McGuinty Government Providing More Assistance For Children And Youth With Special Needs In London



    Investments Are A Boost For Ontario's Most Vulnerable Young People

    LONDON, ON, June 18 /CNW/ - Minister of Children and Youth Services
Mary Anne Chambers met today with children and youth with special needs,
including mental health challenges, and their families in London to talk about
new investments that are improving programs and services. The Minister was
joined at the announcement by Chris Bentley, MPP for London West,
Deb Matthews, MPP for London North Centre and Khalil Ramal, MPP for
London--Fanshawe.
    "Children's treatment centres are an important part of the continuum of
services that provide young people with disabilities the best opportunities to
succeed," said Chambers. "Our government is committed to providing children
and youth with a range of complex special needs the support to help them reach
their potential and realize their dreams just like other children and youth."
    Thames Valley Children's Centre will receive an additional $451,400 in
2007-08. The funding will be used to provide services to 350 children and
youth with special needs. The centre also received $257,500 as part of
government investments last fall and $3 million in 2005 to expand and renovate
to better serve children, youth and families.
    "This investment will enhance our ability to provide rehabilitation
treatments and other support services to children, youth and their families in
London and region," said Dr. John LaPorta, Chief Executive Officer of the
Thames Valley Children's Centre, site of today's announcement. "This is very
welcome news for children and youth with special needs throughout Southwestern
Ontario."
    The government is also providing $952,140 in new funding to 15 London
agencies to enhance services to children and youth with mental health and
behavioural challenges. The funding is part of an additional $24.5 million
annual investment in child and youth mental health across the province and
builds on previous investments in more than 260 child and youth mental health
agencies and 17 hospital-based outpatient programs. These 15 agencies also
received $1,182,340 as part of government investments last fall to better
serve children, youth and families while strengthening local economies.
    "When our government was elected, we made it a priority to give children
and youth with mental health challenges the support they need so they can
reach their potential," said Bentley. "That is why we have increased funding
for the child and youth mental health sector by more than $80 million since
2003-04."
    This is the second increase in base annual funding to the child and youth
mental health sector by the McGuinty government since 2004. Prior to the 2004
budget, the sector had not received a base increase for 12 consecutive years.
    "Through these latest investments in children's treatment centres and
child and youth mental health, our government is working to build a more
connected and more responsive service system in London and in communities
across the province," said Matthews.
    "We owe it to our province's most vulnerable citizens to do all we can to
help them," said Ramal. "Our government's investments will help more children
and youth succeed in school, at home and in the community and become
productive adults."
    "Our government believes it is essential we help provide children and
youth with the supports and opportunities they need so they can overcome the
challenges they experience in life," said Steve Peters, MPP for
Elgin-Middlesex-London.

    
    Disponible en français

                           www.children.gov.on.ca
    


    Backgrounder
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    SUPPORTING CHILDREN'S TREATMENT CENTRES

    In 2007-08, the Ontario government is investing an additional $4 million
in 20 children's treatment centres across the province to reduce wait times
and help make services more accessible and more responsive to the needs of
children, youth and their families. This new funding will provide more
services that will benefit approximately 2,200 children and youth with special
needs and is in addition to the $10 million announced in the 2006 Ontario
Budget that provided services to approximately 4,300 more children and youth.
    Thames Valley Children's Centre will receive an additional $451,400 in
2007-08. Through this funding, services will be provided to 350 children and
youth with special needs.
    Children's treatment centres are community-based organizations designed
to meet the diverse needs of children and youth with special needs. Children
and youth with special needs have varying needs associated with a number of
conditions such as physical, intellectual and development disabilities,
chronic or severe illness, and communication disorders.
    These centres provide a wide range of communication and life skills
services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech language
pathology, to approximately 45,000 young people each year. A variety of other
services and clinics are provided depending on local needs and the mix of
other providers in each community.

    STRENGTHENING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

    In 2007-08, the Ontario government is investing an additional
$24.5 million across the province to enhance child and youth mental health
services. This new funding will be shared in the following three ways among
community-based organizations that provide services to children and youth with
social and behavioural problems and mental health challenges, some of whom may
have other special needs such as autism spectrum disorder:

    
    1)  A five per cent increase in base annual funding to child and youth
        mental health agencies, totaling $18 million, to reduce wait times
        and help address cost pressures. This is the second increase in base
        annual funding for the children's mental health sector provided by
        the McGuinty government since 2004. Prior to the 2004 budget, the
        sector had not received a base increase for 12 consecutive years.

        Fifteen London agencies will receive $952,140 in additional funding:

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Agency                                   5% base
                                                               increase over
                                                                     2006/07
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Anago (Non) Residential Resources Inc.                      $55,582
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Boys & Girls Club of London                                 $5,150
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        London Family Court Clinic                                  $37,969
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Community Living London                                     $1,961
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Community Services Coordination Network                     $169,774
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Craigwood Youth Services                                    $90,538
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Glencairn Community Resource Centre                         $5,407
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        London Health Sciences Centre                               $6,956
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Madame Vanier Children's Services                           $265,875
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Merrymount Children's Centre                                $75,311
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Parents of Technologically Dependent Children of Ontario    $12,275
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        St. Joseph's Health Care: Regional Mental Health Care       $81,751
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        St. Leonard's Society of London                             $8,114
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        The Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex          $1,256
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Western Area Youth Services Incorporated                    $134,221
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    2)  $4.5 million in regional annual allocations to address community
        priorities based on the ministry's new Policy Framework for Child and
        Youth Mental Health, of which the ministry's south west region will
        receive $522,200. Investment decisions will be made through a
        collaborative, community-based process.

    3)  $2 million annually that would enable agencies to provide immediate
        children's mental health support when a local community is faced with
        an extraordinary crisis or circumstance.

    Disponible en français

                           www.children.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Tricia Edgar, Minister's Office, (416)
212-7161, (416) 571-7247 (Cell); Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children
and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES

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