Chapter 7: Sustaining & Renewing

Our agency cannot do everything for everybody
so the partnership has made our work stronger
because we can collaborate with partners.

— A service provider

York ASD Partnership Accomplishments

What has Changed?

Since YASDP was officially launched in October, 2011, there have been many accomplishments that have changed the system of support for people with ASD in York Region.

Watch part 3 of Parents Learn about YASDP, where parents talk about what the changes brought about by YASDP have meant to them.

Parent Interviews


Watch Intake Workers Discuss the York ASD Partnership where intake workers from Children's Treatment Network and Kerry's Place talk about the Warm Transfer Protocol and how it has changed their process of dealing with clients, and how they feel about their job.

Intake workers discuss the York ASD Partnership


In more concrete terms, YASDP’s work has led to the following changes in York Region:

  • Region-wide collaboration framed around a shared access map and four gateway organizations.
  • A new system of coordinated access, premised on a no-wrong-door approach and supported by front-door training to cover all aspects of the system.
  • Increased ASD knowledge and capacity in organizations serving children and youth, maintained and sustained by on-line training modules.
  • Widespread use of the Children’s Treatment Network Shared Electronic Record among service providers – and promising prospects for parental access to it in the near future.
  • Use of a standardized screening tool called Red Flags for School Aged Children.
  • Use of a common warm transfer protocol to ensure a staff person accompanies the family through the referral process rather than having them sent away with a list of phone numbers but no real connections.
  • Access & Referral Guides delivered to every physician in York Region so they can make it easier for families to get access to a gateway agency.
  • A searchable electronic ASD service data-base for Intake Workers permanently housed at 211.
  • Better public communication through the YASDP Website, Facebook and regular Communiques.
  • More training for mental health professionals serving children and adults.
  • Children’s mental health providers routinely partnering with autism-specific providers in partnership with the families.

Besides these localized changes, YASDP has received wide-spread acceptance as a system-wide model of collaboration for service providers and parents.

YASDP has presented its model of collaboration and coordinated access at several conferences (e.g. Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s 2012 Conference) and with other communities (e.g. Simcoe County ASD Reference Group).

Time for Reflection

Through the dedication and efforts of many people, YASDP accomplished a great deal in a few short years. However, collaborations change over time and move through different stages of life as they mature and grow. As YASDP was poised to enter a stage of sustaining and renewing, it also needed to step back and reflect on what had been accomplished, what needed to be maintained and what needed to change.


All-Partner Summit - April 2014

It began this process of reflection at an all-partner summit held in April, 2014. In this clip, Cindi Buick shares her perspective as a parent, Neil Walker shares his perspective as Project Manager, and Sylvia Pivko reflects her perspective as Co-chair of the partnership.


Reflection Session - November 2014

To do a deeper reflection and begin the process of recalibrating for the future, YASDP invited a facilitator to guide them through a structured Reflection Session on November 19, 2014. (View the session agenda). From that session, attended by parents and service providers, five major themes emerged:

Collaboration Works – Collaboration is a slow and hard process but it has brought benefifits that could not have been realized by any one agency or partner on their own; it puts people with ASD and their families in the centre of the system of support.

Measuring Matters – It is more important than ever to be able to measure positive impacts of collaboration in a system-wide approach.

Funding and Supporting the Work – Collaboration requires resources and infrastructure which, in turn, depends on secure, sustainable, long-term funding and support.

Streamlining for Success – As YASDP enters a phase of sustaining and renewing, it must not rest on its laurels – now is the time to streamline for success.

Sharing the Learnings – Where and how can the learnings be transferred to other systems?