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Opportunity Closing

January 16, 2011 permalink

Neil Haskett Effective Jan 17, 2011 Larry Marshall, from Children's Aid Society of London-Middlesex, will be taking over the Huron-Perth Children's Aid Society and it will transition to governance by a new board of directors. Does this transition mean that your office will no longer be able to investigate complaints against HPCAS? January 14, 2011 at 3:19am

The ombudsman replied to the Facebook posting saying that he will keep an eye on what happens.

Source: Facebook, Ontario Ombudsman page

Addendum: The press has picked up the story.



Marshall moves to Huron-Perth

A man described as the point person for the Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex on children's service is the new supervisor of the cash-strapped Huron-Perth CAS.

Larry Marshall, associate executive director of the London- Middlesex CAS, begins his new job at the Stratford-based CAS Monday.

He takes over from Vince Tedesco, who was appointed interim supervisor in October after Youth and Children's Services Minister Laurel Broten fired Huron-Perth CAS executive director Tom Knight and dissolved the board of directors.

Broten stepped in after Knight and board chairperson Vince Judge held a news conference to announce the agency would lay off 125 staff and close its doors Dec. 15 due to a lack of funding. The agency had $870,000 in past debt and was expected to run a deficit of $1.3 million for 2009-10.

The London-Middlesex CAS was facing a deficit of $4.2 million. The agency had to reduce the number of kids in its care by 25% -- about 220 -- over the next four years to keep its doors open in a deal struck with Queen's Park.

It was the failure to reach that kind of deal that led the province to step in with Huron-Perth.

The Beacon Herald was not able to reach Marshall Friday.

A ministry announcement said Marshall has 33 years of experience in the child-welfare sector and has received community recognition awards for his work towards ending abuse against women.

Youth and Children's Services spokesperson Peter Spadoni said Marshall's appointment is interim.

"The new supervisor of Huron- Perth CAS has been appointed to lead the society through the next phase and the transition to board governance. During this phase, the supervisor will also lead a review of how the agency delivers its services. Once a new board of directors is in place, it will be responsible for governance," Spadoni said.

Tedesco was put charge of operations and was to conduct a financial review of the organization.

The Beacon Herald was unable to reach Tedesco yesterday. He is set to resume his duties as the regional director for the ministry's Central West Region.

The financial review was completed in November, Spadoni said. It identified the extent of the society's deficit and made recommendations to achieve efficiencies.

"Thanks to measures taken over the last three months, the financial situation of the Huron- Perth CAS has improved and the society is on the road to financial stability," Spadoni said.

However, as the review contains sensitive labour relations information and could compromise the privacy of individual staff, it will not be released publicly, he said.

Before he was let go, Knight said the Huron-Perth CAS was one of the lowest-funded agencies in the region. Agencies serving a slightly lower population had double the funding at $34 million compared to $17 million locally.

At the time, the Huron-Perth CAS was serving an estimated 450 families a month and conducting more than 1,600 abuse investigations annually. There were 200 children in its care.

The ministry said the Huron- Perth CAS has an approved budget of almost $17 million for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Source: Stratford Beacon Herald