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About Options

At the Options program, we work in partnership with individuals with developmental disabilities, and their families, friends and communities.

Options is dedicated to creating welcoming, inclusive communities where everyone can contribute their skills and talents. We work in the city of Toronto, supporting children and adults, their families and surrounding communities.  We work with community organizations, developmental service agencies, and schools, in order to create community connections.

Our focus is on equity and inclusion and is guided by a person-directed approach, allowing us to support and empower individuals and families.

Accessibility Advisory Workgroup

Family Service Toronto is starting an Accessibility Advisory Workgroup. We are looking for FST clients who would like to share their experiences and help make recommendations to improve access to services here at Family Service Toronto. Learn more about how you can support us.

Community Resource Facilitation (Children and Youth)

Community Resource Facilitators support children, youth and their families/caregivers to reach their desired goals. This is accomplished through advocacy within the school and health care systems and referrals to community service providers.  We also offer workshops, which provide opportunities for connections and knowledge sharing among parents.  For information and/or referrals please call 416.971.6326 x317 or email [email protected]

Community Resource Facilitation (Adults)

Community Resource Facilitators collaborate with individuals, families and caregivers to reach their desired goals.  This is accomplished through service coordination, community connections, circles of support and advocacy. Our approach is to break down barriers and find ways to facilitate interconnected lives within family groups and communities.  This service can only be accessed through Developmental Services Ontario (DSO).

Community Network Facilitation

Community Networking is a process that challenges and invites ordinary places to be more inclusive. Community Network Facilitators work with individuals, families, small groups and community organizations to explore and build connections with community places and people.  Our work supports individuals to explore their interests and enhance their community involvement.  This service is only available if you are already an Options client.

Co-ordinated Service Planning (Children and Youth)

The goal of Co-ordinated Service Planning (CSP) is to improve service experiences and outcomes for children and youth with multiple and/or complex special needs and their families through the support of a Service Planning Co-ordinator. The co-ordinator will connect them to multiple, cross-sectoral services and monitor their needs and progress through a Co-ordinated Service Plan. Inquiries for this service can be made by calling 1-833-575-KIDS (5437).

Options Adult Peer Support Group

This is a group for FST clients, 18 years or over, to have fun and talk about staying healthy.  The group members can make friends.  Group members will decide what to talk about when the group meets. Volunteers will help run the group with some help from FST staff.  The group will meet Mondays from 12P.M-1 P.M(lunch time) and will last for 15 weeks.  The group won’t meet on holidays.

If you want to come please contact:  Heather Shaw: 416-846 4930 [email protected] or Joel Schreiber: 437 224 0584   [email protected]

Navigating the Adult Developmental Services System: Tips and Tools

Now that your adult child/sibling/student is registered with DSO, what services are available to them? When and how can those services be accessed? When should you call DSO and what can you ask for? How can caregivers keep a record of contact with various services and how can they get a break?

Workshop content

  • DSO process, procedures and assessments
  • Funded and non-funded services and supports
  • Scripts for contacting service providers
  • Tips to organize relevant information
  • Caregiver self-care


Transitioning to Adult Developmental Services

As a caregiver to someone with a developmental disability, you’ve become familiar with services and supports for children, but what happens when that child turns 18? This workshop, facilitated by Kelly Casey of KC Professional Solutions, will guide you in your preparation for the transition to adult developmental services, including how to prepare, what to do and when, and how to begin planning for the future.

Workshop content

  • Key dates for applications and referrals
  • Connecting to DSO
  • Applying for ODSP
  • Transitioning from child to adult financial benefits
  • What to expect from adult developmental services
  • Introduction to future planning


Planning for a Person in Crisis

As the caregiver of a person with a disability, you do everything you can to protect the well-being of the person you care for. Despite this, sometimes crises arise that require the involvement of additional supports in order to safely manage or resolve the situation.

Workshop content

  • Preparing for an unplanned hospital visit
  • What to do when aggression becomes unmanageable
  • Preparing for and responding to elopement
  • Scripts for contacting emergency services
  • Tips to enhance safety at home and in the community
  • Crisis services for children and adults


Talking About Sexuality and Relationships

Content Summary: Many parents and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities recognize the importance of discussing sexuality and healthy relationships with the people they care for, but sometimes don’t know how. This workshop will empower you with the information you need to meaningfully educate the person you care for.

