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August 23, 2010

Province announces children's services being brought together under one roof

Partnership Creates Innovative One-stop Shop: Ministers

A new site offering integrated special services for young people with disabilities and special needs will come to fruition with a $16.7-million provincial investment, Health Minister Theresa Oswald and Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.

"This initiative will have multiple benefits for these special children and their families," said Oswald. "In particular, this will make it easier to co-ordinate services for children and families to provide better service and better care overall."

Specialized Services for Children and Youth (SSCY) is an alliance of Manitoba Health and Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and various service-provider agencies.

The new innovative one-stop rehabilitation centre for children will co-locate other specialized services for children with disabilities to make accessing services easier and more seamless, said the ministers.

"By having all the services under one roof, it will reduce the stress that children and families sometimes experience when they need multiple services," said Mackintosh.

"In removing some of the obstacles faced by children with special needs, we give them a greater opportunity for a better quality of life," said Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross, making the announcement on behalf of Oswald and Mackintosh.

The new 87,000-square-foot centre will be located in the Christie Building at 1147 Notre Dame Ave., conveniently situated in close proximity to the Health Sciences Centre and Children's Hospital.

"This new integrated facility will bring together the expertise of a wide variety of health-care and social-services professionals to ensure these children and their families receive seamless family-centred and community based care," WRHA chief operating officer Real Cloutier said.

A multi-disciplinary team will be working together on site to ensure co-ordinated and simplified access to a range of programs and services. On-site service-provider agencies include:

  • WRHA: communication disorders, child development clinic (Clinic for Alcohol and Drug Exposed Children [CADEC], newborn followup clinic), integrated services team (WRHA home care and Children's Special Services case co-ordinators) and pediatric rehabilitation services (physiotherapy and occupational therapy);

  • Children's Special Services;

  • Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCC): all programs and services, RCC Foundation;

  • Society for Manitobans with Disabilities (SMD): case co-ordinators, provincial outreach therapy program and audiology;

  • Community Respite Services; and

  • Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs: fetal alcohol syndrome outreach team, behavioural specialists, autism outreach team, integrated children's service team and family support.

Other partners committed to working within the collaborative model, but not co-locating include the Child Guidance Clinic, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Mount Carmel Clinic, Central Speech and Hearing Clinic, Open Access Resource Centre, St. Amant Centre, Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre and the Movement Centre of Manitoba.

"We are thrilled with the opportunity to work together with families and our partners to create a centre and a service delivery system that will be easier for families to navigate and will better respond to the issues faced by children and youth with disabilities and special needs," said Cheryl Susinski, executive director of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children.

Design work is well underway for the new facility, with construction expected to start next spring and completion targeted for the fall of 2012.

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