WINNIPEG - The province is putting $424,000 towards a pilot project with the Winnipeg's Child Protection Centre (CPC).
The money will be used to increase the number of medical and specialized assessments for children who are newly apprehended or at risk of coming into care of Child and Family Services.
“The Child Protection Centre is an integral component of the child welfare system and supports our goal of preserving care within a child’s family and community,” said Minister Fielding in a press release. “This pilot creates better outcomes for children and families through more timely and comprehensive assessments that will lead to early intervention and speed up referral to services and supports within days, rather than months.”
“By expanding the resources in the Child Protection Centre, we can offer a daily clinic, eliminating wait times and moving medical and psychological assessments from an emergency room or urgent care centre into a more co-ordinated, centralized, single-entry point for children and families in need,” said Dr. Terry Klassen, medical director of the child health program, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “This enhanced, child-focused approach will also see a specialist assigned to each case to improve continuity through co-ordinating appointments and assessment needs, gathering information, and maintaining contact with the investigating agencies to improve children’s safety and quality of care.”
The increased funding for this pilot project, expected to begin later this year, expands upon an annual provincial investment in CPC of $1.6 million, the minister said. He added this work supports the goals of the government’s child welfare reform plan, which was introduced in fall 2017 and focuses on reducing the number of children in care by improving prevention and permanence options.