Printer-friendly version   




For Immediate Release


July 25, 2007

Ministry of Children and Family Development




FORT ST. JOHN – A local group home for youth at risk will benefit from more than $65,000 in one-time funding to support the recruitment and retention of staff and develop a peer support program, announced Children and Family Development Minister Tom Christensen.


“Making the transition from a group home facility out into the community can be a real challenge for young people,” said Christensen. “This new peer support program supports their physical, social and emotional well-being, while helping them gain transferable employment skills that will benefit both them and the community, over the long term.”


WJ Stelmaschuk & Associates, which operates the home, received two separate grants totalling $65,802:


·   $18,900 for a peer support program to offer temporary employment at the group home to youth who have successfully transitioned out; and


·   $46,902 for on the job training for up to six people who are not previously trained to work as residential care workers or in the community care field.


“Recruitment and retention of qualified community care workers is an issue in many rural communities,” said Richard Neufeld, MLA for Peace River North. “These grants will help alleviate the labour shortage that the organization is facing and support youth transitioning out of the group home.”


“This funding allowed us to a hire a peer co-ordinator to break the barriers that many youth have to communication, trust and acceptance,” said Brian Kreuzinger, manager for Interchange, WJ Stelmaschuk & Associates. “Providing youth with the necessary support is essential for successful transition into the community.”


WJ Stelmaschuk & Associates programs for children, youth and families span the province, including communities such as Cranbrook, as well as the Okanagan Valley and the Lower Mainland. The organization operates the Interchange residential group home in Fort St. John. This facility is a five-bed, licensed co-ed youth residential facility for youth, 12-18 years old, who are unable to live in their homes.


These grants are a part of the wide range of ministry supports and services for children, youth and their families. For more information on Ministry of Children and Family Development services, go to






Seumas Gordon

Public Affairs Officer

Ministry of Children and Family Development

250 356-2939


For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at