Released on March 22, 2023
The 2023-24 Ministry of Social Services budget is a record $1.433 billion, an increase of $46.7 million or 3.4 per cent over 2022-23.
This year's Social Services budget increases supports for vulnerable people and families as they build a better quality of life," Social Services Minister Gene Makowsky said. "Targeted funding provides higher monthly benefits for clients, increased funding for partners in service delivery and new initiatives to support positive outcomes for Saskatchewan people."
People with low-incomes, families and seniors will receive an additional $26.6 million in benefits to meet their basic needs, including:
- For the second year in a row, Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) clients will receive higher monthly benefits. The Adult Basic Benefit and Shelter Benefit will each increase by $30 per month. Clients who use alternative heat sources will also see a $30 increase. Together, this represents an additional $14.3 million in SIS benefit payments to clients.
- Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) clients will receive $30 more per month in living income benefits, increasing benefit payments by $6.4 million. The SAID program covers clients' actual utility costs.
- An additional $3.0 million fulfills government's three-year commitment to increase the maximum Seniors Income Plan (SIP) benefit. The maximum monthly benefit will rise by $30 per month to a maximum of $360, compared to $90 per month in 2007.
- A $2.9 million investment will help make the cost of living in a personal care home more affordable. The Personal Care Home Benefit will increase by up to $400 per month, and SAID clients under age 65 who live in personal care homes will receive up to $684 more per month.
The ministry is committed to continuing to build strong partnerships, with the following increased funding to service delivery partners in 2023-24:
- An additional $13.5 million to community-based service providers, including:
- $7.7 million for service providers who work with people with intellectual disabilities;
- $4.9 million for service providers supporting at-risk children, youth and families;
- $850,000 to approved private service homes that care for people with intellectual disabilities; and
- Foster families and extended family caregivers will receive an additional $825,000 to help cover the costs of caring for children.
Supports for at-risk families, children and youth will increase by $10.5 million in 2023-24, including the following targeted investments:
- The ministry is increasing the number of Child Service Workers supporting children and youth in care, at a cost of $1.4 million.
- A $1.3 million investment will expand Supportive Family Living Program services to
17 families in Moose Jaw, Fort Qu'Appelle, Prince Albert and Saskatoon, helping keep families with complex challenges together while safely meeting their needs.
- The ministries of Social Services and Health will each commit $1.2 million to develop mental health group homes for youth in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
- The ministry is acting on feedback provided by Youth Advisory Teams to support youth as they transition to independence, investing $504,000 to develop two drop-in centres located in Regina and Prince Albert and support the advisory teams.
- A $350,000 investment will strengthen oversight of group homes caring for children and youth, to ensure all children and youth are receiving quality care.
- In partnership with the Ministry of Health, an additional $325,000 will increase the capacity of two Sanctum Care Group programs that support at-risk expectant women in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
The Ministry of Social Services continues to work to build strong, inclusive communities for people with disabilities, with targeted investments including:
- An additional $6.7 million to support services to new clients, emerging needs for current clients, and enhancements to existing services for people with intellectual disabilities;
- Increased funding of $170,000 will fulfill government's four-year commitment to enhance services for D/deaf and deafblind people in Saskatchewan; and
- The Saskatchewan Accessibility Office will be established to begin stakeholder consultations and development of The Accessible Saskatchewan Act regulations.
The ministry is continuing to work with partners on collaborative approaches to support clients with complex challenges who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless, including:
- $7.7 million will continue to support two Indigenous-led pilot projects that provide supportive housing and wrap-around services to people experiencing homelessness in Saskatoon and Regina, and to provide continued funding for permanent shelter spaces and after-hours services developed with community partners over the past year.
- The ministry is investing an additional $656,000 to provide income assistance outreach services on a trial basis at facilities operated by community-based organizations, to support clients with complex challenges.
"The ministry delivers and funds a wide range of services and supports to ensure the most vulnerable people in our province are safe, supported and participating in their communities to the best of their abilities," Makowsky said. "Together with Indigenous and community partners, we will continue to work to make a positive difference in the lives of our clients every day."
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