Child and Youth Developmental Services
Contact Brant is your first place to contact to get the services you need for children and youth who have social, emotional, behavioural, psychiatric, developmental concerns and/or special needs. We also provide information to anyone who calls about available services in the Brant area.
Having a clear place to call for support is important in our community, to make it easier for families to access services for their child, and to reduce families having to repeat their story. Contact Brant makes it easy for you through just one phone call.
Anyone can refer a child or youth to Contact Brant services, including a child, youth parent, guardian or professional. Call Contact Brant at 519-758-8228, or use this secure referral link Contact Brant Referral. We will get back to you within one business day.
What Can I Expect When I call Contact Brant?
When you call Contact Brant, our staff will gather some brief information on your situation and then set up an intake appointment for you with one of our Resource Coordinators. The date and time of the appointment will be set at your convenience.
The intake usually happens over the telephone or in our office, but can be scheduled at another location. The intake appointment takes about one hour. We can meet with just the parent/guardian but like to also meet with the child whenever possible.
At the intake appointment, the Resource Coordinator will ask you to tell your story about your situation, including the child and family’s strengths, concerns and history. We write this information down and keep this information stored securely.
The Resource Coordinator will talk to you about the available services and supports that are the best match and listen to what services you are interested in. The Resource Coordinator will let you know how long you may have to wait for the service, and what other resources might help in the meantime.
Once you have connected with a Resource Coordinator, that person will be your contact at Contact Brant. You can call them at any time for more information, or to access other services. We welcome you to call your Resource Coordinator with any questions at any time.
We request that you let us know of any changes, such as if your address or phone number changes, or if your situation changes while you are waiting for services (e.g. things are getting worse). We are here to help.
To make a referral to any service, Contact Brant needs your consent.
- Children of all ages can give consent if deemed capable.
- A youth age 16 and older needs to provide their own consent.
- Parents and guardians can give consent for children under age 16.
- Contact Brant always tries to secure both the child’s and the parent/guardian’s consent.
What issues might a child or youth have to need developmental services?
A developmental delay means a child is not meeting expected milestones but there has not been a determination as to the cause. If you have concerns about how your child is progressing, first talk to your family doctor or pediatrician. You might want to request a referral to a developmental pediatrician. Some children begin more slowly and then catch up – early access to services is important.
Services in our community for a child with a developmental delay:
Click here for information on community services that can help children with a developmental delay. Call Contact Brant for information.
A developmental disability or developmental disorder is a chronic problem resulting from mental or physical impairments, or both. Children with developmental disabilities may find it difficult to perform activities such as moving, learning, communicating with language, or taking care of themselves. The disabilities begin between birth and age 18 and last throughout a person’s life. Examples include intellectual disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, hearing or vision impairments.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) can include intellectual delays, inadequate growth, problems with the central nervous system, abnormalities in cranial structure, and behavioral issues. See our website page on FASD.
What child and youth developmental services are there in our community?
Click here for information on developmental services that Contact Brant can help children and youth access in our community. Remember to call Contact Brant to access any of these supports.
What child and youth Autism services are there in our community?
Click here for information on Autism services in our community. Call Contact Brant for information on these supports.
Ontario Autism Program (OAP) Central Intake and Registration – this is the single, provincial registration. To register a child in the OAP program or for inquiries regarding your Childhood Budget, funding agreement, payments to families and service providers and/or reconciliation of a Childhood Budget:
Also, see the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website for information on OAP: http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/specialneeds/autism/single-point-of-access.aspx
Contact Brant also helps with Transition Planning.
Your Contact Brant Resource Coordinator can also give you information about planning for the transition to adult developmental services at age 18. Transition planning should start early, at least by age 14.
Your Resource Coordinator will be pleased to meet with you and provide more information about things to consider for transition planning. At age 16, your Resource Coordinator will meet with you to update your intake and with your consent send a referral to Developmental Services Ontario Hamilton-Niagara Region (DSO) to determine eligibility for planning for adult developmental services. Contact Brant will help you collect the paperwork that is required to have the DSO determine eligibility. For more information on Transition Planning, see our website’s Transition Planning page.
What can parents do if their child has a developmental delay or disability?
- Focus first on the fact that this is your child, and then on the special need
- Focus on strengths and solutions rather than problems
- Get services – speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy as early as possible
- Implement the techniques the professionals use to challenge your child
- Follow through if your pediatrician recommends that your child see a medical specialist
- Create an environment that meets your child’s needs and abilities
- Encourage your child to learn to do things their own way; how things are done is not as important as skills will improve with practice
- Accept that your child will develop at their own speed and in their own way
- Focus on what your child likes doing – play with your child! Participation in activities meaningful and fun to a child and family can lead to improved physical and social functioning.
- Think about the future – never decide what is impossible.
If you have a crisis situation and require help immediately:
- Crisis Services provides immediate crisis support and counselling for children, youth and adults who are experiencing a mental health, addictions, or situational crisis or
- Call 911 or
- Go to the Brantford Hospital emergency department or
- Call your family physician/pediatrician.
For non-crisis situations, call Contact Brant to access services: 519-758-8228.