At its Board meeting held last night in Bancroft, Highland Shores Children’s Aid Finance Director, Mark Stevens outlined plans for the Society’s five year budget beginning in fiscal 2017/18. This budget development was guided by the following parameters:
- The Society’s Vision, Mission and Values that were established in May of 2014
- Fiscal year 2017/18 is the final year of the current Ministry funding model
- The funding formula’s 2% decrease in the budget each year will continue
- Budget Year 2 assumes that Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services (DBCFS) will form as a child welfare mandated Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agency. As a result of the transfer of services to First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) families, except for members of Tyendinaga/MBQ, from Highland Shores to DBCFS, the funding will transfer as well.
The five year budget places a priority on several of the Society’s key areas of focus which include:
o Continued implementation of the Signs of Safety practice
o Quality Assurance
o Implementation of CPIN
The Society finished the 2016/17 fiscal year with a surplus of $475,900 largely due to the Ministry initiated delay in the date of Highland Shores’ launch of CPIN to fiscal 2017/18. However, the implementation of CPIN will significantly impact the budget for the 2017/18 fiscal year. Salaries and Benefits for fiscal years 2016/17 and 2017/18 reflect many additional positions needed to support the CPIN project. For fiscal 2017-18, Highland Shores is forecasting to be in a balanced position with the support of $2.5 million drawn from the Balanced Budget Fund which will fully utilize the balance left in that fund. The Balanced Budget Fund allows CASs to utilize surpluses generated from previous years to help offset future deficits.
A deficit of $200,000 is forecast for budget year 2 (2018/2019) with modest surpluses forecast for budget years 3 (2019/2020) and 4 (2020/2021). Budget year 5 (2021/2022) is being forecast to generate a deficit of just over $300,000.
“We continue to plan and actively budget very carefully in order to focus our efforts and dollars on our priority areas that are in support of our strategic direction. While currently 94% of families we work with don’t have children in care, over the next five years the numbers of children in the care of the Society will continue to decrease. However we remain committed to making the necessary investments that will help those children move towards permanent family connections”, said Mark Kartusch, Executive Director.