why the osns
is so important.

The words ‘Pediatric Developmental Challenge’ refer to situations in which children do not have the skills we would typically expect them to have. This often means they do not learn to move, communicate, play, think or manage emotions like their peers.

The OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre has delivered treatment and support to these children and their families in the South Okanagan for over 40 years. Their work is evidenced-based, community-minded and driven by a team of dedicated developmental specialists.


In 1978, founding pediatricians had a vision for locally based pediatric habilitation. They recognized the clinical need for children to access help close to home. Services thrived and in 1996, the Centre relocated to a purpose-built facility beside Penticton Regional Hospital.

The OSNS has continued to see success and growth because of the generous support of the community at large. This annual fundraising model, however, is unpredictable and a burden on the clinical team. The Legacy Foundation was established to provide a remedy.


The goal of the Foundation is to grow sufficient funds to provide an annual interest income that covers the operating costs of the OSNS.

The Need is Great. Timely Intervention is Vital.

Rehabilitation for neurological disorders is part of medical care. In the case of children, these medically needed services are managed through government contracts with Child Development Centres. These funds are targeted to provide salaries for direct treatment staff. There is no provision for facility maintenance or expansion, new equipment or innovative approaches to care. 

This funding gap in rehabilitation services for children has resulted in a pattern of annual fundraising to meet basic operating costs. It has also contributed to long waiting lists preventing timely intervention, when clear evidence shows that early intervention leads to life changing positive trajectories. 

By creating an endowment fund, the OSNS Legacy Foundation seeks to meet community need for early and evidence-based care. We seek to secure this precious resource for children now and for the children of future generations.

What Children Need

Unfortunately, there are long standing unacceptable waiting times for children with challenges. Most of the families forced to wait for services do not have the resources to pursue private treatment.

The OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre is in the business of building confidence, resilience and capacity in our next generation. For over 40 years, the clinical teams have provided life changing treatment and support.

Children’s developmental disabilities are widely varying. They encompass physical disabilities such as birth injuries causing localized or more generalized muscle and nerve damage – more commonly known as cerebral palsy, delays in acquiring language – the ability to understand others and express oneself, and mental/cognitive/social understanding challenges such as those found in Down’s Syndrome and Autism.

The teams work in partnership with area paediatricians to provide coordinated accountable care. These therapists are specialists.

After years of annual fund raising, the OSNS Legacy Foundation seeks to secure the future of these services.

Treatment at OSNS

Intervention at OSNS is evidenced based, data driven and sharply focused on quality care. The team strives to talk about what matters to families and to be accountable for consistent progress.

Autism diagnosis and treatment provides early intensive support to change the trajectory of a child’s capacity. The Link program for Youth with Autism targets social emotional wellness and resiliency with the mission that “Everyone will have a Friend”.

Developmental physiotherapy and occupational therapy help children to manage the movements and activities of daily living – to allow participation in the day to day joys of children.

Developmental Speech-Language Pathology helps children communicate and connect both socially and emotionally with their people.

Family Support

Family Support and behaviour intervention break down barriers, help parents cope and bring together those who can support each other in the journey of developmental progress. 

Preschool & Daycare

The OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre also houses Kinderplace Preschool and KinderBear Daycare in which children with developmental challenges are integrated with typically developing peers. Many of the children who attend cannot be accommodated in regular childcare programs. OSNS has been proud to be a pilot prototype site for Universal $10/day childcare in British Columbia. The pilot program is informing the recent expansion of the project.