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CAS Layoffs, Pro and Con

April 22, 2010 permalink

Durham Region children's aid is laying off 31 staffers. While executive director Wanda Secord bemoans the loss, reader Crystal Renata tells it straight in a letter to the editor.



Durham CAS laying off 31 employees

Wanda Secord

Cites underfunding as reason

DURHAM -- A funding shortage means the Durham Children's Aid Society is eliminating 31 full-time jobs.

The layoffs affect both management and bargaining unit staff, executive director Wanda Secord said.

Management staff was let go on Monday, while the contract with bargaining unit staff members means they will be let go in 12 weeks, or early July.

The layoffs are in the areas of administrative support and some service positions.

The CAS for weeks has been saying it would have to take action to solve its budgetary shortfall. The agency finished its fiscal year on March 31 with a $3.8-million deficit, Ms. Secord said.

"Even with the reductions in staff and internal cost containments, we're still projecting a $2.7-million deficit this year," she stated.

"With the staffing cuts, we're losing some very committed, knowledgeable staff. It's never a good thing for any organization to lay off staff," Ms. Secord said.

The last layoffs by the Durham CAS occurred in 1995.

When asked if children would be more at risk with the staff cuts, Ms. Secord said, "What we did was try to keep that to a minimum. There's front-line staff. Behind them are support staff."

When planning for the cuts, the aim was to preserve the society's ability to provide services, she said.

"Every role helps us to do that," she said, adding it means more work for remaining staff. "We're already carrying a high caseload."

There are no more staff reductions planned for this year, she noted.

"To cut further, we would just cripple our ability to protect kids and to do the service we're mandated to do. This is our line in the sand."

Agency staff have been in "constant discussions" with Ministry of Children and Youth Services staff, she said, keeping it appraised of the staffing reductions.

"They're aware of our circumstances. They're aware we're making staffing cuts to reduce our deficit," Ms. Secord noted. "We don't anticipate anymore layoffs this year. We presented our plans to the ministry. They accepted it. They know what we're doing. It's because of a lack of funding."

The ministry and "the government at large, they need to fund child welfare appropriately, so we won't be in these situations again next year as well."

Source: Metroland Durham Region

Why is CAS seeking more money?

To the editor:

It sickens me that the Durham Children's Aid Society is asking, yet again, for money. This is an organization that does not focus on keeping families together. It needs to go back to the days when family was more important than money and covering your own butt.

There needs to be a complete audit of not only the financial end of things, but the way it handles cases.

There is a no-ending flow of money given to these people and their lawyers. They need to put a cap on what they give to the lawyers to destroy families. Please do not give them more money, but teach them about what family is and how to use the money they have properly.

Crystal Renata


Source: Metroland Durham Region
thanks to [ justiceismyreward at ] for the tip.