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Readers Comment on CAS
May 7, 2010 permalink
An addendum three days ago noted that an article on a CAS funding grab blocked reader comments. Yesterday the Sudbury Star published on the same topic but left comments open. Watch the flood of criticism.
CAS takes province to court over underfunded budgets
Nipissing CAS carrying $920,000 in deficit
NORTH BAY — The Nipissing and Parry Sound Children's Aid Society is raising legal red flags over a $900,000 financial hole it dug while delivering provincially mandated services to protect children.
It joined a group of 10 other CAS chapters this week asking a London, Ont., court to conduct a "judicial review" of Ministry of Community and Youth Services budget decisions.
Funding shortfalls at 39 CAS chapters provincewide will hit $32.5 million this year, according to the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies.
Taking the province to court is being described as an "unprecedented" move and the last option before budget cuts hit front-line workers and children go unprotected.
"We're in an absolute funding crisis," said Gisele Hebert, executive director of the Nipissing and Parry Sound CAS, describing how the corporation's credit line will eventually tap out before the
2010-11 fiscal year is complete.
"By mid-January of next year we will have no cash."
Hebert said it's still carrying a deficit of $163,000 from two years ago and the red ink from last year hit $765,000 — even after the province kicked in an extra $295,000 in one-time mitigation funding from the Treasury Board.
She said the province has already told them to plan on "zero" funding increases for next year, meaning it's starting out $928,000 in the red "and we're obviously going to have a further deficit."
Asked how many staff would have to be axed to balance the budget, Hebert said 19 frontline workers out of 145 employees.
"I'd be cutting bone, no fat, not meat. It will be bone."
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Nipissing MPP Monique Smith said a commission has been struck to find a better funding model because many agencies face similar financial issues.
"We're committed to making sure we're not putting any children at risk," Smith said, noting this isn't the first time CASs have come up short on money.
She said the commission will also look at the different paths societies choose to achieve mandated goals.
Hebert said the Commission to Promote Sustainability is a good step in the right direction, but the length of its mandate concerns the CAS group.
"We can't wait three years," Hebert said, adding that 49 out of 53 CAS chapters are facing deficits at year end.
"This is not unique to one area, which begs the question, 'Is there enough money in the system?'"
Hebert said the CAS is limited to core child-protection services, which include the investigation of abuse allegations, maintaining the children in care and working with the families involved.
She said the issues families face and the directives from the province guiding how the CAS operates have changed over the years and the amount of work fluctuates year to year.
But the funding formula is basically driven by what a CAS experienced five years ago, Hebert said, noting that 11 staff were added a couple of years ago to deliver a program that helps families function so the children don't end up in care.
Costs started to go up when the "transforming agenda" program was prescribed to be proactive in how the CAS deals with families at risk.
"That's when we were asked to do more with less," she said, describing how it brings about 30 people together in a conference setting to plan how a family can function without crisis.
She said the ministry was hoping it would lead to cost savings in the long term.
"We've had huge success with that program," Hebert said, "but it's too early to tell if its going to save money."
The Nipissing and Parry Sound CAS averages about 240 children in care and investigates about 1,440 allegations of abuse each year.
Hebert said the numbers are fairly consistent since 2006, but warned it's "dangerous" looking at statistics because some cases are far more complicated than others and one data set might cost more to manage than another.
She said there were 1,532 investigations last year compared to 1,437 in the year ending March 31, 2009, but only 1,290 allegations of abuse probed in 2008.
But there were 249 children in CAS care March 31, 2008, five more than March 31, 2010, she said.
The CAS application for a judicial review is based on allegations the province said it wouldn't increase funding regardless of what happens in the ministerial review they sought last fall.
The group said the affidavits it filed allege "the government review process was biased and the outcome predetermined."
The 11 agencies seeking a judicial review serve Brant, Chatham-Kent, Durham, St. Thomas and Elgin, City of Kingston & County of Frontenac, Haldimand & Norfolk, Huron Perth, Oxford County, Nipissing & Parry Sound, Timiskaming and Timmins.
Comments on this Article.
