‘Devastating blow’ hits days before Family Services Day is celebrated

Every year over 2,500 persons access the programs and services offered by the organization

Oct. 3 has been declared “Campbell River Family Services Society Day” in Campbell River.

Raising awareness of what the organization does and how its programs and services contribute to a healthy community for all is critical to the long term survival of this community based social service agency, CRFSS officials say.

This past March, CRFSS marked its 35th anniversary of serving individuals, children and families living in Campbell River and area.

Every year over 2,500 persons access the programs and services offered by the organization, but according to Executive Director, Camille Lagueux the future for organizations such as CRFSS becomes more precarious every year.

“Increasingly tighter economics mean that we can no longer provide the same level of service year after year,” she said.

This past Friday (Sept. 21), the organization received what can only be described as a “devastating blow” when it received notice that a “permissive tax exemption” that was granted by the City Council in 2009 and was to be in effect until 2016 is being revoked effective January 2013.

Without the tax exemption, the organization will not be able to sustain current levels of services and programs that currently have waitlist will only become more difficult to access.

“It is unacceptable for a child who has been sexually abused to be waitlisted for service,” Lagueux said.

“The city needs to become a full partner in providing these essential services to its citizens and we are asking that they honor their agreement with the Society.”

As part of Campbell River Family Services Day, many local businesses and community organizations will have their staff wearing “I Support Campbell River Family Services Society” buttons on Oct. 3.

“We thank those businesses for their support; any business wishing to take part in what hopefully becomes an annual awareness day can call Family Services at (250) 287-2421 to request buttons for their staff.

“Now more than ever, it is important to protect community based social services and recognize the difference that they make in people’s lives,” Lagueux said.

CRFSS is an accredited organization, which means that programs and business practices meet or exceed international standards established by the industry.

The organization has been accredited by CARF International since 2004 and has received an award as being one of the first hundred accredited social service organizations in British Columbia.

For more information on CRFSS, visit their website at www.crfamilyservices.ca