When children and youth have special needs so complex that their families cannot manage, Skylark’s Special Needs Team is here to help.
For children, youth and their families living with developmental disabilities and/or complex special needs, Skylark acts as the single point of entry into residential services and residential case management in the Greater Toronto Area. We work closely with community planners and government funders to advocate on behalf of complex special needs families to plan for better, more accessible services.
We currently administer on behalf of government a budget in excess of $27 million that flows through to other agencies and community partners. To demonstrate our accountability in stewarding our substantial government funding, we recently engaged Success Markets Inc. (SMI) to conduct a Social Return on Investment (SROI). Click here to see a summary of the findings relative to the Special Needs Team and how the benefits to our clients and their families, government and society as a whole outweighs the investment.
The Skylark Special Needs Team works with families of children with complex developmental disabilities. These highly specialized, knowledgeable and creative problem solvers work tirelessly to find suitable, sustainable supports and services that make it possible to stabilize these children, and for them and their families, to have a better quality of life.
Working in close partnership with more than 100 community agencies, we are the only agency in the GTA to provide this intensive, comprehensive, specifically tailored support.
As a single parent of a child with disabilities, it is easy to fall into a downward spiral of hopelessness. How can I afford more help? Who can help me plan for the future? Will I ever have some semblance of a normal life? It is sometimes hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The Skylark (Delisle) Special Needs Team has been that welcome light. They provided us with a dedicated social worker, respite relief funding, and counselling around short and long term planning. Thanks to their support, my family can now function with considerably less stress and fatigue. Skylark (Delisle) has been a lifeline.
– Lucinda, Mother of a Special Needs Child
How we work
Our primary goal is to find solutions that keep children and youth at home with their families. When this is not viable we act as a single point of access for residential care that will allow our clients to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
Special needs children are children and youth with a developmental disability which limits their cognitive function and activities of daily living (ADLs), and who also have at least one other complex condition.
Our first step is to do a thorough assessment to determine eligibility. If the client meets eligibility criteria, an individualized and person-directed plan is developed in collaboration with the family and community partners.
The Special Needs Team takes referrals from community case managers, family service agencies, and Child Welfare.
Click here for additional resources for parents and caregivers of young persons with special needs