SmartStart Hub

Welcome to the SmartStart Hub at CTN – a one-stop point of entry to help families in Simcoe and York find the help their child or youth may require. We serve kids and youth from birth up until their 19th birthday (or until completion of high school). There is no cost for SmartStart Hubs services.

SmartStart Hub at Children’s Treatment Network can help if:
  • You and your child or youth live in Simcoe County or York Region.
  • You have concerns about their development. No diagnosis is needed.
  • You are looking for support and services for your child and family.

The main areas of development that SmartStart Hubs focus on include:  
  • A child/youth’s ability to move around
  • A child/youth’s ability to perform daily activities such as feeding/eating
  • A child/youth’s ability to understand other people or tell people what they want
  • A child/youth’s ability to get along with others or the way their behaviour impacts their ability to participate in activities  

The process is simple. By calling 1-866-377-0286 or filling out an online referral form, you will be connected with the Hub in either English or French. We will work with you to identify your child or youth’s strengths and needs, connecting you to services and supports with your permission.  
The main functions of the SmartStart Hub include: 
  • Clear entry: Clear entry/access point for your family
  • Information gathering: The Hub will work with you to gather information (with consent) out your child/youth’s strengths, goals and needs
  • Connection to service: Connect you to local services, sharing information (with consent) to offer seamless, supported experiences  
  • Family-based supports: A SmartStart Hub can connect you and other family members to supports that can assist them  
  • Streamlined service pathways: Hubs build partnerships with service providers in the community to streamline service pathways  
We recognize that each family’s life and experience is unique, and that families are experts on the abilities and needs of their child or youth. Our services and programs are informed by evidence and best practices, focusing on the strengths of your child or youth and family in a friendly, supportive and culturally safe environment.  

Note: If you live in Toronto, please connect with the SmartStart Hub at Surrey Place Toronto.

Get connected today by calling 1-866-377-0286


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Click the + for answer

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    How do SmartStart Hubs work?
    After calling 1-866-377-0286 or filling out an online referral form, a Team Assistant will contact you to schedule an exploratory conversation. The SmartStart Hub-Service Navigator will work with you to help identify the strengths and desired goals for your child/youth. They will also assist you in finding services/supports specifically designed to assist your entire family.
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    What will happen during the exploratory conversation?
    The exploratory conversation is an opportunity for you to share your child or youth’s strengths, needs and goals, while feeling welcomed and heard. The conversation will typically happen by phone; however, virtual (video conference) or in-person intakes can be arranged as needed.

    This conversation will take place with a SmartStart Hub Service Navigator. They will help to connect you to clinical services and Hub specific family-based supports, in addition to linking you with other services that may be available in the community.
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    How long will the exploratory conversation take?
    Typically, an exploratory conversation can take up to 45-60 minutes depending on the amount of information your family wants to share and the types of services/resources being offered.
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    What kind of services can the SmartStart Hub connect my family to?
    SmartStart Hubs can connect you to assessments and services including speech and language pathology, occupational therapy and physical therapy, as well as mental health services, speciality clinics and family-based supports like respite services, parent coaching and family mentors.
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    Who can refer?
    Anyone! A referral can come from you, or with parent/guardian permission, a family physician, the education or health care system, children’s well-being and welfare agencies, etc. For some services, the Hub might require referrals from a physician. In these situations, the Service Navigator can assist you in getting the physician referral.
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    I am a youth- do I need to attend the exploratory conversation?
    That is up to you. The Service Navigator would love to hear from you. However, if you’d prefer your parent/guardian participate in the conversation instead, that is ok too.  
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    Does the SmartStart Hub Intake Team complete applications for me?
    The SmartStart Hub Intake Team will help you access programs and services that are right for you and your child/youth. With your consent, they will assist with referrals to our partner services or provide contact information for other appropriate resources and supports.   

    If you are looking for assistance in completing Ministry funding applications, we will refer you to a service that can assist in the process.  
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    My child/youth already receives services and supports from Children’s Treatment Network? Does the introduction of the SmartStart Hub change anything?
    No, the implementation of the SmartStart Hub will not impact any of the services and supports that you currently receive.
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    Does my child/youth need a diagnosis to access SmartStart Hubs?
    A diagnosis is not required to access the SmartStart Hub. Gaining access to assessments is part of what a SmartStart Hub can offer your family.
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    If I call the SmartStart Hub will I get more services?
    The goal of the SmartStart Hub is to connect you with the right services for your child/youth and family. Connection with the Hub does not necessarily mean “more”.
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    How long will a SmartStart Hub Service Navigator support my family?
    Once the first conversation is complete, the SmartStart Hub Service Navigator will assist with the necessary referrals and community connections. They will also provide family, community and diagnostic resources.
    If you have further needs, you will have the Service Navigator’s contact information. They are always happy to connect again.  
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    Can a SmartStart Hub help if I have a concern about my child/youth’s mental health?
    If you have concerns about your child/youth’s mental health (for example, mood, anxiety, depression, etc.), these would be best explored through the child and youth mental health system.  
    However, if you connect with a SmartStart Hub and mention mental health concerns, we will of course work with you to identify agencies that can help.   

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    Are services available in French or other languages?
    Yes. CTN offers SmartStart Hub services in French by our French speaking Service Navigator. Services in other languages are offered through the use of an interpreter.
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    What happens to the information I share? Where is it stored?
    When you talk to a Service Navigator, they will discuss CTN’s Shared Client Record with you. This record is stored on the internet and has many security features to keep it protected.

    Your child/youth’s record would contain treatment information entered by providers and partners they have seen since they started receiving services. Having this shared record means that you don’t need to tell your child/youth’s story as many times. It also means that providers can quickly see what other providers have worked on with your child/youth. This allows them to make decisions more quickly and not have to repeat treatments that have already been tried.

    More information on CTN’s Shared Client Record and how CTN protects your privacy can be found here, and any questions can be directed to the CTN Privacy Officer.

    Privacy Officer
    Children’s Treatment Network
    13175 Yonge Street
    Richmond Hill, ON
    L4E 0G6
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    I am accessing Ontario Autism Program (OAP) services; do I need SmartStart Hubs?
    Although programs within the OAP are not linked to the SmartStart Hub, connecting with us may allow you to access other services outside of OAP that may be beneficial to your child/youth.
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    What are the F-Words for Child Development?
    The F-Words for Child Development focus on the 'can do’ aspects of child/youth’s lives, rather than what they cannot do. With SmartStart Hubs focusing on a strength-based approach for all we serve, the F-Words for Child Development will be applied to all aspects of care.  

    The F-Words for Child Development include:  
    •    Functioning: Refers to what people do – how things are done is not what is important; synonyms include ‘role’, ‘job’, ‘task’, etc.  
    • Family: Represents the essential ‘environment’ of all kids/youth
    • Fitness: Refers to how kids/youth stay physically active, including exercise and other recreational opportunities
    • Fun: Includes particular activities kids /youth are involved in or enjoy participating in
    • Friends: Refers to friendships established with peers; social development is an essential aspect of personhood
    • Future: Is what child development is all about; it refers to parents and kids expectations and dreams for the future