In April 2019, Grandview Children’s Centre hosted the first of many Family Focus Groups so that our team could hear first-hand from our Grandview families what they believed would be helpful offerings under the new fee-for-service Grandview Kids Autism Program – Journey to Potential. Attendance across four events was very good, and we received thoughtful, engaged, and constructive feedback from 39 participants.
What we Asked
Families were asked to share the following:
- What Autism services has your family received, either at Grandview or in the community?
- What programs/services delivered the best results?
- What programs/services did not deliver the results you expected?
- What is the gap in the community for Autism Service offerings?
Families were also asked to identify what, if any, new programs and services that they would like see offered and delivered by Grandview
What we Heard
The feedback was very positive and will be useful as we move forward. Overall we were thrilled to hear that families saw Grandview as a welcoming, respectful, and thoughtful environment, and one where staff is appropriately trained and supervised.
Other key learnings from the sessions were:
- All of the families who participated in the focus groups had received at least one service from Grandview – Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, therapeutic recreation, behaviour services.
- Families appreciated Grandview’s “wrap-around”, integrated approach to developing their plans.
- Some families seemed to know what services they wanted while other said they wanted an assessment that looked at a number of areas of need to help them determine their next steps or where to start with service.
- Feedback with respect to things that have not worked related to scheduling, location of program delivery, and duration of service.
Some gaps identified by participants included the need for:
- More community supports
- Respite support and options
- Recreational/social groups for children under 4 years of age
- More community-based groups for adolescents
An important action taken at the Focus Groups was to capture a list of the families’ suggestions for new or improved programming across a variety of service categories. Some of the suggestions included:
- Supports to help with the transition to school or community-based settings
- More therapy, including groups, and a variety of activities
- A safe supportive place for children and youth to practice recreational and social skills
- More workshops and training sessions for parents and caregivers. The workshops to-date have helped families learn strategies to manage challenging behaviours and develop skills
If you were unable to attend the Focus Group Sessions we would still value your input. Please send your comments/questions/feedback to our Family Engagement Coordinator at FAC@grandviewkids.ca.
What Comes Next?
In an effort to increase direct engagement with families, we plan to hold more Focus Groups and facility Open Houses. These events are intended to welcome families into our Centre, to visit with us, and to explore our delivery locations. These sessions also offer a closer look at the GrandviewKids Programs and create an opportunity for families to meet members of our team:
These will be ‘drop-in’ events and no set agenda or plan. Families are encouraged to stop by at any time during the event and to bring the kids! Keep your eye on our calendar and this site for new dates!
Our Lines are Always Open
We know that families may not able to attend focus group sessions, or open house events in person, but your feedback is very important to us. To share your ideas, or if you have questions, please reach out to our Service Navigation Team. They can be reached by phone: 905 728 1673 ext. 2468, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to keep families engaged as we build our future together!