Manitoba's Families Minister says respite care is changing in the province.

According to Minister Rochelle Squires, caregivers of children who have disabilities are in need of more care help,

“We want to ensure that families are protected with access to services that meet their needs including innovative respite options supported by trained and experienced workers," the minister says in a statement. 

Standing at St. Amant Centre Friday, Squires and St. Amant President and Chief Executive Officer John Leggat announce a two-year pilot program, creating two overnight respite homes. Squires says this will give families greater resources.

“We have seen this model of family care work and are very pleased to be able to help more families stay together," Leggat says.

A three-bed home in Brandon and a four-bed home in Winnipeg will support this. After two years, Squires says the province will evaluate the pilot. Not all of the children will stay overnight and came come during the day for care. 

"The parameters haven't really been determined in terms of what uptake will be," Squires says.

The CEO notes that access to respite, mental health supports, and support for children's changing needs is key to keeping children with their families and out of the Child and Family Services system.

This pilot project is in direct response to the Children's Advocate Report from earlier in 2021.