Ontario's Children's Aid Societies
The Huron-Perth Children's Aid Society (HPCAS) is one of 53 provincially-funded Children's Aid Societies, mandated by legislation to protect children from harm. Children's Aid Societies work with service and community partners, such as hospitals, schools, community service agencies and police services, to ensure the safety, well-being and stability of children and youth, and to help families to better care for children.
On October 5, 2010, the HPCAS announced it was not prepared to provide services effective December 15, 2010, and that it would be providing lay-off notices to staff on October 15.
The Minister spoke to the former Executive Director and Board Chair on October 5, and met with them on October 8 and 13.
The Minister has appointed Vince Tedesco as Supervisor on an interim basis to operate and manage the society in place of the Board of Directors. The Supervisor will work closely with staff and stakeholders to find solutions to the funding pressures faced by HPCAS.
Mr. Tedesco has held a range of positions in the Ontario Public Service. He has been Regional Director of the Central West Region since 1999. His career in social services began in 1976.
Since 2003-04, funding for the Huron Perth CAS has increased by $6.4 million, a 60 per cent increase. However, the number of children in care has increased by only 4.8 per cent.
The government has worked closely with the Huron-Perth CAS over the past year to help resolve its funding concerns.
Improvements to Ontario's Child Protection System
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has been working with children's aid societies to put them on a more stable financial footing and to make sure that every dollar is spent on supporting better outcomes for children and youth. The ministry continues to work closely with CASs in deficit positions to develop plans to manage operational challenges.
In 2009, the government created the Commission to Promote Sustainable Child Welfare to work with government and CASs to help Ontario's child protection system remain sustainable and best meet the needs of the kids it serves. The Commission has made recommendations to reduce administrative burden, and will be making recommendations to improve the funding formula to achieve a pathway to sustainability.
Since 2003-04, funding to CASs has increased $341 million or 31.9 per cent, while the number of kids in care has decreased by 1.1 per cent during the same period.