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March 26, 2010 permalink
Durham CAS, and many other societies throughout Ontario have finally reached the point where they are cutting services and laying off staff. While these desperate pleas are coming to save their funding (always in the name of the children), cabinet level politicians are making up their minds what to do. This is a point where expressing your views could make a difference. Let a senior politician know what you think, or attend one of the frequent rallies in support of ombudsman oversight.
CAS seeks support from Durham Region
DURHAM -- More than 60 staff members could be laid off and 123 children wouldn't get service from the Durham Children's Aid Society if the organization doesn't get more provincial funding.
Wanda Secord, the society's executive director, told Durham council's finance committee on Wednesday the organization is forecasting a $3.8-million funding shortfall this year.
In the past, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services would provide 'top-up funding' at the end of the year, so a CAS wouldn't have a deficit. This year, however, the ministry has said there won't be such funding and has ordered societies to balance their budgets.
The process of layoffs would begin in April, with notices of layoffs going to staff, Ms. Secord said, adding the layoffs would take place 12 weeks later.
Wage freezes for staff have been considered, but the union representing 280 staff members isn't "prepared to do a roll back. Management staff have taken reduced increases," she staled.
In 2008-09, the agency served almost 5,400 families and 1,220 children. Ms. Secord noted about 900 children are in the society's care.
Funding is based on previous years' data and expenditures, she said.
"We're working on the 2007-2008 framework. Right off the bat, we're in a deficit position."
The society's budget this year is $71.6 million and the organization is expecting the same level of funding next year, "although, that hasn't been confirmed," she added.
"We're not here asking for money. We asking for political advocacy and political intervention," Ms. Secord stated.
Meetings have been held with all Durham Region MPPs, with opposition members raising the issue in the legislature.
"Last year, every day, with few exceptions, the issue was brought up in the house," she said.
Ajax Mayor Steve Parish said, "Everyone is sympathetic. We've heard this a lot. Durham and the 905 have been underfunded in health and social services.
He noted regional and local councils have passed resolutions seeking more social service and health funding.
Marilyn Pearce, Scugog Mayor and chairwoman of the committee, said funding shortfalls with CAS and other social service agencies will eventually affect the Region.
"It will have an impact on regional finances down the road."
Regional council on Wednesday is expected to pass a resolution asking the Province to provide more money to the CAS.
Source: Oshawa This Week (print edition)
thanks to [ justiceismyreward at hotmail.com ]