B.C. health hubs to provide co-ordinated help for children, youth with disabilities

New hubs for disabled youth

The British Columbia government says it will introduce a new system of care for children and youth with disabilities that provides quick, co-ordinated and less fragmented services.

Mitzi Dean, B.C.'s minister of children and family development, says the province's current system is a patchwork of programs where many children and youth must wait for a diagnosis before receiving supports.

She says the new program will be modelled as a one-stop family connection hub that offers supports and services to children and youth from birth to 19 years based on individual needs regardless of having a referral or diagnosis.

Under the program, Dean says it's the first time that families will have access to mental health, behaviour and family supports all at the same location.

The ministry says the program will not be fully implemented across B.C. until 2025, but the first hubs will open in 2023 in B.C.'s northwest and central Okanagan.

The ministry says about 30,000 children and youth with support needs currently access services provided by the government and contractors.

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