Five Counties Children’s Centre gets boost for children’s treatment services
Children’s treatment services will get a major boost in the region, courtesy of a newly-announced $2-million provincial investment.
Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith and Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott were on hand at Five Counties Children’s Centre today (October 12) in Peterborough to make the local funding announcement. As part of the Ontario government’s $330-million investment in pediatric health services for children and youth announced this summer, Five Counties will see its provincial funding increase by nearly $2.025 million per year. Broken down, this works out to an annualized increase of $1.714 million for Community and School-Based Rehabilitation and $310,625 in for Preschool Speech and Language services.
Bottom line, the funds will help Five Counties serve more children, youth and families in Peterborough, Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. It will also help to reduce wait times for important children’s treatment services such as speech, occupational and physio therapies, which can be as long as 18-24 months in some cases.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Ontario government for this additional investment in children’s treatment services,” says Scott Pepin, CEO of Five Counties Children’s Centre. “This is a huge win for our kids and families, as it will allow us to see and serve more families to help get them the treatment they need when they need it.”
Both MPPs representing the region echo the sentiment, saying the new consistent, stable funding will be a game changer for children’s treatment centres like Five Counties. The new funding will reduce wait times to give more timely access to clinical assessments, early intervention and school-based rehabilitation, all with the goal of helping more children of all ages and abilities reach their full potential.
“This long-term funding commitment demonstrates the Ontario government’s commitment to support the health and well-being of children and youth in our province, including right here at home,” says Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith.
“Five Counties is a pillar of our community that offers supports to so many children in a variety of ways. Our government is proud to continue to support the Centre’s commitment to improving the lives of those in our communities with their innovative treatment programs,” says Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.
For Five Counties, the new provincial funding is particularly important to retain and recruit its staff, while also allowing it to fill current vacancies and add more clinicians in areas of high-demand services. The overall result will be enhanced services and reduced wait times for families.
“Investing in our staff means we can invest in important treatment services that benefit our kids and families,” says Pepin. “The funding also allows us to be more competitive and an employer of choice, especially to fill hard-to-recruit therapy positions that are often in high demand and short supply.”
Pepin credits Five Counties staff for being more adaptable to support more families in new ways and places, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic when employees have had to adjust how they work and provide care. The results show, he notes, as this past year Five Counties was able to serve more than 6,200 children and youth in the region – the highest number of annual clients in its nearly 50-year history.
Five Counties Children’s Centre provides speech, physio and occupational therapies, as well as other kids’ treatment services. Care is provided through Centre sites in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg, Campbellford and Minden, as well as in area schools and other community settings.