McGuinty Government Helping Vulnerable Children And Youth

    Providing $675,000 To Youthlink Of Metropolitan Toronto

    TORONTO, April 11 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is investing $675,000
in Youthlink of Metropolitan Toronto to enhance the quality of services so
young people with special needs 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 and challenges, so they can have the opportunity to
achieve their potential like other children and youth," said Chambers.
"Today's funding will help Youthlink enhance the services it provides and
enable children, youth and families in Toronto to access supports as close to
home as possible."
    Established in 1914 by the Big Sisters Association of Toronto, the
organization became Youthlink of Metropolitan Toronto in 1989. Services are
targeted to youth age 12 to 18 living in the former City of Scarborough and
East Toronto. Individual, family and group counselling are provided to those
with family, peer or school-related difficulties, victims of abuse, those in
conflict with the law or at risk of becoming homeless, those with mental
health challenges or a developmental disability. Residential services are also
provided. Youthlink works with child and youth mental health centres to
provide intensive wraparound services to support the reintegration of young
people back to their families, caregivers and communities. The agency also
partners with East Metro Youth Services in Scarborough/East York to provide
youth outreach worker services under the province's Youth Opportunities
Strategy. Youthlink provides four outreach workers year-round to serve as
mentors and advocates for hard-to-reach youth. In 2007, the province is
spending $2,321,550 million to employ 35 outreach workers in Toronto.
    "Supporting vulnerable young people and their families to overcome
serious challenges is one of the ways we are improving the quality of life of
Ontarians," said Lorenzo Berardinetti, MPP for Scarborough Southwest. "I am
thankful that Youthlink is here to help young people with special needs in
this region get a better start. This is an important investment in their
    "Youthlink has a very long tradition of serving families and young people
in East Toronto," region," said Sandy Birnie, executive director "This
investment will help us to continue to sustain the programming we provide to
help reduce barriers for young people so they have increased opportunity to
achieve success in school and in the future."

    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 approximately $30 million
        since 2003-04
    -   $24.5 million more annually to enhance mental health services for
        children and youth across the province, increasing funding for these
        services by approximately $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 Youthlink are an important part of a continuum of services
that provide young people with special needs and other challenges the help
they need to reach their full potential," said Chambers. "Our government is
committed to helping families whose children and youth face difficult
challenges and to making services more accessible, better coordinated and more
responsive to their needs."

    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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