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In 1972, representatives of 13 Children’s Treatment Centres along with a representative from The Easter Seal Society began to meet informally to discuss mutual concerns in the provision of services to children with physical disabilities. These information meetings led to the identification of common needs and goals and an alliance was created which was called the Association of Treatment Centres of Ontario.

Association of Treatment Centres of Ontario (ATCO) was officially incorporated on September 20, 1978 and in 1996 the name was changed to Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services (OACRS).

Over the course of the past thirty years OACRS has grown its membership. Currently OACRS represents 21 Children’s Treatments Centres in Ontario.

Milestones

1972

Representatives of 13 Children’s Treatment Centre along with a representative from the Easter Seal Society began to meeting informally to discuss mutual concerns in the provision of services to children with physical disabilities. Having identified common needs and goals the group formed an alliance which is termed the Association of Treatment Centres of Ontario.

1975

The Association of Treatment Centres grows to 16 member centres (plus 2 which are under construction). The structure of the Association becomes more formal. Meetings are held with administrators, clinical representatives and Medical Directors. Standing committees include Salaries and Professional Development. Membership fees for the Association set at $25.00.

1976

The first Professional Development conferences are held in Peterborough and Chatham. The theme for the conferences “The Future of the Multihandicapped Child”. Accreditation becomes a focus in Children’s Treatment Centres. Position papers regarding the “Integration of Physically Handicapped into the Regular School System” are submitted to the Ministry of Health.

1977 

The Association of Treatment Centres of Ontario embarks on a campaign to seek government recognition and to gain stature as an advocate of Ontario’s treatment centres. To this end, the Association establishes a committee to draft a formal constitution and by-law. By-law #1 is completed and the Association applies for Charter under the Corporations Act of Ontario and registration as a recognized charitable organization under the Income Tax Act.

1978

On September 20, 1978 the Association of Treatment Centres of Ontario is officially incorporated.

1980 

The first Annual Association Conference is held and focuses on the development of a common philosophy of care for the child with a disability.

1989

The Association Board of Directors is expanded to 15 members. A volunteer member becomes President for the first time, demonstrating the Association’s strong commitment to trustee/volunteer membership.

A Government Affairs Committee is established with a mandate to provide a liaison with the Government of Ontario regarding issues and legislation affecting Children’s Treatment Centres.

1991

Association of Treatment Centres of Ontario appoints a Chief Executive Officer, Valerie Hyman. A Provincial office is established to coordinate collaborative endeavours and to strengthen the voice of Children’s Treatment Centres at the provincial level.

1992

The Association of Treatment Centres of Ontario celebrates 20 years.

The Vision Document entitled “Children with Disabilities and the Role of Children’s Treatment Centres” is distributed. The discussion document is meant to ‘serve as a basis for communication and for beginning a course of action towards realizing the Association’s vision.’

1996

Name changes from Association of Treatment Centres of Ontario (ATCO) to Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services (OACRS).

1998

OACRS is awarded an Atkinson Foundation Grant for three years to develop a public awareness campaign. “Champions for Children”, a policy document, and “Caring for Kids”, issues based on news bulletins are widely distributed and receive positive accolades.

OACRS and the Neurodevelopmental Clinical Research Unit (McMaster University) releases publication of Outcome Measurement: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Families in March 1998.

1999

OACRS rewrites its Vision and Mission. A review of Children’s Treatment Centres takes place.

2000

The role of Children’s Treatment Centres is released by the Province of Ontario. Children’s Treatment Centres budgets’ are unfrozen after 7 years.

2001

Children’s Treatment Centres are awarded $20 million in annualized funding.

2002

OACRS is involved in developing a new policy framework for children’s rehabilitation services and special education policy.

The Ontario Government approves the establishment of the 20th Children’s Treatment Centre for the province in North Bay Ontario.

2003

Government of Ontario creates Ministry of Child and Youth Services and Children’s Treatment Centres are moved from Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to the Ministry of Child and Youth Services.

Ministry of Child and Youth Services announces funding a new Children’s Treatment Centre - Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe-York.

2004

Vicky Earle, is appointed as Chief Executive Officer for the Association.

Government of Ontario announces $10 million in funding for Children’s Treatment Centres. 

2005

OACRS releases the following documents:

  • Key Directions for Children’s Treatment Centres: Aiding in the Transformation of Children’s Services in Ontario
  • Ontario’s Children and Youth with Disabilities: Losing the Potential

2006

Government of Ontario announces $4 million in funding for Children’s Treatment Centres.

OACRS alters its governance structure to include one board director per member.

Stephen Lewis speaks at the annual OACRS Conference – Measuring Success: Creating Meaningful Outcomes.

2007

OACRS Members agree to invest more in OACRS to provide the resources for a full-time Chief Executive Officer. Linda Kenny is appointed in November 2007.

Family Advisory Council is established to enhance the voice of families and to advise the OACRS Board of Directors on system-wide issues.

2008

OACRS hosts another successful another successful annual conference in Waterloo, Ontario. Family Advisory Council members are able to attend thanks to a grant from Ministry of Child and Youth Services. Justin Hines is a keynote speaker.

2009

OACRS releases three-year strategic plan – Strategic Directions 2012.

2010

Government of Ontario announces investment of an additional $9 million in funding for Children’s Treatments Centres.

OACRS and its members participate in the School Health Support Services review.

In October 2010, Cochrane Temiskaming Children's Treatment Centre joins OACRS as the twenty-first member.

 
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