The funding is already flowing, but officials with the Muslim Resource Centre met with a provincial politician Monday morning to celebrate a five-year investment and share details on the initiative.
Though it was included in the spring budget, Deputy Premier and London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews announced the centre on Waterloo Street will be receiving just over $1-million in provincial funding to support newcomers in the London area who are experiencing family conflict.
“What we’re trying to do here is to focus more on early identification of risk factors of family conflict and violence,” says Executive Director of the Centre, Dr. Mohammed Baobaid.
“Accordingly, we are going to also then tailor early intervention strategies. This really would have a huge impact on families coming from conflict zones in particular.”
Matthews tells Am980 this will help prevent kids from going into the care of the Children’s Aid Society.
“Bringing children to the care of the CAS should be a very, very last resort. What we’re finding here is that that can be prevented. So we need to do more of that and we need to do more of it right across the province.”
Dr. Baobaid says they will be able to help 500 families a year on average with outreach, workshops, group sessions, home visitation, early identification of risk factors and early intervention.
“Honestly, I’m so overwhelmed,” he tells AM980, “I’m so excited, so grateful, and so happy. Yes, sometimes you know, be patient, be consistent, and never give up.”
The funding will help facilitate service coordination for a range of social services that support newcomer families in the London area.
With files from Natalie Lovie.