Minister of Children and Youth Services Teresa Piruzza
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Children and youth with special needs will have better access to treatment with an investment from the Ontario government.
Minister of Children and Youth Services Teresa Piruzza announced a $10 million investment to enhance service and supports throughout the province while at the George Jeffrey Children's Centre Friday afternoon.
Half of that money will be used for autism services and the other $5 million will be used for the Children's Rehabilitation Information System (CRIS); $1.5 million of that is for the five northern Ontario children's treatment centres, including George Jeffrey Children's Centre, to join the information network.
"What this does is provide everything on one platform, which provides more time that all the professionals here that work with the youth and with the children can spend with the actual children and it also provides all the information in one place so the family isn't having to give the information over and over again," said Piruzza.
Children's treatment centres across Ontario have waiting lists and that's an issue the minister said they need to address.
"As the minister and as a mom, everything we do is really about ensuring all of our children, regardless of where they are or regardless of what their abilities are, that everyone has the opportunity to succeed," she said.
The waiting list for the George Jeffrey Centre is usually around 200 children and last year the centre saw about 1,600 children from Thunder Bay and the region, said CEO Juliana Jason.
She said the funding should help them be able to streamline services and help more children.
"We'll be able to better organize plans of care, specifically one plan of care for our clients. It will help our clinicians provide more cohesive care," said Jason, adding many clients use more than one service at the centre.
The $5 million for autism services will help improve Intensive Behavioural Intervention Therapy - it helps decrease challenging behaviours and increase appropriate behaviours as well as promote development.
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