Since 2018 we've invested in developing quality standards to inform the delivery of high-quality care in Ontario’s child and youth mental health and addictions sector. We continue to lead this work with the strong support of our strategic advisory council, the sector’s Lead Agency Consortium and the Ministry of Health.

Why do quality standards matter?

Quality standards drive safety, effectiveness, and efficiency. They help reduce systemic inequities and improve service quality and outcomes for children, young people and families.

What is a quality standard?

A quality standard consists of several principles that describe what the evidence says “high quality” looks like. It includes best practices and indicators to show progress and the impact of implementing those processes. Quality standards are a complement to accreditation standards and clinical practice guidelines from professional bodies.

Setting and implementing quality standards

We leverage our expertise in collaboration, research, performance measurement, evaluation, engagement, quality improvement and implementation science to develop standards and guidelines specific to our sector. We also develop comprehensive implementation processes and resources to support them.

What’s the process to develop quality standards and guidelines?

Our standard development process is based on a rigorous review of other organizations’ processes, as well as our own approach to developing our initial standards and guidelines.

Learn more about the phases and steps in our standard development process.

What kinds of opportunities are there to contribute?

We establish an advisory committee to work alongside our team on each quality standard or guideline we develop. The committee includes young people, families, clinicians, topic experts, researchers, sector leaders and decision makers.

Later in the process, we seek public feedback on the draft standard or guideline. When it comes time to disseminate and implement, we rely on support from people within our sector and beyond to share the quality standard or guideline and champion it in their own organizations.

Learn more about the quality standards and guideline we’ve developed so far:

Focusing on levels of care

In 2023 we kicked off work on a new quality standard focusing on levels of care in our sector. Making sure children, young people and their families can easily find and access the right services that match their particular needs benefits them — and others seeking care!

Want to stay in the loop about any opportunities to contribute to this work? Get in touch with our team today!

What do we mean by levels of care?

Different people have different strengths and challenges, requiring different types and intensity of care. Different kinds of care also require different resources. A levels of care approach is about matching needs to the most appropriate care (and re-evaluating and adjusting over time as needed) to use resources as efficiently as possible while also making sure that the care provided is as effective as possible for children, young people and families.

Read our topic brief on levels of care