Workshop content

  • Healthy relationships
  • Boundaries
  • Safety
  • Bullying
  • Consent
  • Physical development
  • Opening lines of communication


Caregiver Workshop – Using Technology Effectively

As a result of COVID-19, many services have moved online and offices have temporarily closed, creating a greater reliance on technology to access services and supports. If you are a caregiver of a person with a disability who is finds using technology confusing and overwhelming, this workshop is for you!

Workshop content

How to use Zoom effectively:

  • Merging phone calls
  • Submitting SSAH/ Passport invoices via email
  • Using your phone to scan and send documents
  • Creating a fillable PDF file
  • Translating web pages
  • Text to speech
  • Solving your technology problems

This workshop is offered by Family Service Toronto at no cost. It is funded by United Way of Greater Toronto and the Government of Canada.

Download the presentation (pdf)

Planning for a Caregiver in Crisis

Are you the primary caregiver for someone with a disability? Do you have a plan in case something happens and you’re not able to provide care? While everyone hopes this moment will never come, preparing an emergency plan will give you peace of mind that the person you care for will be safe.

Workshop content

  • Developing a caregiver emergency plan
  • Creating a profile of the person you care for
  • Identifying emergency contacts and supports


How does my child become an Options client?

In order for a child to become an Options client, a parent, caregiver, or another individual supporting the child can call the Intake line directly at (416) 971-6326 ext. 317.

How do I, as an adult, become an Options client?

To become an Options client as an adult, you will need to apply to the DSO, and be referred to us by the DSO. You cannot obtain Options services by contacting Options directly.

If I think my child has a developmental disability, but they are not yet diagnosed, can I still access Options services?

The Options intake worker will provide you with some ideas about how/where to get an assessment for your child, but they are not eligible for service at Options unless they have a diagnosed developmental disability

Is there a waitlist for this service?

Yes. The waitlist for adult services is held at the DSO.  The waitlist for children’s services with Options is held with the Options program.

Does the Options program provide funding?

Options does not provide funding or financial resources for clients.

If I am receiving this service, can I still receive other developmental services?

As an Options client, you may still receive services from other agencies (such as day programs, respite services, housing, and employment services). You may not have a second case manager through another agency.

Does the Options program cost money?

Options is government-funded, so it will not cost you personal funding to access our services.

Does the Options program accept placement students?

To find information about student placements at Family Service Toronto, please explore the ‘Student Placements’ section of the Family Service Toronto website.

Does the Options program accept volunteers?

To find out about volunteering in the Options program, please explore the ‘Volunteer at FST’ section of the website. If you are currently an Options client and are interested in assisting with the Options newsletter, please contact your Options worker.

Advocates Voice of Power

Advocates Voice of Power is a group for adults with disabilities to connect and work together for positive social change. We welcome new members from across the city of Toronto. You do not need to be an Options client to join.

Best Buddies

Best Buddies is an international program dedicated to breaking down barriers between people and erasing misconceptions about individuals with developmental disabilities. The program creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships by matching Options clients with volunteer university students. Contact your Options worker if you are interested in the best buddies program

Advocates for a Better Future

Advocates for a Better Future welcomes adults with developmental disabilities who want to connect with one another and take action on issues of common concern. For more information, please call (416) 415-5000 ext. 3002 and leave a message with your name and number.

Sharing the Wisdom

In this series, parents of adult children with developmental disabilities will share their experiences and knowledge with parents of younger children.  For more information about this workshop, please call (416) 971-6326 ext. 317 and leave a message with your name and number.

Building Inclusive Communities Virtual Stakeholder Consultation Report

Clients, parents, and caregivers in the Building Inclusive Communities Programs were invited to participate in a conversation about their experiences with Options and Passport services. Data was collected through two virtual group consultations and individual phone calls. The Family Service Toronto – Building Inclusive Communities Virtual Stakeholder Consultation Report is a summary of conversations that took place. Family Service Toronto would like to thank the clients and parents who were able to participate on such short notice, and for sharing their personal stories and feedback with us.

Options – Adults is offered at the following location(s):

Programs and Services

Programmes en Français
Appointments and Frequently Asked Questions
Campaign 2000
Caring for Caregivers
Families in Transition
Growing Up Healthy Downtown
Healthy Families. Healthy Communities
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Options – Adults
Options – Children
Partner Assault Response
Partner Contact
Pat’s Place
Person Directed Planning
Queer and Connected
Seniors and Caregivers
Seniors Community Connections
Social Action
Transitional and Housing Support
Violence Against Women
Walk-In Counselling