What is Passport?
Passport funding provides resources to people who have an intellectual disability after they reach the age of 18. It replaces the Special Services at Home (SSAH) funding which was utilized to provide in-home support and respite to children and youth. Passport funding provides resources for people supported to receive in-home supports and respite, out of home respite, and a multitude of community participation options. The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services provides the money for the Passport program and disburses the funds through the Community Services Coordination Network (CSCN) in London who administer the program.
At 18 years of age, people who have an intellectual disability need to apply for Passport funding through Developmental Services Ontario (DSO). People who intend on applying are encouraged to start the process at 17½ years of age.
How does it work?
Passport is a reimbursement program. Passport allows families to manage the funds and choose how to administer them within the Passport guidelines. Families may choose to hire an agency for program services and respite, or they may hire workers directly. If hiring a private contractor or worker, the family is responsible for researching and evaluating the service providers in their area, interviewing the prospective candidates, and administering the paperwork required to hire and pay for the supports provided. Another option is to purchase the services through Community Living Chatham-Kent.
Why choose Community Living Chatham-Kent to purchase services using Passport Funding?
Community Living Chatham-Kent has been providing innovative quality supports and services to people and families of Chatham-Kent for over 60 years. Our agency has the expertise and understanding of the developmental services sector and the range of services available to people, knowledge of how to provide those supports and services, and the ability to assist people to plan for the future. Once connected with Community Living Chatham-Kent we can help you navigate the developmental services sector.
Purchasing services through Community Living Chatham-Kent provides you with a worry free experience and peace of mind. Some of the many benefits to name a few include:
- We manage the hiring process, and only employ qualified Direct Support Professionals who have the education, training, and expertise to meet the needs of the person supported.
- Each Direct Support Professional has a Vulnerable Sector Police Clearance Check completed.
- In consultation we complete the scheduling.
- We manage all the employee expenses related to employment such as WSIB, Liability Insurance, Employer Health Tax, CPP, Employment Insurance, etc.
- We manage the employee payroll/payment process, billing for hours, and tracking of hours.
- We complete mandatory invoicing / reporting to the Passport agency.
- Our Direct Support Professionals receive ongoing education and training within the developmental services sector.
- The person supported has access to specialized equipment needed to provide supports. This can include access to fully wheelchair accessible vehicles for a fee.
We are an accredited agency.
You have access to a highly skilled team of professionals throughout Community Living Chatham-Kent that can provide invaluable support and guidance.
Community Living Chatham-Kent would be honoured to explore the many possibilities that the PASSPORT Program can provide to families. Please contact the Quality Assurance & Planning department if you have any questions and to begin exploring the multitude of options available to you.
Just some of the many options available to you through Community Living Chatham-Kent:
- Person Directed Planning – Person directed planning is all about you! Community Living Chatham-Kent believes every person has the right to plan, based on their own dreams, and goals. We all need chances to try new things, and to explore new ideas while we get better at things we already know. Using many different tools, we will gather information to help you decide what you want and what you need to get there. Then we work with you to make a plan of how it can happen. Together, we can help you become more independent, and learn to make your dreams come true.
- Personal Supports – Individualized supports, hourly supports, group activities and events, assistance for volunteer activities, daily life activities, act as a resource for families regarding recruitment of support workers, educational activities, connecting people to their community (recreational, health, legal, building social capital, trips, concerts), supporting people in their leisure pursuits, transportation where available within city limits to attend community events and respite resources, provision of in-home respite.
- Employment Activities – Job preparation, training, work activities, job coaching.
- Out of Home Respite – Voluntary, recreational leisure based, in a home environment.
- Administration and Brokerage – Act as a resource to families for recruitment of workers. Flowing funds through the agency, reporting and monitoring usage of funds.
Passport from a family’s perspective
Wendy and her daughter Laura have recently been approved for Passport funding. Prior to receiving this vital funding Wendy and Laura both experienced periods of stress and anxiety. “We did not have home support services and our family provided Laura’s supports. In addition, Laura had difficulty sleeping at night and would be awake for long stretches. I had to be with her during these times. I would support her during the day and when coupled with the lack of sleep, it was very stressful.” Wendy explained.
When Laura was in school she had a very structured day with appropriate levels of support and activities. However when school was out for the summer, or other holiday breaks her routine would be interrupted. “School breaks could be very difficult,” Wendy said, “Laura would have long stretches with little to do.”
In October of 2013, Laura and Wendy received some welcomed news that helped the family when Laura was introduced to Community Living Chatham-Kent’s Adult Respite program. Adult Respite provided Laura with a safe home-like environment, where she could spend anywhere from a few hours to overnight accommodation and enjoy recreational and social activities, community participation, as well as interaction with peers.
The Adult Respite program is a great option for many families, with or without Passport funding. It can really help families with a safe supportive solution that will provide their loved one with supports and meaningful activities.
Since being approved for Passport funding in November of 2014, Laura’s life has improved immensely. Her funding provides Laura with transportation, day program involvement, and community involvement as well as respite enhancement. Wendy has retained a small portion of the fund management and uses the allotment for some in-home support care. Working with and finding how the family wants to use the funds is an important role Community Living Chatham-Kent plays in the process. It is very person-directed and meeting the goals of the person being supported is the primary focus.
Laura attends the Sass Road Day program where she is able to participate in a wide range of one-to-one recreational and therapeutic programs. “Being in the Sass Road program has been a huge relief for our family. Laura’s much happier since being introduced to the day program. The additional one-to-one support opportunities she has because of Passport have been a bonus.” says Wendy.
Laura loves music and enjoys active motion. Her day at Sass Road includes ample portions of both. We are able to provide direct support to Laura in many ways. Laura loves to swim, she has transportation and a direct support professional who can accompany her to the warm water therapy pool at the Children’s Treatment Centre. We also support Laura with range of motion therapy and alternate positioning. Having time to stretch out is something Laura really likes to do.
To indulge Laura’s love of music (in addition to others supported at Sass Road), locally trained musicians sing or play instruments and lead people supported in song or other form of music appreciation. The music is not only entertaining it is also very therapeutic by providing people supported with an avenue to express their feelings and emotions.
Now that Laura has access to supportive programs and activities, she and Wendy are able to enjoy more quality time together. “We are able to go to local theatre productions, or go for a drive to the lake and enjoy the boardwalk at Erieau. We also visit with Laura’s grandparents and go to McDonalds.” Wendy said.