Catholic Family Services Society (CFSS) is considering a change in a bylaw which would accommodate non-Catholics on the Board of Directors. Executive Director David Sax, in an interview with the PM said the majority of people who contact the service are not Catholic. “You’re trying to be responsive to the community; you’re trying to be relevant to the community.”
Sax said it’s just at the stage of exploring the issue and he noted that Saskatoon Catholic Family Services bylaw states 51% of the board have to come from the Catholic community. The issue was discussed at the June 11 CFSS Annual General Meeting but left for further study. The Board also reviewed and passed an updated job description for the Executive Director anticipating an executive search following Sax’s announced retirement date in early 2017.
The meeting elected a new slate of officers with Adrian Fuchs taking over as President from Wayne Ingljaldson who remains on the board as Past-President. Terrie Dumelie is Vice-President and Lorne Kirzinger remains as Secretary.
The annual meeting was told that while CFSS is vibrant and healthy a reduction in funds from Social Services has resulted in the loss of one half time position from the Intensive Family Support Service and the hours of service for the Youth Mentorship Program had to be reduced. Sax said there is a large demand for the Youth Mentorship Program but it is difficult to find qualified male candidates to act as mentors and that has resulted in a waiting list of youth who want to access it. “There is no problem getting female mentors and there is no waiting list of young females,” said Sax. Mental Health is a chronic problem in Canada, said Sax, but there is no capacity. “There is no national strategy for children, seniors or mental services.” CFSS is exploring new ways to be relevant in the community.
There remains a great demand for CFFS services, said Sax. “There are only four counseling services for non-paying clients and CFSS is one of them. There are waiting lists everywhere. There are not enough counselors and not enough money to get more counselors.” There are however, 122 paid counseling services available.
The CFSS web page lists seven counselors including Sax and a couple of unit managers, but there are 17 people working in the four CFSS programs, Youth Mentorship, Families First, Intensive Family Support and Young Parent Program. The remaining seven staff is administrative. CFSS also offers a weekend marriage preparation program six times a year; a John School and a needs based young parent support program at St. Luke alternative school and two Early Years Child Centresoperating out of Miller Catholic High School and Scott Collegiate in the public school system.