Friday, August 07, 2009

OACAS Refuses to Disclose Sources of Over 2 Million Dollars in Membership Fees

The Foster Care Council of Canada discovered the fact that the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies's (OACAS) latest Annual Report reveals that the OACAS received over $2 Million dollars ($2,521,485) in "Membership Fees" from Ontario's Children's Aid Societies.

The Council is concerned that over 2 Million dollars in membership fees to the OACAS -- an organization which provides advocacy and research services to it's member Societies -- which already gets Millions of dollars from the Government for research and other work they are engaged in comes out of the monies the Ministry believes are going to child welfare services. Money the Societies, their unionized and non-unionized staff continuously lament they never have enough of.

The annual report also shows that the OACAS paid over 3 Million in salaries and benefits to their own Staff and Executive Director.

Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director of the OACAS, when asked how much each Society pays in membership fees refused to disclose the amounts other than to say that the fees are calculated on a sliding scale according to the size of the agency.

The province's Auditor has since been informed of this unnecessary expenditure of Ministry allocated transfer payments and it is hoped this will appear in the next Auditors review of the Societies.

More recently the Foster Care Council of Canada wrote a letter to the Executive Director seeking further clarification on the membership fees, which is included below.


Jeanette Lewis
Executive Director
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
Toronto, Ontario

This message is also being sent to the entire Child Welfare Anti-Oppression Round Table Members, Child Welfare Critics in the Legislature, and Media

Jeanette Lewis,

On August 07, 2009 I sent an e-mail to you asking if you could confirm whether Ontario's Children's Aid Societies pay approximately $45,000 per year in membership fees totaling over $2 Million to the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS).

According to your e-mail response of the same date, you informed me of the fact that the OACAS does not disclose specific fees paid to the OACAS by Ontario's Children's Aid Societies for membership with the OACAS.

You also indicated that the membership fees of the OACAS are calculated on a sliding scale based on the size of the member agency.

Would you be able to provide the public through the Foster Care Council of Canada, with the formula the OACAS uses to calculate OACAS membership fees for member Children's Aid Societies which has lead to the expenditure of over $2 Million dollars in Ministry Allocated Transfer Payment Funds which are thought by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to be used for Child Protection services as defined in the Child and Family Services Act.

I would also like to ask you if you could please filter your response through the lens of the Discussion Paper on Anti-Oppressive Child Welfare and it's principals of anti-oppression.

Note: Original request enclosed below:
And the following Child Welfare Anti-Oppression Round Table members as published in the Discussion Paper have also received this e-mail request


Original Request:
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 05:04:56 -0400

Jeanette Lewis
Executive Director
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS)
Toronto, Ontario

Jeanette Lewis,

According to the OACAS's latest Annual Report the OACAS received over $2 Million dollars ($2,521,485) in "Membership Fees".

Since Children's Aid Societies are the only "members" of the OACAS I would like to ask how much the OACAS membership fees cost for the various Societies in Ontario which are paid for from Ministry allocated transfer payments to the Societies.

Since there are approximately 53 Societies in Ontario, I calculate an approximate membership fee for each of the 53 Societies with the OACAS to be approximately $47, 575 each.

Could you please verify or clarify this matter for me.

Sincerely
John Dunn
Executive Director
The Foster Care Council of Canada
http://www.afterfostercare.ca

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