
  • consultations to support a successful transition for the first six months a child is in school upon request

This proposal process launched in March 2021 for four out of five of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services’ regional areas: central, east, Toronto and west. The deadline for public and private providers based in Ontario to submit an application to provide services in these four areas was June 25, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

This proposal process launched in May 2021 for the ministry’s north region, the fifth regional area. The deadline for public and private providers based in Ontario to submit an application to provide services in the north region was August 13, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Foundational family services

Foundational family services launched on August 7, 2020.

We continue to work with our service delivery partners across the sector to expand foundational family services. We are working together to develop an updated framework that will guide the expansion of these services. Our goal is for families to have greater access to services and supports to build the skills they need, when and where they need them.

Get information about existing foundational family services.