Recognizing the great work done in advancing excellence in human services integration and service system management by teams from CMSMs and DSSABs across the province. Teams may include CMSM and DSSAB staff in partnership with community organizations and/or initiatives where CMSM and DSSAB staff work together with their communities.
Nominations for OMSSA's 2023 Awards are now CLOSED!
OMSSA encourages nominations that reflect the diversity of its membership, in particular from individuals from racialized groups and Indigenous Peoples to ensure that our awards are reflective of the racial diversity of the populations its members serve.
Teams of at least two different partners (groups or individuals); this is not an award for individual achievement.
The results of teams work must demonstrate a contribution to the advancement of human services integration.
The results of teams work must demonstrate a contribution to the advancement of local service system management.
In addition to the key human services sectors (Children's Services, Housing and Homelessness, and Employment and Income), we are encouraging nominations for contributions in these additional areas of focus:
Indigenous (work with Indigenous communities and/or organizations)
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Other (for any projects that do not fit the above areas of focus)
Nominations for our 2023 Awards are CLOSED!
The nominator must be the designated lead representative to OMSSA from each CMSM and DSSAB (i.e. the Commissioner, CAO of a DSSAB or General Manager etc.)
Each CMSM and DSSAB may nominate one team per year
Nominators must receive sign-off from their Commissioner/Lead
The total number of award recipients is limited to fifteen (15) teams per year
*NEW for 2023* Nominators can now submit nominations online! Click on the button below and fill in the form to submit your nomination directly to OMSSA. If you have any questions, please contact OMSSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the community was faced with the closure of many programs and services. The City of Ottawa’s Community and Social Services department established temporary respite centres as a place where Ottawa residents experiencing homelessness, or those precariously housed, could go to meet their needs. As service delivery began to transition back to the community, gaps in programs and services were identified and that were anticipated to exist beyond the pandemic. In response, the Catherine St. Community Service Hub (the Hub) was established.
The Hub provides integrated person-centered services through collocation, system navigation, information sharing, partnership, and case management services. Strategically co-located within the City of Ottawa’s Employment and Social Services and Employment Ontario sites, caring and knowledgeable staff and community partners work together to provide wrap around municipal and community services and supports in one location with the goal of maximizing positive outcomes for Ottawa residents. Services provided include OW and ODSP financial and application assistance, employment services, childcare subsidy support, housing and crisis supports and referrals, and community and health services including vaccine, dental and identification clinics, harm reduction, legal supports, and a community food bank. On average, the Hub has over 2,600 visits per month. It is a safe, accessible space where everyone is welcome.
Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been providing temporary accommodations in hotels for asylum claimants entering Canada without accommodation arriving through the Roxham Road irregular border crossing into Quebec. The pressure on the social support system led IRCC to expand its hotel operations outside of Quebec by transferring asylum claimants via charter bus to multiple municipalities across Ontario for temporary hotel accommodations. IRCC contacted City of Windsor Administration on December 30th, 2022, with information on the transfers. Three Windsor hotels totaling 439 rooms were secured for over 500 claimants representing 30 nationalities and 18 languages. The sudden increase in applications and case management from applicants with language barrier put pressure on already stretched resources on City of Windsor Employment & Social Services. The Department immediately put together a contingency plan to respond to the influx of applications and caseload increase within a short period of time. A special assignment team was created under the leadership of the Intake Supervisor, the team included – three caseworkers and two intake service representatives. This team brainstormed the most efficient and responsive methods to respond to the applications, case management, and other support challenges without putting undue hardship on existing staff resources. Together, the team has completed 700+ applications within a two-month time period and maintained up to-date case management for a caseload of 700+ clients.
The approach is to leverage on resources from provincial, local, external community partnership and client self-serve strategies. Applications and case management are completed at hotels where clients are at to avoid increase traffic to the OW office. Clerical support assist clients to navigate SADA online application tool, bilingual staff and translation software on clients’ mobile device are utilized to support client language needs, assist all clients registering for digital self services (MyBenefits, DBD & RPC), the team took a shared responsibility approach with 3 caseworkers supporting 700+ Benefit Units, providing access to other sectors for intensive support (housing, health, education, child care, and employment registration/service) at hotels. The key to success is having clerical support assist with tasks, messages, phones, and taking on any administration duties that assist the client to free up the caseworker. IRCC recognized this application and case management model as a best business practice and the Asylum Claimant Team was asked to share the practice with other municipalities that experienced a similar influx. Feedback from claimants was positive and all received the support needed to transition to living in Windsor-Essex County or other municipalities.
