Victoria – Mitzi Dean, the Minister of Children and Family Development, issued a statement in response to the Dec. 3, 2020, report from the representative for children and youth:
“A year ago, we lived in a different world. Our worries, fears and day-to-day challenges have been magnified, and we know this is especially true for families of children and youth with special needs. They have been waiting – since long before the pandemic – for better supports and services.
“Early on in the pandemic, many of the face-to-face services families depend on were reduced, so we put in flexibility measures and emergency supports to give as much added help as we could. Yet, despite these measures, I know families are still struggling.
“I share many of the representative’s concerns and agree we need to apply what we have learned from the pandemic experience. This ministry has been working to fundamentally change the system of supports for children and youth with special needs and their families.
“I want to hear directly from those who are affected. That’s why I have asked ministry staff to set up an advisory council to help ensure those voices are heard. I have also asked staff to expedite the implementation of the CYSN service framework and work to improve the system for struggling families throughout the province.