Person-Centric Strategies (PCS) is a comprehensive, strategic series of targeted professional development programs designed to prepare staff, teams, organizations, related service systems and those they serve to respond effectively to wholesale provincial changes to social assistance and employment services.
Known formerly as Client-Centric Strategies, the PCS Series has been retitled from 'client-centric' to 'person-centric.' This change captures the important fact that the PCS Series’ concepts, principles, practices, competencies and tools are applicable to working not only with clients, but also with co-workers, community service providers, tenants, families, program participants and any other individual or group engaging with professional human services staff.
Person-Centric Strategies is a Copyright (2020) of Labour Market Partners Inc. and Collaborative Strategies Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The many large-scale, foundational changes that are so affecting our sector are outlined in the provincial Social Assistance Renewal initiative, including Employment Services Transformation (EST). Changes directed specifically towards child care and social housing are further outlined in provincial Community Housing Renewal and Child Care Modernization documents.
Current and imminently forthcoming changes in our sector constitute a major and unprecedented culture shift in income redistribution programs that are funded, planned and delivered at the municipal level.
There are five programs in the PCS Series. These programs are designed to complement one another and contribute to the success of the whole service system. Each program is designed to address the needs of the key stakeholders in the local service system arising from the culture shift:
Please view our Program Description Guide to learn more about these programs.
We define service user as any person seeking or receiving service from the organization or individual staff, such as applicant, client, tenant, resident and family.
Workshop Dates and Registration
All sessions in Eastern Standard Time
Person-Centric Strategies for Staff 1
PCS for Staff is a professional development program especially designed for first-line human services delivery and support staff, including supervisors and managers. This program helps staff to prepare for and implement strategies to effectively serve service users who will benefit from participation in stability support and other pre-employment programs as envisioned in the Ontario Government's plan for Social Assistance Renewal and Employment Services Transformation. Scroll down further on this page to see more information under 'Program Roadmap'.
February 5 - 16, 2024
Part 1: Monday, February 5 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 2: Tuesday, February 6 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 3: Wednesday, February 7 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 4: Wednesday, February 14| 9:00 – 12:00
Part 5: Thursday, February 15 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 6: Friday, February 16 | 9:00 – 12:00
Registration Cut Off: Thursday, February 1
Registration coming soon.
September 9 - 20, 2024
Part 1: Monday, September 9 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 2: Tuesday, September 10 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 3: Wednesday, September 11 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 4: Wednesday, September 18 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 5: Thursday, September 19 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 6: Friday, September 20 | 9:00 – 12:00
Registration Cut Off: Thursday, September 5
Registration coming soon.
Person-Centric Strategies for Staff 2: Advanced Applications
Individuals who have completed the PCS for Staff program* may also choose to engage in a follow-up module which applies the Knowledge-to-Action (KTA) model to advanced applications in the action cycle. This module engages staff and their teams/organizations in examining post-professional development application of competencies. The collaborative process helps ensure effective, inclusive, integrated and coherent team/organizational person-centric services. Scroll down further on this page to see more information under 'Program Roadmap'.
*Individuals who have not completed PCS 1 for Staff may need to complete a pre-course assessment to be eligible to participate in this session to determine if there is an understanding of core foundational concepts.
March 18 – April 23, 2024
Part 1: Monday, March 18 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 2: Tuesday, March 19 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 3: Monday, April 8 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 4: Tuesday, April 9 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 5: Monday, April 22 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 6: Tuesday, April 23 | 9:00 – 12:00
Registration Cut Off: Thursday, March 14
Registration coming soon.
October 17 – November 15, 2024
Part 1: Thursday, October 17 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 2: Friday, October 18 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 3: Thursday, October 31 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 4: Friday, November 1 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 5: Thursday, November 14 | 9:00 – 12:00
Part 6: Friday, November 15 | 9:00 – 12:00
Registration Cut Off: Tuesday, October 15
Registration coming soon.
Members: $750 + HST
Non-Members: $975 + HST
Non-Member Education Level 1/2: $780 + HST
Want to build a tailored program?
Contact OMSSA's Director of Education, Christie Herrington, to learn how we can develop and deliver a professional development program tailored to your team's needs. Email Christie or call 647-385-9285 to get started.
Learn more about how this professional development program can be customized for different sectors:
Organizations may choose to deliver some or all of the following modules. The duration of each module can be adapted to the needs of the learning group.
Duration: 6 hours
Getting Results through Brief Interventions
Duration: 3 hours
Models for MicroCoaching Behaviour in the Workplace
Duration: 9 hours
An advanced applications follow-up program to examine post-training application of person-centric competencies.
Duration: 2 days (recommended minimum)
Delivery Method: Facilitator-led workshops
Curriculum Overview: Organizations where staff have completed the PCS for Staff program may also choose to engage in a follow-up module which applies the Knowledge-to-Action (KTA) model to advanced applications in the action cycle. This module engages staff and their teams/organizations in examining post-professional development application of competencies. The collaborative process helps ensure effective, inclusive, integrated and coherent team/organizational person-centric services. This advanced applications module also explores the impact of intersectionality on both service providers and users. An understanding of intersectionality enlarges our appreciation of the impacts of the social, political and economic forces that shape human experience. This module explores the PCS Intersectionality Model as a guide to applying PCS competencies in our work with service users, co-workers and community members.
Explore a sector-specific model of Intersectionality to facilitate person-centric practices that acknowledge and accommodate service users' lived experience.
Facilitate the shift from knowledge to action through problem-identification and problem-solving.
Acquire knowledge of these problems at the team and organizational level.
