Alberta Council of Disability Services

Secure Treatment

Individuals who have developmental disabilities coexisting with extreme complex mental health, medical, and/or behavioural needs often experience chaotic service histories. These individuals will meet the criteria for the Complex Support Needs Designation (CSND) and will have, or have had, a history of one or more of the following diagnoses or life experiences.

  • Pose a significant risk and/or are destructive to themselves, others, or property
  • Require specialized treatment for psychiatric and/or behavioural issues.
  • Be involved in multi-system medical and/or mental health services.
  • Have been incarcerated or involved in the criminal justice system.
  • Been terminated from numerous services as their needs exceed the community’s capacity to serve them based on their complexity or high-risk behaviour.

Therefore, service providers need to manage risk on multiple levels – risk to self, risk to peers and caregivers, and risk to community members. In practice, this generally entails the administration of Restrictive Practices within an environmental model that aligns with ACDS’ Secure Treatment survey type.

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

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.