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Members of the Children's Treatment Network and Holland Bloorview's Extensive Needs Program partnership
York region partner joins Extensive Needs Services

Children’s Treatment Network joins Holland Bloorview’s ENS program to support more families with complex needs


Holland Bloorview’s Extensive Needs Services (ENS) has expanded its local partnerships with a new partner: the Children’s Treatment Network (CTN).

The organization will provide wrap-around supports to children and youth facing multiple medical, physical, developmental and social challenges – closer to home in York region.

That was the recent experience of B.C. (identity protected for privacy reasons), whose parents had exhausted all other avenues of support for their child.

Through a coordinated service planner (CSP), this family was identified as encountering barriers within the system and having unmet needs. As a result, they were recommended by their CSP to ENS. Upon review of the family’s needs, ENS felt like a service that could benefit not only their child but the entire family.

“As the (CSP) explained this service, it felt they were hitting almost all the right spots of what is happening and what we need in our family. As I was listening, I kept getting images in my head of past/present/probable future struggles and thought about what this program can give – a   chance to reach a stage in life with less chaos, strain, burden, pain, ... that I will call living in heaven,” says parent of B.C.

“We are pleased to partner with Holland Bloorview to offer this important service to families like the parents of B.C. right in their neighbourhood so that we can work together with them to improve the health and wellbeing of kids and youth,” says Karen Dillon, director, autism program and service planning at CTN. “They are getting the right supports when they need it.”

Providing tailored care closer to home

CTN is the latest health care organization to partner with Holland Bloorview – Grandview Kids, Michael Garron Hospital and Surrey Place joined forces with the hospital last October to offer this proof-of-concept program to their local communities.

Sabreena Zilli, a behavioural technician who joined Holland Bloorview’s Extensive Needs Services team last July is thrilled with this announcement. “Being able to create more capacity so that even more families can access this vital program close to home is what Extensive Needs Services is striving for.”

Zilli has seen first-hand the positive impact the program has had for clients. As a behavioural technician, she provides skill-based treatments, an evidence-based and trauma-informed tolerance-training technique where clients and families identify a skill they want to work on to build tolerance for specific tasks, such as tooth brushing, taking a bath or doing homework – and strengthen transitions skills and trust.

Impact on families

The impact she has seen first-hand has been truly rewarding. “We are seeing families come into this program in crisis. When you can meet the families where they are at and take it one step at a time, it is a wonderful feeling. I feel so fortunate to work with an inter-disciplinary professional team that is trauma-informed and working together as one team to support these families.”

In fact, she along with fellow behavioural technician, Cassandra Simones, will present a case study at an upcoming conference in June to outline how their team successfully employed skill-based treatment to treat a current ENS client’s risky eloping behaviours (i.e. running away from school).

As the clinical integration lead for the program’s local ENS partners, Toni Lui is thrilled with the announcement. “With the Children’s Treatment Network joining, we’re now able to share resources across all of our partner sites so that families can access a wider range of healthcare professionals to support their individual needs.”

Expansion of the ENS programs to more locations within the GTA also means reducing wait times for the service in addition to reducing the need for families to travel greater distances to access this vital program, says Lui. She also pointed that with CTN joining, the ENS program’s teams can expand their community of practice, meaning that specialists, such as speech language pathologists and occupational therapists, can share knowledge and best practices to provide optimal treatments/interventions for their clients.

Funded by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Holland Bloorview, together with CHEO and McMaster Children’s Hospital are leading the specialized support program. Since launching last year, the program across all three sites has provided specialized clinical support to more than 1,100 children and their families with urgent and extensive needs as well as social needs.

Learn more.