The Maltby Centre is dealing with reduced revenue and budgetary impacts for 2024-2025, after financial support from the Ontario government for legacy autism programs ended on September 30, 2023, completing the province-wide shift to a needs-based, fee-for-service model in autism, according to the organization.
In a statement from the Centre, which is a leading provider of autism services and the Lead Agency for children and youth mental health services in KFL&A, said it anticipates an increase in its costs in 2024-2025 which will exceed its provincial funding allocation and projected revenue. The board has reportedly been “fully engaged throughout this process,” and close consultation with OPSEU/SEFPO Local 460 has taken place to address the budgetary impacts.
“Maltby Centre is now faced with tough decisions to manage our costs effectively. To ensure sustainability of our services, cost reductions are necessary, across both clinical and administrative staff. Regrettably, this will necessitate a reduction of 23.5 staff positions (19 per cent of total staff) across our charity. However, we will continue to have approximately 100 qualified and dedicated staff across our mental health and autism services,” stated Karen Livicker, Director of Clinical Programs and Services at the Centre.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone at Maltby Centre. Our dedicated staff members are exceptional, professional, and deeply invested in the well-being of the children and families with whom they engage. Considering the emotional impact of the aforementioned challenges, we are actively providing support for Maltby employees.”
Livicker went on to note that while these changes will “undoubtedly” impact the Maltby Centre’s services, including the length of time it takes to access ongoing counselling and the organization’s hours of service, the organization remains committed to providing critical support to children and youth.
“We anticipate continuing to address their immediate mental health needs through our walk-in clinics in the KFL&A area. Over the next several weeks, we will be assessing our services and adjusting for April 1st as needed to align with our new staffing levels. We anticipate that our autism client-funded fee-for-service offerings will be ongoing, allowing us to serve families who have their OAP funding or are paying for services themselves,” she noted.
According to the statement, Maltby Centre will continue to offer core-funded Autism Services, including Foundational Family Services, School Support (which includes ABC Classroom). URS and Project ImPACT are expected to continue subject to funding confirmation, the organization said.
“As we navigate these difficult circumstances, Maltby Centre appreciates the support of our community partners. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to offer services to our shared community,” Livicker expressed.
“We will keep you updated as our position becomes clearer.”
This is a developing story. Kingstonist will provide further coverage as more information becomes available.