The Minister of Community and Social Services Merrilee Fullerton (AKA Dr. Death for her handling of the lack of accountability and oversight of long term care homes during COVID which lead to a tremendous amount of preventable deaths) has given the community an update on the Ontario Autism Program.
In a nutshell the province is offering autism service providers close $14 million to increase capacity after destroying capacity in 2019. The issue that most parents have with respect to any transfer payments to the providers; there is already a major lack of oversight on public funds across the board especially with the provincially funded regional providers. Kinak’s overhead has ballooned big time over the years. There’s no information regarding accountability and oversight on these funds and if they will actually end up going towards increased capacity.
Under Fullerton’s former portfolio, the province moved to provide legal immunity to long term care homes who neglected in their duties to their clients, which resulted in a needless death toll. There’s absolutely no guarantee any funds – including current funds – provided by the province will be spent to the benefit of families, and Fullerton has zero credibility with the public at large regarding oversight of providers under her portfolio.
A mediation model for ages 12 and under is not needs based and leaves the majority of the implementation of therapy directly on the shoulders of exhausted parents rather than qualified technicians. That is unacceptable, ignorant and discriminating!
Regulation of ABA does not provide direct oversight of the non-profits and private providers tasked at providing supports to autistic children and ensuring that provincial funds meant to help families reach the front lines, rather than gobbled up in overhead costs.
Enhanced training for clinicians – interesting that the province feels it fit to provide mental health training to mental health experts. I’d like to know who lobbied for that money. Maybe the province should look at providing better training through a more accredited University than “If you can walk and talk, you can go to Brock” crowd for behavioural analysts. If ethical standards were taught properly, there wouldn’t be a need for mental health training. Ethical guidelines are in place to protect the mental health of clients, and clinicians. Basically this mental health training is an acknowledgement of the failure of Brock to hard code ethical standards in BCBAs, and a failure of BCBAs to adhere to ethical codes of conduct. Mental health training isn’t the appropriate solution to this problem.
My sister-in-law dropped out from Brock University during her first year of accounting to complete her course at York U. Brock doesn’t have the greatest reputation for academics and/or success. Brock University is the only university offering post secondary education for BCBAs. A better approach would be to ensure that training for clinicians coming out of Brock is focused on providing ethical supports and standards to families with zero tolerance for breaking codes of ethics, policy and/or regulations. There should be strict ministerial and recorded oversight to all those providing support to the vulnerable in this province considering Brock Universities long standing history of letting anyone through its doors. Training should not be handled by lobby organizations such as ONTABA.
And lastly, what the hell are core services? No details have been released on that yet. I hugged my family a little tighter tonight, knowing we have Dr. Death at the helm who has obviously not been fully read up on any community concerns.