It is likely that some of Ontario’s 47 Children’s Aid Societies will be merged in an effort to reduce duplication and waste. The head of the Toronto Children’s Aid society recently held a video conference with that Society’s 750 employees to brace for sweeping changes in the system that currently spends about $1.5 Billion annually. That works out to about $90,000 per year for each child in care.

The changes have been coming for a few years. In 2010 the Commission to Promote Sustainable Child

Welfare recommended mergers of Societies, not only as a cost saving measure, but make sure that children across the province get the same level of care. Last year the Auditor General’s report said there will still significant disparities in child protection care levels. For many years the Children’s Aid sector suffered from chronic deficits. Agencies would routinely finish the year in the red only to receive so called “emergency” bail outs from the province. The province not only put a stop to the bailouts but now obliges society boards of directors sign an agreement not to run deficits. In addition funding to the entire child protection sector has actually declined slightly since 2011.

In addition to reducing the number of CAS’s the auditor general recommends that a number of services like purchasing, recruitment and staff training be pooled across the system. Child protection expert Barry Lewis says reducing the number of CAS’s is only part of the answer. “Creating more multi-service agencies by amalgamating the separate agencies delivering child welfare, youth justice, developmental services and others, would also help integrate services while reducing the overall number of agencies across the province,” he recently wrote.

The Hamilton Children’s Aid society spends approximately $47 Million a year, fields 7,000 calls, launched 2,700 investigations and had 616 children in care as of its last annual report. Executive Director Domenic Verticchio says the system “is going to look very different in the next couple of years…but if it brings greater efficiencies—bring it on.” He says if the changes can bring better outcomes he looks forward to it.

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5 Comments to: Big changes coming to Children’s Aid Societies

  1. Amela Normore

    March 17th, 2016

    If you stop apperhending children from innocent homes you would be saving a significant amount of money. Oh & let’s not forget the social workers who think they are entitled to spending the corporations funds set forth for the many children in care leaving the children with next to nothing & the workers causing the business to go bank rupt.

    How about you consult the real financial cause before depriving the kids in care of even more than they have already lost. The children & youth deserve better!

    Reply
  2. March 17th, 2016

    The one thing that won’t change is the willingness of CASs and their employees to lie on affidavits and in court by abusing ‘qualified privilege’, knowing that judges hide behind presumption to the point of willful blindness. CASs and Judges know million of parents in Ontario will never have the knowledge and training of a lawyer to articulate how a CAS misleads the court and even denies treatment to disabled kids. Both the CAS and the courts know they can use “Finality Doctrine” to stop appeals and keep children in abusive CAS custody up to 18 yrs, who will become a fresh crop of targets for the CAS when they are adults. The media has focused to much on CAS work loads, computer systems and budgets but not the real reason the system is broken. Ask any Crown Ward survivor if any of these things would improve how they were treated in ‘care’ and the answer would be no! The biggest secret of all is that all parents are ‘presumed guilty’ of child abuse on the say so of a CAS worker with no evidence. Parents are never told of this ‘presumptive rule’ by the CAS, the courts or their lawyers. All Ministers for MYCS have stated at Queens Park that CASs “are accountable to the courts” but never mention that the presumptive rule means the courts are a rubberstamp forcing thousands of children into Crown Ward custody when there was no abuse at all !! How do they do it? Parents can’t possibly master all the legal rules, Case Law and evidentiary requirements and overcome “professional litigants” like CASs who know if they are caught lying and a parent proves it, the courts refuse to make a ruling that stops lying by CASs. Sound bad? It is. Tip of the iceberg! Learn more at Canadacourtwatch(dot) ORG.

    Reply
  3. Brenda

    March 17th, 2016

    Honestly, if CAS would stick to actual abuse and neglect cases, ensuring that there was uniform knowledge of what abuse and neglect IS and cut out workers and supervisors becoming and staying involved over difference in parenting tactics they would save millions of dollars and actually save children in need of saving. They word also have a better reputation and working relationship with the public. Money could be better spent on helping children in need with actual services. Cas could also help the whole family better as well. If Cas did not apprehend and waste valuable time and money in the court system fighting with parents when not needed and traumatizing children and parents needlessly, they again would save money. Cas needs better policies and accountability for the harm they do cause unjustly.

    Reply
  4. Arlene Hache

    March 17th, 2016

    It would be better for federal and provincial/territorial ministers to focus on building sustainable families instead of a sustainable child abuse and child trafficking system topped with a dose of mom and apple pie.

    I am wondering if Ontario taxpayers covered the cost of the 2010 Commission to Promote Sustainable Child Welfare. If so, the money would have been better spent on figuring out how to disband the Children’s Aid Societies. I have never seen an evaluation of child welfare services that didn’t recommend their empire expand, ignoring the fact that children in their care are not protected and many end up dead.

    The Child Welfare system spent about $1.5 Billion every year which worked out $90,000 per year for each child in care. If each child got the $90,000 that was sucked up by the Child Welfare System imagine how much better their lives would be. Better for decision-makers to look to the Family Support model to stop the torrent of children, especially First Nations, Inuit and Metis children going into care

    Reply
  5. Peggy McQuarrie

    March 18th, 2016

    lts about time. These workers of C.A.S. need to definietly get reeducated as well.. The majority of C.A.S. workers they dont care they just want to get there paper work done and send the bill the more the better.lts a power trip Collingwood is horrific for there handy work they only investigate 1 side and thats the complaintive side . They have no emotion or concern what they do to children mentally and emotionally.. C.A.S. is the biggest child abusers of anyone. Collingwood shut them down for sure.

    Reply

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