Children’s Services Balances The Books

The Chatham-Kent Children's Service office in Chatham. (Photo by Ashton Patis)

Chatham-Kent Children’s Services is operating with a balanced budget of $20.5-million this year, following dozens of layoffs and the closure of its group home.

The organization has permanently laid off 26 employees and altered its services to accommodate the extra work load while still servicing those in need. In April, a total of 17 people were temporarily laid off. CKCS has also closed its group home and its Victoria Park facility where its Supervised Access Program was run. The buildings, located on King St. and Murray St., will be put up for sale in the coming weeks.

“We have made some permanent layoffs that haven’t been filled. Those were right from senior management positions right down to support staff positions,” says Executive Director of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services Stephen Doig, who notes the organization has seen a 2% decrease in funding from the province for the last two years in a row. “It’s roughly half-a-million dollars less than what we had last year.”

Doig says all remaining staff is moving into the Grand Ave. W facility. The money made from the sale of the group home and the Victoria Park facility will be used for infrastructure upgrades at that site.

It is expected the province will reduce funding to the agency by 2% for the next two years.

In 2012, a total of nine employees at Chatham-Kent Children’s Services made over $100,000.