Our Programs and Services

At Kinark, our goal is to help children, youth and families manage the challenges they face today and equip them with the skills they will need to realize a brighter future.

We strive to be the best treatment provider for children and youth with complex needs. We take pride in the services we provide which are based on research and delivered with compassion. We know that with the right help and support, children and youth can achieve better life outcomes.

Autism Services

An estimated 1 in 68 children in Canada have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)*, a complex neurodevelopmental condition. No two children with ASD are alike. Many have unique strengths and talents. Some find it hard to communicate or manage their feelings. Others have difficulty learning new skills. Every child with autism is different.

That’s why Kinark’s skilled team of clinicians—including Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA)—delivers caring, responsive and family-centred applied behavioural analytic treatment that is tailored to the unique strengths and individual needs of each child and youth with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of ASD. Our school support staff has helped thousands of children transition effectively into the school system. Our family service navigators help families find and access the services and supports they need while our respite experts know how to provide clients with engaging and safe experiences as families take a break from their caregiving responsibilities.

The following autism services are available on a fee-for-service basis:

  • Psychological and behavioural assessments
  • Centre- and home-based ABA treatment
  • ABA consultative services
  • Groups (e.g. social skills)
  • Parent and caregiving education

For additional information about our autism services, service locations, fees and payment options, call us at 1-800-283-3377 or email us at autisminfo@kinark.on.ca.

*Autism Speaks Canada (2016)

Child Care

Getting kids off to the best possible start in life is important to parents, and to Kinark. Our four licensed Child Care centres located in Keswick, Ontario, strive to provide an environment that supports all aspects of child development. Our centres enable children, aged 2 to 12, to explore the world around them and interact with others through play in a safe, healthy and nurturing space. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate.

Our centres are inspected annually by the Ontario Ministry of Education to ensure that they meet or exceed provincial quality standards.

While Kinark Child Care centres are not treatment-based, our early childhood educators can identify children and youth who may benefit from other specialized services and help with referrals.

Please visit our website or call us at 905-476-5449 for more information about our Child Care services.

Child and Youth Mental Health Services

According to Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO), 70 per cent of mental health issues begin during childhood or adolescence. Left untreated, these conditions tend to worsen with age, which is why early intervention is so important.

At Kinark, our team of mental health professionals includes child and youth workers, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. All of them specialize in treating children and youth with significant mental health challenges that affect their lives at home, at school and in their communities.

Our services include individual and group therapy and counselling, crisis support, and more intensive in-home and out-of-home treatment. Services are provided in an environment that best meets the needs of clients. This could be in one of Kinark’s many community-based locations or in a client’s home, school, or in a home-like setting where clients live and receive treatment for longer periods of time.

Treatment begins with a detailed clinical assessment and interviews with both the client and their family or caregiver. This enables our experts to put together individual treatment plans for each client. It also enables the treatment team to objectively monitor how clients do over time, and, if necessary, make changes to treatment to ensure their needs continue to be met.

Our therapists are trained in several different treatment approaches shown to be effective in treating various mental health conditions: treatment is customized, based on client needs, diagnoses and goals.

Length of treatment varies from 3 to 12 months or more, depending on many factors, including diagnosis, severity of challenges and symptoms, client motivation and participation, as well as family or caregiver involvement and support.

Central Intake serves as the gateway to Kinark’s Child and Youth Mental Health services. To learn more about the services we provide or to refer someone for treatment, call 1-888-454-6275 toll-free.

We do our best to see children and youth as soon as possible. However, with increasing demand for mental health services, priority is given to those considered to be seriously ill and in need of immediate attention and/or at risk. 

Forensic Mental Health and Youth Justice Services

Forensic mental health services relate to assessment and treatment services for young people who have significant mental health issues. Some have broken the law while others may be at risk of harming themselves. Youth referred to Kinark’s Forensic Mental Health and Youth Justice Program are some of the most complex clients that we see. They are assessed and treated at Syl Apps Youth Centre (SAYC), a secure facility located in Oakville, Ontario.

Our Forensic Mental Health and Youth Justices services are divided into three streams. Our secure treatment program offers assessment and treatment for young people at risk to themselves or others because of their mental health issues. They need to be treated in a safe and secure place. Youth are referred to us through the Family Court system.

Youth who have been charged with or found guilty of a significant crime and have serious mental health issues are often referred to us by other youth justice programs for assessment and treatment.

Kinark also serves as a provincial resource for youth in conflict with the law who have been identified by the courts as being not criminally responsible for their actions or who are unfit to stand trial due to a mental illness.

Our forensic mental health and youth justice services involve assessment, treatment, skills development, education and the reintegration of youth into the community. Treatment includes both individual counselling and group therapy. Youth are supported by mental health teams that may include child and youth workers, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. Other therapeutic supports are provided by art and recreation therapists, and Indigenous Peoples service workers who enhance the overall treatment experience. As well, the Halton Board of Education operates a high school at Syl Apps so that our clients can continue their education during their time there.

Intensive Support and Supervision

Kinark also offers an Intensive Support and Supervision Program (ISSP). This program is designed for youth in conflict with the law who have mental health issues that can be best treated in the community. The ISSP program is delivered by Kinark staff in partnership with youth probation services. The goal of the program is to address each youth’s mental health issues and strengthen their overall well-being to prevent further criminal behaviour. The program is offered in Dufferin County, Halton, Peel and York Regions as well as in Simcoe County to youth who meet the eligibility criteria.

Kinark Outdoor Centre (KOC)

The KOC is located on Grey Lake north of Minden, Ontario. It provides summer camp experiences, including outdoor education and therapeutic recreation, for children and youth aged 9-18, including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Operating year-round, the KOC offers family camps and respite weekends for families of children with ASD.

Camp-like experiences are also available for children with other complex behavioural, cognitive, developmental and emotional conditions.

The KOC offers comfortable accommodation, fun and informative activities, good food and 24/7 staff support. Kids get the chance to try new things and develop new skills while their parents or caregivers unwind, enjoy some personal time, stress-free family time, or visit with other parents in a relaxing, accepting and safe environment.

The KOC also facilitates social recreation and specialized camps for elementary and secondary schools and other community organizations. Drawing on its network of experts in education, recreation and social services, KOC plans and customizes outdoor education and recreation programs to meet the unique needs of visitors. Day trips and programs can be aligned with the Ontario school curriculum upon request.

The facility is also available for group retreats, team building exercises or other organizational journeys for a fee.

For more information about the Kinark Outdoor Centre and its programs, visit the KOC website, call us toll free at 1-800-805-8252 or email us at info@koc.on.ca.

Supervised Access Program

Kinark’s Supervised Access Program has been helping families who are involved in challenging child custody and access processes for more than 25 years. Families undergoing difficult divorces are referred to the program through Ontario’s Family Court system or self-referral.

The program provides non-custodial parents with a safe and supervised setting where they can visit and interact with their children. Supervised Access staff also facilitate the transfer of children from one parent to another for unsupervised visits away from the centre.

What began in 1993 as a pilot project in Midland, Ontario has become part of Ontario’s legal system. Today, Kinark offers supervised access services, funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General, in Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, Muskoka, Peterborough, and Simcoe.

To reach Supervised Access in Simcoe/Muskoka, call 1-800-230-8535 ext. 6334; for service in Peterborough, Cobourg and Lindsay, call 1-800-386-6561 ext. 5045.