Government Starting Consultations on Improved Services for Valley View Residents
February 24, 2012GOVERNMENT STARTING CONSULTATIONS ON IMPROVED SERVICES FOR VALLEY VIEW RESIDENTS
The Province of Saskatchewan will begin planning and consultations with residents of Valley View Centre, their families and key stakeholders for new services to replace the current Valley View program. The new services will be phased in over the next four years.
"Our government is committed to making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for people with disabilities, and today's announcement moves us another step closer to that goal," Social Services Minister June Draude said. "Over the next four years, we will develop services that better support the inclusion of people with disabilities in our communities and enhance the array of services available to Saskatchewan people.
"Our priority going forward will be to work closely with each Valley View resident and his or her family to develop transition plans and determine the services required to meet each individual's unique needs. Valley View employees have provided excellent care to residents over many years, and they will also play a very important role in this planning."
New services will include community-based group homes and expanded day programming for current Valley View residents as well as others with intellectual disabilities, particularly those with more complex needs. Detailed plans for developing new services and expanding existing services will be created over the coming months in consultation with Valley View residents and their families, Valley View employees, the Valley View Centre Family Advisory Group and the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living.
"The Valley View Centre Family Group applauds the decision of the Government of Saskatchewan to begin a process of long term planning for residents of Valley View Centre," Valley View Centre Family Group Co-Chair June Avivi said. "Together with other key stake holders, we will develop a "made in Saskatchewan" range of services to meet the unique and individual needs of each resident of Valley View Centre."
"The Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL) is very pleased to be working with the Saskatchewan government and other key stakeholders in developing new services to replace the current Valley View Centre program," SACL President Gloria Mahussier said. "Today's announcement marks an important milestone towards giving individuals in Valley View Centre the opportunity to choose their place of residence, as well as whom they live with on an equal basis."
A joint planning meeting between Social Services, the Valley View Centre Family Group and SACL will be held in March.
Valley View Centre is a large complex of buildings built in 1955 for a population of 1,500 people with intellectual disabilities. The centre stopped admitting new residents in 2002, and its population has dropped from 385 at that time to just over 200. Today, only four other provinces provide care in institutions for 50 or more people. To better align Saskatchewan with best practices across Canada, the province will be discontinuing the use of the Valley View facility once all residents have been transitioned to new services.
"We are committed to planning with Valley View residents, their families, employees, the Family Group and SACL, with the best interests of the residents in mind," Draude said.