The Homes for Special Care Service (HSC) is a voluntary service in which an Owner/Operator of a home provides residential care to individuals with a severe mental illness. The Service is open to individuals who may no longer require hospitalization or to those who live independently in the community and may now require assistance. They must agree to the conditions of a supervised co-operative living environment.
Administered by the North Bay Regional Health Centre - Regional Outreach, the homes are funded and licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Each home is privately owned and operated.
To be considered for the Homes for Special Care Service, an individual must:
- meet the admission criteria of Regulation 636 of the Homes for Special Care Act and the requirements of the NBRHC-Regional Outreach, HSC Regional Office;
- have a serious mental illness that is currently stable;
- be 18 years of age or older;
- require some level of 24-hour supervision and support and, at the discretion of the Owner / Operator, the level of support needed can be met by the home; and
- agree to the conditions of co-operative living;
Home dynamics and personal safety are major factors when a referral is reviewed of an applicant to the HSC Service. The referral, Individual Resident Plan and / or discharge plan must be comprehensive to ensure the safety of all tenants in the home. Admission will not be considered for applicants who:
- are clinically unstable;
- have a recent history of uncontrolled violence;
- have a history of behaviour that poses a serious fire hazard; or
- require 24-hour nursing care or a locked or secure setting.
Services provided by a Home for Special Care include:
- meals, laundry, medication management and some level of 24-hour supervision on a short or long-term basis;
- funding for personal care items, such as toiletries, clothing, eyeglasses and dental care;
- social and recreational activities; and
- support from staff of the HSC home
The Role of Field Workers
The role of field workers of the Homes for Special Care Service includes:
- assessing individuals referred by facilities and service providers for suitability for the HSC Service;
- providing support and direct service to tenants and operators to promote recovery and assist with reintegration into the community;
- improving the quality of life for residents by identifying gaps and recommending services and programs (i.e. social, recreation, assistive devices, hair care, etc.);
- advocating on behalf of patients; and
- managing administrative and financial tasks, such as:
- Providing education / teaching to the tenants, Home Operators, families, government and community agencies regarding the program and policies;
- Monitoring HSC homes for compliance as per the HSC Operating Guidelines;
- Completing annual Home Reports with assistance from Fire Inspectors, Public Health Inspectors and the Home Operators regarding yearly re-licensing;
- Reviewing tenant expenditures for clothing, dental, medication, vision, toiletries, transportation, recreation activities and reviewing special funding requests based on tenant needs and budget allocations; and
- Approving and submitting invoices for payment to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for comfort costs.