Alberta Council of Disability Services

Complex Support Needs

Individuals who live with complex medical and/or behavioural needs require a diverse support network as described in the Complex Support Needs Designation (CSND) information sheet.

With proper support, these individuals can be given a chance to mitigate, manage or overcome personal or social disadvantages, such as 

  • injuries to themselves or others
  • risk of hospitalization/institutionalization
  • loss of or threat of loss of their homes or livelihood
  • involvement in the justice system
  • rejection by others in the community
  • alienation of family and friends

By achieving the designation, service providers can be confident that

  • they can offer solutions to individuals and/or guardians who do not find sufficient support with traditional service or treatment options alone
  • they are fully equipped to help these individuals work towards overcoming their disadvantages
  • they have highly trained and skilled staff 
  • their staff will be less likely to receive personal injuries
  • they can manage increases in the use and/or intensity of restrictive procedures 
  • they can avoid liability issues

The cost of CSND surveys is covered by the Government of Alberta for organizations funded by Persons with Developmental Disabilities.

Service providers that have individuals who have developmental disabilities coexisting with extreme complex mental health, medical, and/or behavioural needs will be able to provide specialized supports and training in a Secure Treatment environment.

ACDS’ Service Tiers Tool allows service providers to determine what level of support and training they need to pursue to best serve individuals with diverse needs.