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Financial, Legal & Resource Navigation Assistance

SickKids has a variety of programs and initiatives in place to make the quality care we provide accessible to the families that need it most. Here you’ll find information regarding SickKids’ Family Legal Health Program and Resource Navigation Services.

Resource Navigation Service

The Resource Navigation Service is supervised by the Social Work Department at SickKids. The resource navigators are available to assist families in finding and utilizing resources available to them.

This service supports SickKids patients and parents who require community information and help to apply for resources that can address their healthcare-related costs, as well as other specific needs.

We provide assistance with form completion and the gathering of documents in order to apply for several different types of resources. Applications can be a long, hard and intimidating process for families; this service helps minimize this stress by supporting patients and families, allowing them to focus on planning with their care teams and their own well-being.

For patients transitioning to the adult system, we support the work of the young person’s clinical care team, the specialized providers who are most familiar with adult health providers, and services necessary for continuity of care. We also assist in finding community resources and with the preparation of documentation and applications for adult services.

Our resource navigators work from a developmentally-informed care model. This means that wherever possible, we engage the youth in planning their care and use our process to teach and promote youth self-advocacy.

How we can help

We believe that by assisting and supporting youth and families in navigating resources, they will be well-equipped with tools to do it on their own when renewals are needed.

Types of resources

Below you can learn about some of the common resources we assist with. We also assist with many other types of resources like; charitable foundations, wheel-trans applications, Easter Seals, CRA accounts, Child Care subsidy, Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program and many more. 

This is a monthly benefit for children, under 18 years of age, with a severe disability, who live at home, have functional loss and incur ongoing extraordinary expenses related to their disability.

Applicants must meet the required income level to be eligible, which is $65,000 or less annually.

Expenses considered include but are not limited to; Transportation to and from medical appointments, specialized clothing, medical supplies/prescriptions not covered by ODB.

More Information

Assists families who are caring for a child with a developmental and/or physical disability that need help to pay for special services in or outside of the family home.

This program focuses on meeting a child’s personal growth and development needs and assisting with family relief and family support needs.

More Information

Program that assists adults with developmental disabilities, and connects them to services and supports within their communities

You can start applying for Developmental Services Ontario at 16 years of age.

More Information

Caregiving Benefits

Family Caregiver Benefit for Children

Provides temporary income support for up to 35 weeks in a 52-week period to eligible parents who take time away from work to provide care or support to one or more critically ill or injured child under the age of 18. (Parents must be contributing to EI through their pay.)

Either parent can receive this benefit, or it can be shared between parents.

Compassionate Care Benefits

Provides temporary income support for up to 26 weeks to people who are temporarily away from work because they must provide care or support a family member who is gravely ill with a significant chance of death.

Anyone that is considered family can receive this benefit as long as they will be providing or participating in the care of the gravely ill person.

Learn more about EI caregiving benefits

Maternity and Parental Leave

Provides temporary income support for individuals who are pregnant, have recently given birth, and/or are caring for a newborn. Maternity is 17 weeks for the mother birthing the child, and parental is 35 weeks, and can be used by either the mother or father of the child.

Learn more about EI maternity and parental benefits

Visit your local community/region website for more information on programs and services available in your community. Here are some other useful websites:

    If you have any questions or would like to meet about eligibility or locating resources, or assistance with applications please contact us.

Contact Resource Navigation Service

The Resource Navigation Service is located in the Social Work Department. The Social Work Department is located on the 1st floor (one floor above Main), in the Burton Wing. Please let someone know you are there for assistance from the Resource Navigation Service and someone will be there to assist you.

If you would like to make an appointment, or have any questions about resources please contact us.

Hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 416-813-6787 or 416-813-8548

The Family Legal Health Program is a free legal service located at SickKids for patients and families referred by clinical staff. It combines the efforts of clinicians and lawyers in the pursuit of better child health outcomes.

The project helps low- and moderate-income patients and families deal with legal challenges that impact the patient's health and/or the family's capacity to care for their sick child.

For example, we can help in instances where:

  • parents have lost employment because they are caring for a sick child
  • there are health related housing issues
  • there are special education needs
  • assistance is required for benefits related to child's health,
  • there is domestic abuse, immigration issues, etc.

A triage lawyer is available to meet with families.

Expand this section to learn more about a triage lawyer’s primary roles at SickKids:

Available for rounds to help clinicians identify legal issues that impact patient health or a family's capacity to manage their child's care.

The consultation may result in:

  1. information or advice passed to the clinician,
  2. a brief service and/or advice provided directly to the parent/patient as a client,
  3. referral of the case to a pro bono lawyer by the triage lawyer.

More broad-based advocacy concerning laws and policies that frequently impact the children and families.


Please note: PBLO at SickKids does not deal with complaints about SickKids or staff of SickKids. If you would like to provide feedback about SickKids, please contact the Office of Patient and Family Experience.

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