A 30-Year + Partnership with the CRDITED de la Montérégie-Est

The Butters Foundation was founded in 1976 by friends and family of Mrs. Lily Butters soon after the institution was nationalized and its mandate changed from custodial care to social rehabilitation. At that point a strong relationship was forged with the new administration of the center and the two organizations have worked together on innovative projects ever since. In the beginning there was a sense that the Government intended to close the institution down due to a lingering negative image of the public organization due to the reputation of its institution. Thus there was a strong incentive to help the authorities of the new center retool its physical infrastructure and initiate new and innovative projects in the communities in and around Brome County. By 1980, the Government had decided to give the Center a new lease-on-life and ensure long-term public financing. This move insured the long-term viability of the Center and cemented the partnership between the Foundation and the Center.

For more information on our partner visit their website.In the 1980s and 1990s, the public health and social service system went through a series of “reforms”. These amounted to cost-cutting moves that continually reduced the number of public institutions serving intellectually disabled persons in each region of the province. These measures were aimed at cutting administrative costs. By 1996, the Center had become an amalgam of nine previously independent public centers and had gone through 4 name changes until finally settling on its current name: le CRDITED de la Montérégie-Est. At that point, the CRDI Monteregie-Est had become the largest CRDITED serving disabled families in Quebec, (out of 25).

As the Center/CRDITED has grown over the years, so has the territory and mandate of the Butters Foundation. The Foundation presently supports projects involving the CRDITED on the South Shore of Montreal and as far a field as Sorel and St-Hyacinthe. In addition, as institutions were closed in the region, the CRDIs created more and more community-based services helping disabled people live and work in the community. Inevitably, the Centers began to support the families that kept their intellectually disabled children at home. Thus, the Butters Foundation has sponsored, in recent years, projects that target children and adults who live with their parents and siblings.


The CRDITED network in Quebec was recently given a new mandate to provide specialized services to people with pervasive developmental disorders, (i.e. autistic people). The Butters Foundation is committed to helping the CRDITED create highly specialized services to treat and rehabilitate children and adults with severe behavioral problems and developmental disorders. These people are a strain on their families and a drain on the public purse. The introduction of services tailored to meet their specific needs will lighten the load on the public hospitals of Quebec, provide an important asset to the public social service system and help affected families cope with the burden of a child with severe behavioral or developmental problems.

For more information on our partner visit their website.

Maison Lily Butters


maison2_450The progressive development of the public rehabilitative system in Quebec for persons with an intellectual disability since the mid 1970s has witnessed the successful return to the community of practically everybody with an intellectual disability EXCEPT those persons with severe and complex behavioral problems. These people represent a small minority of the client population of the system but they are also a costly and ill-served segment of the population, oftentimes pushed from one institution to the next without any appreciable success in treatment, and exacting a huge toll on the lives of family members. These people often languish in general and psychiatric hospitals across the Province and across the country, taking up expensive beds and frustrating ill-equipped but well-meaning professionals. These severely disabled people represent a significant challenge for the field of intellectual disability in Quebec and the rest of the country. Once these people are properly treated and rehabilitated, all intellectually disabled people will have had the chance to live in the community and profit from a decent quality of life.

In order, however, to return people with severe behavioral problems to the community, the public social service system must “retool” itself by adapting its physical infrastructure to meet the clinical needs of this challenging client group and to carry out practical research projects that will advance the science of rehabilitating people with complex behavioral problems. Physical space designed to facilitate and enhance the provision of specialized services will allow highly qualified professionals the opportunity to work in an efficient and effective manner. The goal of this facility will be to properly diagnose, with the complete range of diagnostic tools, the specific problems of each client and to prescribe appropriate clinical programs to be eventually administered in less restricted community environments. Stays in such a clinical facility would be limited to periods of 120 days, the length of time required to stabilize a “disorganized” client, effectively diagnose his problems, and build a tailor-made individualized program to be implemented in an appropriate living environment in the community.

maison_lily_butters1_400Such a facility would be a first in Canada wherein mental health and social rehab professionals worked together to solve a lingering social problem, and would be owned by Butters Homes, Inc., the property management arm of the Butters Foundation. It would, in turn, be leased back to the public establishment on a long-term basis. Ownership of the building would remain outside the public domain in perpetuity.

The need is to build and to create an equivalent in the field of mental retardation to the ultra-specialized acute-care hospital in the field of general curative medicine, an institution of world-class stature, linked to universities for the purpose of research, capable of working in French or in English and open to treat anybody from the Province of Quebec. This kind of environment would make all the difference in the world to a client who has never been properly diagnosed and has, consequently, never received the clinical treatment he or she needed to overcome a severe behavioral problem.

The Service

maison_lily_event_280After a successful campaign, the service opened in December of 2008. Clients needing intensive treatment entered the facility one at a time. The research project came on line at the same time. See Research Protocol for more information on the research project. Click here.Treatments have been monitored as per the research protocol since day one. Clients have completed their assessment and program planning and have returned to less segregated living environments,




Maison Lily Butters

This state-of-the-art eight bed diagnostic and crisis behavioural intervention facility has seen a successful turnover of clients since opening its doors in December of 2008. Remember that this facility was designed as a temporary evaluation and treatment centre for adolescents and young adults with destabilizing emotional and behavioural problems. These problems cause immense challenges for families, themselves and their surroundings. Since opening, over 32 clients have left the facility and returned to community housing, causing relief to families, savings to the public system and improved quality of life for the clients themselves. During this period, the research component has been able to document new best practices directly related to the facility and is putting together an interim report that will be available for distribution shortly. The plan is to multiply the results of our investments by sharing our experiences with colleagues in other parts of the country.