Family Children Services workers speak out against cuts
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:18PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:25PM EST
Local workers with family and children's services gathered at a information rally outside their Kitchener office.
Workers were speaking out against recent cut backs to social service funding. They say they have serious concerns about the impact of funding cuts to family and children’s services in Waterloo Region,
Executive Director Family and Children's Services Alison Scott says 2.5 million dollars erased from the budget will make it difficult to keep pace with the demand for service.
"There's no question that the amount of cuts that we've had to make to these programs have an impact on those kids and on those families. They are our most vulnerable people and they are experiencing the stress from these cuts."
The big concern that they have is the loss of three hundred service hours each week and the impact it will have on the kids.
FCS worker Dorian Whalen says "They don't get a voice, these are kids that are silenced in many ways so we are here today to make sure that message gets out to the community."
The noon hour protest comes on National Child Day, a day when workers should be celebrating children. Instead workers are demonstrating on their behalf and focusing on the impact resulting from the loss of more than thirty jobs.
"With these kinds of cuts, I think everyone is concerned we're only going to be able to respond when things become a crisis and that's not the kind of child welfare system that we want and we're pretty sure its not the kind of child welfare system the people in the community want" says Whalen
The president of OPSEU Local 258 Steve Dick says, “The programs and the service to the kids that are being cut so there's not a lot of celebration here today that's for sure."
The bottom line these workers say is a growing gap in their ability to get to the children in need.
"If we can respond and provide help early, really good supportive counseling in groups and treatments for kids that their outcomes will be better and that's what's at stake here" says Scott.