Remarks from CEO and Board Chair

One year into our 2019-2022 strategic plan: Staying the Course, we have remained focused on our mission of helping children and youth with complex needs achieve better life outcomes. 

Quality remains the foundation of all of our work. We continue to build relationships with families, improve our services, enhance our skills, advance our knowledge and share it to support the sectors we serve.

Clients and families must be partners in our service delivery.

Our client and caregiver experience surveys provide us with feedback directly from clients and families that can be used to improve our services. In 2019/2020, 83% of parents and caregivers rated our services as high quality, and 93% felt that services they received helped them to deal with life’s challenges.

We continue to strive to provide an excellent service experience for our clients and their families across all services and supports while strengthening our evidence-based and evidence-informed practices, to optimize outcomes for children and youth.

We expanded the delivery of our autism services through innovation to meet the individual needs of children and youth with autism and their families. We responded to the growing needs of clients by developing new services and expanding our service area. Through investing in the Kinark Outdoor Centre (KOC), we were able to enhance the quality of programs to continue to support a uniquely diverse client group.

We leveraged our expertise and partnerships to call attention to the need to better integrate autism and mental health services in Ontario. Our policy paper, Putting Children and Youth First: Integrating Autism and Mental Health Services in Ontario was developed with the input of over 20 child and youth autism and mental health providers and leaders from across the province. It looks at the scientific literature, examines the challenges associated with serving this population, reflects the lived experiences of families trying to cope with this dual diagnosis, and puts forward recommendations to improve service development and delivery.

In community mental health, waitlists across the province continue to grow. In collaboration with other community service providers, we opened a walk-in clinic in Peterborough to get children and youth the help they need sooner. As one of the province’s Lead Agencies for children and youth mental health, we continuing to improve our services and strengthen clinical pathways through effective partnerships to support the communities we serve.

In March 2020, Ontario was affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Kinark quickly adapted our services to continue to support, and protect, our clients, staff, and families. We are continuing to innovate to respond to the needs of those children and youth who rely on us.

We are proud of the way Kinark employees responded to the pandemic, safeguarding and protecting our vulnerable clients and providing access to needed crisis services and supporting and caring for each other through promoting safe workspaces.

  • In our essential services: Forensic Mental Health, Youth Justice, and Live-In Treatment sites, staff continued to provide in-person services to support some of Ontario’s most vulnerable youth;
  • Child and youth mental health staff continued to deliver crisis and critical response teams in the community; and
  • Staff in our Intensive Support and Provision Program, Supervised Access Program, and Autism Services used innovation and collaboration to develop and deliver virtual services for clients and families.

Like many organizations, families and individuals, we are not sure what 2020-21 will bring, but we are confident that Kinark will continue to rise to the challenge of whatever comes, and stay focused on why we are here – helping children and youth with complex needs achieve better life outcomes.

Gregory Glenn
Chair, Board of Directors
Cathy Paul
President and Chief Executive Officer