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Readers Say No to CAS

April 30, 2010 permalink

When the St Catharines Standard published an article that was a plea for more funding for children's aid, most of the reader comments were critical. Politicians deciding how much to spend may notice that most of the people who care about the issue oppose more CAS funding.



FACS seeks cash advance

With a funding deficit last year of more than $2 million, Family and Children's Services Niagara will ask the province for a cash advance to cover payments made to the end of May.

The agency was one of 36 children's aid societies that applied to the province last fall for a formal review of their funding because of year-end shortfalls.

Its board of directors approved asking for a cash advance of $380,000 from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Wednesday night.

"If we have to work with this cash advance strategy for a period of time we will, but that's not the solution," said FACS Niagara executive director Chris Steven prior to the board meeting.

"We need a longer-term sustainable solution as soon as possible."

The agency's deficit last fall was $2.8 million and Steven said FACS did not feel it could fulfil legal responsibilities to protect children in the community with less funds.

After asking the province for a formal review of its funding, FACS received a total of $630,000 from the ministry in February to help with the financial pressure. That left the agency with a $2.2-million deficit for the fiscal year ending in March.

"While we always appreciate the help from our ministry and our politicians, it was not sufficient in this case," Steven said. "We are still needing to manage our way through the current fiscal year by way of seeking cash advances from the ministry."

Included in that $2.2-million deficit were costs of more than $350,000 related to an inquest into the death of foster boy Matthew Reid, slain by a foster girl in a Welland home. Matthew was under the care of another agency, but the girl was in FACS Niagara's care.

That money included legal costs, seconding a manager for the case, preparing for the inquest and addressing matters identified when the case was examined by the agency.

Historically, the ministry will cover unexpected expenses such as inquests. Steven anticipates the government will reimburse FACS, which would reduce the deficit.

He said the ministry introduced the idea of a cash advance template to children's aid societies knowing there would be nancial pressure this year.

"This isn't just handing over money, they do expect us to continue to try to find efficiencies and contain costs wherever possible," Steven said.

He said it was an effort to assist societies while a newly appointed commission works on promoting sustainability in child welfare. The commission, appointed by the ministry, has a three-year mandate and has been working with ministry staff and children's aid societies for about six months.

"They'll be looking at opportunities for systemic change that could assist in the delivery of services to children and youth so that expenditure doesn't continue to increase in children's aid societies," Steven said.

Meanwhile, FACS will work with the cash advance strategy, but Steven said at some point in the year, the agency will run out of funds.

Comments on this Article.

Call Jim Bradley, the HST is about to take two billion out of our pockets. That should cover the FACS shortfall.

Post #1 By aggyt8

The problem I have with children's aid societies is that too often they harass and break-up families with nothing wrong but nosey neighbours, and too often they allow ACTUAL dangerous situations to continue (as you often see with 'honour' killing situations).

Post #2 By westernhillisnotsobad

So let's get rid of FACS mr. westernhillisnotsobad and the children can fend for themselves?

Post #3 By aggyt8

Compare the salary levels with the private section and the reason for the deficit will become obvious. Maybe their union needs to make some concessions like GM or face bankruptcy ?

Post #4 By pounder

I agree with westernhill. This is a corrupt private organization. Take a close look at what their expences were for the fiscal year and you will find out exactly why they are in such big debt. They have wasted so much money in court going after families and kidnapping children from famalies based on lies from others in the neighbourhood. They even fabricate evidence to justify there actions in court. This can be proven. The government regulations by way of the child and family services act dictates that they can only spend 10% of their annual budget on legal proceedings yet they continually spend over 75% yearly. If you also look alot of money is wasted on things that are not necessary to the health and well being of a child or their care. Items such as extravagant vacations for the social workers and expensive cars. If you want the real stories of the CAS attend the rally in Toronto That is taking place today at queens park at noon. Attend the rally in October at the same place. Or better yet go and visit the facebook group stop childrens aid from taking children away from good parents and see the real stories first hand. There are several groups on facebook, another is Horror stories of the childrens aid - The real truth. There are so many cases documented where it has been proven with factual evidence of lies and deciept by this corrupt corporation. Do not give them one thin dime untill there is accountability. They are over spending and using our tax dollars to fund there extravagent vacations and should be audited by our government. All to often they target innocent families because they are easy to take kids away from as most of them that they target are on social assistance and do not know their rights under the CFSA. Take the time to read the stories and get involved demanding change or it could very well be your children next. Keep in mind they take these children based on the fact they can say that the child might be at risk, does not say the child is at risk just says the child MIGHT be at risk. They do not even have to show the child is at risk to take them they just have to say they believe they might be and they can take your child, but they will leave children with drug addicts and children that are not at risk get taken and placed in foster homes like the one mathew reid was placed in and abused or killed while in the foster care system for nothing more then lies from others. Its time to say no more.

Post #5 By VinnieVegas

The police department needs more money (not enough on the sunshine list), the fire department needs more money (not enough on the sunshine list), the forestry industry needs more money (why no everyone else is asking), the automotive industry (GM, Chrysler) needs more money, the hospital workers need more money (while their CEO and other senior officials earn outrageous salaries), the Arts groups need more money (to fulfill their dreams) and now FACS needs more money. I guess we shouldn't be surprised. If you need more money, all you have to do is stand in line at City hall or the provincial building downtown and feast at the taxpayers trough. These guys apparently have an endless amount of money but aren't bright enough or are willing to figure out why you're asking. After all, this is an election year, they can't say no. Saying no would mean that they won't be re-elected.

