"Cutbacks at Kingston's Child Development Centre Puts a Strain on Families"
STAFFING ISSUES AT THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE AT HOTEL DIEU HOSPITAL WILL SOON PUT A STRAIN ON FAMILIES WHO HAVE CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES.
AT THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE AT HOTEL DIEU HOSPITAL WILL SOON PUT A STRAIN ON FAMILIES WHO HAVE CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES.
A NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TAKING A LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM THE CENTRE WILL NOT BE REPLACED.
NEWSWATCH'S MAEGEN KULCHAR HAS MORE ON HOW THE CUTBACKS WILL AFFECT THE LEVEL OF CARE
For the past year, Brenda Trautrimas and her husband Michael have been taking
their 3 year old son Aiden to the Child Development Centre at Hotel Dieu Hospital once a week.
He was diagnosed with autism two years ago...and after waiting for an opening at the Centre, Aiden was finally accepted for Speech Therapy last year.
"With the one on one, he's improved drastically over the last few months and his teachers at school have said how much he's increased and better he's doing"
But some of those sessions may suddenly be cut back as early March, as two employees will be taking leave from the Centre with no replacements.
"He was doing so well, and then all of a sudden, nothing, so we've been left in the dark to try and find our way with things."
While the family is working on Aiden
's speech at home, the Centre is apologetic, admitting that the pending staff
shortage is a problem...but unfortunately one that can't be avoided.
"We can't function at a deficit, we have no money to cover the costs of replacing the staff and some types of leaves cost money to go on the leave"
Meaning some services will be shortened or cancelled
..with the potential for longer wait times to get into the program.
The Centre, along with many other organisations across Ontario, are funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth.
As of last year, they haven't received any additional funding...and as a result are advocating for increases in children's services.
"We feel that it's important that Ontarian's sustain the services that are available for these kids especially those with disabilities" Maegen Kulchar:
"In response to the cutbacks, Brenda has started an online petition, and within just a few weeks, she's already received over 500 signatures from people all over the world, as well as comments from other parents in similar situations"
"Parents need to know that these cutbacks are going to happen and it's going to effect kids and if they are not helping them now, its going to cost three times as much when they are adults."
without government support
It can cost as much as 4000 dollars a month for Speech Therapy at a private clinic.
that's why this family believes Provincial funding is so necessary in helping
children like Aiden reach their full potential.
Maegen Kulchar CKWS Newswatch