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Year of growth for CFS Central

Angela Brown Portage Daily Graphic
Executive director Kathy Wightman gives her presentation during the AGM.

Executive director Kathy Wightman gives her presentation during the AGM.

The past year has seen an increase in growth for Child and Family Services of Central Manitoba Inc.

At the 78th annual general meeting on Monday at Good Shepherd Parish Hall in Portage la Prairie, executive director Kathy Wightman gave some of the highlights.

"It's been a very good year," she said. "There are very stable staff. That is typical of this agency. Because of the collegial atmosphere, they tend to stay for quite some time, and have a real commitment to the agency for what they do."

The CFS has had an opportunity to hire a new youth engagement worker to connect with the children in care. It has also created a position on its resource team. This will allow the agency to recoup more foster parents to be able to create respite resources for foster families, as well as for families with children living at home.

The agency has been busier and has experienced an increase in the number of children in its care during the year.

Also in the past year, the local CFS has increased its French language services.

President of the board of directors Alan Schroeder describes the year as an active one.

"It's been an exciting year with the agency because we settled the last of our employee agreements, with our last employee group," he said.

The CFS has had some positive meetings with staff in which the agency has been able to gain feedback about any of their concerns.

"We have now had that opportunity to begin that dialogue . We are actively working on them. I feel we have really progressed well as an entire organizational entity. I'm very pleased with that," said Schroeder.

While CFS saw a surplus of $702,370 for its 2012 fiscal year that ended March 31, 2012, the president explained the amount actually represents some provincial funding that has finally arrived after

being delayed.

"If you were to take a look at our financial statement a year ago, you would have seen that we were in close to a zero position, or even in a small deficit position overall," he said. "We knew the funding eventually be coming ... "

Roof repairs

During the past year, the CFS focused on challenges at its space for programming at Tupper Street Family Resource Centre, which had a leaky roof. As a result, some of the work-space temporarily couldn't be used.

Wightman confirmed there was no cost to the CFS for the roof repairs since it only leases the space and doesn't own the building.

Looking ahead, board president Schroeder said the area CFS will be focusing on working to bring in more new workers as longer-serving staff starts to retire in the future.

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