For more information about the Drug Treatment Funding Program Ontario Systems Projects, visit

DTFP Ontario Systems Projects
Quarterly Newsletter

  Summer 2012

Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) is pleased to present this quarterly update of the Ontario Systems Projects.
For more information, please visit


The Youth Services System Review (YSSR) has much to talk about. It recently launched an engaging new website,, where it hosts its surveys, YSSR’s primary means of collecting information. Funded by the Drug Treatment Funding Program, YSSR is conducting a review of services addressing substance use for youth (ages 12-24) across Ontario. The new site invites anyone who has something to say about youth substance use services – especially youth – to speak their minds on what’s working, where the gaps are, and how the system could be improved.

“We are currently collecting information through the site’s online surveys,” says Gloria Chaim, one of the project leads on YSSR. “We’re hoping to identify gaps and opportunities for collaboration and enhancement.” The project also aims to uncover “under-the-radar” and informal services – the kind that provide youth with substance use support but may be outside of a program’s primary mandate.

“Our long-term goal in gathering this information is to work toward improving access to services and facilitating better outcomes for youth and their families,” says Chaim. 

The website and surveys were designed after consultations with service providers, people with lived experience, youth, and families, whose feedback has informed the efforts of the YSSR team. Through the website, the team is seeking multiple perspectives on what is working well, where there are gaps, and how the Ontario youth services system can better meet the needs of youth. To give context to the survey responses, the project will be conducting a small number of youth focus groups and interviews with service providers. The final report will be shared widely and made available to anyone who is interested.

In the meantime, if you have something to say about youth substance use services, please visit today, tell them what you think, and spread the word! And save the date for an upcoming webinar, hosted by EENet, which will focus on YSSR: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 2pm - 3pm EDT.

Top l:
Top r: 
Dave Summers (Research Analyst), Erica Suh (Research Analyst), Joanna Henderson (Co-lead), Gloria Chaim (Co-lead), E.B. Brownlie (Project Co-ordinator).


The hidden epidemic

Trauma is prevalent in our society. Dr. Christine Courtois, a recognized expert in traumatology, has called trauma a “hidden epidemic.” The links between women’s substance use and their experiences of trauma have been well documented in research. Guidelines for trauma-informed services are being developed that will help Ontario substance use service providers to contribute more effectively to the recovery of women who have experienced trauma. Read more...

Peer Support Project gets some support

In early June, the Peer Support Services project team consulted with the DTFP Ontario Systems Projects Persons with Lived Experience and Family Member Advisory Panel. The Panel provided valuable insights into the nature and continuum of peer support, pervasive challenges in the system, and examples of effective peer support models. Read more...

After many hours, milestones reached

Screening and assessment tools are important. They help service providers determine the appropriate level and intensity of care for clients who are entering the addiction treatment system. Monitoring the outcome of these clients is also a key part of the process. Dr. Brian Rush’s project team is pilot testing the Screening, Assessment and Recovery Monitoring (SARM) protocol at four pilot sites in OntarioRead more…

A quiet revolution

It was not surprising to anyone at DATIS that the recent webinar EENet hosted – on the DATIS DTFP Comprehensive Review of Treatment Data Elements & Provincial Service Categories – revealed that there is a lot of energy and hunger for such information.  Clearly, all the participants grasped the importance of the quiet revolution the DTFP Ontario Systems Projects are spearheading within the province! Read more...

Connecting stakeholders

As part of Addictions Ontario’s 44th Annual Conference in May, the Residential Support Services project team brought together addictions system stakeholders from across the province to review BC’s provincial standards for adult residential substance use servicesThe valuable insights emerging from this consultation will be woven into the standards the team is developing for Ontario to guide the provision of residential services in the province. Read more... goes live

On July 17, Evidence Exchange Network’s long-awaited new site,, was launched. The site is already connecting mental health and addictions stakeholders across the province. It offers users a number of resources, including several easy-to-use and intuitive databases as well as a new animated video. Visit today and let us know what you think!

 Over 1700 clients and family members take part

Measuring client satisfaction and perceptions of care in mental health and addiction treatment is both an important indicator of quality of care and a critical part of a more comprehensive system of outcome monitoring for addiction treatment services in Ontario. Data collection for the Client Perception of Care Project study ended in June. Over 1700 clients and family members in 23 pilot sites across the province took part. Read more...

 Revealing rich data

Since the spring, the Addiction Supportive Housing (ASH) project team has continued to review information provided by Ontario’s ASH programs to identify emerging practices and standards. The ultimate goal is to help ensure that supportive housing services in Ontario are meeting the needs of individuals facing the challenges of addiction. Following the review, both key informant interviews and site visits will be conducted to obtain more detailed information.  Read more...

Costing Project identifies range of issues

Assessing and comparing the costs of addictions treatment services is a key part of measuring the performance of individual treatment services. Led by Dr. Brian Rush, with extensive support by Dr. Garth Martin, a consultant on the project and the DTFP project team, the Assessment / Benchmark Addictions Treatment Costs Project – or Costing Project – is working to develop a protocol for producing reliable and valid cost-based performance measures for addictions treatment services in Ontario... Read more…

 Evaluation moving rapidly

The evaluation of the Ontario DTFP Systems Projects is moving rapidly through case study work, with interviews completed for all four case study projects: the DATIS Review of Treatment Data Elements and Provincial Services Categories project, the Residential Support Services Evaluation project, Evidence Exchange Network, and the Screening, Assessment, and Outcome Monitoring project. Plans are in place for the Evaluation Centre for Complex Health Interventions to host a capacity-building workshop for DTFP-ON projects in the fall. Also, stay tuned for the multi-media evaluation learning report, coming soon!

Evidence Exchange Network (EENet; formerly OMHAKEN) actively promotes the use of research evidence in decision-making by providing an infrastructure to connect research and researchers to mental health and addictions research stakeholders across Ontario; develops targeted KT products and tools; and supports interactive exchanges. The EENet Management and Resource Centre is located in the Provincial System Support Program at CAMH.

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Production of this newsletter has been made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.