McGuinty Government Helping Children And Youth With Special Needs In Thunder Bay



    New Children's Treatment Centre A Boost For Thunder Bay's Most Vulnerable
    Young People

    THUNDER BAY, ON, Aug. 29 /CNW/ - The province is committing $1 million
more towards building a new children's treatment centre in Thunder Bay,
Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers announced today.
This is in addition to the $5.3 million the government has already committed
to the project.
    "Our government's additional funding will ensure the new children's
treatment centre in Thunder Bay will be completed on schedule," said Chambers.
"And it will allow the George Jeffrey Children's Centre to focus on what it
does best - providing high-quality services to children and youth with special
needs."
    The original agreement to build a new facility for children and youth
with special needs in Thunder Bay committed the government to provide
$5.3 million and the George Jeffrey Children's Centre to raise $2.7 million
through fundraising efforts. To date, the centre has raised $1.7 million. The
government's additional investment will address this funding gap. The facility
is expected to be operational by October 31, 2008.
    "This is great news for the children and families who access the
wonderful services of the George Jeffrey Children's Treatment Centre," said
Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay - Superior North. "The entire community
is behind this project, and I could not be more delighted to see that our
government is providing further financial assistance to ensure that this dream
comes true."
    Children and youth with special needs have varying needs associated with
a number of conditions such as physical and development disabilities, and
chronic or severe illness. This includes young people with neurological
disorders, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, behavioural concerns and mental
illness.
    "A dream is finally becoming reality for the George Jeffrey Children's
Centre," said Eiji Tsubouchi, Executive Director of the centre. "This is an
exciting time for the centre, its clients and their families. Our new home
will allow us to provide the best care and support possible."
    This additional investment is one of the many ways the McGuinty
government is helping children and youth in Thunder Bay. The government has:

    
    -   Strengthened mental health services through new investments of more
        than $600,000 in 2007-08
    -   Invested approximately $965,000 in 2007-08 to improve outcomes for
        youth in underserved communities as part of the Youth Opportunities
        Strategy. This includes providing summer jobs to approximately 190
        young people
    -   Provided the George Jeffrey Children's Centre with an additional
        $140,200 in 2007-08 as part of a provincewide investment of
        $4 million in children's treatment centres.

    "Our government continues to work hard on many fronts to respond sooner
and make a real difference in the lives of our province's most vulnerable
young people and their families," said Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay -
Atikokan. "The new George Jeffrey Children's Centre will make services more
accessible, better coordinated and more responsive to the needs of children,
youth and their families."

    Disponible en français
                           www.children.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

       SUPPORTING CHILDREN AND YOUTH WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN THUNDER BAY
    

    Children's Treatment Centres
    ----------------------------
    Children's treatment centres are community-based organizations designed
to meet the diverse needs of children and youth with special needs. These
young people have varying needs associated with a number of conditions such as
physical and developmental disabilities, chronic 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 offered depending on local needs and the mix of other
providers in each community.

    George Jeffrey Children's Centre
    --------------------------------
    On December 26, 2006, the George Jeffrey Children's Centre purchased
property at 200 South Brock Street from the City of Thunder Bay to build a new
facility to better serve children and youth with special needs. The site has
been rezoned, an architect has been selected, and working drawings are nearly
complete. The facility is expected to be operational by October 31, 2008.
    The original agreement to build a new facility for children and youth
with special needs in Thunder Bay committed the government to provide
$5.3 million and the George Jeffrey Children's Centre to raise $2.7 million
through fundraising efforts. To date, the centre has raised $1.7 million. The
government's $1 million investment will address this funding gap.
    The George Jeffrey Children's Centre is also receiving an additional
$140,200 in 2007-08 to provide services to 24 children and youth with special
needs currently on a waiting list. This funding is part of a $4 million
Ontario Budget investment 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.
    The $4 million investment will provide more services that will benefit
approximately 2,200 children and youth with special needs. In the 2006 Ontario
Budget, the government committed $10 million that provided services to
approximately 4,300 more children and youth. The George Jeffrey Children's
Centre received $480,220 in additional funding as part of that budget
increase.

    
    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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