Manitoba Government News Release–The Manitoba government and St.Amant will work together to provide an enhanced respite care option to children with disabilities as part of a new pilot project, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.
“Respite care is one of the most requested services by families that are raising children with disabilities,” said Squires. “We want to ensure that families are protected with access to services that meet their needs including innovative respite options supported by trained and experienced workers.”
The two-year pilot includes the creation of two overnight respite homes – a four-bed home in Winnipeg and a three-bed home in Brandon.
“Families of children with disabilities need access to respite, mental health supports, and help understanding how to best support their children as they grow and change, to prevent crisis placements with Child and Family Services,” said John Leggat, president and chief executive officer, St. Amant. “We have seen this model of family care work and are very pleased to be able to help more families stay together.”
The minister noted that with this initiative, the Manitoba government is adhering to a key recommendation in a report from the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth.
The minister added that out-of-home overnight respite and family supports enhance the range of services outside of the child welfare system by offering families:
• a holistic and family-centred approach to services that meet the needs of children and their families at the earliest opportunity, and help children and their siblings, parents and extended families build confidence to successfully care for children at their homes;
• services that support the right of children to life-long connections to their families, communities and cultures, and acknowledge the best way for children to achieve positive life-long outcomes is to be raised within their families, communities and cultures; and
• the ability of children to enter respite care at any time of the day to ensure the least disruption for their families.
The pilot will be evaluated at the end of the two years.
This project aligns with and supports Manitoba’s Child and Family Services (CFS) reform plan by offering proactive services outside of the formal child welfare system that are aimed at preventing children with disabilities from entering CFS.
Additional information on the child welfare reform plan can be found at: