Parent Tips for Transitions from Hospital or Care and Treatment Programs to Home or School

Note: This article is available in Farsi, French, Punjabi, Spanish and Simplified Chinese and the links are at the end of the article.

Some students with disabilities or health issues may require surgery or treatment. This may result in your child being in a hospital or treatment facility for a long period of time. Care and treatment programs may be needed if your child needs a period of rehabilitation following surgery or for specialized treatment.

Tip 1: Consent for Sharing of Information:

The Personal Information Protection and Electronics Document Act (PIPEDA) and The Privacy Act are meant to protect your privacy. However, they can create a barrier to the sharing of information between agencies.

  • Ask whether there are agreements in place between your child’s treatment providers and school programs that will allow information sharing
  • Review and sign relevant forms to consent to sharing of information and make sure that you understand:
    1. What you are signing or agreeing to,
    2. With whom information will be shared

Tip 2: Plan Ahead:

When you know about the hospitalization (or treatment program) ahead of time:

  • Talk to your child about what will happen and how they may feel after surgery or during treatment
  • Talk to your child’s teacher and identify what your child may be able to do during and after hospitalization
  • Request school work that can be done while your child is away from school
  • Consider whether sharing information about the surgery or treatment with other children in the class would be helpful
  • Identify ways your child can stay in touch with school mates, which may include communication via e-mails, texts, or Skype

Tip 3: School Programs While in Care and Treatment Programs or in Hospital:

Children and youth who are receiving residential or day treatment services within Care and Treatment facilities or hospitals, and who are unable to attend school at the local school board, may attend School Authority or Section 23 programs in the facility providing treatment. The length of stay and enrolment depend on medical and therapy needs and rate of recovery. Parent tips include:

  • Ask questions about the education program that will be provided to your child
  • Find out how therapy and medical treatments will be provided within the school day
  • Share copies of your child’s report cards, Individual Education Plan (IEP) and any information that has been provided by the school
  • Find out how you can be involved and support your child
  • Ask about the process for transition out of the school when treatment ends

Tip 4: Planning to Leave Hospital or a Treatment Program:

Most hospitals and treatment facilities have discharge staff who will be responsible for organizing your child’s discharge and their transition back to school, or a recovery period at home.

  • Schedule a meeting well before the date of leaving the hospital or treatment program
  • Invite all of the key people involved with your child – when everyone is at the same meeting they can hear the same information and have an opportunity to ask questions, provide suggestions and develop a plan

Tip 5: At the Transition Planning Meeting:

At the transition (discharge) meeting hospital or program staff will share information about your child and their current needs.

  • Ask whether your child can return to school or if they need a period of recovery at home
  • Ask how long it will take your child to recover and whether there will be any limitations to your child’s activities at home or school
  • Find out what medical treatments or services may be required at home and/or at school
  • Ask what equipment or other supports may be needed at home or school
  • Develop a plan for return to school either full or part time. If your child must stay at home, this may include arrangements for home instruction
  • Ask whether the teacher or other school staff need any information or training about your child’s needs

Tip 6: Home Instruction:

Home instruction is provided to students who are registered in school and unable to return for medical reasons. Home instruction is offered by teachers hired by the school board. The school decides the subjects for home instruction in consultation with the student and/or parent(s).

  • Talk to the school Principal or school board staff to make arrangements for home instruction
  • Ask when the home instruction teacher will start making the home visits and how long each session will last
  • Discuss what subjects or courses will be covered
  • Find out how to re-schedule sessions if your child is unwell or will be unavailable
  • Find out what space or equipment will be needed by your child and the teacher

Tip 7: Return to School After Recovery at Home:

When your child is ready to return to school, even on a part time basis, another transition meeting should be held. At the meeting:

  • Discuss your child’s condition and needs as well as further recovery time and restrictions or limitations on their activity
  • Identify the services or equipment that may be required at school
  • Develop a plan for the return to school, including support for the teacher and other students

Helpful Websites:

Translations of this article:



Punjabi – Transitions from Hospital or Care and Treatment Programs