'We're not throw away people:' Regina grandmother pleads for support to keep family together
REGINA -- Jocelyn Peace and her husband don't understand why the Ministry of Social Services will provide support for one of their grandchildren to live at home but not the other.
They are the caregivers for their four-year-old grandson, Aiden, and their two-year-old granddaughter, Mya, but Aiden lives with them while Mya was recently moved to a group home.
Both children have complex medical needs, but Peace said she would like more support for Mya so she can live with the family.
"She hasn't really gotten any of the services she needs," Peace said on Tuesday.
"Educate me, help me, and I will keep her in my home. We love her, her brother loves her, but she needs extra help and I don't know what I'm doing."
Mya is psychosocial and struggles with anger issues. She requires occupational therapy.
Aiden lives with Hirschsprung's disease and requires a feeding and cystostomy tube
Social services provides a care worker for the home to help with Aiden's needs, but it does not provide the same support for Mya.
Instead, it pays for Mya to live in a group home, away from her family.
“My husband and I were both bawling because you’re handing over this little girl and she's only ever known this household," Peace said
Mya, 2, and Aiden, 4, need more support from social services, says grandmother Jocelyn Peace (Submitted)
The Ministry of Social Services didn’t particularly address Peace’s case, but said it values the role that extended family play in providing care.
In a statement, the ministry said it works with vulnerable children and families, including situations where children have complex needs.
“It’s our responsibility to ensure each child’s individual care needs are met,” it said. “We do this by developing a safety plan for the child, working with the child, their family and care team."
However, Peace believes the ministry could do more to bring the family together.
She said she hopes the ministry looks at Mya's needs differently and gives her the same care Aiden receives
"I want the government to stand up and realize we're not throw away people," Peace said. "You can't just throw us away and give us a little tidbit and then pretend like we don't exist."