FAQs


Who are Our Employees?

Christian Horizons has an employee team of over 3,000 employees, including full-time, part-time and relief Direct Support Professionals, to meet the needs of the people we support. Christian Horizons hires qualified employees who have the skills, experience and competencies needed to deliver effective supports. We seek employees who share our vision, mission and values and desire to serve and enhance the lives of people we support.

Employee Recruitment

Successful employment candidates are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Skills and competencies, and ability to perform the duties required;

  • Education and experience consistent with the job description and legislative requirements governing the posted position;

  • Screening through interviews, employment references, and criminal reference checks.

Employee Training

Our employee training is an essential part of maintaining the highest quality of services. Our employees receive extensive orientation on the job as well as training on:

  • Emergency First Aid/CPR;

  • Fire safety;

  • Safe driving practices;

  • Abuse prevention and response;

  • Crisis management;

  • Person centred support.

In recognition of the long-term contribution that job-related education makes, Christian Horizons has an educational assistance program to encourage employees to upgrade their educational qualifications specific to the developmental services sector.

From time to time, Christian Horizons provides educational opportunities for family members on various topics.

 

How Do We Ensure Quality and Reduce Risk?

Christian Horizons is committed to ensuring high quality services and supports as well as reducing risk to people we support. Some of the measures taken to ensure quality include:

Employee Recruitment


Christian Horizons selects staff through multiple interviews, a Criminal Reference Check and a satisfactory employment reference.

Ongoing Training


Christian Horizons is committed to the ongoing training of all employees to ensure that they are equipped to meet the responsibilities and challenges of their roles.

Strong Leadership


Program Managers are assigned to each program to oversee the coordination and delivery of services. This includes incident management and the implementation of protocols and appropriate communication with all parties.

Documentation


Each program is accountable for planning and monitoring supports and providing appropriate support documentation such as:

  • Personal Plans;

  • Medical documentation;

  • Financial journals;

  • Ongoing documentation of support issues and progress on personal goals;

  • Incident reports for exceptional circumstances;

  • Behavioural data collection;

  • Communication with concerned parties, etc.

Christian Horizons provides documentation training to ensure quality documentation. We also have a standardized record management system to ensure that information is accessible.

Annual Evaluations and Assessments


The Operations Department oversees various forms of evaluation that focus on issues of compliance to standards, quality of services and/or consumer satisfaction. Each year at least 30% of support locations are involved in our internal program assessment. The assessment includes items related to the supports provided, the physical property, and documentation. The information gathered from these assessments is summarized and used by the program, District Team and Corporate Office to identify areas requiring attention.

Local Ethical Review Teams


Ethical Review Teams monitor the use of intrusive therapies including psychotropic medications and behavioural interventions. These teams have representation from outside Christian Horizons including community members and a consulting psychologist/psychiatrist. Their mandate is to review intrusive therapies and provide written feedback as to whether support strategies are appropriate and justifiable.

Compliance with Government Standards


Christian Horizons maintains compliance with municipal and provincial standards and regularly participates in licensing reviews conducted by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and local city authorities.

Accreditation


Christian Horizons has voluntarily pursued and achieved accreditation by FOCUS (an external organization). Representatives from FOCUS visit every four years to ensure standards related to governance, human resources, finances, person centred supports, etc. are met.

 

How do we Honour Peoples Rights and Responsibilities?

All people have rights. It is important for us to know them and protect them. With every right there are also responsibilities. Christian Horizons is committed to informing people supported of their rights, our commitments to them, and what we expect from them and their family members.

Christian Horizons is committed to:

Treating people with dignity and respect. We also expect people to respect others and to treat others fairly. This includes not being rude to others, not hurting or harming others, not laughing or making fun of others.

Informing people of issues relating to services and supports they receive. We also expect people to ask questions and tell us if they would like to know more about the services they receive.

Giving people opportunities to express thoughts, opinions, and concerns. We also expect people to be part of opportunities to share thoughts, such as personal plan meetings. As well, we expect people to listen to thoughts expressed by others and to talk to the appropriate people when they have concerns.

Facilitating access to opportunities for personal development. We expect people to share their goals and dreams and identify new things that they might want to do or learn about.

Providing privacy. This includes the right to be heard in private, or in the presence of others. In addition, all people are provided with a private place for themselves. We expect people to respect the privacy of others by knocking on doors, not reading their mail, etc.

Respecting choices in faith and culture. This includes the choice to worship or to not participate in worship. We expect people to express their choice to worship and if they would like to be part of a group of people who share a belief or worship in a specific place.

Respecting choice in making health and medical decisions. This includes our commitment not to make health or medical decisions for or on behalf of people who we support. We encourage people to seek input from family and friends regarding choices or decisions about their health.

Christian Horizons acknowledges the rights of individuals and the importance of knowing and protecting them. Each person we support is informed of his/her rights upon admission and every six months following.

 

How Are Finances Managed?

Christian Horizons wants people to be as independent as possible in managing their finances. When people need assistance in managing their finances, the first choice is for a relative or another member of the person’s social network to provide this support. We encourage you to discuss how you can be involved with or review your family member’s finances regularly (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually) with your family member and the program staff. We also ask that you review the financial records for your family member a minimum of once per year. Where you are unable to participate in this review, we will ask you to suggest someone who can help with this support.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding finances, please contact the Program Manager of the location where your family member receives support.

 

One Vision, One Ministry

We are committed to unifying the organization to achieve our vision. In the past, we have sometimes confused ourselves and others by making distinctions in the work that we do by naming different companies, having different websites, and calling ourselves by different names. As Christian Horizons continues to grow and expand, it has become clear that all of our work, no matter the physical location of the community, is to achieve one vision for one ministry purpose.

In April 2016, we launched one new website to take the place of our previous two websites. The messages of our existing Christian Horizons and Christian Horizons Global branches were brought together to promote all of the work we do as one organization under the umbrella of the Christian Horizons name.

From an organizational perspective, we continue to support all of our employees in Ontario, Saskatchewan, South and Central America and Africa at the Resource & Leadership Centre based in Kitchener, Ontario. Our focus is to promote all the work that Christian Horizons does and how people and organizations can partner together with us, as we work to realize our vision of people with exceptional needs belong to communities in which our God-given gifts are valued and respected.

 

Who Should I Talk To When I Have Concerns?

Christian Horizons desires to resolve all issues with family relating to the supports and services Christian Horizons provides. If you have any concerns regarding service issues, your first point of contact is with the staff team and the Program Manager. We trust that most situations can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction at this level. The best person to resolve issues related to direct care issues is the Program Manager. It is their role to work with you to ensure that your family member/designate receives the best possible support. Be sure to indicate your preferred method of communication and the best time and ways to follow up with you.

We trust that most situations can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction at this local level: however, if you feel that the Program Manager is not adequately addressing concerns, you may contact the Area Manager by calling your district office. Additional people within Christian Horizons will become involved to resolve issues as required.

At any time during this process, you may seek additional support from a third party to support you in resolving the situation (e.g., friend, pastor, external facilitator). In a case of unresolved dispute, Christian Horizons’ Board of Directors, by law, has the final word governing the Christian Horizons programs.

 

How Can I Get More Involved?

Christian Horizons accepts and encourages the involvement of volunteers at all levels of the organization.

Volunteer opportunities are available within our programs, at camps, for supported excursion, to help with special events and in our offices. You can assist with a fundraising event, complete maintenance or administration tasks, share your music or other interests, or accompany people on outings.

Many other opportunities are available. Check out our volunteer page to learn more to apply to become a volunteer.