Isn't it sad that parents aren't the ones protecting their own children anymore? We have to pay others, who do or don't care about the children to protect them...who do or don't care more about the money they can earn, or manipulate out of their budgets. Why do people who DON'T WANT/CARE FOR CHILDREN, CONTINUE TO HAVE THEM?
Post #1 By Albanian
We need their service BUT if anyone was to look in to their past you'll find the waste and criminal activity. These people do things to 'keep numbers up' and think nothing of spending several hundreds of thousands of our tax dollar and lying in court to achieve it.(I can prove this) DO NOT GIVE THEM MORE MONEY let them focus on real cases boot most of them off the sunshine list and we'll be fine. Also they need accountability or they'll continue to take children they know they shouldn't.
Post #2 By bill93
They shouldn't be given one more red cent until ALL CAS are made accountable to the Government and the People who fund them ! No agency should be unaccountable or police itself. Cas is a private corporation ! Give the Ombudsman independent oversight over Ontario`s Children`Aid Socieies !
Post #3 By marcus2010
I can tell you where that money has gone, it's gone to the workers, not the children. They don't want to take a cut in their pay so they are taking the ministry to court. How about using that money where it is suppose to go to the kids and families that the Children's Aid attacks, rather than paying for retainer fees for lawyers in order to block innocent families from getting their legal right to proper representation? How about stop creating work for yourself and follow mandates that you created on paper and make them a reality. Children's Aid child protection is needed, but definately not to the extent that they are claiming. Ministry of the Child and Youth Services, tell the Children's Aid Societies to take a cut in pay, hold your ground and refuse funding. Let the Ombudsman do an audit and then he will decide if more funding is needed. My guess is that their funding will go out to paying out in law suits instead of their pockets once the Ombudsman has reviewed the Children's Aid "protection" cases. Shame on CAS!
Post #4 By so so
let me see you want more of my tax dollars to sue me your boss the taxpayer. you are not suing the goverment you are suing me. in these trying times you try and do more with less. in every town I go CAS is either re-novating or building grandiose buildings to staff themself. Why is it every director managers need a taxpayer funded car and do not forget your exuberant expense account. If you spent more times being pro active instead of inflating your inventory of childrens and really trying harder to re uniting children with there actual parent, there would be no budfet shortfall. As a manager we budget and pay wages in accordance to available funding. grow up and to your job and drop this frivilious costly action. How many taxpyers man hours are you spending on this judicial revue and how much did you budget for it.
Post #5 By rogerp
This is one more reason for the bicycle Ride for Accountability of Children's Aid Societies that I am embarking upon from Ottawa to Windsor (sorry can't head to / through Sudbury) Learn more at http://www.accountablecas.ca The Sudbury CAS has spent child protection money on breaking the law, specifically section 307 of the Corporations Act which landed them in court on charges under the Corporations Act. However, using their expensive lawyers they were able to convince a judge that the charge was invalid alleging that the name on the charging documents only used the corporation number instead of the English name of the corporation and the charges were thrown out on that minor technicality. A technicality which could and should have been amended since it is not supposed to be a terminal issue. Sounds as if the judge was in on it or at least did not support a CAS being charged. Again, total lack of accountability. The Ottawa CAS has been charged with the same offence which is ongoing right now. Read more at http://www.fostercarenews.blogspot.com
Post #6 By afterfostercare
The Nipissing and Parry Sound CAS averages about 240 children in care and investigates about 1,440 allegations of abuse each year. But there were 249 children in CAS care March 31, 2008, five more than March 31, 2010, she said. Asked how many staff would have to be axed to balance the budget, Hebert said 19 frontline workers out of 145 employees. Info from 2009 tax return.... Assets: Cash, bank accounts, and short-term investments 4100 $ 522,543 Total liabilities (add lines 4300 to 4330) 4350 $ 1,183,674 Total revenue received from federal government 4540 $ 1,142,593 Total revenue received from provincial/territorial governments 4550 $ 18,348,923 Total revenue received from municipal/regional governments 4560 $ 128,510 Total revenue (add line 4500, 4510 to 4580, and 4600 to 4650) 4700 $ 19,750,344 Expenditures: Advertising and promotion 4800 $ 27,258 Travel and vehicle expenses 4810 $ 876,220 Interest and bank charges 4820 Total expenditures on charitable programs 5000 $ 17,317,063 Total expenditures on management and administration 5010 $ 2,221,400 View tax info here.... http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/chrts/dnrs/lstngs/menu-eng.html Better wake up everyone! These CAS's ae nothing but money hungry child abusers that will say and o anything to secure funding and cover up their abuses against children. Nipising Parry Sound has a popilation of about 76,000. It doesnt make sense ....Sudbury CAS recieved almost 38 million....waaay to much. Time to end this madness and expose the REAL child abusers. www.corruptioncentral.com
Post #7 By *MAXIMVS*
It'll be a cold day in hell before I give this organization a single penny.
