Simcoe Community Services is a charitable, non-profit organization that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The agency was established in 1953 by parents wishing to offer their children with intellectual disabilities an alternative to institutional placement. Presently, the agency operates a Preschool Services Division, a Community Living Division as well as Regional Housing Support Services.
Simcoe Community Services develops, implements, and maintains a continuous quality improvement plan through the use of; The Child and Family Service Act, The Ministry of Community and Social Services’ Quality Assurance Measures, and Quality Measures as defined by the Council on Quality and Leadership. Focus is on the areas of Basic Assurances, Shared Values, Responsive Services, Community Life and Person Centered Excellence. This promotes quality, personalized supports for individuals and families, fostering environments of continuous quality improvement.
Simcoe Community Services is proud to be accredited by the Council of Quality and Leadership and has entered in its 3rd four year accreditation with CQL. This process validates the agency’s progress in the implementation of the Basic Assurances, Shared Values, Responsive Services, Community Life and most importantly the Personal Outcome Measures. The CQL Personal Outcome Measures help define personal quality of life for individuals and families, and set the benchmark as to how supports and services are to be offered.
The Simcoe Community Services Foundation was established in 1998. The Foundation raises funds for programs and services offered by Simcoe Community Services where regular funding sources do not exist.
Simcoe Community Services is a multi-service agency that provides a wide range of programs & services to pre-school children and their families including the EarlyON Child and Family Centres in Barrie, Innisfil and Bradford. The agency also supports children, teens and adults who have an intellectual disability and believes that everyone can contribute to their community.
Services are offered in Barrie, Orillia, Bradford and surrounding townships. Infant programs are offered county-wide.
Simcoe Community Services receives its funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the County of Simcoe, the United Way, Trillium and donations.
Simcoe Community Services employs over 550 full-time and part-time staff making it one of the larger employers in Simcoe County. There are six administration sites and 41 residential sites.
We support people of all ages and abilities to realize their full potential and to enhance their quality of life.
As a community, not-for-profit, multi-service organization, we provide:
Services for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families;
Programs that promote the healthy development of children of all abilities;
Services that respond to community needs.
That every person is deserving of respect and dignity as an individual, always being sensitive to their unique needs and perspectives, protecting their confidentiality and supporting them based on their strengths.
In working with each individual supported, their families and natural networks on a lifelong basis, ensuring they are informed and are, prepared and able to respond to the changing needs, opportunities and responsibilities within their lives.
In a quality of life for each individual supported that provides for basic needs, community supports and safety; fosters good health; and provides the freedom and entitlement to choose, to take risks and to access information.
In building inclusive communities that are accepting of all their members and give each member a voice.
In an organizational culture that continually values and recognizes the contributions of staff and volunteers; foster strong team approaches; and is open, honest and inviting in its communication practices.
In the importance of innovation and continuous learning as a basis to enhance the opportunities for the people supported, and to inspire staff and volunteers through best practice, continuous improvement and evaluation.
In working collaboratively with stakeholders, community partners and across service areas to deliver supports and services that meet the changing needs of individuals and families supported.
In being accountable for the quality of the services provided, the decisions made, the effective use of the resources available and being ethical in all that we do.
Jim McNamara has over thirty-three years’ experience in the Social Services Field and is passionate about working with people with intellectual disabilities. Jim is also President of Community Living Ontario. He enjoys time with family, golf, hockey, baseball, and motorcycling. Jim is a Barrie resident and is married with four children and six grandchildren.
Claudine Cousins has over twenty-five years of leadership experience with the Ontario Public Service, not-for-profit, and profit sectors. As Simcoe Community Services CEO, Claudine brings outstanding knowledge and expertise from a Leadership, Operations, and Human Resources Management perspective. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Ryerson University and a Masters of Arts Degree from Central Michigan University.
Bob Kennedy retired as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Georgian College in 2012. Soon after, he was appointed to the Simcoe Community Services Board of Directors and has served on the Executive as Treasurer. Previously, Bob was also appointed Chair of the Board of Directors for Catulpa Tamarac and New Path Youth and Family Services.
Stewart McNeely is a registered Real Estate Broker with Royal Lepage Real Quest Realty Ltd. and is a former President of the Orillia and District Real Estate Board. Previously, his family business, McNeely’s owned and operated five gas bar/convenience store locations in the Orillia area. Stewart is an Orillia resident and is married with six children.
Tom Aikins is the Regional Manager for Delta Bingo, Barrie. He is also Marketing Manager for Kempenfest, one of the largest outdoor arts and crafts festivals in Ontario. Tom’s father, Dr. Joe Aikins was a supporter of Simcoe Community Services in its early days, and Tom is honoured to follow in his footsteps. Tom has two sisters with intellectual disabilities.
Paul Hunter has over thirty years of Ontario public service experience as a retired Probation Manager with Youth Justice Services and as a senior manager with the Ontario Disability Program. In retirement, Paul enjoys volunteering with Simcoe Community Services as well as promoting senior’s fitness. Paul is a Barrie resident and is married with six children and nine grandchildren.
Valerie Scott is the co-owner of Steckley Gooderham Funeral Home. She also hosts a television cooking show in Orillia called Sunshine City Chefs. As well as being a valued volunteer with Simcoe Community Services, Valerie also belongs to The Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia. Valerie is a Severn Bridge resident who enjoys cooking, cross-country skiing and traveling the world.
Miriam is an Assistant Crown Attorney with the Barrie Crown Attorney’s office. She received her Bachelors of Arts (Honours) from the University of Windsor where she also obtained a Juris Doctor. Miriam was called to the Ontario Bar in 2011. She is passionate about advocating for those with intellectual disabilities. She lives in Simcoe County with her husband and two daughters.
Deborah Wall-Armstrong has been practicing law in the Barrie area since 1977 and is a Past President of the Barrie Real Estate Lawyers’ Association. Deborah is a former long-term care facility operator and is an Honorary member of the Ontario Long Term Association. Deborah is a mother and grandmother who enjoys playing golf and singing in her church choir.
Dr. Mitch Whyne has been caring for patients in Simcoe County for more than thirty years. Currently, Mitch is an Emergency Room Physician at Royal Victoria Hospital. He is a father to three boys and is actively involved in coaching with Special Olympics. Mitch has been a member of Simcoe Community Services for more than 25 years.