Better provincial funding needed to support child and family services to GTA Jewish community.
TORONTO – A tentative contract settlement reached yesterday has averted a service disruption at Jewish Family & Child (JF&CS), the GTA’s sole agency providing child welfare services and supports for at-risk children and youth and their families in the Jewish community.
JF&CS isa multi-disciplinary agency delivering child welfare as well as family counseling, woman abuse and community services. The agency has been supporting the Jewish community since 1868.
While the members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 265 are pleased the new contract will help maintain service levels and start a process to address workload and the quality of services, they continue to be apprehensive about the agency’s future funding stability and want to work constructively with agency administration to secure improved funding.
Both the mandated child welfare sector and the community-based agency sector are headed for considerable organizational change and the current level of provincial funding is just not adequate to meet the demand for services, says the CUPE 265 leadership.
More than half of JF&CS funding comes from donations from the Jewish community and the United Way and not from the provincial ministries – that are the primary funders for agencies providing similar services across the province.
JF&CS management agrees with CUPE 265 that funding shortfalls for the mandated child welfare services have posed challenges. The JF&CS annual report for 2010-2011 says the following:
“A significant shortfall in the funding of child welfare services has presented an enormous challenge to JF&CS in recent years. Extensive efforts on the part of the staff and the Board of Directors have focused on building the case for increased funding.”
“The way in which we deliver our child welfare services is changing. The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services has mandated a major transformation of the delivery of child welfare services in this province. As a multi-disciplinary agency, JF&CS already delivers many services that satisfy this new model.”
CUPE 265 is holding a contract ratification meeting on Thursday, October 6.
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