UCDSB Failing Vulnerable Children

(PERTH) – Randy Hillier (MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) expressed his disappointment with the recent refusal for key players involved in the delivery of programs for children with mental health disabilities to meet for open and frank discussion on how to provide these services in the next school year. On March 30 of this year the UCDSB notified Hillier they had terminated their delivery of these services effective the end of June.

Schedule 23 Programs are delivered to children who have been removed from schools due to behavioral disabilities, or other challenges. In Lanark and Leeds & Grenville Counties, these services have historically and successfully been provided by a private, not-for-profit organization called the Dalhousie Group, who has delivered the Cordick Education and Treatment Program to over 600 children and youth from our communities in the last 19 years.

By all standards of measure, and most importantly, by those of the children’s parents, the Dalhousie Group has provided exceptional service and educational assistance to their children, improving their ability to adapt and function and return to regular schools.

“It is disappointing to see UCDSB terminate this partnership and turn their backs on disadvantaged children because of a political/ideological preference,” observed Hillier. “It is clear from the refusal to engage in these discussions that the quality of the program delivery is less important to both the Ministry and the Upper Canada School Board than the bureaucratic convenience to administer it.”

“It certainly appears that the money for the Cordick Program will now be diverted and used to reduce the operating deficit of another agency, Open Doors Lanark. It’s a travesty to harm our children and their potential due to a lack of fiscal management at an unrelated agency.

“It’s unacceptable that parents and some of the most vulnerable students in the Upper Canada board are being put in this situation. Parents are justifiably concerned about what will happen to their children in September if they lose access to these exceptional supports and programming,” said Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark.

“To decline the opportunity to discuss how to maintain a program that is helping these students achieve their full potential is shocking. I can’t imagine anything that would be a greater priority for these officials and I’m calling on them to reconsider and get to the table with an open mind.”

“I am extremely frustrated that our public institutions refuse, for ideological and political reasons, to meet their responsibilities to the public,” added Hillier. “These changes will not only affect families, but will also affect teachers and educational assistants, none of whom know what program might be available in September, where it might be delivered, or who the mental health partner will be.”

                                                                              -30-


Contact:
Randy Hillier, MPP                                                                     Steve Clark, MPP
Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington                                  Leeds-Grenville
Queen’s Park 416-325-2244                                                        Brockville 613-342-9522   
Perth 613-267-8239                                                                     info@steveclarkmpp.com 
info@randyhillier.com


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Showing 2 comments

commented 2016-05-26 21:17:29 -0400 · Flag
UCDSB had mental health programs? I was a UCDSB student from 1997-2010 with a serious mental health problem that specifically involved school. This issue arose first in 2003. I don’t recall ever being offered any specialised help by the schools I attended, even when the superintendent was involved. They simply instructed my parents to get medical help or I would be charged with truancy. After acquiring medical assistance to no avail, there was no improvement in my attendance. Still, I don’t believe these programs were even mentioned.

Perhaps this wasn’t the first instance in which the school board turned it’s back on the disadvantaged students. Perhaps they terminated this program because few school officials were making the call to use the resources. Some people still believe mental illness is a myth, after all.
commented 2016-05-03 14:39:58 -0400 · Flag
Yes I think this is a horrible thing to have happen, there are children out there who need these services, and will not be getting the help that they so desperatly need.
My Granddaughter is on the Line when it comes to this. She is in a public School and things do not always go well for her. She has had a lot of bullying, kids making fun of her, calling her names, telling her she is stupid, etc.
She has been with me for a while now, she came from a very abusive, situation, she was verbally, mentally and physically abused. She does have a lot of issue and probably will have for the rest of her life. She is like a very small child when it comes to social and emotional issue. She does have a very hard time coping. We are working with Open Doors at the moment, and have worked with them before, but I don’t find they are all that helpful with her. I have asked them for little tips that I can apply to her, to help her through some of the situations she has been in and it is all stuff that’s been tried before and just doesn’t work, so we have to muddle through the temper tantrums, the crying, the anger as best we can. It would be so nice to have a fresh pair of eyes and ears, to help with this. I can see her eventually just refusing to go to school, and being a loner, with no friends. My heart just aches for her. It would be nice to know that there are places and programs that could be of help for her. That her life could be so much better and she could be in a better place with herself.

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