Assess the barriers and facilitators to knowledge use in day-to-day work (e.g., implementation of the workplace tools in PCS).
Choose interventions to address the issues.
Monitor the effectiveness of these measures.
Evaluate the results.
Sustain the necessary changes for success.
A deep-dive workshop into the underlying research and applications of PCS.
Duration: 5 days (recommended minimum)
Delivery Method: Facilitator-led workshops which also engages the learners in co-facilitation
Curriculum Overview: Conducted as a workshop for municipal, provincial, and community-based staff trainers and other person-centric champions who support knowledge translation and application of person-centric strategies in the workplace through ongoing professional development and coaching. The workshop provides a detailed, behind-the-scenes review of the PCS curriculum and its supporting tools and resources, including the curriculum syllabus and the PCS Learning Resource Guide.
Preparing for personal, educational and career success.
Duration: 10 half- days6 (recommended minimum)
Delivery Method: Facilitator-led workshops
Curriculum Overview: Facilitator-led workshops are proposed to build service user competencies critical for preparing for, participating and succeeding in stability and employment support programs and, ultimately, employment. Currently under development, this curriculum builds on prior service users' initiatives created by our professional development team which include Movement to Learning, Movement to Improvement and Movement to Employment.
Learning Objective: To build competencies critical for helping service users to prepare for, participate and succeed in stability support and employability improvement programs and, ultimately, employment.
Topics (may include but are not limited to):
*Please note that service-user training days are generally abbreviated to maximize engagement and accommodate their needs. A typical service user training day would run from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM with an hour for lunch. A typical half-day would run 9:30 AM to 11:45 AM with a 15-minute break.
A locally-driven problem-solving table for partner collaboration.
This is a customized program that is designed in collaboration with the municipality/department/agency engaged. Each community’s circumstances and different, such that the final implementation plan is designed according to local needs, factors and circumstances.
Duration: 9 hours (recommended minimum)
Stages of Establishing the Local Systems Integration Table
Duration: Up to 3 hours
Consultation led by OMSSA consultants with municipal and provincial representatives to identify facilitating factors and systemic barriers to achieving an effective, inclusive, integrated and coherent local person-centric delivery system that reflects the goals and objectives of Social Assistance Renewal and Employment Services Transformation.
What Was Heard Report
Duration: Included as part of the Initial Consultation
Problem Identification: A summary of issues identified in the initial consultation
Recommendations and draft Terms of Reference for establishing the Service System Integration table. Identification of prospective stakeholders and participants
Convening the Partners
Duration: 6 hours
Curriculum Overview: This program constitutes a locally-driven problem-solving table engaging the key Social Assistance Renewal and Employment Services Transformation delivery partners, including municipalities, ODSP management, EO delivery agencies, service user representatives, the Service System Managers, and provincial ministries such as the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS), the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD), and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH).
The purpose is to help ensure an effective, inclusive, integrated and coherent local person-centric delivery system.
The program is designed to operate through the use of PCS competencies, such as Communication Styles, Four-Step Problem-Solving, Moving to Collaboration, Conflict Management and Person-Centric Negotiating. An intersectionality lens is also applied to the process. The work of this collaborative body is determined through the application of the Action Cycle articulated in the KTA model
Following the KTA model, this involves creating and nurturing a partners' collaboration to:
There is an emphasis in PCS on applying in the workplace the theories, competencies, principles and practices found in the curriculum. Workplace implementation - the true measure of learning effectiveness - is supported through:
Each learner is provided with a workbook containing all of the learning material to support learners in their webinar participation. The workbook also serves as a post-learning event resource in the workplace.
The workbook also contains a detailed Learning Resource Guide, which is a bibliography of topically-relevant books, websites, videos and articles which were used to create the program and are organized according to the topics in the curriculum. The Guide may be of interest to learners who seek to expand their knowledge of the topics covered in the program. It also supports management in their role in normalizing person-centric practices and creating an ongoing learning culture in the workplace.
Learners are invited to share their own contributions, which allows the Guide to become a living document.
Learners complete a self-assessment questionnaire before and after the program to record their self-assessed competencies in coaching and problem-solving, and track their progress and desire for further development in each of the topics covered in the curriculum.
Learners receive modernized job aids which provide a ’mind map‘ or guide for using each person-centric competency effectively. Each tool contains a summary of the competency and prompting questions that illustrate how the skill may be used in staff roles.
Skills Application in the Workplace is a document for learners to reflect on how they will use the competencies covered in the workshop within their individual workplace roles.
John Howley and Marianne Seaton are the pre-eminent designers and deliverers of professional development curricula in Ontario Works and related social services programs and agencies throughout the province, and beyond. Marianne has been consulting in the social services sector as the principal of Collaborative Strategies Inc. since 2008 and John through his company, Labour Market Partners Inc., since 1997. Their work encompasses many Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Services Administration Boards, from the largest urban municipalities to the most rural and remote.
Following their careers as social assistance and employment program front-line workers and managers, each achieved subsequent success and recognition as a leader in program development and change. Marianne is the former Acting Executive Director and Director of Professional Development for the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA). John is the former Director of Employment and Training for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, Social Services Division (now the City of Toronto).
Their work in helping multi-barriered Ontario Works clients achieve success in the world of work includes the design and delivery of SAIL for Clients, a competency-based program that they have delivered in various areas of the province, often in association with community colleges, including Sault College, Confederation College and St. Clair College. John and Marianne also collaborate on designing and delivering employment programs for social assistance clients in a range of other programs, including Movement to Employment (employability profiling); Movement to Improvement (life skills development), and Movement to Learning (literacy and skills training preparation).