Direct Home Services Program
It is a free and voluntary service that emphasizes its practice on early intervention to maximize the child's development. The program is available to families of children who have, or are at risk for delayed development. It is family centered with full parental input and recognizes parents as their child's primary and influential teachers. The programming happens in the home as this is the child's most natural setting.
The goals of the program aim to assist each child reach their potential in all areas of development, while enhancing parenting skills. Assistance is also provided in managing the child's behaviour and developing skill-teaching activities for the child.
The early intervention program is available to children who have a delay as indicated by the Brigance Screen. Eligibility is determined by a delay in areas of development including academic, language, physical, social-emotional, and self-help domains. A child may also be considered to be eligible if there is already a diagnosis provided.
Services to children with Autism exist within this program, however; it extends in the primary school years, terminating at the end of Grade 3. Support provided to children with Autism follow an intensive Applied Behavioural Analysis Program consisting of direct one on one therapy for up to 30 hours per week.
Twelve Child Management Specialists (CMS) throughout the Central Region, deliver this program and will typically visit once every week or once every two weeks. This professional is responsible for program delivery as they are trained in early intervention approaches, developmental issues, and applied behavioural analysis. The CMS will develop early intervention plans with the family, identifying developmental goals, assist the family in accessing community resources and supports the family in assuming an advocacy role.
Children in Central benefit from the services of a Developmental Psychologist within this program. This psychologist provides assessment, intervention and support for families of children diagnosed with Autism as well as other developmental disabilities. The Psychologist further provides a diagnostic support to the Central Child Development Team, located at James Paton Memorial Health Centre.
Child Management Specialists and the Developmental Psychologist work as part of a larger disciplinary team within Central Health, including SCWA Social workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Public Health Nurses, Behaviour Management Specialist; and other disciplines within the Department of Education and Child, Youth, and Family Services.