The imposition of a provincial supervisor on the Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society (CAS) by the Minister for Children and Youth Services (MCYS) and the recent removal of the agency executive director and governance board is creating a widespread anxiety in Ontario’s child welfare sector, warns the union representing 100 front line CAS staff at the local agency.
The scenario playing out with the provincially appointed supervisor in Huron-Perth is a warning to the rest of the CAS across the province from the minister to make cuts, bring down your deficit or you too will get a supervisor imposed,” said Lucille Charron, president of CUPE 1427.
Recently, the Huron-Perth board and director came out publicly saying they refused to cut programs and services to deal with the agency’s nearly $2.1-million deficit because of the detrimental impact on services. They also announced the agency would close mid-December.
There is widespread concern among CAS members province-wide, which CUPE represents, that the Liberal government is backtracking on funding programs and services that support their own 2006 changes to child welfare legislation. The legislation, intended to achieve better outcomes for children and families - including keeping kids out of care and with their families in their communities - is working and has widespread support in the sector.
Child welfare agencies across Ontario are reeling with deficits resulting from years of flawed provincial funding that have not been adequate to support the 2006 legislative changes. As a result, 37 CAS agencies are in deficit. Eleven agencies are taking the province to court through a judicial review of their funding levels to ensure that the ministry’s funding decisions are compliant with the law.
MCYS minister Laurel Broten has stated publicly that she will not allow kids to be put at risk. “We intend to hold the minister and our local MPPs accountable for that statement,” said Charron.
For more information please contact:
President, CUPE 1427