DSO Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may help you find the information you're looking for.
- What services does the DSO offer?
The DSO does not offer any direct services or funding, it is the access point for Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) funded adult developmental services and supports. Once eligibility is confirmed, referrals to residential supports, day supports, respite and specialized resources are made based on a person’s individual needs and service requests. The DSO also provides information to people related to services and supports available within their community. Visit our Services and Supports page to learn more.
- How do I know if I am eligible for Adult Developmental Services when I contact the DSO, and what information do I need to provide?
To apply for adult Developmental Services, a person must have a developmental disability. This means that the person has significant limitations in cognitive functioning and adaptive functioning. Limitations must originate before the person reaches 18 years of age and are most likely to be life long in nature. Visit our Eligibility Criteria and Application Process page for more information.
- What happens if I am not eligible for Adult Developmental Supports and Services?
If you are not eligible for MCCSS funded services, you will receive a letter to advise you and you will have the option to request a review of that decision. The DSO will make every effort to provide you with information to assist you in finding alternative resources.
How does the new DSM-5 impact the eligibility process?
Changes in the DSM-5 from DSM IV have been identified by the MCCSS for clarification as to whether these have an impact on the tools provided that are used to screen for eligibility. At this time, no changes in the process have been communicated by the Ministry.
What happens after I have been confirmed eligible for Adult Developmental Services and Supports by the DSO?
Once the DSO confirms eligibility, they link people to MCCSS funded supports and services when resources become available. Availability of services and supports vary based on the type and availability of the resources in your area. Service Navigators advise the DSO Assessor Team when eligibility is confirmed so that they may arrange for an application package to be completed. Visit our Eligibility Criteria and Application Process page for more information.
When does a DSO Assessor contact me to have an Application Package completed?
The time of contact from a DSO Assessor varies based on waitlists in your region and availability of Assessors. Based on the current high volumes, it is not possible to provide an estimate. Presently, MCCSS has requested that urgent referrals are completed within one year of referral. It is important for the DSO to be kept updated around changes in your circumstances so that we can be as responsive as possible. To find out more about the application process, visit our Eligibility Criteria and Application Process page.
How does DSO determine who is most in need of resources?
When a vacancy becomes available at an agency that provides MCCSS funded services and supports, the information is passed on to the appropriate DSO. The DSO reviews the relevant service registry (e.g. residential support, day program, etc.) for the resource and identifies a potential match to the vacancy announced. The proposed match is based on priority within the registry and consideration is given to people who can be most effectively supported at that resource location. The candidate that meets the criteria most closely is interviewed by the agency and the agency decides whether or not the vacancy can appropriately support the person.
What funding does DSO have?
The DSO does not provide funding directly. It establishes eligibility for service, links you to services and supports, provides information about relevant community-based services and assesses your support needs through a standardized assessment.
What options do I have if I can no longer care for my son/daughter?
If you have changing needs or new information, you should contact the DSO to provide them with an update. Depending on your circumstance, the DSO may link you to other supports or services such as case management or crisis supports which are available to individuals and their families when in need.
How do I provide feedback about my interaction with DSO CER?
DSO CER encourages feedback through a variety of ways; by contacting us directly at 1.855.277.2121, by emailing your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or by responding to our satisfaction survey. Applicants are also provided with a survey after their application package to provide feedback on their experience either by hard copy or electronically to the MCCSS.
How do I provide feedback about services and supports in my region?
Consider external sources for feedback such as any calls for focus groups, joining an advocacy group or a family/caregiver support group to help get your concerns heard.
- Why does it take so long to get my application package done?
Due to the large number of applicants who are requesting access to funded services in the adult developmental sector, there is currently a waitlist for those confirmed eligible to have their application package completed. Please continue to update the DSO as changes occur in your current situation. Visit our Eligibility Criteria and Application Process page for more information.
- What happens if I don’t want to proceed with the application package?
A person may choose not to complete the application package. Please inform the staff person who was in contact with you as to your reasons for declining the meeting. It is important to know that this decision may affect accessing services and funding.
- Can you send me a copy of the application package to fill out before we meet to save time?
The application package is to be completed by a designated qualified assessor who has been trained through MCCSS and are deemed certified to complete the package. Information on how to prepare for the package is sent in advance to assist with the process. Visit our Eligibility Criteria and Application Process page for more information.
- What if I disagree with the results of the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) Assessment?
Discuss any concerns you have with the assigned assessor, who can assist you to understand the scores. In some exceptional circumstances, a review of the SIS may be suggested with the assessor team. It is important to remember that the results of the assessment are based on the information collected through the person and their respondents.
- After the application package is done, what is the next step?
Please keep the DSO updated in regards to any current situation changes or new service requests. We also encourage families to check the DSO website or call DSO to remain updated with developments in the adult developmental sector. Visit our Eligibility Criteria and Application Process page for more information.
- What happens to my information once you complete the application package?
Information from your application package will be entered into a service planning database. This system allows us to print reports when you want us to share them with a service provider or if you want a copy for yourself. With your consent, the information collected from the application package will assist with making appropriate linkages to supports and services in your community. The information can also be used by other DSO agencies if you move to another region. Your information may also be used by the MCCSS for planning future services and supports.
- I had the assessment 6 months ago, why haven’t I heard from anyone?
The completion of the application package does not guarantee the start of services. It does assist with making the referrals for services, ensuring that the person is registered for services in regards to resource management as well as ensuring that all information is updated. At this point, we encourage families to keep the DSO updated should there be a change in the current situation as it can help with prioritizing of service requests as well as keeping our community partners updated.
- How long will it take for me to get housing, respite, funding, etc.?
The high volume and demand continues to increase every year with services unable to meet the needs of all of the people requesting support. We understand that this can be difficult for families who are in need of services on an immediate basis. Based on your current situation, crises services/referrals may also be discussed to assist with receiving appropriate services to address your current situation. It is difficult to know when long term services and supports can be accessed, as it depends on whether or not new resources have been created or when existing services are no longer needed by the person who is currently occupying them.
I am having service concerns with my service provider, who can I contact?
Contact your service provider directly to address any service concerns that you are experiencing. Service providers operate independently from the DSO CER and have their own complaint resolution policies in place to deal with your concerns.