Category: Uncategorized

Thinking and planning about the front line worker… in the future – a useful Policy Options article

While I find management articles on organizations often miss the relevance of implementation, the nitty gritty of the context; this article by:  Zabeen Hirji, Stephen Harrington provides analysis and values that can help to benchmark a focus on the front line.

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The “future of work” is here, so businesses, governments and educational institutions must lay the foundation for Canada’s future workforce.

… There needs to be a shift in businesses’ organizational structures and cultures, and in their talent strategies. They need to change their approach to learning to one that values employees’ individual capabilities and fosters their capacity to broaden their expertise beyond today’s rigid job definitions and functions.

Businesses have to partner with their employees so they can build new skills. And employees will need to invest in themselves and become lifelong learners to thrive.

Businesses also need to be transparent with their employees, and to partner with them so they can build new skills. And employees must recognize that the future of work requires a different approach to personal growth, meaning they will need to invest in themselves and become lifelong learners to thrive. …

Here is the article from Policy Options


Eastern Branch OASW asking for support letters for the social work profession to be mandated in LTC

From Beverlee McIntosh of SWAG.  Attached is a letter for the Eastern Branch of the Ontario Association of Social Workers ( of which SWAG is a committee). This was sent out to all Eastern Ontario MPPs to urge the government to include the profession of social work as a mandated service in Ontario Long Term Care facilities. Long Term Care Letter  Eastern Ontario Members of Provincial parliament constituency offices 2018

Key points in the letter:

We believe that each individual living in LTC should have the right to access a social worker as
part of the multidisciplinary team in every LTC. Social Workers are in a unique position to
make clinical and social assessments based on comprehensive training and expertise:

1) Social Workers are trained in dispute resolution and have the skills to facilitate
constructive dialogue between family members, nurses and personal support workers and
staff members. This can go along way to making sure that individuals in LTC have their
voices heard.

2) Social Workers have the training and expertise to pick up subtle signs of abuse that might
otherwise go unnoticed.

3) Social Workers contribute to the quality of life in LTC facilities by providing appropriate
psychosocial stimulation and monitoring the individual for signs of depression or
deterioration in their mental health.

4) Experienced Social Workers are aware of the regulations outlined in the Long Term Care
Act, allowing them to act as a monitor in the facility to ensure that families and residents
understand their rights and expectations for standard of care

SWAG is appealing to Eastern Ontario social workers to take time in the next month to write a letter to your local MPP and ask, as a constituent, that the government include the profession of social work as a mandatory professional service available to residents in LTC and to their caregivers.

You can refer to the OASW letter which your MPP will have received in November 2018, however, make the letter your own, include your personal experiences and address it to your local MPP as their constituent.

See the attached list of Eastern Ontario MPPs’ constituency office.

A few years ago the Professional Association of Dieticians conducted a successful campaign to have LTC regulations changed to mandate that dieticians be an essential service in LTC.

Social Workers are now being encouraged to advocate to have our profession mandated in all LTC facilities.

There is no SWAG meeting in December.
The next meeting is THURSDAY, JANUARY 24TH 2019

The topic will be : Bed Bugs in the City and the Impact on Our Seniors.

Season’s greetings  and best wishes for 2019 from the SWAG Steering Committee

Joanne Green

Karen Ann Blakely

Colleen Barclay

Bonnie Schroeder

Carmelina  Cimaglia

Wendy Birkhan

Catherine Bennett

Ontario’s Plan for social assistance reform – criteria based on CPP for admittance to ODSP, sets back our earlier efforts to “support” people living with a disability

The reform plan is acknowledged as having valuable initiatives for the two separate programs of Welfare vs. Disability, yet the critical point of entry into the Ontario Disability Support Program uses Canada Pension Plan criteria which rules out episodic and ranges of disability of a person’s life over time and instead requires an assessment of “permanence.”

After decades of efforts to support advancement and inclusion into Ontario workplaces an either or approach will now be in place for people experiencing illness where they will now loose the significant financial supports of ODSP, approximately $400.00 per month.  Mary Marrone of the Income Advocacy Centre notes that people currently on ODSP will remain on it, but that welfare will soon become a disability program, rather than the temporary income support.

With income being a well-recognized social determinant of health, health organizations can have a useful role to engage with Ontario government policy makers to “reform the reform” as the impacts of going back to a criteria of can or cannot work are ultimately not useful for individual’s with a disability and the business case and effectiveness of our systems of care and support.

I’m unsure, who and how this can be approached within the groups and organizations we work within, but I urge each of us to take a step towards an action that ultimately advances the people we serve health and wellbeing.  Please also consider sharing your efforts with us, both big and small.

If you have time, discussion from both conservative and liberal views occurred on TVO’s The Agenda – with actual dialogue and nuance!

Nov 26, 2018 – 40:29, The Agenda examines Ontario social assistance reforms.

The Federal Poverty Reduction Strategy needs your help to define the “market basket”

Linda Lalonde updates us on first reading on legislation to create their Poverty Reduction Strategy in the House and Market Basket Measure consultation with Statistics Canada.

…The bill includes targets for poverty reduction from 2015 figures of 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030. Of course, that means that 50% of Canadians living in poverty will still be there twelve years from now. Hopefully, there will be some kind of hearings or other ways to have input on the legislation.

Poverty Reduction Act – passed first reading Nov 6th

Market Basket Measures program identifier

Online consultation with Stat’s Can- (survey) of: what matters in our Market Basket? here:

(Stats Can consult on MBM open to Jan 31st)

The Strategy includes the creation of the first official poverty line for Canada, the Market Basket Measure (MBM), and Statistics Canada is doing a consultation on the MBM asking about the adequacy of the levels of expenditure they consider would pull you out of poverty. It gives 5 groupings of expenses, i.e food, clothing & footwear, transportation, shelter and other necessities.

