Phoenix Inquiry: The Trigg memo and a history lesson

Screen Shot 2012-12-01 at 8.13.14 PMThe inquiry this week is moving further into its exploration of what was going on behind the scenes within Winnipeg CFS from 2001-2004.

We’ve already heard a bit of evidence from Dr. Linda Trigg, who at the time was the CEO of the agency at a time of massive systemic change, coming on the heels of a separate restructuring which was never fully completed from the late 90s.

Trigg has already told us of a loss of community contact between front-line social workers as well as talked about how funding was in short supply — or that willingness to hike funding to operations as they were in the wake of the incoming ‘devolution’ wasn’t on the table.

Workloads were very high, as was anxiety and uncertainty about the changes underway.

The inquiry was shown a memo she wrote to familiarize the new interim Winnipeg CFS board with what was going on internally. I present what’s available here.

Pay close attention in it to her comments on the troubles within the intake unit and how it is to be restructured as part of the devolution process.

Also, note the following chart on levels of experience within the units and the relative youth and inexperience on the “key and front-line” family service positions. Staring down massive uncertainty, workers with experience appeared to find “safe haven” in other areas of CFS. Seniority was the main means of transferring, meaning Trigg was unable — as she says she was told — to simply “move” people to suit the agency’s needs.

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When you’re done with that, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this 2003 expert review of the process — and more importantly — the history of the devolution (AJI-CWI) implementation process. The history provides the context.

Keep your eye on passages referencing funding and expectations.

“However, the critical issue is funding. There is an expectation among service providers that new funding will be needed in order toenable more than a tokenistic gesture towards the development of a new service paradigm for child and family services. At present, the Province expects such a shift in services to occur through the reallocation of existing resources.”

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