Province Shares its Vision for Social Assistance Transformation

February 11, 2021

Ontario's Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Todd Smith announced the release of the Province's Vision for Social Assistance Transformation. This comes as part of Ontario's Recovery and Renewal Plan announced last fall, and after consultation over several years with OMSSA members and other stakeholders. 

The key principles outlined in this vision include:
  • prioritizing the outcomes of employment, financial resilience, independence and well-being
  • supporting positive client and staff experiences
  • assigning roles to where they make the most sense and improve efficiency
  • improving program integrity by leveraging data and technology
  • designing in partnership with municipal delivery partners
  • building a system that puts people at the centre, with services that work effectively together to support them
  • using data, evidence and the voice of clients to inform design

Minister Smith also indicated that as part of the Province's plan, front-line workers will have more time to focus on connecting clients with supports such as job-readiness programs, housing, childcare, skills training and mental health services. At the same time, the Province intends to gradually take on more program administration to make it easier for people to navigate the system.

Continued consultation on program design will occur over the coming months through the new Provincial-Municipal Human Services Collaborative Table. OMSSA and its members look forward to working closely with the Province of Ontario to implement this vision for social assistance reform with the goal of improving outcomes for individuals supported through Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

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