Service Coordination

Service Coordination is offered in Waterloo Region to children, youth and adults, with a developmental disability and/or an autism spectrum disorder, and/or to their families. In general, SDRC Service Coordinators assist individuals and their families to strengthen their capacity to manage the challenges of caring for themselves/their children and enhancing their formal and informal networks of community resources.


Key functions include:

  • providing information and referrals according to client’s direction and based on their needs, strengths and weaknesses
  • coordinating community resources, service plans, mediation and liaison with other service providers
  • using collaborative approaches in providing support while using appropriate lines/channels of communication
  • supporting problem solving and group facilitation

The Service Coordination Model employed emphasizes a voluntary working relationship based upon mutual accountability between worker and client/family. With consent of the client/family the worker facilitates goal oriented planning with time defined supports. The client/family is always an active participant in all decisions.

Service Coordinators help by:

  • assessing strengths and needs
  • providing information
  • coordinating community resources
  • providing mediation
  • developing service plans
  • problem solving
  • liaising with service providers
  • providing guidance
  • giving individual and systemic support

Service Coordinators do not:

  • provide care or compel compliance with treatment or other support services
  • step beyond voluntary participation by the client
  • provide direct residential, day programming
  • monitor supports provided by other ‘hands-on’ services, including issues of ‘child protection’
  • provide direct observation or ‘after-care’ following medical treatment
  • assist with medical care, enforce treatment orders, or participate in delivery of intrusive measures
  • serve in a ‘trustee’ or ‘guardianship’ capacity or make financial or legal decisions on the client’s behalf
  • make final decisions belonging to the client/family

SDRC assigns clients to Adult, Youth or Child Service Coordinators:

Adult Service Coordinators: assist clients 18 years and over in assessing strengths and needs; coordinating community supports and resources; providing individual/systemic advocacy; in problem solving; with guidance.

Youth Service Coordinators: assist clients 18 to 25 years in planning for adulthood by accessing needed supports and programs; problem solving; and participating as fully as possible in community activities.

Child Service Coordinators: assist children 0 to 18 years in accessing community services and supports; and enhancing their networks of community resources. Coordinators work with parents to strengthen their ability to manage the challenge of caring for their child; and with siblings to explore the issues of having a disabled brother/sister.