More cuts are being made at Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region as the agency tries to deal with a massive deficit.

On Tuesday, the group revealed it will be reducing the hours of service for children and families by 300 hours a week to help cut costs.

Executive director Alison Scott says “Now the impact will be those children will lose their planned support workers that they’ve had a relationship with, people that have been working on therapeutic interaction with those kids.”

A manager, three officer workers and a number of casual relief workers are also being laid off.

Scott says they will try to minimize the emotional impact on the children involved.

The cuts come after the child welfare agency announced nearly 50 people were being laid off and two group homes closed earlier this fall.

No full-time staff or provincially mandated programs are being affected by the cuts.

Sandy Falkiner and her husband have been fostering children for 19 years, and she says she’s never been as concerned about the agency’s funding.

She says she wants the provincial government to find a solution, “Find the dollars from someplace else if you need to, but don’t hurt Johnny and Suzie because you can’t do creative thinking.”

In Waterloo Region, Family and Children’s Services has 500 children in its care and helps 1,200 families.

Scott says the group has been promised a meeting with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to further discuss how to deal with the remaining $1.2 million deficit.

“We’re welcoming that discussion because we feel we have taken services to the bare bone.”

About 90 per cent of children’s services agencies in the province are having financial problems.