Child services funding is not meeting family’s needs

By: Laranna Androsoff, Grand Forks; Vancouver Sun

There is a lack of funding for children with special needs in our communities. Early Intervention and Supported Child Care Services have not received an increase in funding in the West Kootenay Boundary area for almost eight years.

Yet the number of children with special needs increases every year. Waitlists are growing exponentially, services are consultative, shared support seems to be more the norm and children’s special needs are going unmet.

As a parent of a child accessing these services, I feel this is totally unacceptable from our provincial government. Some children have to wait 18 months to two years for certain services which, in some cases, totally defeats the purpose of early intervention.

Decades of thorough research indicate children’s earliest experiences play a critical role in brain development. Intervention is likely more effective and less costly when offered earlier in life, when the brain is most capable of change, reducing future problems in learning, behaviour and health.

I’m sure our region’s story is not unique in this province. I encourage others to engage in advocacy efforts in this regard.