Call us today: (519) 758-8228

Start Here for Children’s Developmental Services

Pictures for website3

Start with Contact Brant.  We are the first place to contact to access community services and programs for children and youth ages 0 – 18 who have Autism, a developmental disability, and/or developmental concerns who live in the City of Brantford or the County of Brant.  Services for children and youth with developmental concerns or an intellectual disability are referred to as children’s developmental services.  Children diagnosed within the Autism Spectrum Disorder also receive services within this sector.

Anyone can access our services.  Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  You can leave a message on our answering machine after hours and we will call you back the next business day:

Call: 519-758-8228

Drop in to our office, or mail:

Contact Brant for Children’s and Developmental Services 643 Park Road North Brantford, ON, N3T 5L8

Fax: 519-758-9507

Contact Brant Website:

Information Services Website:

Single Point of Access: Contact Brant is the single point of access for the following agencies that support children and youth with Autism and/or developmental concerns.  Call us first to complete an intake and referral to these services:

  • Brant Family and Children’s Services (Alternate Care respite program)
  • CPRI – Child and Parent Resource Institute (all programs)
  • Developmental Services Ontario (DSO – referral at age 16* See section on Transition Planning below)
  • Family Counselling Centre of Brant (children’s developmental services programs)
  • Lansdowne Children’s Centre (developmental services and Autism programs)
  • Regional services including Lynwood Charlton Centre


If you have a crisis situation and require help immediately:

  • Call Integrated Crisis Services at 519-759-7188 or 1-866-811-7188 24 hours/day. Integrated Crisis Services provides immediate crisis support and counselling for children, youth and adults who are experiencing a mental health, addictions, or situational crisis. or
  • Go to the St. Leonard’s Walk-in Clinic at 225 Fairview Drive, Brantford, which is open 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. every day.  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.

More About Children’s Developmental Services in Brant:

There are various types of Children’s Developmental Services that Contact Brant can give you information about and help you access:

Infant and Child Development: This is a home-based service for children ages 0 through 5 years 11 months. Developmental Consultants work with children and their families who are experiencing developmental challenges or are at risk for developmental delays to maximize the child’s development and provide parent support.

Respite: Respite is a planned break or temporary relief to allow families of children/ youth with developmental disabilities to have some time away from their care, while providing the child opportunities to be with others, have fun and develop social and recreational skills. Respite may be provided out of home or in the home. The amount of respite varies depending on need and availability.

Behaviour Therapy: Services provide assessment and treatment/support of behavioural issues for the child/youth and their family.  Supports help children and youth develop daily living and social skills.

Family Support: This child/youth and family support is provided in the home with a focus on helping the child and family in the areas of communication, behavioural support, parenting skills and strategies, and crisis planning.  Family Support Workers can provide case management supports as well.

Family/Caregiver Skill-Building and Supports: A broad range of information and education resources and supports is available to families to increase their understanding and response to children and youth with developmental concerns.  Educational groups are offered in a workshop (one session) to increase awareness of mental health and developmental problems and parenting strategies.  Evidenced-based parenting programs are offered in group sessions, focused on skill building and effective parenting strategies.  There are also peer support groups for parents available.

Ontario Autism Program (OAP):  OAP provides services and supports for children and youth, up to age 18, who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Each family is at the center of the OAP services through involvement in the planning of their child’s services, goal setting to reflect each child’s unique needs/priorities, and continued involvement and use of the strategies identified in the behavioural plan. Children and youth will receive flexible and individualized services based on their unique needs, strengths and goals.  Children/youth remain in the OAP, and as needs change over time, the child will move between different levels and forms of intervention that may vary in intensity.  Families will experience services that are well coordinated, family-centered and responsive to the unique needs, strengths, goals and unique potential of their child.  OAP offers evidence based behavioural services as well as family services and training.  The new OAP was implemented June 26, 2017 and will be fully rolled out over the next year.  Note: If children were already previously on the wait list for IBI or ABA, there is no need to re-apply as they will automatically have been added to the OAP waitlist. For the Brant area, the Hamilton-Niagara Regional Autism Program is managed by McMaster Children’s Hospital, with local services being provided by Lansdowne Children’s Centre. For a referral, call Contact Brant, or for information on wait list status call the toll free number: 1-855-707-1177.

