The Ending Wait Times (EWT) Project was launched by CMHA Children’s Services and Dufferin Child and Family Services in fall 2017, and has been in full gear ever since. (If you are learning about the EWT Project for the first time, we are working to eliminate wait times for core child and youth mental health services across Dufferin Wellington.) Our goal is a big one, and so we’ve divided our work into key pieces—the first of which is mapping the system.

Photo of “In” mapping session at CMHA in December 2017.

Photo of “In” mapping session at CMHA in December 2017.

Mapping our services (the programs we offer) and pathways (how children, youth, and families move between services) is an important step in learning how clients move in, through, and out of services. We want to understand where challenges or bottlenecks exist, and what we can change to improve client flow and decrease (and eliminate) wait times.




So far, we’ve hosted 6 mapping sessions with staff at CMHA WW and DCAFS to map how children, youth and families move in to, through, between and out of services in Dufferin and Wellington (take a look at the handy diagram above, which shows the sessions completed in dark grey and the sessions yet to come in light grey).


Staff at the mapping session worked together with the help of facilitators from Taylor Newberry Consulting and the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child/Youth Mental Health to create a “map” that shows our services, referral pathways and processes, and communication processes and tools, along with their feedback on what is working well and what needs to change.  Staff participation at the mapping sessions was fantastic and we heard from people representing a range of roles and sites.


As we look ahead to what’s next, we are excited to complete validation sessions for the ‘In’, ‘Through’, and ‘Out’ maps. Validation sessions will bring together external partners, and additional staff, to explore areas of the maps that would benefit from more perspectives or additional information, and to help pinpoint changes that will decrease wait times for service. We will also co-design with clients and families a few validation sessions—specifically for them—to support their involvement in the EWT Project.


Children’s Mental Health staff from CMHA and DCAFS have been invited to a session on March 19 where they will be able to see the maps they/their colleagues have created and add their own feedback as well.


Mapping (and validation) is just one piece of our work—yet, an incredibly important one. We’re building a solid understanding of the current child and youth mental health service system journey, and using that as a foundation for making change. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we move forward!


To learn more and/or access regular updates, please contact Heather Callum, Systems Coordinator (Child/Youth Mental Health, Dufferin Wellington) at hcallum@cmhaww.ca.