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Windsor Votes Against CAS
March 26, 2008 permalink
Here is another article on overspending by children's aid, amounting to a plea for more money. There are 29 reader comments, all but four unfavorable to CAS, and one of those four is on their payroll. It's time for politicians to notice that there is a large grass-roots constituency for anyone opposing children's aid.
CAS facing budget shortfall, may cut services
Doug Williamson, Windsor Star, Published: Monday, March 24, 2008
WINDSOR - The The Children's Aid Society of Windsor-Essex may have to cut programs due to a budget deficit, at a time when the slumping economy is stressing families and increasing demand for services.
The society will for the second fiscal year in a row have a budget shortfall of $3 million and will likely have to apply for yet another bank line of credit beginning in two months, executive director Bill Bevan said Monday.
Due to an uneven provincial funding formula, the local CAS did not receive so-called mitigation funding on Feb. 29 - something more than half the CAS agencies in Ontario did get, Bevan said. They split up a total of $34.5 million.
"We have a $3-million deficit. About half the agencies and more did receive money, the rest did not though," he said.
"About 46 of 53 agencies still have a deficit, we're one one of those."
He said the funding shortfall comes at a time of increased demand for services.
"We are beginning to see the examples of the economy we have here that's starting to take effect, and it's showing up in how people have been able to manage their children. So we're just starting to feel the economies of scale here in Windsor and Essex County."
One possibly threatened program is for youths and young adults 18 to 21 who are developmentally challenged, and who live with the Community Living agencies for Windsor and Essex County. Their board and treatment - costing about $1 million annually - comes out of the CAS budget.
"I've notified our community living partners that we're no longer able to fund this effective April 1," Bevan said.
In some parts of the province that funding comes directly from the province. He said discussions are underway to have the government fund this program locally as well.
But he said that one measure won't solve the local funding shortfall.
"It could potentially affect every program that we do."
A spokesman for the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies said Windsor is facing one of the higher deficits in the province and predicted demand for services will increase locally due to a slowdown in the economy.
"There are a couple of agencies across Ontario who are facing very large deficits, and Windsor is one of them, so they really need to review the services and supports provided to children and youth in their community," said Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern.
"The economy for sure will have a huge impact, mostly in the area of Windsor with the automobile industry being a little bit slower than before. When the economy slows we see a higher number of clients. They have to provide more services to more families because (families) deal with a lot more stress."
The Ontario association said provincial agencies will face a total budget shortfall of $60 million in the new fiscal year, including a $23-million shortfall carried over from 2007/08.
The Windsor agency's annual budget is $49.5 million, but last year it spent $52.5 million, forcing it go to the bank. When the new fiscal year begins April 1, the CAS will receive about $8 million from the province up front, which should help for two months.
"That takes the crisis out of the situation, but it doesn't resolve the long-term problem of underfunding child welfare in the province, and we're one of those affected," Bevan said.
"We'll slowly start to build the deficit again until we won't be able to pay it any longer at the end of February '09. We'll probably be another $3 million (in deficit) or so at that point," he said.
"We'll have been back to the bank starting in a couple of months, and that'll build to $3 million."
He said one of the reasons the local CAS did not get the mitigating funding inFebruary could have been because it didn't negotiate collective agreements until the second half of the fiscal year, and the government based its mitigation strategy on what an agency spent in the first six months of the year, when labour costs were lower.
"It looked like we would have been in budget."
COMMENTS ON THIS STORY
frank Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 06:15 PM
By the looks of that Taj Mahal building that the agency put up a few years ago and the fancy fixtures that were put in that buliding ,Its obvious to me that the CAS might have been a little too fat in the wallet anyways and maybe they need a review of their spending habits and a better accountability for the money they spend.That is a big beaurocratic unaccountable agency on riverside drive that hides behind government laws and feels it isnt accountable to the people.Too bad your agency is no different than any other in this city.Maybe its time too layoff some of the many CAS workers and better streamline your agency.The thing i have learned in life is that whenever you have a govt. agency that takes money from the taxpayers ,they are always short in funds and never look internally for savings until the powers above make them.Those being the people who write the cheques.
Windsor Family Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 06:36 PM
Well if you quit taking peoples kids and putting them in foster homes and paying the foster parents there would be money. How about keeping thse children with their parents and give them parenting skill to help them out.
concerned Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 06:58 PM
The CAS should stop taking in kids that are not nesscessary to be in custody, that should cut back on some expenses. Don't get me wrong their are people out there who should have their children taken. It's the ones who are working hard and someone spitefull calls in and makes complaints cause they have nothing better to do. Those people have lost their children, I have had my children in custody and almost wards of the court because of spitefull people. Those workers who don't have children do not understand life with children. My son has ADHD nad ODD so he wants attention. So when he tells stories at school the CAS are called and that is a waste of money to pay that guy to come out when all he had to do was look in the file and see that i was called on this before. Pay more attention is all I am saying to CAS. Kids who are not being beaten or harmed should not be taken away.
