School Health Support Services (SHSS) have been provided to children and youth in publicly-funded schools since 1984. In September 2000, those services were finally extended to those who are in independent schools or homeschooling.
SHSS include nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and dietetics. They also include personal support services such as personal hygiene activities and routine personal activities of living, provided to students who are in private schools or homeschooling. There is no charge to families for these services, which are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).
SHSS are administered through the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). Anyone can make a referral - an individual requiring service, a family member, caregiver, friend, physician or other health care professional. The LHIN assesses the child for eligibility and determines the type and level of service required, then flows funds to a local agency and verifies that the funding was used for approved services.
The extension of SHSS to homeschoolers in 2000 was reported to OFTP members in our newsletter, Home Rules:
- Extended School Health Services for Homeschoolers - initial announcement August 2000
- Extended School Health Services for Homeschoolers - report of problems December 2000
- School Health Support Services Phase 2 - April 2001
- Good News!! School Health Support Services Update - August 2001
See also the MOHLTC page about SHSS