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February 21, 2010 permalink

Travelers to poor countries are advised against giving a gift to a beggar. Reason: One small gift will soon produce a mob of followers begging for more.

Now that Laurel Broten has given in to the demands of Ontario's children's aid societies for more money, the press throughout the province is carrying articles filled not with thanks, but with demands for even more. The enclosed article from Dufferin quotes Trish Keachie asking for another $300,000 to cover her cost overruns.



Provincial funding boost cuts DCAFS deficit

Financially strapped Dufferin Child and Family Services got a significant shot in the arm last Friday with an infusion of more than $822,000 in one-time funding by the provincial government.

DCAFS executive director Trish Keachie welcomed the news, but added the children’s aid agency will still finish its 2010 fiscal year with a deficit of about $300,000.

The new provincial funds “do not fully cover our deficit,” Ms. Keachie said in an interview Wednesday. “But, on a relative basis to other agencies, we did very well.”

The DCAFS financial woes hit home in the final quarter of 2009, when it learned the government would be providing $23 million less to children’s aid societies (CASs) than it had given in the previous fiscal year.

DCAFS was one of 36 children’s aid agencies across the province that filed for a Section 14 review, which meant it would not be able to balance its mandate to protect children with the funding by the province. The DCAFS was projecting a $1.1 million deficit for its current fiscal year, which ends Dec. 31.

It faces a similar deficit in 2011.

This recent cash infusion is a result of the Province providing $26.9 million in one-time funding to CASs that, in its estimation, face the “most immediate financial challenges.”

In a press release issued earlier this week, the government said the funds, issued through the Commission to Promote Sustainable Child Welfare, aims to strengthen service delivery, promote financial sustainability, and improve outcomes for the children, youth and families who receive child protection services.

The government said the additional funding includes $2.5 million for Aboriginal CASs, in recognition of the unique challenges that Aboriginal children and youth face.

The fresh funding gave a reprieve of sorts to DCAFS. Still, Ms. Keachie cautioned that the agency is “not out of the woods yet.

“We will still be $300,000 in deficit at the end of the year and we are certainly experiencing the effects of the recession. We’ve been very busy this year.”

One challenge the local agency faces is a cap on funding to finance its infrastructure needs, which include such fixed expenses as maintaining the building it leases on Riddell Road.

One way to ensure that infrastructure costs will be lower in years to come is to buy the building, an endeavour Ms. Keachie estimated would require about $822,000.

“We will be living within our means,” she said, “but we will need to lower our infrastructure costs.”

Source: Orangeville Citizen