FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Social Development is seeking individuals or couples interested in becoming professional caregivers to provide full-time care to children with complex needs.

“We, along with our colleagues at the Department of Health, are committed to filling the gap in the continuum of care for children who have complex needs,” said Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch. “These caregivers will provide full-time, stay-at-home help for our most vulnerable children.”

This initiative follows reports highlighting the gap of services for children with complex needs: Review of the Effectiveness of New Brunswick’s Child Protection System by George Savoury; Behind Closed Doors by the Child and Youth Advocate; and the 2019 auditor general report on group homes and specialized placements.

Eight professional care homes will be created in the different regions of the province by the end of 2021. This first phase will help determine the need for more professional care homes in the future.

“These new professional care homes will play an important role in addressing the complex needs of children in care,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “We are pleased to be partnering with the Department of Social Development in this project and know this will help fill some of the gaps in services and help those with mental health challenges.”

Interested individuals will be thoroughly evaluated as to their interest, qualifications, skills and their parenting ability for children with complex needs. They require experience in working with children and youth with behavioural, emotional, mental health, or complex medical needs. They will need to demonstrate knowledge, education and skills in supporting children and youth with a range of needs.

The care providers will receive:

  • a monthly compensation;
  • child-in-care rates and benefits to cover the costs specific to the child’s care plan;
  • clinical support;
  • paid respite/vacation;
  • crisis/emergency support;
  • extensive initial training and ongoing professional development opportunities; and
  • specialized services, clinical supervision and extensive support.

The direct clinical support to both the child and the parents is a key element in the development of the professional care homes. It is based on a partnership between the departments of Health and Social Development, with the support of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, to provide the necessary resources and expertise to the care providers.

For more information contact the Department of Social Development at 1-833-998-3880 or at professionalcarehomes@gnb.ca.