Other programs that Contact Brant can provide information on but does not complete an intake and referral for include:

Recreation Services: Includes a range of recreational programs and camps aimed at enhancing a child/youth’s social skills and social inclusion.

Therapies/Clinical Services: This includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language, audiology, etc.  These are provided in home, school and office-based.

Special Services at Home (SSAH): SSAH is a respite program for children with developmental and/or physical disabilities.  There is an application process to receive the funding and services.

Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD): ACSD is a program of the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) that provides financial assistance to parents to help with extra-ordinary costs related to their child’s severe disability. It is a direct funding program for low and moderate income families.

Early Integration Program: Resource Teachers provide support to young children with developmental concerns and/or delays in licensed child care centres or licensed private home day cares to help them develop to their full potential. The program promotes the inclusion of all children in the preschool setting.

School Boards also offer supports to students with Autism and/or developmental concerns. Many professionals provide support services, either directly or indirectly to students including: classroom teachers, special education teachers, educational assistants, school administrators, learning/system resource teachers, special education consultants, speech and language consultants, psycho-educational consultants, social workers, child and youth workers, and behaviour consultants.  A good starting point is talking with the child’s school principal or teacher.

  • Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board
  • Grand Erie District School Board
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (École élémentairecatholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys)

What We Do as the First Place of Contact?

Contact Brant is the single point of access for services for children and youth funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ministry of Community and Social Services.  Contact Brant is mandated to complete the intake and referral for services funded by these two Ministries. Contact Brant can also give you information on community services and supports for children and youth and their families in Brant. If you think you may need a service for a child or youth, call Contact Brant.

As your first point of contact:

  • Contact Brant provides information to anyone who calls about available services and supports in the Brant community.  Everyone is welcome.
  • If you are looking for services, Contact Brant will complete an intake with you, make recommendations about the services we think that can be of help, and with your consent refer the child/youth to the most appropriate services to meet their needs.
  • Contact Brant ensures that access to services is fair and based on need – this is important as there are waiting lists for many services.
  • Contact Brant is the Service Coordination Agency for Brant, working together with other services to provide children and youth with multiple service needs, age birth to exit from school, with a Service Coordinator who will be a “key helper” for each family.  Each family is at the center of the Coordinated Service Planning supports through involvement in the planning of their child’s services as well as goal setting to reflect each child’s unique needs/priorities. Coordinated Service Planning ensures that everyone involved in services for the child/youth are working as a team to listen to the family’s concerns and priorities as well as work together to address each families goals in the services being provided.  The Service Coordinator makes sure that all the services (education, health and community children’s services) involved with a family are working as a team towards a common goal, and that the family is kept informed of what’s going on at all times. The Service Coordinator also works closely with each family to make sure things are going well and to address any concerns.
  • Contact Brant works with community agencies to coordinate service delivery, so that everyone involved is working together to support the child/youth and family, and plan together about discharge from a service and/or transition to a
  • Contact Brant coordinates the Brant Residential Placement Advisory Committee (RPAC). RPAC is a requirement under the Child and Family Services Act where the community reviews the placement of children and youth who are temporarily placed in a facility that has more than 10 treatment beds.
  • Contact Brant provides statistical information on intakes and referrals to the children’s services providers and the Ministry of Children’s and Youth Services to help with system planning of services in Brant.

The Intake Process

To start, our Intake Coordinator 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 intake appointment will be set at your convenience. The intake usually happens over the telephone or in our office, but sometimes an out-of-office appointment is required to accommodate special situations. The intake appointment usually takes about one hour.  We like to meet with the child/youth whenever possible, but can meet with just the parent/guardian.  We can meet alone with the youth if they request this.

