About Us

The CDC has operated continuously since 1974 and provides assessments, treatment, education and assistance to children with special needs and their families. Over 600 children and their families in the Williams Lake area received services from the CDC in 2017/2018.

The CDC’s provision of services to children and families is based on the following values and principles:

  • All children have the right to quality early intervention services which facilitate their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development
  • Services will be child focused, strength-based, child centered and family directed
  • Services will promote the health, well-being and safety of children and their families
  • Services will complement the family; honouring each family’s cultural, socio-economic and personal uniqueness and supporting them in meeting their responsibilities to their children
  • Services will be accessible, inclusive, evaluated and evidence-based
  • Services will be developed within the framework of community partnerships and professional competencies
  • Community events and activities will be community-based and responsive to the changing needs of children and their families

The CDC services are supported by government contracts, fees for service and donations. In 2011/12 the provincial government provided 86% of the annual operating budget of $1.9 million. The major funding source is the provincial Ministry for Children and Family Development that contracts with the agency for children and youth with special needs, children in care and youth justice services.

The CDC also supports itself by earning 9% of the annual operating budget in a variety of ways including fees for service (preschool), rental income, interest income and community-based project management. The remaining 5% of the annual operating budget comes from generous contributions of individual and business donors, foundation funding and corporate sponsorships.

Board of Directors:
Our Board is made up of 12 volunteers including local professionals, teachers, business owners and parents take an active interest in the well-being of children and families in our community. The Board meets at a minimum of 7 times a year and the annual general meeting is scheduled annually in November.

The elected board is as follows:

Chad Matthies – President
Peter Bowman – Vice President
Eric Johansen – Treasurer
TBA – Secretary
Elaine Watt
Deanna Phillips
Arla Driver
Ralph Fowler
Jan Hermiston
Shelley Desautels
Janis Bell
Tina O’Neill

Our Management Team:
Executive Director: Vanessa Riplinger
Operations Manager: Jessica Dunn
InTake Manager: Coleen Onofrechuk

We are supported by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Williams Lake Bingo Association, Variety – The Children’s Charity, Parent Fees, and community donations (receipts provided). We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia. Fundraising and donations provide specialized equipment, toys, books, videos, and assists with capital projects.

Our Referral Process:
Anyone can make a Request for Service on behalf of a child. If you are not the parent/guardian please let them know about the request.

Once a request for service is made, the Intake Manager, Coleen Onofrechuk, usually contacts you within a week. Coleen will set up an initial meeting to talk to you more. You will be asked to give permission to discuss your concerns with staff members. A staff member is then assigned to your request and will contact you for further service. That may include an assessment and an Individualized Service Plan. The Plan includes your priorities for your child and goals to help your child achieve their potential.

In some cases, we may not be able to help you, with your permission, Coleen may refer you to another organization that best suits your needs.

Share us: