Prior to commencing our initial program development BRODIE Community & Residential Services Inc. sent out a questionnaire to over 120 community agencies in Durham. This questionnaire indicated that we were coming to their community and welcomed their feedback regarding existing programs and new initiates they would like to see. The feedback received was very informative as it was abundantly clear that the need for our services were evident.

The following is an overall summary of the survey results submitted based on a 60% response rate from participating agencies.

• Semi Independent Living was the most common current trend in placement.

• Average age of both Male and Female service users was 35 years old.

• Common reasons for placement were dual diagnosis / mental health, special needs, family breakdown, parent client conflict, low income, demands of care.

• Common identified services that were lacking: Day Programming for young adults and persons with disabilities, mental health services and speech and language assistance.

• Presented concerns with repeat service users: lack of appropriate services, communication breakdowns, clients poor community judgment, and budgeting.

• On average Transitional Aged Youth have been somewhat successful in securing Independent Living, as well as somewhat have enough supports available for the planning process.

• 95% indicated that there were not enough services available to Transitional Aged Youth.

• 90% indicated that Self Care Assessments were the only assessment tool completed with current service providers.

• 100% indicated that they would utilize a Day Program, also indicating that many if not most are waitlisted. It was also indicated that Life Skills / Independent Living Preparation, Social / Recreational / Activity Based programming would be most utilized. It was identified that Day Programming would be beneficial on a Full week basis, however would be utilized on an average of 4 days per week, with 20% indicating they would utilize the service for a combination of full and half days. Having lunch, snacks and transportation provided would be an incentive of accessing a Day Program. Many also indicated that if transportation was available they would be more likely to utilize a Day Program.

• 95% indicated that there were not enough Day Program / Day Treatment options. The same percentage was identified for not enough Respite Homes.

• Of the categories presented for being essential for Day Treatment / Day Programming, consistently, aromatherapy and pet therapy were the only 2 categories that were identified as not being essential.

• Vocational Programs were the only identified program that was included in current per diems.

• The overall top 5 areas that are looked at when searching for a long term placement for an individual are:
1) Individualizing Care Plan and Programs offered,
2) Staff to client ratio,
3) Location,
4) Accessibility
5) Supports / Safety.

• The overall top 5 areas that are looked at when searching for a Day Program for an individual are:
1) Cost,
2) Realistic and adaptable programs including flexibility for each individual,
3) Staffing consistency
4) Transportation and Lunch
5) Staff to client ratio.

• Overall current need areas / areas that require more focus within agencies partnered with are as follows:
Cultural diversity and understanding, medication training and accountability, behaviour management, accessible locations, inconsistency in staff / staff turnover, costs, education, overall programming for individuals between 18-55 years with disabilities.

• Gaps in services were identified as being the following: residential and day programs, long waiting lists, clients remaining in hospital due to limited resources and the overall continuum of care.

• Receiving assessment homes were indicated as being non-existent or not applicable.

• The average response for having enough Outside Professionals involved for the client indicated that it varied by caseload, leaning towards not enough.

• The Outside Professionals involved in each clients caseload were identified on average as Behaviour Therapist, Psychiatrist, Neurologist, Physical Therapist, Individual Counsellors (on occasion), Psychologist and Educational Assistants. The professionals that were preferred to be involved were Behaviour Therapist, Psychologist and Physiotherapist. Fees for these services varied by caseload to be included in the per diem.

• The identified client populations that were considered to be the most underserviced were: behaviourally challenged, dual diagnosed, mental health, physically disabled, special needs, and ABI.

• The client populations that would benefit the most from utilizing more community supports were; physically disabled, behaviourally challenged, dual diagnosed, mental health, ABI and senior citizens.

• Residential placement needs were identified for the ABI, Physically disabled, behaviourally challenged and mental health.
Of all agencies that participated in the survey (60%) response rate, all requested the summary of results and also indicated they would like to participate in a survey of this nature in the future.