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Saskatchewan government announces pilot program for Regina families in need

New Healthy Families initiative aims to reduce government services for families that use the most
WATCH ABOVE: New Healthy Families initiative aims to reduce government services for Regina families that use the most

The Saskatchewan government is attempting to reduce 10 families’ dependency on government programs and services with a new program.

On Monday, Foxvalley Counselling Services and the province announced a two-year pilot project called the Healthy Families Initiative.

The program will target 10 Regina families with “complex needs” who are the top users of publicly-funded programs and services.

According to the government, Foxvalley staff will work with the families in an effort to help them care for their children, reduce criminal offences and family violence, increase employment, support families affected by mental health and addictions and make sure children are attending schools.

“It’s intensive support. It isn’t just, you know, someone being available by phone whenever someone needs something,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said.

“It’s much more hands on then what has ever happened before.”

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The ministry said the program is the first of its kind in Canada. Program staff from Foxvalley will be able to provide families with one-on-one support.

“This program here, we’ll have the tools to assist them to start working on their barriers so they can live a better life for themselves, and their children,” Foxvalley executive director Mark Fox said.

“Saskatchewan is receiving well-deserved national and international recognition for our multi-ministry approach to working with families in need and making sure citizens are put first,” Tell said in a statement.

The Healthy Families Initiative will cost $750,000 over two years. The program is based on an initiative in the United Kingdom.

Based on the results of that program, the government estimates the Healthy Families Initiative will save the government $1.5 million.

With files from Christa Dao