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More Support for Children and Families in Northern Ontario

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More Support for Children and Families in Northern Ontario

Ontario Invests in Expansion of Hands North East Ontario Family Help and Treatment Centre

Ontario is supporting children and youth with mental health and developmental needs in northern Ontario to ensure they get the services and supports they need closer to home.

The new Hands North East Ontario Family Help and Treatment Centre opened today in North Bay. Hands is a not-for-profit organization that provides autism services, child and youth mental health counselling and prenatal, infant and child development services to more than 9,000 families. 

The province invested in the new 18,000-square-foot facility to help the centre deliver important developmental and clinical service for children, youth and families. The new facility is fully accessible with more treatment rooms, video conferencing capabilities and additional space so that community partners can deliver services for families on site.

Supporting children and youth with special needs and helping them reach their full potential is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario invested $3.4 million in capital funding for Hands to build a new, larger and more accessible facility to better deliver developmental and clinical service for children, youth and families.
  • Ontario’s Special Needs Strategy is helping children and youth with special needs get the services they need at home, at school, in the community and as they transition to adulthood.
  • Ontario is investing an unprecedented half-billion dollars over five years to expand and improve services for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • In March 2018, as part of the Ontario Budget, Ontario committed an additional $62 million to support families’ transition from temporary funding arrangements and help to expand current capacity so that more children and youth receive Ontario Autism Program services.
  • As part of the budget, Ontario also committed $570 million over four years for community-based child and youth mental health services.

Additional Resources


“Investing in our young people is an investment into the future of this province. That’s exactly why our government is working with partners across Ontario, including Hands, to help best support those who need a little extra help, including young people with mental health issues, autism and/or special needs. We know the value of timely, integrated help, and how much families appreciate this kind of support. We remain committed to putting this kind of support in place to help children and youth reach their full potential.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Children and Youth Services

“This new building represents the realization of a 14 year journey, which was made possible through the tremendous efforts and financial contributions of many supporters, including: community members, local corporate leadership, employees and our Board of Directors. The significant investment of $3.4 million dollars by the Government of Ontario, in addition to donations and fundraising initiatives, have allowed us to complete this community and regional site in North Bay. We are so appreciative of the support to create an inclusive space to deliver responsive and effective services to children, youth, families and adults.”

Jeffrey Hawkins

Executive Director, • Hands - TheFamilyHealthNetwork.ca

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