Post #8 By bulshoy
Your right So So! just a quick look at the sunshine list shows some making as much as 210,000!!!!! what in the hell does it take for tax payers to put caps on salaries for these non-government agencies spending tax dollars? many children are being taken for a salary.. Anyone remember what the Auditor general had to say about those 4 CAS offices they investigated? trips, SUV's gym memberships and a lot of waste. What did Sudbury's Children's Aid Executive Director David Rivard have to say? He criticized the Ag's young accountants! They deflect, deflect and deflect. They are robbing the provinces children of their future and robbing us blind with our taxes. STOP THIS NOW!
Post #9 By bill93
I have to say, CAS does a fine job! Can you honestly say that they waste the money on themselves and do nothing for the children? Do you know what these children get when they are in care? Could you be a worker who removes a child from a home? Would you work 50+ hours a week and only get paid for 40? Are you honestly saying that some of these kids are better off with their "parents" who neglect them, abuse them? starve them? If the parents need help lets get them help, but for the children's sake thank the lord that they are removed from these homes. Foster care is a temporary measure.... The parents of the children that are in foster care need help! This is an issue that we as a society have created! We as a community need to look around us and see the horrible conditions some of our children grow up in. Talk to the teachers in our local schools and they will tell you......this is a bigger issue than just a funding issue!!
Post #10 By sudzgirl30
Sud Girl, I will stand up in a court of law and testify many of the Children's Aid Society Of The Districts Of Sudbury And Manitoulin have done a terrible job, they have directly emotionally abused children, they've placed children in more abusive situations, they've perjured themselves in court, they mislead the courts, they have filed false police reports, less than half of all cases are unsubstantiated facts from a study done by Children's Aid societies in the "Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2003" Their services are needed but they do 'keep numbers up' for extra funding. They are over paid thats a fact they are not over worker as many in this community know what "hard work is" Your stats are far from fact my friend. CAS does go after innocent people and its been proven so many times in court. I'm not even getting started.
Post #11 By bill93
I agree Sudzgirl. I work with youth who are ward of the CAS, and let me tell you, they are much better off than just regular youth who are in the care of parents. CAS workers work hard, it's really not fair to "brand" them all bad. There are many good workers in the field. That's like turning around and saying "You guys are all pissed because you lost your kids at one point"...everyone is so innocent and CAS is the easiest to blame. I'm not saying that there perfect, they make mistakes, but every call needs to be investigated, which takes money. Why don't we take your cheque and cut it and say, "Oops, sorry there are homeless kids who need it." Get real people, no one wants to take a pay cut. Truth of the matter is, there are some families who need CAS to intervene. I went through the system and I'm fine, CAS actually helped me with my education, and I am a strong believer that they do good work. If they were promised money by the province then hell yes they should fight for it!
Post #12 By myztery
Sugzgirl30, first off, have you not noticed how many children in care even just in the last couple months have DIED brutally while IN care?? I know as for myself, I have been wronged by the CAS. They have abducted my child and have made gross amount of lies and perjuries in order to keep my child from me. They are money hungry for sure in my eyes. I know I myself and others have called the CAS in regards to children we know to need help and the CAS do absolutely nothing!! YET, the families they do get involved with and no justifiable reason at that, they manage to twist and turn things to a point where returning the child is next to nil. It is nothing BUT a 'JOB SECURITY" and I know MANY will agree. NO children, NO income. This comment "But the funding formula is basically driven by what a CAS experienced five years ago, Hebert said, noting that 11 staff were added a couple of years ago to deliver a program that helps families function so the children don't end up in care" is a load of crap. The CAS I know, refuses to keep ANY family together and will do whatever it takes to make that happen and I have seen it happen! I DO NOT WANT MY TAX DOLLARS GOING TO CAS!!! ACCOUNTABILITY AND OVERSIGHT, that's where I would put my dollars!!!!!!
