Enhanced Special Services

Short Term Intensive Clinical Support

The ESS program has been developed to provide intensive clinical support, assessment and short term treatment, for individuals who are experiencing significant challenging behaviours or mental health concerns. Specially trained support staff will work with the individual’s support group and under the clinical supervision of Regional Supports Associates (RSA), will assist in implementing behavioural strategies, gather data, model intervention techniques for care givers and reinforce a holistic team approach to support.

What is ESS?

Enhanced Specialized Services is not a crisis service, but rather part of the continuum of preventative ESS Home community service that can provide support on an urgent basis.

“Crisis services” are where a person or those around them are in immediate danger to themselves or others. “Urgent service” is when the situation is stable but the person and their supports need clinical assistance as soon as possible to prevent the person and situation from returning to a crisis state.

Enhanced Special Services

When an individual and/or their support group identify an urgent need for specialized clinical support they contact RSA for urgent clinical response. At that time, RSA will gather preliminary information from the referral source to determine the nature of the problem requiring clinical intervention and the urgency for assistance. They will respond to the referral source within 24 hours (Monday to Friday) depending on the urgency that is identified in conversation with the referral source and RSA staff. RSA clinical staff will contact the referral source and set in motion a process to identify and address the individual’s needs with their support group.

One of the services available is short-term support being provided in the person’s own home. Intensive clinical support and specially trained direct care staff will work within the individual’s home and with their caregivers to assist with assessment, stabilization and the development of a treatment plan.

A safe space is available when in-home support is not feasible given the needs of the individual and the capacity of the individual’s family/support employees to provide support in their own home.

A Safe Space provides a secure supportive living environment in one of our 24 hour support homes where intensive specialized clinical service is provided. A safe space provides care by specially trained staff for the purpose of short term assessment and treatment. The length of stay in a safe space will typically not exceed two weeks, with the goal of the person returning to his or her own home.

In situations, based on individual need and treatment plan, a longer period of treatment may be determined to be in the best interests of the individual. Like the safe space, the treatment space service provides a secure and supportive living environment with intensive specialized supports. The length of stay in a treatment space will typically not exceed three months, but can last up to one year, with the goal of the person returning to his or her own home.


To receive enhanced specialized services, an individual:

  • Shall have a diagnosis of an intellectual disability
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • There are specialized needs resulting from challenging behaviors or a mental health need (dual diagnosis) that place the individual or others at immediate risk and are beyond the capacity of the person’s current support system to manage
  • Must be exhibiting either of the following difficulties:
    • The individual’s current needs have exhausted the resources and services of provider/ family/agency/staff
    • There is a need for a specialized assessment or treatment not available through other community services
  • The individual must remain in or have a residence to return to during or upon completion of treatment.

Need More Information?

Fill out this form and one of our managers will assist you with the process of accessing services.

Purchasing Supports & Services

If you have passport dollars or personal funds to purchase services please contact Shelbey Pillon at 519-776-6483 ext. 276 or spillon@communitylivingessex.org.