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Hamilton CAS Cutback
May 1, 2013 permalink
Hamilton CAS will be laying off staff because of a second year of one million dollar budget cuts.
Layoffs coming to Hamilton CAS
The axe is about to fall at the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton.
Management is meeting with the staff of 375 today and tomorrow to outline layoffs after a severe reduction in funding from the Ontario government.
The C-A-S has lost about 2-million dollars in funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
CAS executive director Dominic Verticchio won't say how many people will be laid off until staff has been given the information.
The funding cut comes as a shock to Children's Aid.
Verticchio says there was a restructuring last year after a 1-million dollar cut to the budget and he was expecting a zero per cent budget increase this year, not a 2-million dollar cut.
The Children's Aid Society of Hamilton currently has 621 children in its care.
In two more news articles, CAS executive director Dominic Verticchio lashes out at the government. Based on complaints received by Fixcas, his Hamilton CAS is one of the most disliked by clients in all Ontario. In the kind of terminology that can only come out of the perverse world of bureaucratic management, he says cutbacks to his budget for separating children from families will harm children and further that funding cutbacks will increase foster care expenses. He even claims to speak for the children who are too young to vote. Has Mr Verticchio considered taking one of his own anger management classes?
In a CBC article, Monique Taylor, sponsor of bill 42 to provide ombudsman oversight of children's aid, reaches out sympathetically to the workers facing layoffs. The NDP has a conflict of interest in advocating both for parents harmed by CAS and the social workers drawing a paycheque from CAS. It shows that CAS reform efforts must go well beyond just voting NDP.
Hamilton Children's Aid Society reacts fast
The Children's Aid Society of Hamilton is also reacting to this budget.
Scot Urquhart joins us live with more. Nick, the reaction from the director of Hamilton's CAS has been swift, and sharp. Dominic Verticchio says he's had to lay off 20% of his staff, that's 70 full, and part-time positions, most of them, support workers. Verticchio says the cuts will impact roughly 1,500 to 2,000 Hamilton families. And it may force the CAS to place children in more expensive residential facilities, rather than leaving them in their homes.
Children's Aid Society of Hamilton cuts 70 jobs
Children's Aid Society of Hamilton announced on Thursday that it's cutting 70 jobs as a result of a reduction in funding from the province.
“It's been a very tough day for everyone but we must carry on," CAS executive director Dominic Verticchio told CBC Hamilton on Thursday.
The provincial budget cuts will mean a $4.7 million reduction to the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton's budget over the next four years.
"We're committed to providing child protection to this community, but it's going to be a very different servce than in the past."
The agency will not axe frontline workers, it said in a statement. Instead, the job cuts "will result in the loss of many support programs that prevented children from being admitted into the care of the agency."
Support programs for children in foster homes will also be affected.
"Unfortunately, the province decided that this is what their plan is. I'm not sure that they've given full consideration to what the impacts are going to be," Verticchio said.
"There are going to be more children in care and there will be more displaced families. That is not business as usual."
Council to complain to Queen's Park
The move to trim down funding for children's aid agencies has drawn the ire of city politicians. Councillors voted on Wednesday to complain to the province about the cuts.
Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton's Medical Officer of Health, will bring a report to the general issues committee later this month regarding how the city can protest the cuts to the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton.
“The CAS is laying off as we speak,” said Coun. Brad Clark of Stoney Creek, who introduced the motion for the report, said on Wednesday. “It's having an impact on the city and I just don't think we can wait.”
The Hamilton society has an annual budget of about $50 million. Other societies, Verticchio said, are facing cuts as high as $5.7 million in one year.
The Hamilton Catholic Children's Aid Society is facing a two per cent reduction to its $26-million budget, said David Shea, its director of communications.
The society is still determining what that means in dollars, and if it will mean staff cuts.
“Our goal is to not (cut staff) if possible because we can't stop providing our service,” he said.
“There's caution in the air. We've been living very tight to our budget.”
Monique Taylor, MPP for Hamilton Mountain, said her office has been “inundated” with emails from employees.
"Staff already working overtime, struggling to meet the growing need in our community, are trying to understand how they're going to do more with less," Taylor said in the legislature this week.
"Workers have told me that these cuts will make their jobs impossible, that they are terrified of what this will mean for the already vulnerable children and families they serve."
A response to Verticchio.
Put an end to CAS whining
70 children’s aid staff lose their jobs; Director slams province for cuts (May 3)
I am puzzled after reading this article. Does Dominic Verticchio, executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, think we taxpayers are a bottomless pit when it comes to money? We are all cutting back to make ends meet. Why can’t he?
Government bureaucrats build empires with our money. Now with cutbacks across the board, Verticchio thinks he should be exempt.
Instead of coming up with new ways to cut back, he whines that services will be cut and staff laid off. Is he taking a pay cut? Is he going to still fund advertising on TV about CASs in Ontario? They don’t have any competition, so why advertise? When he expanded to new headquarters and expanded programs, did he think this funding was in perpetuity?
He stated he has been in the business for over 38 years. Maybe it’s time to let someone else take over. Maybe it’s also time to look at merging the two CASs in Hamilton to save funds and maintain current levels of programs and staffing to help the children who need it.
Shirley Lewis, Stoney Creek
Source: Hamilton Spectator