C-K Children’s Treatment Centre receives $24 million for new building

·2 min read

The Children’s Treatment Centre in Chatham-Kent will be receiving $24 million in funding to open a new centre.

As part of the 2021 Ontario Budget unveiled last week, the province’s Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said $24 million is being invested in building a new space at the centre to provide services and programs for youth with physical, communication, and developmental needs.

“It is a dream come true, and it is still sinking in,” said Donna Litwin-Makey, Executive Director of the centre.

Litwin-Makey said this funding would serve as a big investment for Chatham-Kent.

“Our kids and families are so important, and this really shows the value of our kids and helps give them what they deserve,” said Litwin-Makey.

Mike Grail, chair and founder of the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation, called the budget a “double win” as an additional $60 million base budget will increase annually over the next three years and help reduce waitlists. The additional funding will allow the centre to hire more staff and provide more services while building on their existing ones.

The centre serves one in five children in Chatham-Kent when considering the school-aged services that pay children visits in schools. There are approximately 4,000 families for Chatham-Kent’s caseload. There are currently more than 1,300 children on the waitlist, according to Grail.

“The building we’re in was built for just a small caseload, just 250 children. And now, with such growth. Our caseloads and the number of staff have gone up really high, so we need more space for groups, programs and school-aged children,” Litwin-Makey said.

Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff said the funding is a big deal for the community.

“The Children’s Treatment Centre touches one in nine children in our community. The facility was designed for much less people, so that’s huge that we’re getting over $20 million to build that,” said Canniff.

The new centre, which will be located on McNaughton Avenue West across from St. Clair College Thames Campus, will be a 55,000-square-foot facility with state-of-the-art efficiency.

The Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent is one of 20 throughout the province. The new building will be twice the size of the current structure and will incorporate a family-friendly design. The centre says it will keep families and clients up to date with the building’s planning.

According to the Children’s Treatment Centre’s website, their mission is to provide specialized therapy and innovative programs to empower children, youth and their families to reach their individuality.

Construction is estimated to be completed in 12 to 18 months once designs and environmental assessments have been completed.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News