The Victoria Native Friendship Centre will receive nearly half a million dollars for its Aboriginal Supported Child Development program from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
The $458,996 is a top-up to funds put forward for the program when it was first established in 2007, and the first addition for the program in over five years.
Ron Rice, executive director said the funds were definitely needed.
“All of it will go to help manage our wait lists for children needing one-on-one support,” Rice said. “It creates support agreements with children going into either daycare or school settings so they can participate fully.”
The Aboriginal Supported Child Development program sets kids up with one-on-one support workers to help them learn if they have physical or cognitive development delays, or social or emotional challenges.
The program services all First Nations of Southern Vancouver Island, and the wait lists for children to join are long.
“We stop taking names when the list is at 25, so it’s hard to assess actual need in the region,” Rice said.
According to the Ministry of Child and Family Development, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre is one of 83 organizations across the province that will be sharing $30 million in funding over the next three years to expand and enhance their Supported Child Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development programming for families with children with extra support needs.
“I’m happy we can do this work, and work with families in this way,” Rice said. “I think we’re happy to be able give them the tools to succeed in life.”
The Victoria Native Friendship Centre is receiving a total of $458,996 over the next three years to enhance and expand their Aboriginal Supported Child Development programming.
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