The Hamilton Children's Aid Society’s doors will be open as scheduled again because of additional “transitional funding” from the provincial government.
Earlier this month, the agency shut its doors for the first of five planned days before the end of the fiscal year in March to help balance its books in response to a provincial budget cut of $4.7 million over four years.
Now, the provincial government has made a decision to provide additional transitional funding of up to $1 million to the Hamilton agency.
“We are very happy that our agency will remain open for our community’s at-risk children and youth,” said Samantha Florento, president of CUPE 3899, who is representing Hamilton CAS workers.
The transitional funding will allow the agency to cancel the remaining four scheduled days of shutdown for this year and the workers will make up for the hours and services lost due to the first shutdown on October 11.
The new funding comes after about 100 child protection workers and supporters from Hamilton CAS and Catholic CAS, Guelph, Peel and Haldimand-Norfolk rallied at the east-end headquarters to stop the cuts earlier this month.
“These shutdowns are the tip of iceberg and we anticipate that other CAS agencies facing similar deficits will be forced to cut services to balance their budgets,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario. “While we are encouraged that the Liberal government provided transitional funding to the Hamilton CAS, there are other agencies across Ontario that need similar and proper funding to ensure at-risk children across the province are taken care of properly.”
In May, Hamilton CAS cut 70 jobs as a result the provincial cuts. The transitional funding will not reverse the cuts in May or prevent any future cuts.