Council approves Five Counties as Special Needs Resource provider for Northumberland

Cobourg, ON – January 29, 2014 – At today’s Northumberland County Council meeting, Council approved a staff recommendation that Five Counties Children’s Centre become the provider of Special Needs Resourcing services for children and families of Northumberland County. The recommendation came following a panel review of plans submitted by both Five Counties as well as current program provider Northumberland Child Development Centre (NCDC).

"This process was about managing change," stated Northumberland County Warden Linda Thompson. "The provincial government has updated guidelines that require changes in the way Special Needs Resourcing services are delivered in Northumberland. We live in an era where government program and funding models undergo regular evaluation and change; where updates must be anticipated and planned out. This process was about ensuring Special Needs Resourcing services continue to be effectively delivered in such an environment."

"County Council and staff are committed to ensuring that children with special needs in Northumberland County receive the best possible services within provincial guidelines," stated Mark Darroch, Director of Community and Social Services, Northumberland County. "In light of the changes required, we really felt it was imperative to invite two separate agencies to submit plans describing how they would support children with special needs through this program, going forward. We evaluated each plan submitted through an equal and fair process, and selected the agency whose plan best addressed required changes in support of children and their families."

The County has committed that all children currently receiving services will continue to receive services as part of this change. Importantly, it is the County’s intent that the transition of Special Needs Resourcing services from NCDC to Five Counties take place over a period of several months. An extensive transition plan will be put into place immediately to ensure that families have access to the information they need about upcoming changes, and that they experience minimal disruption.

Five Counties will be contacting families directly through both letters and telephone calls in the coming weeks, and they will be hosting a series of open houses to provide families with more information. In the meantime, families are invited to contact Five Counties at 1-877-574-5212 x 223 with any immediate questions. The County’s Manager of Children’s Services, Lesley Patterson, is also available to speak with families, and can be reached at 905-372-3329 ext. 2484 or by email at pattersonl@northumberlandcounty.ca. Information is also available on the County website at www.northumberlandcounty.ca/snr_program.

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