Canada,Saskatchewan : The Government of Saskatchewan is committing an additional $14 million in 2011-12 to support people with intellectual disabilities as part of its promise to eliminate the waitlist of 440 people with intellectual disabilities who require specialized, residential and day programs that meet their assessed needs.
“As a result of this investment, our strong momentum on the waitlist initiative will continue,” Social Services Minister June Draude said. “This new funding will help ensure that services are in place or in development for 373 people with intellectual disabilities – 85 per cent of the waitlist – by the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year.”Included in this new funding is $1.6 million to assist people with disabilities beyond the initial waitlist.
Draude announced the new funding during a visit to Clare Parker Homes Inc. of Regina, one of the 50 community-based organizations (CBOs) in 37 communities across Saskatchewan that has received funding so far as part of the four-year waitlist initiative.
“Clare Parker Homes is pleased to be one of the many CBOs across the province that has partnered with the Government of Saskatchewan to help eliminate the 440 waitlist,” Clare Parker Homes Executive Director Julie Mitchell said. “So far, more than $650,000 in capital funding provided to our CBO as part of this initiative has enabled us to purchase a group home in Regina that will provide residential services for four people who are on the waitlist, replace an existing group home and boost the capacity at another home to serve an additional two people from the waitlist.”
As part of the waitlist initiative, the more than 2,000 day program support assessments required for the implementation of a new day program funding standard are now complete. This new funding standard will ensure that day program services are funded based on the assessed need of individuals, with greater resources targeted to support people with higher needs. The ministry is working to fully implement the funding standard province-wide.
In addition, a new respite subsidy program was introduced for Approved Private Service Home proprietors in January 2010 to assist in purchasing much-needed respite services. By the end of February 2011, the respite subsidy was being utilized for 287 clients living in 109 residential homes across the province.
The four-year, $76.9 million commitment to eliminate the waitlist of 440 Saskatchewan people with intellectual disabilities who require programs and services was first announced in October 2008. It is the largest investment in Saskatchewan history to support people with intellectual disabilities, and includes $27.8 million in funding for capital projects.
To date, services for 316 individuals – or 72 per cent of the waitlist – have been initiated or are under development with CBOs across Saskatchewan.