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About Us consists of agencies funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. We are collaborating to develop a more dynamic respite network for both children and adults in Simcoe County. 


“ working together to facilitate respite options that empower individuals with differing abilities and their families to lead active and rewarding lives.”


Creating Community Connections”

The guiding principles of are:

1. To develop a comprehensive respite system in Simcoe County.
2. To develop and maintain a coherent access process for families of children and adults requiring respite or support options.
3. To facilitate respite/support options for individuals that match their identified needs.
4. To work closely with service providers to advocate for appropriate service options to meet the needs identified.

Services and terms defined:

Community Helpers for Active Participation/CHAP - For program purposes, refers to registered Respite Providers and registered Direct Support Providers as Community Helpers for Active Participation (CHAP). Further information on the registration process for CHAP can be found on the CHAP/Direct Support Provider Registration Tab

Respite care is defined as a family support service that provides temporary relief from the physical and emotional demands involved in caring for a family member who has a disability. Respite creates greater opportunities for all family members to live actively and participate in community activities and allows parents/guardians time for themselves.  Respite can be acheived by connecting with local recreational opportunities or specifically with providers offering respite supports

Direct Support may be found through  A person who requires support to access community activities and/or in-home supports may register to be connected with local registered Direct Support Providers (Community Helpers for Active Participation/CHAP) who advertise through this site. 

The CHAP Program - The CHAP (Community Helpers for Active Participation) Program is an integral part of This Program was developed through a partnership of Geneva Centre for Autism and Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre and has two Coordinators in Simcoe County through Catulpa Community Support Services and Empower Simcoe. The CHAP Program advertises the services of Respite/Direct Support Providers interested in supporting people with intellectual disabilities, autism and physical disabilities.  When registered with the program, the Respite/Direct Support Providers are referred to as Commnity Helpers for Active Particpation (CHAP).  The program aims to offer a robust registry of people interested in providing meaningful respite/support opportunities through in-home or community based options. The program offers a web-based connection by providing profiles of registered CHAP to the families/individual who register. 

There are 2 CHAP Coordinators in Simce County.  Carolyn Harris, of Empower Simcoe and Angie Bridekirkof Catulpa Community Support Services. The CHAP Coordinator in your area will network with agencies, families and providers to develop creative respite/support options for individuals, to identify the current local resources and needs within the system, and to act as an information resource.  Short-term coordination may be provided in order to assist to overcome barriers to respite/support for individuals.

PLEASE NOTE:   The following services assist with connecting families/individuals with local support providers who wish to advertise thier services on our site.  It is the responsibility of the family/individual seeking the service of these providers to pay the fees and provide additional training to ensure the support given is personalized to the needs of the individual.  It is the responsibility of the family/individual to interview, select, negotiate wage, hours and support details with the CHAP.  The family/individual is also responsible to oversee that the service provided meets their expectations.  CHAP are not employees of,  Empower Simcoe or Catulpa Community Support Services.  Payments for services of the CHAP are paid directly by the person who engaged the services of the CHAP.  In addition, it is the responsibility of the family and the CHAP to determine if they are entering an employer/employee relationship or a contracted service arrangement. 

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