News release

Province Releases Review of Options Program

COMMUNITY SERVICES Province Releases Review of Options Program


An independent review of Nova Scotia's Community Based Options (CBO) program released today calls for continuing efforts to better serve people with mental or physical disabilities.

The report, released today, was conducted by Dr. Michael Kendrick. He reports on the strengths in Nova Scotia's CBO system, while recommending improvements over the next five to 10 years.

The Community Based Options program includes homes for three or fewer persons with physical, intellectual or mental-health disabilities. About 1,700 people are currently cared for and are able to live in the community with some support or supervision.

"We are pleased the report acknowledges our program is typical of those elsewhere and above average in providing small community- based settings," said Community Services Minister Peter Christie. "At the same time, our government is committed to improving services for people with mental and physical disabilities. This report is consistent with the direction we're taking and will help guide us forward."

Since 1996, improvements to the CBO system include bringing in interim standards, assuming responsibility for former municipal CBO programs, releasing an earlier service review of the system, introducing a policy manual for the Community Supports for Adults program, and then introducing training and qualification standards for all direct-care staff under the department's jurisdiction.

The report identifies many of the strengths in the CBO system including:

  • serving a wide range of people with varying and often challenging needs;
  • managing the system with little waste;
  • successfully helping many people leave institutions and resettle in the community; and
  • keeping unnecessary bureaucracy out of people's lives.

While the report favors more resources for community-based options, it urges that new resources be invested in modernizing the system before expanding it.

Mr. Christie said the next step is to review the recommendations. "We will continue to consult with our stakeholders and with those who are cared for by the CBO program," he said.

The independent review was conducted for Community Services by Dr. Michael J. Kendrick, an international consultant specializing in mental health and disability. Dr. Kendrick is a native of Nova Scotia currently residing in Massachusetts.

The 200-page review has been distributed to public libraries and is available on the Internet at: www.gov.ns.ca/coms/review.htm

FOR BROADCAST USE

An independent review of Nova Scotia's Community-Based Options program calls for continuing efforts to better serve people with mental or physical disabilities.

The Community-Based Options program cares for people with physical, intellectual and mental-health disabilities in special homes, each having three or fewer residents. About 17-hundred people live in Nova Scotia's 377 such homes.

Community Services Minister Peter Christie says the report acknowledges Nova Scotia's program is typical of those elsewhere, and above average in providing small, community-based settings.

The minister says Nova Scotia is committed to improving services, and the next step is to review the report's recommendations.

The report favors more resources for community-based options, but it urges that they be invested on modernizing the system before expanding it.

The independent review was conducted by Doctor Michael J. Kendrick, a consultant in mental health and disability. He is a Nova Scotian currently residing in Massachusetts.

-30-

Contact:

Tom Peck
Community Services 902-424-4326 E-mail:
kjd           February 13, 2001      1:04 p.m.