Family and Children's Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington has had to implement layoffs because of falling caseloads. This is not related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Seven staff have been laid off and others have not had their contracts renewed.
“These changes have been very difficult for the Agency and to these valued staff members. We’re working differently and that’s had an impact over time on the number of cases we have. That’s why we made this decision in February, before the COVID-19 Pandemic began in our area,” said Sonia Gentile, Executive Director.
The decision to make these changes was made before the current COVID-19 Pandemic but in order to allow the most notice possible the employment end dates for those who were laid off occurred after the Pandemic started in the community.
Six Family Service Workers and one in-house lawyer were notified in early March and laid off in late April. One other staff had an offer of employment rescinded. The Agency has traditionally used attrition to manage capacity issues, but the significant decrease in case volume made attrition impossible. No further cuts are expected in the 2020/2021 financial year. Provincial funding for the Agency is expected to decrease two percent in the 2020/2021 financial year – the eighth year in a row of yearly two percent funding decreases. While the reduction in funding is a factor, the decrease in the numbers of cases is the main reason for these layoffs. The Agency will do the best it can to bring in a balanced budget as required by the Government of Ontario.
“We value our staff and the contributions they make. We are doing the best we can to support impacted employees through career transition services,” said Gentile. “We ask the public for their continuing support during this time of change for our Agency.”