SmartStart Hub Questions & Answers

Q&A for Families and Caregivers

What is the SmartStart Hub at TVCC?

A SmartStart Hub is a clear entry point to help families in Southwestern Ontario, who have concerns about their child’s development, find the help their child or youth may require. 
SmartStart Hub is for children/youth aged 0 -19, (or up to age 21 if they are in school), living in London/Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Grey, and Bruce counties. 
NOTE: SmartStart Hub is an optional service. You can continue to directly refer to services at TVCC.

What does it cost to use the services of a SmartStart Hub? 
There is no cost. 

How does it work? 
After calling 519-685-8716 (in London calling area)/1-866-590-8822 ext. 58716 (toll-free) or filling out an online referral form , someone at TVCC will contact you to schedule phone call. On the call, the SmartStart Hub Team Member will work with you to help identify the strengths and desired goals for your child/youth. They will also link you with services/supports designed to assist you and your child entire family  .

What will happen during the phone call? 
During the call (or video conference if needed),  you can share your child or youth’s strengths, needs and goals. This conversation will take place with a SmartStart Hub Team Member. They will help to connect you to clinical services and family-based supports, in addition to linking you with other services that may be available in the community.

How long will the call take?
Typically, the call 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.

I am a youth – do I need be part of the phone call?
That is up to you. The SmartStart Hub Team Member would love to hear from you. However, if you’d prefer your parent/guardian participate in the conversation instead, that is okay too. We still want to hear directly from you, please let us know what works best for you.  

Does my child need a referral or diagnosis to access the SmartStart Hub? 
No referral or diagnosis is necessary. Fill out the TVCC self-referral form or call at 519.685.8716 (in London calling area) / 1.866.590.8822 ext. 58716.  Add link?
You can also access the SmartStart Hub through another service provider in your community, your child’s doctor, your childcare provider, or your child’s school.

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, physical therapy, specialty clinics and family-based supports like respite services, parent coaching and family mentors.

Do I have to go to the SmartStart Hub to arrange services for my child? 
Not at all. You should use SmartStart Hubs if you don’t know where to access services or what services your child may need. If you know your child’s support needs and where to go to access a particular service, you can contact that service provider directly.

Does the SmartStart Hub Team complete applications for me?
The SmartStart Hub 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 link you to a service that can assist in the process.  

My child/youth already receives services and supports from TVCC. 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 you currently receive.

If I call the SmartStart Hub, will I get more services? 
The SmartStart Hub is designed to connect you with the right services for your child/youth and family. Connection with the Hub does not necessarily mean “more.”

How long will a SmartStart Hub Team Member support my family?
Once the first call is complete, the SmartStart Hub Team Member will assist with the necessary referrals and community connections. They will also provide family, community and diagnostic resources.

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 identify mental health concerns when contacting a SmartStart Hub, we will help you find agencies to assist you.   

Are services available in other languages? 
Yes. Services in other languages are offered with the use of an interpreter. 

What happens to information I share? Where is it stored?
When you talk to a Team Member, they will discuss TVCC’s Shared Client Record   with you. This record is stored on the internet  and has many security features to protect it. 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 you don’t need to tell your child/youth’s story as often. 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.
You can find more information on how TVCC protects your privacy here, and any questions can be directed to the TVCC Privacy Officer.
Kristel Pallant
Phone: 519-685-8680 ext. 53361
Fax: 519-685-8705
Email: Kristel.Pallant [at] 
(Please do not send personal information by email, it’s not secure.)

I am accessing other services such as the Ontario Autism Program (OAP), School Therapy Services or Preschool Speech and Language.Do I need SmartStart Hubs? 
If you are already active with other services, you do not need to access the SmartStart Hub at TVCC.  If you are wondering about other services and programs that may benefit your child/youth reach out to your TVCC clinician or team member who can explore other ideas with you.

What are the F-Words for Child Development?
The F-Words for Child Development focuses on the 'can do’ aspects of child/youth’s lives, rather than what they cannot do. We use this strength based and holistic approach in SmartStart Hubs when asking about the aspects of your child/youth’s life.
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

Link to F-Words for child development training