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Many people with complex needs, such as citizens with multiple disabilities, often find themselves surrounded by 'service systems' that are poorly co-ordinated and lack accountability for the person's well-being. For individuals who require support from two or more systems, this is particularly problematic. People labeled with a dual diagnosis (developmental disability and mental health problem) and their families report that people often 'fall between the cracks.' How can communities respond to the suffering that families often have to endure?
In the early 1990s, CCBR collaborated with several organizations in Waterloo Region, including the Canadian Mental Health Association, to co-sponsor the Support Cluster Project. With funding from the Ontario Innovation Fund, this 30 month project brought together agencies, families, and advocates to design a 'new way of working with people with complex needs.' CCBR was responsible for researching and evaluating this innovative design that included a new model of support and ways of mobilizing people to respond to this vulnerable group of citizens and their families.
1. Created a new valued-based approach for supporting people with complex needs
2. Created communication and educational vehicles for families
3. Evaluated the 'support clusters' intervention
The support clusters strategy proved to be highly successful:
-written by John Lord
Formerly Centre for Research and Education in Human Services (CREHS)