McGuinty Government Helping Vulnerable Children

    Providing $1 Million To Kinark Child And Family Services

    MARKHAM, ON, March 30 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is investing
$1 million in Kinark Child and Family Services to enhance the quality of
services to children and youth with special needs so they can achieve the best
possible outcomes and succeed in life, Minister of Children and Youth Services
Mary Anne Chambers said today.
    "Our government is demonstrating its commitment to helping children and
youth with special needs, including mental health challenges and autism
spectrum disorders so that they can have the opportunity to achieve their
potential like other children and youth," said Chambers. "We believe it is
important for children and their families to access supports and services, as
close to home as possible. This funding will help Kinark enhance the services
it provides to children and families in this region."
    Kinark Child and Family Services provide residential and non-residential
mental health services to children and youth who experience severe
behavioural, emotional, social and learning difficulties. Residential program
options include group home care, therapeutic foster care and respite care.
Non-residential services include the ministry's regional autism program,
mobile crisis and intensive child and family services, individual, family and
group counselling, day treatment, life skills development and outdoor centre
programs. Kinark also provides services to youth in conflict with the law at
Syl Apps Centre for Youth in Oakville, Ontario. The not-for-profit agency
serves more than 12,000 children and youth a year.
    "Helping our most vulnerable young people and supporting their families
to overcome serious challenges is one of the ways we are increasing the
quality of life of Ontarians and building a stronger society," said Michael
Chan, MPP for Markham. "I am grateful that Kinark Child and Family Services is
here to assist young people with special needs in this region get a better
start. This is an important investment in their future."
    "Kinark Child and Family Services appreciates that the government values
the work we do to support children, youth and families," said Peter Moore,
executive director. "This investment will replace the existing century-old
building in Newmarket so we can expand the existing centre and make it fully
accessible for all of our programs and services."
    Ontario's Budget 2007 includes additional investments that will benefit
children and youth with special needs and their families, including:

    -   $4 million more for Children's Treatment Centres, on top of
        $10 million announced in the 2006 budget, increasing the government's
        total annual funding to these centres by nearly $30 million since
    -   $8 million more for child and youth mental health to address gaps in
        local service needs and reduce wait times, increasing funding for
        these services by nearly $80 million since 2003-04
    -   increased funding to nearly $130 million, nearly tripling the support
        for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families
        since 2003-04
    -   expanding opportunity by providing more assistance to children in
        lower income families through the $2.1 billion Ontario Child Benefit.

    "Agencies like Kinark are an important part of a continuum of services
that help provide young people with special needs the opportunities to reach
their full potential," said Chambers. "Our government is committed to helping
families whose children have special needs and to making services more
accessible, better coordinated and more responsive to the needs of children,
youth and their families."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Tricia Edgar, Minister's Office, (416)
212-7161, (416) 573-7728 (Cell); Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children
and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156

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