New services for youth with special needs will complement existing programs such as the ones offered by Special Olympics B.C. — Invermere Branch.

Centre looks to improve special needs services

Services for children with special needs in the Columbia Valley are about to improve.

Services for children with special needs in the Columbia Valley are about to improve, thanks to a recent contract awarded to Invermere’s Family Resource Centre. The new Life Skills Program for Youth with Special Needs contract is funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Its goal is to help special needs youth integrate more fully into the community.

Although the program is oriented to youth 13 to 17 years of age, executive director of the Family Resource Centre Pat Cope sees this contract as a first step toward improving services for local special needs children of all ages as well as young adults. She wants to begin by finding out what families of special needs children, youth and young adults need now and want to see in the future.

A meeting for parents and caregivers of special needs children of all ages is being held on Tuesday, December 6, at 7 p.m., at the Invermere Legion in Veteran’s Hall.

The goal of the meeting is to create a vision for services and support needed for families in this area, and to provide direction for the new youth life skills program.

Organizations that provide services to special needs children and adults are also invited. Interested families who are unable to attend the meeting can call or e-mail their ideas to Pat Cope at the Family Resource Centre, 250-342-4242 or pcope@familyresourcecentre.ca.

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