Holding the idea that growth and leadership thrive in connected allyships, in 2023, six children's services leaders, Shannon Brown (Leeds Grenville), Kelly Emery (Chatham Kent), Kristine Greaves (City of Cornwall), Pam Kent (Prince Edward Lennox and Addington), Miranda Mackie (City of Greater Sudbury), and Tonya Millsap (County of Simcoe) sought to take a new approach to leading through the transformational change of CWELCC in our sector. Supported by Senior staff, Caitlyn Bourque City of Greater Sudbury), Christina Davis (Leeds Grenville), and Jessica Brodie and Nadine Ladouceur (Chatham Kent), this group created additional opportunities for leadership development, succession planning and peer to peer mentorship.
Referred to as BT2023, leaders with a shared interest and passion for Early Learning and Child Care organized themselves to engage in collective learning, knowledge sharing, cost sharing initiatives, and networking. The work centered on three pillars: New Allies which supported one another in mobilizing relationships with economic development allies; New Narratives which built media content accessible for students and reaffirming our position that a career in Early Learning and Child Care is a rewarding career; and New Models which produced literature on workplace models that may not have been considered within our individual communities.
BT2023 has enabled its membership to champion change by creating time and space for strategic thinking with critical thought leaders. Through this collaboration the group has been able to share resources and knowledge as well as to build on ideas and concepts that will continue to benefit each of their municipalities now and into the future. The group really personifies the concept that together, we are better; that collective thinking around common goals brings forth greater innovation. BT2023 is just the beginning, the professional relationships and ideas that have come to life through this group will continue to flourish into 2024 and beyond.
In April 2022, the York Region Ontario Child Care Management System (OCCMS) team in partnership with the York Region EarlyON Child and Family programs team implemented a system-wide, centralized online registration platform for EarlyON programs. The platform was developed in collaboration with EarlyON agencies and other Consolidated Municipal Service Managers/District Social Service Administration Boards (CMSMs/DSSABs), to increase access to available programs, make it easier for families to find and register for programs across the Region (which expanded parent choice), and enable data collection and integration, which will support future program planning. The platform was first launched in the Regional Municipality of York (York Region) and is now being used by seven CMSMs/DSSABs across the province. From April 1 to October 30, 2022, a total of 6,913 families have used the registration portal in York Region.
In the spring of 2020, as COVID-19 began to impact York Region communities and the number of cases rose, York Region took proactive steps to develop a comprehensive and integrated strategy to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, to prevent/stop the spread of COVID-19, and prevent housing loss while proactively ensuring community and client needs were met through wraparound supports and services. Partnerships fostered among York Region staff across the corporation as well as with external partners including the United Way Greater Toronto, non-profit service providers, local business and the Provincial Government were instrumental to the Region’s success. Consistent planning, coordination and integration with service providers in the community, Emergency Housing and Violence Against Women Sectors, and Housing with Supports providers, helped to create innovative systems-focused solutions. The specialized supports (e.g. primary health care clinic at the Transitional Shelter) offered by various internal and external partners demonstrates how York Region leveraged funding such as the Social Services Relief Fund, resources and expertise to fill service gaps and facilitated integration across the sector to better provide timely support to individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness. At a program/service level, York Region continues to adapt and enhance planning and delivery of core services to address the barriers and inequities exacerbated by the pandemic. This includes the creation of the following initiatives that thrived because of innovative partnerships: The Transitional and Self-Isolation Shelters, primary health care and mental health and addictions supports clinic, temporary arrears benefit program, digital access support, and training to build capacity to address anxiety and promote mental health wellness in children. York Region is using continuous quality improvement methods along with Key Performance Indicators to monitor success, track client outcomes and inform the development of current and future programs.
The Regional Municipality of York recently changed their Ontario Works (OW) service delivery model to a model that puts the customer at the forefront. The new integrated approach supports life stability and future success through a holistic trust-based approach that results in better customer outcomes. The traditional caseworker roles have moved into Integrated Benefits Caseworkers (manage customer financial eligibility and access to benefits); Integrated Wraparound Caseworkers (develop trusting relationships, and support service navigation); and Program Support Representative (administrative and additional support). Integration begins right from application through Access York (Contact Centre). The customer provides their story, which is captured using the Customer Service Flow tool, so that the OW staff have information available to them and they can come prepared with resources to the first appointment. This ensures that staff can support customers with resources that are available based on their needs. Another key feature of this new model is Case Conferences, where OW teams bring in internal and external partners to collaborate and strategize to support customers. In order to develop and implement a new Ontario Works service delivery model at York Region, an Ontario Works Transformation (OWT) Team was established. The OWT Team consisted of the Director, lead Managers, Supervisors, Policy, Human Resources, and Communications. Through this new model, York Region continues to evolve services based on Key Performance Indicators and tracking customer outcomes to monitor success.