Members of Brant children's services protest funding changes
Stephanie Villella, CTV Kitchener
Published Wednesday, August 14, 2019 12:58PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:29PM EDT
More than a month after the board of directors at the Brant Family and Children Services resigned en masse, members of the agency are sitting in to protest.
The board made its bombshell announcement in July, citing provincial changes to funding models that left it unable to uphold its mandate.
Meanwhile, the province accused the organization of overstepping its service offerings and of financial mismanagement.
An operational review was done in June, which the government says found significant concerns and provided recommendations to improve the agency's services.
The FACS says those recommendations included dialing back services and reducing staff, which marked the last straw for the board of directors.
"One of our community-based sites is now relocating to our main offices. We're not renewing the lease that we formerly had out in the community," explains Jennifer Kirby, a family support worker with the organization and the president of the local union.
She says that site was important to the community because it allowed people to more easily access their services.
On Tuesday, she and a dozen other FACS members wore black to represent mourning for the loss of the agency.
The Ministry of Children and Family Services says its priority is to serve children and families who rely on the organization.
In a statement, it says that the organization's new supervisor, Dr. Bernadette Gallagher, has been looking for more cost-effective options for new office locations.