Hilary Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 07:11 PM
Once again the government shows us "family doesn't matter," especially if you live in Windsor or Essex County
oh well Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 07:30 PM
Oh well, the CAS does some good but gets involved in families that DO NOT need them. you spank your kid in a shopping mall, some tree hugger sees this calls CAS your done!. You neighbour gets pissed off at you and calls CAS, they are in your life for ever! just to " make sure" even tho there are no signs of abuse. All they do is grab kids and throw them in group homes where they are out of control, but they re-asure parents its the right thing to do. I think CAS should review its procedures, because what people dont know is they cash in on a kid until they are 18 years old, even tho the kids may not be ina home or anything they will do a check-up twice a year and the kids are still on the books and the government gives them $$. What a crock of BS! review it and run it properly
John Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 08:54 PM
Spending less money on a headquarters might have left some in the bank.
Ann Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 08:58 PM
Get rid of your wasteful and useless diversity training consultants and programs, and maybe spend your $ on the kids instead.
RJP Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 09:15 PM
Another bloated beuracracy. If they spent half as much on themselves and their grand offices this organization would not be in trouble year after year. Even when the local economy was booming this agency was in trouble. It has nothing to do with the economy. It has to do with the people involved running the place.
Taj Mahal Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 10:14 PM
Maybe when the city of Windsor was swimming in empty buildings and contractually paying for countless empty floors of the Canderal tower the City and CAS should have thought twice about building that multimillion dollar palace on Riverside drive. It is obvious they ran out of money when they built it. I have seen the inside and they have dime store furniture and cubicle dividers one step up from cardboard. I am least impressed with some of the so called social workers who are not parents themselves but achieved a C average in a BA. There are some nice ones with qualifications but some of them are a joke. Guess we can look them up by March 31st when the 2007 Sunshine list is fully published.
Joke Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 10:25 PM
Bears repeating: RIDICULOUS BUILDING ON PRIME LAND.
Ron Payne Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 10:34 PM
How much money do they pay out in settling bad faith lawsuits? That's the $64,000 dollar question? Ron Payne Welfare Legal Hamilton, Ontario E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Paula Ann Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 11:07 PM
The CAS and other agencies offer foster parents more money to suport children that should not always been taken away then welfare does to a single mom. U ask why some parents can't give the kids much go to school and complain.. U get just one over zellous worker and bam your kids are gone... yes this seems fair, I understand needing a better building then the one u were using on louis/assumption. but instead of building a NEW building, wouldn't it of been cheaper to fix the one that is not in use.. Now we have tax dollars going to a building that isn't even in use.. space that is being taken up-afordable housing something... Lobby the goverment for the money.. if it's coming to you make something happen.. Why should the tax payers pay for u to get a loan.. with our economy being as it is we NEED these services.. no matter the age, it's the children that come first.
Terry Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 12:46 AM
What is wrong with people these days? Everyone knows that families suffer through periods of economic stress and one look at the inner core of Windsor and you can see there are needs like the CAS. My apologies here but Windsor is one of the few cities in North America that I have been to that seems to have projects in almost every single neighbourhood. Check your statistics and you will find that poor families need agencies like the CAS. Building-envy or not, they serve a purpose. Let's see what tomorrow's budget in Ontario might do to help.
Marty Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 03:36 AM
Hopefully they will utilize the mediation program being rolled out across the province and save some legal fees and unnecesary aprehensions. An ounce of prevention...
Christina Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 08:48 AM
My niece had her kids taken away almost 2 years ago they are about to become wards of the crown. I admitt that when CAS got involved she was in a rough patch in her life and hanging around with some unsightly characters. Since CAS has taken her kids though she has done everything they have told her to do, she has gone to anger management, has drug testing every week which she tests negative for drugs, gone to parenting classes, has to attend church, AA Meetings NA meetings a course for batterd women and a bunch of other services which she does faithfully and has for the past year and a few months. She was even told even though she was clean and sober for more then a year she need to go to rehab. She has been to court now over 18 times never missed a court day she gets to visit her kids 2 times a week supervised at the CSA building while workers sit there and scribble down her every move and every comment, she has had to get a 3 bedroom apartment and maintain it which she has for almost a year only to be denied home visits and sleep overs with her kids. Nothing like making a person jump through hoops under the pretnece that it is all going to be OK and then told that their hired consullor recommends that she not get her kids back until she has done all this for over 2 years. Well after being in CSA for 2 years they become a ward of the crown and can be adopted. I am sick to my stomach over this, it is obvious to anybody that she has her kids interest at heart, sure she might have messed up in the past and it was for a brief moment of about 6 months that she was messing up but nobody looks at the fact that she has been raising them for 7 years before that and no problems but now after doing everything she is told to do she might never get them back. It just makes me sick. And look at all the money they have spent on her and her kids, 18 times to court in less then 2 years, come on consullors, and programs, and classes and assements and drug testing. What a waste, not to mention the money they give to the foster family for taking care of them, It just makes me sick sick sick.
