April 10, 2015; Crain’s New York

NPQ has written a number of newswires about the precipitous bankruptcy of the mega-social service agency, Federation Employment and Guidance Services. With a $250 million annual budget, the group appeared on the surface to be humming along just fine until it suddenly announced that it had a $19 million loss that it could not make up.

The bankruptcy, in part, requires that programs be transferred to other agencies, but as time goes on, the rate at which staff are leaving is threatening the organization’s ability to serve clients, according to an affidavit filed with the bankruptcy court by Chief Executive Kristin Woodlock on April 3rd.

Since February, there have been 38 resignations in the program for the developmentally disabled alone. Turnover rates have doubled. For programs where the adopting agency has yet to be designated, staff are taking sick time and staying out of work. This has led to more than 13,000 hours of overtime at a cost of $230,000 and FEGS has been forced to depend overmuch on temporary workers—even so, it has 79 temp positions unfilled.

FEGS serves approximately 4,000 people with developmental disabilities, including 300 in residential programs.—Ruth McCambridge