February 7, 2012
Brampton – The Fair Share for Peel Task Force is being heard at Queen’s Park.
Peel is receiving its fair share of the Ontario government’s new funding for child and youth mental health and addiction services. Community agencies in the Region of Peel, home to 11.5% of Ontario’s population of children and youth, have been allocated 11.5% of the Province’s new funding.
To express their appreciation, the Fair Share for Peel Task Force and Peel’s child and youth mental health agencies hosted a reception at the Brampton Golf Club on February 7th for Peel Region’s MPPs and representatives of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
“This new population-based funding is a big step in the right direction for residents of Peel Region,” said Ron Lenyk, Co-Chair of the Fair Share for Peel Task Force. “It’s a fair allocation worth celebrating.”
Associated Youth Services of Peel, Nexus Youth Services, Peel Children’s Centre, and Rapport Youth & Family Services are receiving a total of $3.6 million for new walk-in counselling and school-based mental health workers, as well as expansions to brief therapy services and critical programs with long wait times.
“This new provincial funding will help our agencies identify and treat children with mental health difficulties earlier, before their challenges escalate,” said Humphrey Mitchell, Executive Director of Peel Children’s Centre. “The funding will also provide faster access to treatment.”
Many child and youth mental health services in Peel have long waits for service. For example, children and youth can wait 6 to 8 eight months for counselling and 12 to 15 months for sexual abuse treatment.
“Peel’s child and youth mental health agencies will be able to serve an additional 2,400 children/youth annually with these new dollars,” Mitchell said.
While celebrating this new population-based funding, the Fair Share for Peel Task Force and its member agencies cautioned that past funding allocations based on old population patterns have not been corrected.
“Peel’s population has tripled since 1980,” said Carol Kotacka, the Task Force’s strategist. “Because the Ontario government’s funding formula for social services hasn’t changed to accommodate the sheer numbers of people we serve, the result has been an ever-widening funding gap between Peel and other Ontario communities.”
According to the Fair Share for Peel Task Force, Peel children’s services receive $278.70 per capita, but average provincial funding for children’s services is $827.20.
Child care, child welfare, affordable housing, and community/social services for seniors, persons living in poverty, and persons with developmental disabilities in Peel also receive far less than their fair share of provincial funding.
Mora Thompson, Peel Children’s Centre
905-795-3507 or firstname.lastname@example.org