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Tuesday March 26th, 2013

Posted at 8:16am

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Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society as seen in this file photo

The Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society has terminated eighteen case aides and family access workers due to a budget shortfall.

President of Local 2286 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is warning families and the community about the negative impact of the cuts, and the cumulative damage that chronic underfunding is having on child protection services in Windsor and Essex County, and across the province.

“Cutting these vital services to deal with budget shortfalls is really short-changing the people of Windsor and Essex County, and especially vulnerable children in our community,” said Cathy Matthe, CUPE 2286 president. “Windsor-Essex CAS is saddled with a 4.3 million dollar deficit for 2012-2013, with 1.6 million in historic debt. Across the province, there is a 67 million dollar shortfall in funding, and for our agency that meant getting a line of credit to provide mandated services – the Ontario government is essentially starving our system with underfunding.”

CUPE represents 350 employees at the agency, including child protection, family well-being, kinship services, public relations, administrative support, and other children and family services workers. The latest round of cuts could be just the beginning, as funding allocations for the next fiscal year have not been announced yet, and any shortfall could mean future layoffs.

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