MDW Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 09:00 AM
To Concered....Well put..this also happened to us with the school.but this was with children we adopted. Maybe childrens aid should head over to the welfare office and nail a few of these dead beat dads to take care of their kids.
show me the doh! Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 09:41 AM
i know someone who gets paid good money monthly to take these kids in. they don't care about the kids the way they should, it's all about the money! the husband has been out of work and is not looking because the cas pays them so well they do not need him to work.
GH Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 10:27 AM
I know first hand that CAS only takes children that absolutely need it! I am one of those foster parents you speak of and the children I hav etaken care of come from some of the most horrible situations I couldn't have even emagined.....and not only did they give these "parents" a sencond chance, they gave them a third as well....only to screw up the child even more! These children are our future and most of you people gripe about what these people are trying to do to make the comunity better. I agree, some of the money is mismanaged! But I suggest if you don't like what you see, stop complaining and get involved. Become a foster parent yourself if you think it is that easy! Trust me we don't get paid enough to deal with some of these issues! You are all so quick to point fingers but turn it arround and ask yourself what you can do instead!
gh Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 11:25 AM
I want to know who would take these kids in for free? Any volunteers???? I didn't think so!
ali Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 11:45 AM
why give them money, they'll just spend it on fancy stuff for themselves instead of the kids anyway. Have them give you a tour of their office furniture and computer systems. The place is fancier than our casino for the high rollers. waste, waste waste
sherry Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 11:56 AM
well if they stop taken kids that should be at home then they might have the money to help parents...instead the take kids away and offer no help what so ever..i had all four of my wonderful children taken away back in 99 and at no point and time did they ever offer any kind of help...not that my kids should have been taken away..i could say why they were taken away but i don't think my comment would show up...they make so many mistakes yet never seem to pay for them...the only people that pay are good parents like me and my husband and our children...i think CAS needs to step up to the plate and admit all the wrong they do and maybe people in Windsor would have more faith in the job they do...all i want from them is to admit the wrong and my life will e full...but because of them i have suffered so mush and my children have suffered growing up with out their parents...please post this...people nee to know that CAS is not the good people they clam to be.
what a joke Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 12:07 PM
if you look at all the children's aides in Canada you will realize that Windsor has the highest rate of children being taken away...Windsor cas also has the highest complains against them...makes one wonder what they really do with the money that's given to them....
JK Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 01:10 PM
The CAS has enough money to do it's job properly! Someone needs to go in there and clean house!! A large percentage of the staff is on stress leave due to mismanagement and/or milking the system. That leaves the rest of the staff to make up for the shortage making huge overtime salaries and increasing their stress levels. Either way get them back to work or get rid of the people on leaves!! I don't even want to start on the castle on the river!!
interested Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 02:48 PM
Like all government organizations, It is mostly about money and self-perpetuation Christina.
Worst Agency ever Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 05:03 PM
NOW they are suffering because their funding changed - they can't charge the province by the case - which is why they were out of control before, with people picketing and constant complaints. Not coincidental that they have this crazy building on the drive. The director should be ashamed of himself.
Dean Robinson Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 05:38 PM
Afew years back there was a gentleman that drove his truck into the building and killed himself. theres the real story in Winsor. When will the general public wake u, the CAS is a lobby group with its hand out for the tax dollars of hard working people. Child protection is a must but the CAS has proven that they are not society for the job. Its time to overhaul the system. http://sarniasgun.proboards83.com/index.cgi?
seriously now. Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 06:45 PM
Here's a nifty idea -- STOP OVERPAYING WORKERS THAT DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD!!!! That agency is so corrupt, it's unreal. I should really get in touch with whoever is responsible for running it. There are workers with 'wet t-shirt' pics online. workers with pics of drinking and driving online. Half the workers are nothing more than hardcore partiers. They're overpaid and barely do anything. VERY few are even worth having - VERRRRRRRRRRRY few deserve their jobs.
Commission?!? Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 06:59 PM
I think intake workers for CAS work off of commission. That's why they're so anxious to take any child they see out in public with a parent. That's how they act, at least. ;)
GET OVER IT Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 07:01 PM
It's obvious that any negative comments directed towards CAS are from people who's children have probably been rightfully removed by CAS.
Source: Windsor Star at canada.com