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Layoffs At Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society

The Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society is laying off eight administrative support and preventative services workers.

Interim Executive Director Terry Johnson says the layoffs will not affect workers on the frontline and should not affect the quality of care received by children in their custody.

She says the problem is the budget. The province is reviewing the funding formula, so the agency does not know how much money it will get this year.

“We don’t know our budget for the year, and we’re five months into our year,” she says.

While the number of children in Children’s Aid custody has remained relatively consistent, Johnson says more kids require more complex care, and that is costly.

“On average that’s $310 a day, but when you bring some kids in it costs $500 to $1,000 a day,” says Johnson. “It has a huge impact on the budget.”

The agency came up short $1.4-million, but thanks to surpluses in years past, it was able to whittle that down to $300,000 or $400,000. Children’s Aid is not allowed to carry over a deficit, so it has to find ways to mitigate the shortfall.

Once it hears back from the province, Johnson says it is possible those workers will be recalled.

Because of bumping rights in the workers’ collective agreement, the layoffs are not expected to take effect until mid-October at the earliest.