Frequently Asked Questions


Yes, but we are working on expanding to provide transitional-aged adult services too. Currently, we serve children up to 18 years of age who have multiple disabilities and complex medical conditions. The Safehaven Project for Community Living is licensed under the Child and Family Services Act and is rigorously reviewed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services on an annual basis for compliance. In the near future, we hope to be providing residential and respite services for young-adults aged 18 to 25 in addition to our current youth focused services.

Most Safehaven staff have graduated from programs such as developmental service work, child and youth work, practical nursing, social work, early childhood education or speech and language therapy. All staff undergo a three month training program with an emphasis on areas such as food and nutrition, physical and occupational needs, stimulation, community integration, g-tube feeding, medication administration, and government and board relations. Training is a continuous process at Safehaven, and all staff are frequently tested on their skills and given opportunities to upgrade certifications.

Safehaven prioritizes providing a home-like environment for our clients. All children sleep in a bedroom that is equipped with what your child needs for their safe care, whether that be specialized technology, equipment or devices.

Our commitment is that every child will be given the opportunity to flourish to the full extent of their capacity while staying at Safehaven. Families can request that their child go to school during their full time stay or their temporary respite visit. In addition to school, children attend sports events, concerts and movies; take field trips to major attractions like the AGO and Ontario Science Centre; participate in “at home” events such as baking, crafts and movie nights. We also offer access to a range of therapeutic programs including music and pet therapy, Snoozelen multi-sensory exploration, aquatic therapy and more.

All residential and respite children have a Residential Care Plan (RCP) which is discussed and created with families. In the RCP, emergency situations are discussed and customized to meet the child and families’ needs. Safehaven has an emergency plan which is discussed with families.

Families in Central Region can access our Aurora and Woodbridge residences for respite services. Families in Toronto can access our residences in Toronto, North York, Etobicoke and Aurora for respite.

Families can be placed on a respite waiting list if there is availability in one of our other residences.

Families in York Region can access our Woodbridge residence for residential services.

Safehaven accepts VISA, MasterCard, cash and cheques. Invoices are sent out monthly, but alternative payment arrangements are available – just ask. Inability to pay is never a barrier to service.

Every residence has posted menus which are created by our staff in consultation with our house physician and families. Families can bring meals for their child and discuss dietary and cultural needs with the staff.

Safehaven was created in 1989 in response to a crisis in the provincial care of children who had multiple disabilities and complex medical conditions.

Yes. Safehaven’s Board of Directors will be looking at expanding our services in the upcoming years to serve a broader population both demographically and geographically.

Yes. During the family assessment interview, Safehaven staff review every aspect of your child’s care. Medication administration sheets are made up for every child, signed and adhered to. All staff receive medical training.

Yes, if that is your request. Safehaven designates one staff for every two residents. Staff work closely with families establishing routines and understanding a child’s needs. Children can attend school while at Safehaven and will actively participate in community activities.

We use up to three weeks a year as our standard. Families can have half a day of respite or utilize the full three weeks depending on what is needed. Just let us know what your family needs and we will try our best to accommodate you.

Yes. Family involvement is paramount at Safehaven. Families and extended family members can call and visit at any time.

Safehaven will accommodate all families and children when it is safe and prudent to do so. Every request is assessed and a plan of care developed. Safehaven will respond to a request for emergency respite when the child and family are previously known to Safehaven.

You will need to bring well-labelled clothing, toiletries, medications, feeding and any other necessary equipment.

Have more questions? Please give our social work team a call at 416.535.8525 ext. 225.