Post #13 By sweetntrue
Myztery - good for you that you might have had a good experience. You must have been "one" of the "lucky" ones. As I said previously, "JOB SECURITY". I have seen the lies, perjury and twisting and turning or everything. Even the counsellors that work with them or for them. I am not the only one in my area and I have MANY, MANY people who have nothing but horrific events to speak of - I even know of brainwashing and detering a child from their parent - the CAS and foster parents do this and have also known the schools to do the same and still, not justification!
Post #14 By sweetntrue
myztery, most people (about 53%) are innocent and CAS "facts" prove that read my previous post. Do you think children taken from innocent parents aren't being abused? Do you think that they should be rewarded for that and why do the child have to suffer so the workers can line their own pockets? That makes no sense at all. Do we need child protection? yes.. do we need them do steal money by deliberately going after innocent people to keep numbers up? no. Are there good people in the CAS? Only if they expose whats wrong or are not aware of it. Are their good foster homes? I know of a few. But I'm aware of more abusive foster homes.
Post #15 By bill93
What has happened over the past few decades is the "cas" has created a base of crown wards who are continuously moving out of the "cas" money pit and having children themselves which children are being born with all sorts of medical conditions and are not adoptable. The "cas" needs more money because all their children are having children and those children are apprehended usually before birth. The circle is closing in on them after all these years of taking kids from innocent parents. There are 36,000 kids in Ontario's care and 10,000 are registered crown wards with about 1000 crown wards a year rotating out onto the streets, into jail, on a slab at the morgue, institutionalized and put on drugs and you catch the drift.
Post #16 By jackjustice
What has happened over the past few decades is the "cas" has created a base of crown wards who are continuously moving out of the "cas" money pit and having children themselves which children are being born with all sorts of medical conditions and are not adoptable. The "cas" needs more money because all their children are having children and those children are apprehended usually before birth. The circle is closing in on them after all these years of taking kids from innocent parents. There are 36,000 kids in Ontario's care and 10,000 are registered crown wards with about 1000 crown wards a year rotating out onto the streets, into jail, on a slab at the morgue, institutionalized and put on drugs and you catch the drift. How much are they spending on the lawyers to argue with the Province will they be like the government and spend one million dollars to get ten thousand?
Post #17 By jackjustice
Unless someone has been directly involved with the cas, they think that all families the cas get involved with are drug or alchol abusing parents who abuse and starve their kids.fact is cas is not family oriented,they are devide and conquer! Even a family that may of had a chance of reconciling is pitted against each other until there is no hope of ever working things out.One parent is kept in court fighting for their parental rights at a cost of thousands of dollars while the other parent has the endless support of cas resources with free legal representation.When the child or children become disruptive from the stress of missing the absent parent then the child is prescribed ritalin so they can forget they have two parents ! CAS is the number one cause of parental alienation. The parent fighting for his parental rights is usually the parent with a good paying job so the cas knows they will keep fighting for their rights. Just try and hire a lawyer in Sudbury to take on a custody case against the cas..they are already on the cas's payroll.
Post #18 By marcus2010
To challenge a 45 million dollar corporation like we have in Sudbury is pointless. How do you get a good lawyer first of all when most of the good ones are on retainer then how can anyone possibly afford to pay $100,000+ to mount a defence? Triple that if you intend on winning with a lawyer that fly's in from another city just for your case.
Post #19 By bill93
Taxpayers money gone down the tubes, how much money does it take to ruin the lives of so many children and families. Shame on you CAS, you make me sick!! PRaying very hard for all the children. Also, guess how many children/youth have committed suicide in the care of CAS, ???? We don't know cause they won't allow anyone to know the details of anything, but I can tell you personally, I know of 12.
Post #20 By TaniaVanNorman
Commenting on this article is now closed.
Source: Sudbury Star