Manitoba to Reduce Use of Hotels to House Children in Crisis

By Sarah Klein

Marymound
Marymound, 442 Scotia Street, where the province announced Tuesday changes to the emergency placement program to better serve children in crisis. (GOOGLE STREET VIEW)

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government wants fewer foster children living in hotels to better serve those in crisis.

By the spring of 2015, the province hopes to overhaul its programs to improve care for those children and redirect funding to key services.

The first step will be to create 71 new emergency foster home spaces, and open a secure residential care unit to work with girls ages 12-17 who have complex needs.

“The safety of children is paramount and so today we are implementing significant updates to our emergency placement program with the goal of improving supports and reuniting children with their families and communities more quickly,” said Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross. “These changes will help meet the needs of vulnerable children while also being more cost efficient.”

The province will also increase capacity for clinical assessments of children with behavioural challenges, reduce reliance on contract workers by hiring 210 highly trained, permanent child-care workers over two years, and increase emergency foster placements and supports in rural areas.

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