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Baby-Snatchers Object to Cutbacks
June 11, 2013 permalink
Two more news articles of CAS workers complaining about budget cuts. Only a reader comment gets the story straight.
Children’s Aid Rally in Hamilton
The six-o’clock hour is traditionally thought of as “the supper hour “, the time of day when families gather together for an evening meal.
Friday night at Hamilton city hall, there was a rally by workers who say they want to keep as many families as possible together:
Scot Urquhart was there with workers from the Hamilton Children’s’ Aid Society.
Naomi Jones says:
The c.a.s. are a group of peoplewho have the power to protect children or to destroy families. They constantly and consistently lie, manipulate and walk a very thin line on breaking the law, all in an attempt to prove their worth to the government. They are also the only group who do not have to answer to any board or higher power, other than themselves. Even our prime minister has to answer for his decisions. They need to be held accountable for when they make mistakes, and should be investigated and have to answer to an inquiry as to why a child was molested, beaten and or neglected when that child was in their care, instead of just saying, oops my bad! Until this happens I believe they should be laid off and their abuse put to a halt!
CAS cuts 'just the beginning' 0
NORFOLK - The local CAS has laid off nine staff and scaled back "preventative" programs following a cut in government funding, but the worst is yet to come, a union official warns.
"We think it's really just the beginning," said Ann Suderman, president of CUPE Local 1766, which represents about 110 employees at the Children's Aid Society of Haldimand-Norfolk. "We haven't been told everything that's going to happen yet."
Suderman said she expects at least another nine layoffs as the agency tries to balance its books.
The CAS was caught off guard in April when it learned a new funding formula will translate into a budget cut of 2% each year over the next five years. By the time the cuts are completely rolled out, the agency will have $3.7 million a year less to work with than it does now.
Janice Robinson, executive director of the agency, said management is searching for efficiencies but ultimately had to let some staff go, which in turn has led to a reduction in programs that help keep kids out of care.
"We lose the ability to do the extra good stuff that saves families down the road," Robinson said.
However, she said more layoffs are not a certainty. "We're not entirely clear how the year will unfold," she said. "We're looking really hard at expenditures on children in care. We are trying to do a bunch of things."
CAS staff from Haldimand-Norfolk joined their counterparts from Hamilton Friday afternoon for a demonstration at Hamilton city hall to protest the new funding formula.
It was supposed to take into consideration such things as the geographical size covered by an agency and a community's level of poverty.
Some agencies, however, ended up with far less money than before and have had to make significant cuts.
Suderman said she believes the province made a mistake in calculating the Haldimand-Norfolk budget because the census data the government used doesn't include the area's large Mennonite population.
The migrant farm community doesn't participate in the census, she said, yet "they need support" too.
Both Suderman and Robinson called for Queen's Park to take another look at the new formula.
"We're trying to advocate . . . to get the cut in funding examined better," said Robinson. She suggested the government consider giving "us more time and do not cut us so much so fast."
Suderman called for the government to "sit down" with the agency "and help us figure out how this works."
One of the casualties at the Haldimand-Norfolk CAS in the past month has been a special program that provides support for former kids in care who are older than 21.
It helps them finish university and move into adulthood, but the program has been significantly cut back.
"They need support like any kids (that age)," Robinson said. "You wouldn't pull the rug out from under your kids. We wouldn't do that either."
The reduction in early interventions with families is particularly damaging, she added. "Every dollar spent on preventative work pays back multi-fold. Kids go on to become successful, productive citizens . . . because we intervened early."
Source: Simcoe Reformer