Local Health Integration Network

School Health Support Services Review

What are School Health Support Services?

School Health Support Services (SHSS) are provided to children and youth in publicly-funded and private schools, and to children and youth that are being home-schooled to assist them in pursuing their education. The student must require SHSS in order to be able to attend school, participate in school routines, and receive instruction, including receiving satisfactory instruction at home. SHSS include nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and dietetics. They also include personal support services which include personal hygiene activities and routine personal activities of living, provided to children and youth in private schools and to children and youth who are being home-schooled.

SHSS are provided through Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) - contracted service providers and include the training of school personnel and provision of related medical supplies, dressings and treatment equipment. SHSS are administered and funded by the Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Why are School Health Support Services being reviewed?

The purpose of the SHSS review is to understand how well the services of the SHSS program are being delivered, and to identify opportunities for program improvement at the provincial level. This project stems from a recommendation in the report 'Realizing the Potential of Home Care, Competing for Excellence by Rewarding Results', to conduct a review of SHSS. The review is being led by a collaborative team of the Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care, Education and Children and Youth Services, who have selected Deloitte to conduct the review on their behalf.

The SHSS review has three areas of focus for evaluation: Access and Equity, Coordination and Quality.  Across these areas, the review has the following objectives:

  • Assess whether clients are able to access and are receiving high quality SHSS;
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the program's delivery and any areas in which it could be improved;
  • Identify whether the strengths are aligned with the program's mandate;
  • Investigate whether current client care models utilized by service provider agencies are consistent with research evidence and best practices; and
  • Consider how SHSS can best serve students and their families; and whether proposed changes will benefit the students who use the services.

Review of School Health Support Services, Final Report, July 2010

The review of SHSS is the result of comprehensive consultation with families, Local Health Integration Networks, service provider agencies, educators, researchers/academic institutions and provincial associations.  The final report describes the current state of SHSS and presents Deloitte's findings, consistent with the evaluation framework of access and equity, coordination and, quality.  An additional category, mandate and accountability, was added and fifteen recommendations are made in total across all of categories of the evaluation framework.  A brief executive summary is included in the report.

Review of School Health Support Services: Final Report [PDF]

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