B.C. cuts Southern Vancouver Island social services

'Demand for these services is rising at the same time the B.C. Liberal government is cutting.' - Darryl Walker.

Vancouver (9 Aug. 2010) - People who rely on community social services on southern Vancouver Island are in jeopardy because of a new South Island Contracted Service Delivery Plan, says the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE). The plan by the ministry of children and family development, currently being implemented, will reduce the financial allocation for contracted social services on the southern part of the island by roughly $2 million to $20 million, down from an allocated $21.9 million and an estimated $22.3 million for 2009-10.

The service cuts proposed by the plan are expected to include:

  • Outreach supports to high-risk youth in care living independently.
  • Psycho-educational related to eating disorders.
  • Family and child counseling and support, navigation and referral.
  • Support for children and youth in Victoria who have been sexually abused.

It appears that the planned cuts and changes will be implemented, in part, through the shuffling of service providers and contracts.

The BCGEU is aware of the following impacts on social service agencies:

  • PHOENIX has issued layoff notices for seven full time family counsellors in its employment program, effective Sept. 30.

The ministry has told PACIFIC CENTRE that its Project Parent Intensive Parenting Program will be closed as of Sept. 30. The closure affects five full time and two part time employees.It is unclear whether the services provided by these agencies will be permanently lost under the delivery plan.“The people of B.C. pay for these vital community social services through their tax dollars,” says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. “Demand for these services is rising at the same time the B.C. Liberal government is cutting. We oppose any change to service delivery that puts vulnerable people at risk of not being able to access the programs they need.”NUPGEThe National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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