The Difference We Make

Through our work in the community, we strive to have impact in three key ways:

  1. To increase the physical and emotional well being for children and youth with disabilities and health challenges;
  2. To increase positive relationships and community involvement for children and youth with disabilities and health challenges;
  3. To improve access, quality, and coordination of services for children and youth with disabilities and health challenges.

We achieve this important work by

  • supporting effective programs that target well-defined needs;
  • strengthening program quality through research and outcome measurement; and
  • supporting innovation and collaborative practice in order to decrease barriers and increase access to effective programs.

We target our funding in three focus areas:

1. Great Beginnings—promoting the foundations of healthy child development

Early child development is a powerful determinant of health. All young children require environments and early experiences that support their healthy growth and development and optimize their potential for the future. This is particularly true for children with a disability or health challenge, where early intervention has the potential to mitigate the impacts of conditions that leave these children at risk for delayed development. Children’s Health Foundation has provided funding to specialized perinatal programs, early intervention, and rehabilitative and therapeutic programs.

2. Tools to Succeed—providing children and youth with the supports and opportunities they require to thrive

Children and youth with disabilities or health challenges need specialized supports as well as opportunities for social interaction within their local communities. Children’s Health Foundation has provided funding to therapeutic programs, recreational programs, specialized equipment, counselling and mental health programs, self care training, transition to adulthood supports, employment/vocational services, and service coordination and navigation.

3. Caring for Families—strengthening the capacity of families to support their children

Families can be the most powerful and enduring influence in the lives of persons with disabilities or health challenges. Although many parents with children with special needs cope very well with parenting, some need special skills and support. Children’s Health Foundation has provided funding to parenting programs, respite care, parent education/skill development, counselling, peer groups, and programs that provide assistance with accessing services.

In 2015/2016, Children’s Health Foundation invested $2.2 million in programs and community initiatives in our three focus areas. We are directly funding over 30 programs that provided supports to ensure that children with disabilities and health challenges are able to have the same opportunities and life chances as all children.

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