Entire Brant Family and Children’s services board of directors have voted to resign

The entire Brant Family and Children’s services board of directors have voted to resign together this Friday.  This after failing to get the Ontario government to address it’s 3-and a half million dollar deficit.

Last month, the board sent the Ministry of Children, community and social services a message, warning that if it didn’t get sufficient funding and meaningful assurance by July 5th, that the ministry would address it’s funding problems, it would resign.

“The primary responsibility of Brant [Family and Children’s Services] is to protect children in the community,” board president Paul Whittam said in a press release. 

Executive Director, Andy Koster, tells BRANT.one, that up until 2017, the board was running at break even, pointing out the historical deficit accumulated over the last 2 years pointing to an increased number of kids in need because of increased opioid use. Koster notes it wants the ministry to help the board out of the crisis without laying off more staff.  26 front line staff were let go already, and 3 took early retirement, the board was facing another 30 more possible layoffs, which Koster says would have put children’s lives at risk.

Brantford City Councillor, Jan Vanderstilt, says the city, with the county and Six Nations, are lobbying the minister to take action to ensure our children will not go without care, and hopes cooler heads will prevail.

Brantford Brant MPP Will Bouma tells BRANT.one that the Province has a contingency plan in place, and will step in, in some form. Bouma says right now the top priority is making sure the most vulnerable children in our community are taken care of.

Koster is hopeful the government will step in and do the right thing, noting the Ministry has the power to step in and take over operations of the agency if the board resigns fully on Friday. Koster adds that senior staff is still in place, and it’s operation as usual.

Interested in more information on Child Welfare in Ontario? View this YouTube video.