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Letter to the Editor: Caring and fairness for children and youth with special needs

George Jeffrey Children's Centre is one of 21 Children's Treatment Centres here in Ontario that collectively serve over 80,000 children and youth with special needs annually.
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Letters to the editor - with text

To the editor:

As the Past President of George Jeffrey Children's Centre and Board Director for the Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services (OACRS), I want to take a moment to talk about caring and fairness for children and youth with special needs in Ontario.

George Jeffrey Children's Centre is one of 21 Children's Treatment Centres here in Ontario that collectively serve over 80,000 children and youth with special needs annually. Since 1948, George Jeffrey Children's Centre has been delivering one-stop access to inter-disciplinary, evidence-based, and family-centre services for children and youth with special needs. We work with regulated health professionals to deliver a wide variety of treatments and services in urban, rural and remote communities across our region.

But the child and youth community-based rehabilitation sector has been under-funded for many years. We have heard from families that CTCs like George Jeffrey Children's Centre need to dramatically reduce wait times, provide more therapy for children and youth, and ensure that services are more flexible and accessible to families living throughout our region. We know there is work to do to meet these objectives, and we've been speaking to governments of all political stripes for decades about this pressing need.

To address the needs of the children of today and tomorrow, in a manner that is fair and equal in all communities, CTCs require new, significant, long-term investment of $120M over four-years, beginning with $40M in 2018-2019.  As 21 CTCs, we are calling on the government and all political parties to make this historic investment in the health and quality-of-life of all of Ontario's children and youth with special needs

This is about caring and fairness for Ontario's children and youth with special needs. It's about caring and fairness for their families. It is about making sure that every child and youth with special needs in Ontario gets the same chance to thrive at home, excel at school, and fully participate in our community - just like other kids.

Stephanie Ash,
Director, Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services (OACRS) Past-President of the Board of Directors, George Jeffrey Children's Centre.




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