Last week at work the President of my agency called two emergency meetings. The first was to announce that due to the State of Illinois budget crisis, major funding cuts were looming and if passed this would lead to many programs being eliminated or reduced and possible layoffs. The second meeting stated with more certainty that 25% of the staff would be layed off and the announcements of who would be cut come this Tuesday and Wednesday. Pretty bleak news. Unfortunately it's happening all over the State, social service agencies are laying off staff or even closing their doors. The State can't balance it's budget and the current "solution" is to slash funding for social services. Everyone I have talked to feels that in the long run this will make things worse, ERs will be overflowing, mentally ill and disabled will be without services and out on the streets, chaos.
A co-worker said her supervisor hinted that our programs would be OK and survive the cuts. I don't know how to feel. I know several co-workers who have gotten all but the official news that their programs are being eliminated. If I stay, I will probably feel guilty. And I am always complaining about my job anyway, so being layed off and eligible for unemployment while searching for a new job might be a blessing in disguise. Of course finding a job will be hell, since I would be competing with thousands of other laid off social workers and counselors and would have to seek employment somewhere NOT funded by the state...
Unfortunately my husband works in social services too and his agency is facing the same cuts.
The bad economy is definitely hitting home.