Why are the BC Liberals picking on our children?

VANCOUVER, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - Fresh on the heels of cutting funding for children with autism, the Ministry for Children and Family Development has abruptly cut off funding to the Infant Development Program's provincial office.

"Why are the BC Liberals picking on kids with disabilities?" asked Reid Johnson, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC.

"First, the ministry announced it was cutting funding for autistic children by $3 million. Obviously, that wasn't enough of a reduction in service to children with disabilities, so now they're cutting $300,000 from a program that supports families with infants with developmental delays, leaving them on their own to figure out how to get needed services for their babies.

"Imagine for just a moment the emotional turmoil of having an infant with developmental disabilities, and not knowing where to turn to find the help your baby needs to give her a fighting chance. That's just one service the IDP Provincial Office provides, and the Ministry for Children and Families is ripping that away from some of the most vulnerable people in our province," Johnson said.

In addition to acting as a referral service for families, the IDP Provincial Office provides professional training and clinical support to the infant development program consultants around the province. Through the office, staff who work with families are also connected to a range of early childhood intervention information, resources, and services.

"This is a short-sighted, mean-spirited, and direct attack on families with children with disabilities," Johnson said.

The Health Sciences Association of BC is the union that represents early childhood education specialists including infant development consultants who work with families to provide a range of services to help young children overcome developmental challenges.

SOURCE Health Sciences Association of British Columbia

For further information: For further information: Miriam Sobrino, (604) 439-0994 or (604) 328-2886, msobrino@hsabc.org, www.hsabc.org

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Health Sciences Association of British Columbia

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