Suicide prevention funding among new government initiatives to protect children and families

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Above: Minister Larivee is joined by MLA Maria Fitzpatrick and Kelly Provost at an event to announce the release of A Stronger, Safer Tomorrow.

by Morinville News Staff

The Alberta government says is strengthening kinship care assessments, providing funding for suicide prevention and proposing legislative changes to improve Alberta’s child intervention system.

The work called Safer Tomorrow includes 39 government actions, 16 of which will be implemented prior to April of 2019.

“Every child in Alberta deserves access to the same resources, no matter where they’re born,” said Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services. “We are stepping up with an action plan that creates a multi-year roadmap to help Indigenous children, families and communities. It builds on frontline expertise and includes steps to hold the federal government accountable.”

A total of $4.3 million will be used to implement actions this fiscal year, including the creation of a new Indigenous advisory body to guide implementation in local communities. Early intervention and prevention services will be prioritized, and Alberta will fully implement Jordan’s Principle, the legal rule that ensures all children receive necessary services and supports, regardless of jurisdiction.

The complete action includes changes the government says will require additional time to plan, budget and implement. These include additional supports for foster and kinship caregivers, increased mental health and addiction services, strengthened services for children with disabilities, improved post-secondary opportunities for youth, equitable funding for First Nations and Métis child intervention services, and additional amendments to the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

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