Rachel tells Teresa how she feels (photo added)Monday, October 07, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
MINISTRY OF CHILD
AND YOUTH SERVICES
Ontario Government taking action to reduce wait times and improve services
Ontario is reducing wait times and improving how families of children and youth with special needs access the services they need in Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma region.
As part of a $5 million annual investment, Ontario is expanding the family-centred Children's Rehabilitation Information System to the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre Algoma as well as four other children's treatment centres in northern Ontario.
As a result, more children and youth will receive improved access to rehabilitative services, such as physical, occupational and speech therapy.
“It is essential that families with children and youth with special needs in our community receive the treatment they need and the support they deserve closer to home," said David Orazietti, Member of Provincial Parliament, Sault Ste. Marie. "This additional funding will help to better serve some of our most vulnerable children, youth and their families.”
The Ontario government is also committed to expanding access to integrated rehabilitation services in fullday kindergarten classrooms by building on pilot programs.
More young people with autism will also benefit from improved access to Intensive Behavioural Intervention therapy, which helps decrease challenging behaviours, increase appropriate behaviours and promote development.
"Improving access to services for children and youth with special needs and their families is part of the Ontario government's plan to invest in people," said Susan Vanagas-Cote, Executive Director Children’s Rehabilitation Centre Algoma. “On a practical level, this new funding means less wait time for families to get onto services and more accessible data to make informed decisions about services.”
The province is also focused on investing in infrastructure and fostering a dynamic and innovative business environment.
“We heard from families about what they need to support their children and youth with special needs, and we took action," said Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services. "We remain committed to helping all children and youth in Ontario achieve their goals, and to fully participate at home, at school and in their communities.”
- Ontario also supports children living in rural and remote areas with a range of health, mental health and educational services through the Integrated Services for Northern Children Fund.
- Ontario’s five northern children’s treatment centres, located in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, North Bay and Sudbury, provide service to approximately 7,860 kids a year.
- Children’s Rehabilitation Centre Algoma serves an average of 1000 children and youth in Sault Ste. Marie and across the District of Algoma.
- These new supports are the first step in responding to recommendations from Tracy MacCharles, the former Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children and Youth Services, on how to improve families’ experiences finding information, navigating the system and transitioning from child and youth to adult services.
Pictured: Rachel Ferguson, age 3, greets Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services October 7, 2013 at the Children's Rehabilitation Centre Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Photo by Kenneth Armstrong for SooToday.com