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Reader concerned over changes at FCSS

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Taber Times

I was inspired to respond to an article about FCSS that appeared in the Taber Times on Jan. 16.

It was entitled “Impact of FCSS on southern Alberta a varied one.”

As a social work student, I had the good fortune of completing one of my practicum placements in 2017 with FCSS. I specifically chose this agency because of the reputation it held in our communities. During that time, I was witness to the vast array of programs offered and the exceptional staff morale that infused all my interactions during my experiences while there. There have been a number of changes in the last two years.

In this article, the executive director has stated that with the appointment of the new counselling supervisor, FCSS will now have someone who will be committed to our community and will sit on committees such as MDST or TCAPS. I am aware that these positions were filled previously by the former counselling team in Taber. While some may suggest I am biased because one of the former team is a very good friend of mine, I know that both Bryan Bullock and Karen Lanser were very dedicated and very well-respected within our community. They certainly did NOT provide their services from the “corner of their desk.”

As a counsellor myself, I recognize the depth of relationships formed with our clients and can attest to the fact that when clients lose their counsellors, it may impact them in very negative and unfavourable ways.

I want to reiterate the good work that both Bryan and Karen have done in our community and I take offense to the way that they have been characterized publicly. Both Bryan and Karen have been long-serving members with FCSS and also attended our Family School Liaison Case Consultations. Their input and insights were highly regarded and supportive to our team.

Anyone who has worked with them would confirm their levels of professionalism and integrity. Furthermore, I am left to question how someone who doesn’t live in this community could be more committed to Taber than someone who has lived here for over 20 years.

I am having a very hard time understanding how the good work of our prior counselling team can be discredited publicly by the executive director in this fashion. I would invite any service users or community members who have been impacted with the recent changes within the agency to send a letter expressing their concerns to a member of the board of directors and ask for your voice to be heard.

I understand the board meets on the first Wednesday of each month, which would suggest that the next board meeting would be scheduled for Feb. 6. As FCSS is a public agency, it stands to reason that community members would be welcomed.

With deep concern,
Marie Hutchison

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