Market Basket Measure figures from StatsCan survey
Item Family of 2 Family of 4
Food  $            670  $             950
Clothes/footwear  $            110  $             160
Transportation  $            220  $             320
Shelter  $            790  $         1,110
Other necessities  $            590  $             840
Monthly Total  $        2,380  $         3,380
Annual total  $      28,560  $       40,560

… There are also several questions about specific items such as use of cabs/uber and whether a smart phone is a necessity. The numbers they are suggesting add up to $28,560 for a family of two and $40,560 for a family of four.

I find it odd that they only ask you for the number of people in your family but not their ages to get to those numbers. The expenses of a family of one adult and three kids will be different from one with four adults. Things like child care and medical expenses have to be included in ‘other necessities’ because there’s no other place to put them. One non-subsidized day care space would wipe out the whole amount they’ve allowed.  I’ve attached a chart with the amounts they give for each category. If you are familiar with the current social assistance rates, you’ll see the figures are a bit different.

Linda Lalonde for further details here:

Capacity Assessment, and How it Relates to LTC Decisions and Applications

From SWAG, SPEAKER: Catherine Butler BA, BScN, MHA Vice-President, Home & Community Care, Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)

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Speaker will address these issues are they are relevant to social work scope of practice

  • How capacity is assessed in home & community care
  • Developing skilled capacity assessors in home care – education, ongoing learning & support
  • Impacts of poor assessments – what are the barriers & enablers to an effective assessment
  • Dispute mechanisms


Time: 3:30 to 5PM

Location: Colonel By Retirement Home, 42 Aylmer Avenue

( parallel to Sunnyside near Bank street and canal)

Contact Beverlee McIntosh for further information:

Public meeting with an expert panel on long term care to explore ways to rebuild public capacity, improve quality and accountability

From SWAG, please share and encourage others to join in this event

Long Term Care is a Municipal Issue!

You are invited to an open public meeting with an expert panel on long term care to explore ways to rebuild public capacity, improve quality and accountability for seniors’ care in the Ottawa Area.

Monday, September 17th , 7pm-9pm

McNabb Community Centre, 180 Percy St.  Assembly Hall

Visit or email

We have seen many stories of abuse, lack of safety and not enough care or accountability in long term care homes in our city. 
How can our municipality be part of the solution for these problems? 
Albert Banerjee
 – PhD, Research Associate, Trent University Centre for Ageing and Society

·         Susan Braedley – Associate professor at Carleton University whose research projects include: Re-Imagining Long-Term Residential Care: An International Study of Promising Practices and Healthy Ageing in Residential Places

·         Doreen Roque – Executive member of the Champlain Region Family Council Network , which advocates for the needs, rights and interests of residents living in long term care homes and supports family councils in long term care homes

·         Joanne Waddell – Works as a cook for over 30 years at Madonna Care Community, a long term care facility in Orleans. Joanne represents Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) health care workers in Eastern Ontario on the health care workers coordinating committee of CUPE Ontario.

Les soins de longue durée : une problématique municipale !

Vous êtes invités à une assemblée publique en compagnie d’un groupe d’experts en soins de longue durée afin d’explorer des solutions pour rebâtir les capacités du système public, améliorer la qualité des soins aux aînés et accroître la responsabilité des établissements de la région d’Ottawa.

Lundi 17 septembre de 19h à 21h

Centre communautaire McNabb, 180, rue Percy Assembly Hall

Visitez ou écrivez à

Les médias sont pleins d’histoires de maltraitance, de manque de sécurité et de manque de soins ou de responsabilité dans les établissements de soins de longue durée de notre ville. Comment notre municipalité peut-elle faire partie de la solution à ces problèmes ? 

·         Albert Banerjee, Ph. D., associé de recherche au Centre universitaire pour le vieillissement et la société de l’Université Trent.

·         Susan Braedley, professeure agrégée à l’Université Carleton. L’un de ses projets de recherche s’intitule Réimaginer les soins à long terme en établissement : une étude internationale sur les pratiques prometteuses et le vieillissement en santé en établissement.

·         Doreen Roque, membre de l’exécutif du Champlain Region Family Council Network qui plaide en faveur des besoins, des droits et des intérêts des pensionnaires des établissements de soins de longue durée et qui aide les conseils de famille dans ces établissements.

·         Joanne Waddellcuisinière depuis plus de 30 ans chez Madonna Care Community, un établissement de soins de longue durée d’Orleans. Joanne représente les travailleurs de la santé du SCFP dans l’est de la province au sein du comité de coordination des travailleurs de la santé du SCFP-Ontario.


ISAC Report/Guide on how to support people with a severe mental illness to access ODSP

From Income Security Advocacy Centre

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Helping people with mental health disabilities access ODSP: An expert report on the complexity of mental health treatment in Ontario

… The report explains why many people with mental health conditions do not seek treatment and, if they do, are mainly managed by primary care health care providers (such as family doctors) who are trained to treat a broad range of mental health conditions. The report notes, for example, that the absence of a specialist referral does not reflect the severity of a patient’s mental health condition.

The report also explains why treatment history can be an unreliable predictor of the severity of a person’s disability. The treatment of mental illness and addictions is complex and influenced by many factors such as: limited availability and access to specialized treatment and outpatient care, especially for those who are low income and disadvantaged; the stigma of treatment; intolerance to the side effects of medication; limits to the effectiveness of medication; and variations in prescribing medication. …

See the report here:…reatment-in-ontario/