Summertime Blues

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Date: 2007

Taxi.jpgA single mother of an autistic teen contacted the Ombudsman’s Office out of frustration after she tried to obtain funding for summer transportation for her son to a specialized treatment centre about 50 kilometres away.  The family’s regional school board provided transportation during the school year, but in summer the mother’s only recourse had been to pay thousands of dollars in taxi fares.

The Ministry of Education indicated that school boards are not required to fund transportation for children attending programs outside of their local area.  The Ministry of Children and Youth Services suggested the woman use her Special Services at Home Program funds to pay for her son’s transportation needs – money she had planned to use for respite care.  Finally, through a regional Ministry office and the family’s case worker at a community service agency, additional money was found for them through the agency’s critical services fund.