Post #6 By xxxxxx

The problem here is the CAS is NOT a government agency. They are in fact a private corporation and are not subject to any oversite by the government regardless what they will try to make you believe. Ask Andre Marin the Ontario ombudsman about this and you will find a stack of complaint against the CAS that he is not allowed to investigate due to the fact the CAS is allowed to operate as a private corporation and not have to answer to anyone. CAS will tell you they do have a process you can use to file a complaint, problem is the complaints are investigated by guess who? thats right themseleves. Guess what the findings of that complaint will be? The inquiry that was held into the death of the child in welland was conducted by guess who? The jury that listend was all members of guess who? The recommendations and findings of that panel is going to be recommendations of Guess who? if you answerd CAS to any of these questions you would be right. If you think it was all conducted in complete fairness and transparency well all I can say is better hope they are not knocking on your door next.

Post #7 By VinnieVegas

Well if they're not answerable and accountable to the taxpaying citizens, then ,I know what those taxpaying citizens should tell them when they come looking for money. The same thing we should be telling everyone else that comes looking for money. Some honest answers and accountability would be a good start. To pay reasonable ( not outrageous) employee wages and benefits, to treat their customers with respect and to serve those people that they're they're paid to serve. If they can't commit to those few things, then I think we need to find a few others who can or simply not fund them.

Post #8 By xxxxxx

Perhaps FACS should have considered their funding situation prior to building a shiny new HQ in Niagara Falls and undertaking an expensive "re-branding" campaign.

Although this organization provides an important and valuable service to families and children across Niagara, I think it is time they re-evaluate their true core services and processes to see how they can get their financial house in order. Unfortunately, I'don't think this is the last we've heard about the $$ situation at FACS. Too bad.

Post #9 By RealityCheck?

FACS has to have their FACTS before they just take a kid from their home and I know that they do everything they can to keep the child in their home thorugh parenting classes,counseling for the whole family, referrals to Big Brother/ Sisters and many other agencies that are FREE. Problem today is that many parents feel their children are their PROPERTY and now there is someone to protect that child if warranted. FACS would much rather place a child with family members for the well being and benefit to the child. No-one with a heart purposely rips a child from their home for no good reason. I am a fromer crown ward, I've seen and heard it all fromt he child's point of view and my own. Now I work in a similar field and the bottom line is about helping our vulnerable society whether that means seniors at risk, adults at a loss or children in jeopardy. I see plenty of children just begging to leave home but family members continue to lie about the homelife and are enabled by other outside family members for fear of shame and ownership rather than what is in their child's best interest. FACS deserves the pay they get to put up with so much from society! Don't give anyone reason to call FACS or your child any reason to take off and the majority of you will never have dealings with them. Keep in mind we are all human and yes some mistakes do get made but hopefully they are the rare occassion.

Post #10 By 321nyturn

The problem is this is not a rare occasion. Perhaps you need to spend some time reading on the support sites of the people who fight the CAS everyday exposing them. I can show you piles and piles of affidavits from facs workers who delibertaely commited perjury and then flip flopped on their stories when caught lying. You dont need to give them a reason all you have to have is a neighbour or family member with an axe to grind call them up and lie and they will be at your door. I can prove this with evidence that this happens all the time. Facs also does not want bill 93 to pass which would hold them accountable to the public. They also pick and choose who can be members or get a membership with them. So please dont try and tell me I dont know what goes on with them or how they operate.

Post #11 By VinnieVegas

And I'm sure there are numerous neighbours, family members, formally abused or neglected children with piles and piles of evidence to the contrary that would beg to differ and are thankful that FACS intervened. No-one said Vinnie Vegas doesn't know what goes on but his experience doesn't speak to the majority otherwise there would be no FACS would their? I know several families that have no business having kids but that's because their child reering goes again my moral radar, but parents are entitled to raise their children the best way they see fit...otherwise more kids would be wards.

Post #12 By 321nyturn

Perhaps you need to go visit a page on facebook called stop childrens aid from taking children away from good parents. Read the real stories going on out there. There are countless stories of abuse by the CAS. You speak of the majority but the problem is the these people are in fact the majority. One of the questions on a childrens aid membership application is will you side with the childrens aid at all times. If you answer no you will be refused a membership. The brantford CAS is currently talking of a strike to get better pay and to have the taxpayors pay for their legal fee's when they are sued by parents who can prove they committed wrong doing. Go and read the real stories and truth out there and see just how much is hidden and coverd up by these pieces of garbage. As fot the question of need for FACS? hells no there is none. The biggest problem today is kids have no dicipline at home due to the fact CAS tells these kids your parents cant touch you or we will take you and put you with different people and even pay you to stay in there care. You wonder why there are so many young offenders and violent crimes by youth today? here is your reason. If I did half this stuff as a child I was getting a whipping and I sure as hell did not talk back to my parents or else. If I was told to do something you either did it or else there was no saying no or I dont want to or how much you going to pay me. Facs has gone to far and needs to be abolished. At the very least we need oversight on them by an independant person such as the ombudsman and this is the only way complaints will be truely investigated. Currently any complaints are investigated by the childrens aid against there own people. Guess what the findings will always be?

Post #13 By VinnieVegas

I guess we teach and learn our children respect and they won't be the mouthy little brat we see yelling a tthier parent in McDonald's or running away from home because they didn't get a new cell phone. Bottom line it remains up to parents to parent and teach and educate our own children. It's when we fail to do our job that someone else has to. Sure they should have a governing body outside of their own staff....any agency should insist on it.

Post #14 By 321nyturn

Commenting on this article is now closed.

Source: St Catharines Standard