Our social programs cost a lot of money - many millions of dollars in our Division. So questions about funding and expenditure are quite commonplace. Where is the money coming from? What does the contract require us to do? How much money goes to infrastructure costs? How much goes directly to people in need?
Often the best programs are given a greater level of flexibility to address individual needs by having multiple sources of funding. When the government dollars don't extend to something important but 'outside the box', it's those additional funding sources that allow us to go the extra mile for people. Funeral costs, kids camp fees, vet bills for someone's beloved pet, a bible to read - these are just a few of the things that can make a big difference to someone, but for which there's not often money set aside.
Increasingly government contracts are coming out with thinner budgets and higher demands on short-term outcomes. It can be difficult to match these outcomes to the complex needs of an individual. Let's not lose sight of those whom we serve and ensure that all of our programs have some capacity to reach beyond what's expected when needed.