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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.



Carizon-Home Visiting Program

Get connected with a Carizon CAPC Facilitator and get personalized 1-1 support for you and your family!

Check out the program details, by clicking here or emailing capc@carizon.ca.

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Attention Ontario Parents Take This Once In A Lifetime Opportunity To Make Your Views Known.

The Ontario Government, after years of advocacy work by the AODA and other disability organizations, has committed to enact an Education Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). An advisory committee, the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee, which includes representatives from the government and the disability community, was assigned to develop recommendations on what the Education Accessibility Standard should include.


The committee’s initial recommendations report, a 185-page report, was made public on June the 1st (summaries below). The public has been given until September the 2nd to send feedback on the initial recommendations. This may be your only opportunity to have your voice heard. 


To take more action, click here and find out more.

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Community of Heart Summer Virtual Learning

Check out what Community of Hearts is offering this summer for their virtual day programming.

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Family Pulse-July 2021

Welcome to July! 


Inside this issue:

Evening of Elegance @home - WRFN's Signature Event
SEAC Updates
Of Joy and Sorrow
What's Happening at WRFN
Steph's Corner
Community Information, Resources and Opportunities


You can read the online version of Family Pulse here or download a pdf copy. 

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Lutherwood blogposts- Mental Health & Employment

Mental Health: Strategies and Resources for Youth to start normalizing the conversation about Mental Health
Employment: 10 Ways to stay motivated and healthy during COVID

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Recreational Respite-July calendar

Check out the July 2021 calendar for what Recreational Respite is offering by way of supports.

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Lutherwood Work From Home Series & blogposts about Employment & Mental Health

Work from home series:

Through a partnership with the Workforce Planning Board we will be a guest speaker in the Work From Home Series events that they are running.

If you're interested in attending, please follow this link to register. 


Lutherwood Blog Updates:

Mental Health: Respecting Names and Pronouns
Employment: Top 5 COVID-19 Job Search Tips


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Autism Ontario's One to One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund

Autism Ontario is happy to announce that the 2021 One to One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund is now open for application!


Applications are due by June 28th!

Reimbursements will be provided based on a random selection made from all eligible applicants who apply by Monday, June 28th, 2021.


To learn more, click here.

To read FAQ, click here.


To apply, click here.

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Ontario Extending Temporary Wage Increase for Personal Support Workers


Province Continuing to Support Frontline Health Care Heroes in Fight Against COVID-19

June 11, 2021
Ministry of Health


TORONTO ― The Ontario government is investing $141 million to extend the temporary wage increase for personal support workers and direct support workers in publicly funded home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals, and social services sectors. This temporary wage increase will continue until August 23, 2021, and will help stabilize, attract and retain the workforce needed to provide a high level of care during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Our government is committed to supporting personal support workers and direct support workers as they care for Ontarians during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These wage enhancements recognize personal support workers and direct support workers for their dedication to their patients, and help ensure they have the resources they need to continue delivering quality care in our communities.”


The province has been providing a temporary wage increase since October 1, 2020, to over 158,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services, including:

  • $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in home and community care;
  • $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
  • $2 per hour for approximately 10,000 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
  • $3 per hour for approximately 60,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living.


This latest temporary wage increase builds on the government’s previous wage enhancement extension on March 18, 2021, which was set to expire on June 30, 2021. Since October 2020, Ontario has invested $841 million to support personal support workers and supportive care workers. The province will continue to review the wage increase to inform next steps after August 23, 2021.


The government also recently announced an investment of over $115 million to accelerate training for up to 8,200 new personal support workers for Ontario’s health and long-term care sectors. Registration for the program is available through the Ontario College Application Service.


"Personal support workers are the backbone of Ontario’s long-term care system," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "Extending this wage increase will help to attract and retain personal support workers in long-term care which is so important as they provide our loved ones with the care they need and deserve everyday."


"The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways, but we know it has had a profound impact on vulnerable Ontarians who rely on support workers in their day-to-day lives," said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. "By further extending this temporary wage increase, we can ensure that our most vulnerable continue to receive the care they need and we continue to recognize the dedication and commitment of support workers in all sectors throughout the pandemic."


"Since the outset of the pandemic, personal support workers and direct support workers have made enormous sacrifices to keep Ontarians safe and healthy. They have been an invaluable part of our fight against COVID-19, and we can't thank them enough for their service," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance. "This extension of the temporary wage increase recognizes their heroic work to safeguard the most vulnerable in our province, while building on our historic investments to improve home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals and the social services sector."


Quick Facts

  • Personal support workers provide a wide range of services in home and community care, which also reduces or delays the need for more costly care in hospitals and long-term care homes.
  • In October 2020, Ontario provided $461 million to temporarily enhance wages for personal support workers and direct support workers. This was followed by an extension of the temporary wage increase on March 18, 2021.
  • Through the COVID-19 Fall Preparedness Plan, the government invested $52.5 million to recruit, retain and support over 3,700 more frontline health care workers and caregivers. It is one of the largest health care recruiting and training programs in Ontario history. To date, more than 600 personal support workers, 500 nurses and 130 supportive care workers have been added across the province through this plan. This is in addition to thousands of new staff hired through other programs like pandemic pay.
  • The temporary wage increase will be reviewed on a regular basis and is intended to extend until August 23, 2021, in connection with regulations made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

Additional Resources

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rare Summer ECO Camp subsidizes

These week-long day camps provide children with the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, values, and motivation necessary to become environmentally-responsible community members – all while having fun in a primarily outdoors environment.


We have full week ECO Camp subsidies available for children aged 6-12 located in Cambridge or North Dumfries who would otherwise be unable to participate in camp programs.


In some cases, this may also cover transportation costs to and from camp should that be a barrier for families. We are reaching out to you and your organizations in hopes that you can help us reach families and children who may be interested in this opportunity.


Reach out to Jenna Quinn jenna.quinn@raresites.org directly, if you want to recommend a child or family.


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Blog Contributor Portrait
Leah Bowman
July 30, 2021
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Blog Contributor Portrait
Waterloo Region Family Network
November 12, 2019
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