At the intake appointment, the Resource Coordinator will ask you to tell your story about your situation, including the child and family’s strengths, needs and history.  The Resource Coordinator will talk to you about the available services and supports that are the best match, and what services you are interested in.  The Resource Coordinator will record your information and, with your consent, send the referral to the services that you agree to.  Often there is a period of waiting until you will actually receive the service and the Resource Coordinator will let you know how long that wait could be, 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 request that you let us know if your contact information changes (e.g. address, phone number) or if your situation changes while you are waiting for services (e.g., the situation is getting worse). The Resource Coordinator will update the information that they have on file and together with you will determine the next steps (e.g. new referrals, organizing a meeting, etc.).  We welcome you to call your Resource Coordinator with any questions at any time. We are here to help.

Planning for the Transition to Adult Services

Transition planning is about building a good life for the future.  At age 18, a youth will be discharged from children’s services. Transition planning will also help consider what life will look like when the student finishes secondary school.  It is really important to plan for this transition – school and community agencies will help youth and their families prepare for this change.

At least by age 14, Contact Brant will be pleased to meet with you and provide more information about things to consider for transition planning.  Community agency staff and your child’s teacher will also talk to you about planning for this transition.

At age 16, Contact Brant will meet with you to update your intake and send a referral to Developmental Services Ontario Hamilton-Niagara Region (DSO), with your consent.  Contact Brant is the single point of access for the DSO.  The DSO is the access agency for adult developmental services, and they will first determine if your child is eligible for adult developmental services.  Contact Brant will help you collect the paperwork that is required to have the DSO determine eligibility.  Once the DSO confirms your child is eligible, they will complete their intake process.  A young person will not be added to a waiting list until they turn 18; however, planning will begin once the intake is completed.  Adult developmental service agencies will plan with the DSO, children’s services, and Contact Brant to help identify potential adult services for the future.  Adult services are different than children’s services, and the services you may want may not be readily available at age 18, so it is important to focus plans for the future on other things than just services.

More About Transition Planning

There is a provincial protocol that supports the importance of transition planning, Transition Planning Protocol and Procedures for Young People with Developmental Disabilities (on Contact Brant’s website).  The Protocol encourages that everyone start planning at age 14, which is roughly the same time that a student transitions from elementary school to secondary school.

‘Transition’ means life is changing.  When your life will be changing, it is time to make some choices.  Thinking ahead now will help create a better life for your child in the future.  Think about their interests as well as what they need in supports, and to ensure a good quality of life.  Your child should be the center of this planning. What skills do they have now and what do they need to learn?  As an adult, they will be asked to make their own decisions, so are we giving them opportunities now to learn to make good choices?  Relationships are important to us all, and even more important to your child with a developmental disability who will need to rely on others to help them.  Your child will likely outlive their parents, so what are we doing to support building relationships with other family members and developing friendships with people we feel comfortable can help in the future?

Of course it is important to identify what are their needs for supports.  We must understand that although they are now a teenager, they will mature a bit more and may be able to learn to do things more independently in the future.  When thinking about supports your child needs for daily life, think about what things they can do for themselves and when they need some help.  What is being considered if your child’s support needs increase?

What will life look like in the future as far as social and work activities during the day, evenings, and weekends?  What is their financial picture (ODSP is often a source of income for people with disabilities and needs to be applied for at about age 17 ½ , but also think about employment even if it’s part-time).  Where will your child live and with whom?

What can you, the school and children’s service providers do now to help you be confident that things will be good for your child when children’s services and school ends?  Connecting youth to their community for activities and friendships now can be an important part of planning for a good life in the future.  Family, school and community agency staff should consider providing experiences and choices now so you know what is important to your child when making decisions about the future.

Information Database

Click here to search for community services in Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk. You can also call 2-1-1 for community services information 24/7, 365 days a year.

Your Guide


for a listing of workshops, courses, groups and events that are free for families, children and youth.

Suicide Prevention

If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about someone you know who is talking about suicide, call Integrated Crisis Services at 519-759-7188 or 1-866-811-7188, available 24 hours/day, or call 911.