By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
In its 2022-2023 year, Five Counties Children’s Centre provided speech, physio, occupational and other therapies and services to about 1,600 Notrhumberland children and youth.
Combined with their serving 3,100 in the Peterborough region, 1,300 in the City of Kawartha Lakes and 230 from Haliburton County – according to the report from the agency’s recent annual general meeting – it made for the highest number of youth and clients served in its 50-year history.
Chief Executive Officer Scott Pepin added that this represents a 40% increase in these numbers since 2018-2019.
“We’ve never slowed down, even through the pandemic,” Pepin said.
“It’s a real testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff to provide life-changing services to our kids and families in many different ways and means, including through the use of technology and virtual visits.”
Other statistics from the report:
There were nearly 55,000 total visits with kids and youth last year.
Of children and youth seen, just over one-third require two or more services from Five Counties.
In addition to serving kids and clients at its sites in Cobourg, Campbellford, Minden, Lindsay and Peterborough, staff also provided rehabilitation services to almost 3,900 students in area schools (mostly occupational and speech therapies).
Five Counties raised more than $600,000 in direct support for these services.
With some 2,600 children and youth awaiting Five Counties services at the end of March, Pepin said that wait times continue to be a concern – though he was pleased to report that, in spite of referrals to Five Counties rising by almost 12%, wait times for treatment services only rose 3.3%.
The meeting closed with eight High Five Awards being given to recognize individuals and partner agencies who share Five Counties’ commitment to inclusion, education and respect for all children and youth, three of which went to Northumberland recipients.
The Squishy Goose in Cobourg
Therapeutic Family Care Program Systems Navigator Krista Mathers
Service Co-ordination for Children and Youth Intensive Service Co-ordinator and Acting Executive Director Lesley Banner