OACRS welcomes increased funding for children's services

CHATHAM, ON, April 7 /CNW/ - Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services (OACRS) is very pleased with today's announcement, by Minister of Children and Youth Services, Laurel Broten, regarding new funding for Ontario's children with special needs.

"The Government has shown great leadership with regard to Ontario's children with special needs and their families, " said Paula Grail, Board Chair of OACRS. "On behalf of over 73,000 children, youth and families with special needs we want to publicly thank the government."

OACRS represents 20 children's treatment centres in communities across Ontario. Every year, over 73,000 children, youth and families seek rehabilitation services to meet a variety of physical, communication and developmental needs. Services provided by the centres include specialized treatments such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, seating and communication clinics and recreational supports.

"With the continued pressure of increasing wait lists and wait times, children and families have been waiting for services," said Linda Kenny, Chief Executive Officer "Today's announcement means that at least 3,600 of those children will get the services and supports that they need. This is a good news story for each and every one of those kids."

Grail, the mother of a seven year old son with special needs, states "I know from personal experience the difference it can make in the life of a child when families can rely on vital services being available when needed. Since he was 3 months old, my son has benefitted from the expertise available at our local children's centre. I am thankful that more families can have the same experience we have had".

Thanks to earlier diagnosis and more sophisticated therapies, the number of children needing treatment will only continue to grow, noted Grail. "There are children yet to be diagnosed and even yet to be born, who will need the services provided by children's treatment centres to succeed in school and in life. We hope that today's announcement is an acknowledgement that these children can continue to rely on the government's support, as they strive to reach their potential."

OACRS is a non-profit, independent organization that represents 20 children's treatment centres across Ontario. OACRS members are non-profit and community-based providers of rehabilitation services to children and youth with disabilities and their families. Annually, services are provided to approximately 60,000 children with a further 13,000 on the wait list.

SOURCE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF CHILDREN'S REHABILITATION SERVICES

For further information: For further information: Linda Kenny, Chief Executive Officer, (416) 807-0183

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ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF CHILDREN'S REHABILITATION SERVICES

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