Excerpts from Budget Highlights:
Balanced Budget 2006 provides an additional $421 million over four years to help ensure the well-being of vulnerable children, to enhance services to children with special needs, and to better support caregivers and family members caring for children and youth at risk.
New measures include:
- $72 million to add more social workers and other front line staff, to improve supports for grandparents and other relatives looking after children, and to increase the transportation allowance for foster parents by 50 per cent &emdash; the first increase in more than 10 years;
- $100 million to enhance the child protection system, targeting early intervention services so the safety and well-being of children can be ensured in their families and communities;
- $34 million to increase funding for Phase 2 of the Child and Youth Mental Health Plan, to better serve the approximately 140,000 children and youth in B.C. with mental health disorders;
- $36 million to reduce waitlists for services to children and youth with special needs and their families;
- $31 million in additional support to implement five regional aboriginal child and family development service authorities;
- $2 million for the Crystal Meth Secretariat to integrate and coordinate efforts to combat the production and use of crystal methamphetamine;
- $112 million in additional funding for K-12 education; and
- $4 million to double the School Start-up Supplement &emdash; the first increase since 1993 &emdash; to help the approximately 29,000 school-aged children of families on income assistance cope with the costs of starting a new school year.