Children's Aid facing cash crunch
Toronto - Children's aid societies across Ontario are struggling to pay their foster parents as they face severe budget shortfalls.
Some societies may not be able to pay foster parents within the next two months.
Provincially, the agencies have combined deficits that could run to between $80 million and $100 million. The province has allocated $938 million for child welfare.
In recent years, a number of inquests into the deaths of children known to the agencies sparked a reform of the system, with the subsequent legislation listing neglect, not just physical abuse, as a reason for social workers to remove children from homes.
As a result, a new funding formula was put in place and the budget for children's aid societies has doubled from six years ago.
But agencies say they still can't afford to shelter the rising number of children being placed in care, which has jumped by 40 per cent over the past six years. As of last September, 17,463 children were living as wards of the province.
Fifty of the province's 52 children's aid societies are facing a cash shortfall.