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October 11, 2008 permalink
The Hastings Children's Aid Society, which got a supplemental $800,000 from the taxpayers in March, is back for more. This time they want another $2,100,000.
This kind of request is a stick-up of the taxpayers. The legislature has the choice of sending the money, or letting their wards go hungry. They always send the money.
We have a suggestion for Hastings executive director Len Kennedy. Since most of the children in your "care" were taken from parents by force of arms, you could reduce your expenses by returning some of them to mom and dad. As for the province, maybe they could deal with profligate children's aid societies by sending their managers to the same place as other stick-up men.
Hastings CAS projects $2.1M deficit
Lack of provincial support blamed
Posted By STEPHEN PETRICK, THE INTELLIGENCER, Posted 5 hours ago
The Hastings Children's Aid Society is projecting a $2.1 million deficit by the end of this fiscal year -- a fact it attributes to a ck of provincial support.
While the shortfall won't stop the agency from delivering essential services, executive director Len Kennedy said it will put more pressure on staff who oversee hundreds of kids in care.
"On a couple of occasions this year we've not replaced a person or delayed the replacement to save a few months of salary," he said.
"We'll continue to exercise all diligent measure to try and reduce the deficit, but there isn't a whole lot we can go after because we are delivering mandatory services."
At a board meeting Thursday, finance director Mark Stevens presented a report showing that the agency's projected expenditures for the 2008-09 fiscal year are $32.5 million. Yet, based on the number of children it cares for, the agency is only eligible for $31.1 million of provincial funding -- resulting in a $1.4 million deficit for the year.
However, the CAS is still carrying deficits from the previous two years -- nearly $266,000 from 2006-07 and nearly $468,000 from 2007-08.
It adds up to $2.1 million, a number that is significant, but not surprising, Kennedy said, given the province's flawed funding formula.
He said the province provides Children's Aid Societies with $87 a day for each child in its care. But additional money is needed to pay for such things as therapy and counselling for children, who often come into its care following reports of abuse.
During the meeting, Kennedy noted to board members that 38 other Ontario children's aid societies sent first-quarter financial reports to the province. Together, those agencies were expecting an accumulated deficit of about $38 million.
"Our scenario is in keeping with what other agencies are reporting at this time," he said.
Last March, the province provided an extra $800,000 to the Hastings CAS to reduce a previously anticipated $1.3 million deficit, just before the fiscal year ended.
Kennedy does not know whether a similar rollout will be offered this spring, but said the agency is talking with the province about raising the funds.
"We're hoping there will be some relief again," he said. "Our position is these are the costs of delivering the mandatory service of child welfare in Hastings County. Those costs continue to be above the level of funding we receive, but we don't have any choice about the service that must be delivered."
He stressed, however, that the $2.1 million figure is only a projection.
If more kids come into its care over the course of the year, the CAS would be eligible for more funding, Kennedy said, but the money won't be enough to erase a deficit.
Source: Belleville Intelligencer