Dr. Charles A. Laszlo
The Annual General Meeting is the once-a-year event when we have the opportunity to bring together the members of the BCFHRS, the parents of the children we serve, members of the community interested in our work, and the donors who support us. We enjoyed this opportunity in the past as it allowed for useful discussions, exchange of ideas and the making of new friends.
Sadly, COVID-19 has taken away our opportunity to meet face-to-face this year. For the first time in the history of our Society we are holding our Annual General Meeting without being in actual physical contact.
We will miss that contact, but not the spirit that sustained our work throughout the difficult 12 months between September 2019 to August 2020.
COVID-19 has forced many changes to our operations. Instead of working with children and families through personal contact, our highly-trained staff adapted to working remotely, using the tools that we could make available. They did an amazing job as they worked to ensure that the service to our children continued without interruption. Our professional, administrative and service staff performed as a coherent and committed team. Their flexibility and willingness to make changes and sacrifices has been exceptional.
During the past year we faced additional challenges. As the number of our clients grew, so did the demand for our services. Further, we also faced increased financial demands from our subcontractors. Under the terms of our contract, our main source of income has been fixed and our management had to work very hard to maintain both the quality and the quantity of services to our families.
Financial pressures have the habit of creating controversies and we had to face public rumours and innuendoes regarding our principles and practices. We are proud of our staff and Executive Director who have shown discipline and principled leadership in resolving these matters.
We are also pleased that in the face of all these pressures our management team has succeeded to obtain interim funding help from the Ministry of Children and Family Development for the past financial year.
Looking forward, we expect to sign a new contract with the Ministry that will enable us to continue to provide services throughout the Province at a level that matches the needs of our families and children.
We also expect to engage our supporters at every level to help us raise awareness of the work we do and to find additional financial resources to support our work. In this effort we are looking for help from you, our friends!
In closing, I want you to know that this is our last Annual General Meeting to be held in November. We are in the process of changing our fiscal year to March 31 and the Annual General Meeting to either May or June. This will allow us, hopefully, to have the nice party when we meet again next year!
To all our families, staff and friends, thank you for your support and contribution!