County of Lanark

In 2009, Lanark County identified clients experiencing substance abuse /mental health issues as being the most at risk for having minimal attachment or multiple barriers to employment. Lanark County’s service plan clearly identified that lack for resources for addictions/mental health, created a significant challenge to staff and participants. It was noted that over 40% of our caseload was experiencing addictions issues.

Lanark County, Ontario Works in partnership with Tri-County Addiction Services (2009-2014) and Smiths Falls Community Health Centre (2015-present) hired a full time, in house addictions counsellor to support Ontario Works clients. The Smiths Falls Community Health Centre provided both the staff member and was responsible for the clinical follow up with the addictions counselor. Ontario works provided the clients, the OW office space, funding for the position and additional monies for supports in assisting clients taking part in the program.

Our addictions program has proven to be a huge success on a number of fronts including:

• On average 5-6 appointments are booked a day with approximately only one no show a day
• Clients are receiving supports for their addictions in a timely manner resulting in clients being able to maintain their job or continue to look for employment
• Those clients who have been struggling with addiction resulting in Family and Children Services being involved are seeing positives steps towards more frequent visitation or return of their children
• They are being referred to other agencies including housing, methadone treatment, brain injury clinic, food banks, detox/rehabs, health connect etc