Through the Cracks: Finding a Quality of Care for Youth in Need

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I am very privileged and fortunate to have some amazing people stepping forward to help me secure the nomination. As a team, they are spending countless hours, their own money on fuel and food, and making personal sacrifices all because of a shared vision, a vision for change in the Comox Valley. A friend told me a story which is a perfect example of how our current systems are failing our youth and our broader Comox Valley community. I would like to share this story with you.

A young man (we will call him Mike to protect his identity), suffers from a developmental disorder. For over 12 years he was fortunate to receive one on one care from the same care giver through his difficult teen years. The care giver’s model was personal care which put the individual at the center of the treatment strategy and focused on caring, communication, and counselling on a daily basis. As you can imagine, this style of care is very personalized and also very effective. With this personalized care Mike was able to remain independent during most of the day, interact with the community, and even take care of his individual needs, all because he had a safe place to call home where he knew he could talk to someone, a person that would be there for him when he needed help. Mike had no interactions with the police or other emergency services for over four years.

But then Mike turned 19 years old. And in a short period of time the provincial funding for Mike’s care was stopped as he was now an adult and he required a different program. The caregiver no longer had funding to maintain Mike’s personalized care. Within a few short weeks Mike was in trouble with the police and our Criminal Justice system took charge of a situation that was and still is a provincial health funding problem – not a criminal matter. Mike’s care giver took up the fight and desperately tried to claw him back into a personalized health program that put the individual back at the center – Mike did not need to be punished, he needed someone to care.

Although the care giver lives just outside the Comox Valley elector district (due solely to the recent boundary change) I met with him to discuss potential resolutions to the situation. The chief complaint? Bureaucracy standing in the way of someone’s life. One funding program switched to another funding program because someone went from 18 to 19 years old – the victim? The individual who needed help.

Mike is not alone, as I speak with people in the Valley I am continually honoured that people share their stories with me and trust in me to help.

Please e-mail me at Bryce@brycecasavant.ca if I can help you today.

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