COMMISSION ON THE REFORM OF ONTARIO’S PUBLIC SERVICES’ RAISES CONCERN OVER SOCIAL SERVICES
The Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services’ recommendations calls for government program spending from now until 2017–18 be set at +2.5% for health care; plus +1.0 %for education; +1.5 % for post-secondary (not training); and +0.5 % for social services with all others set at -2.4%.
Of the 19 recommendations on social services, and in addition to holding growth to 0.5 % per year, the report said combining Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program should be considered and have the program delivered at the local level. It said there should be a single point of access within government for the non-profit sector.
The report team was led by former chief bank economist Don Drummond, was issued in mid-February. While its main focus was that of provincial public services, the 665-page, two-volume report, makes 362 recommendations aimed at balancing Ontario’s books by fiscal year 2017-2018.
The March 2011 provincial budget established the commission to advise the government. Its three tasks were: first, to understand and address Ontario’s economic challenges; second, to establish a sustainable balanced fiscal position over the long term; and third, make the working of government efficient.
25 IN 5 NETWORK
ONTARIO REPORT CARD GIVES ONTARIO FAILING GRADE ON POVERTY REDUCTION
The reverberations from the Report Card issued by 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction’s Third Annual Progress Report on Poverty Reduction in Ontario issued at the end of 2011 presents an alarming backdrop for the recent Drummond Report.
READ COMMON GROUND
25 in 5
Common Ground: A Strategy for Moving Forward on Poverty Reduction legislation.
Province’s advocate for children and youth report says extend care to age 25
Ontario's Provincial Advocate for Children And Youth says in a report released on May 14, 2012 at Queen’s Park that the province should raise the age of support for youth in care from 21 to 25, allow them to stay in foster care beyond age 18, and raise more awareness about their needs through a “Youth in Care Day” and other means.
The report, "25 is the New 21", lays out the costs and benefits of providing extended care and maintenance to youth until age 25. It says the province should develop ongoing health and education plans for these children and youth, collect and publish information on their experiences during and after care, and create an on-line source of information and resources for them.
The report also recommends extending the eligibility for Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM), increasing the amount of ECM to reflect today’s standard of living; extending Foster Care Rates to Families of youth aging out of care; developing a tracking system to follow youth after they leave care to collect data for understanding better the outcomes of these youth; and, creating legislative and inter-ministerial committees, reporting to the Deputy Minister’s Council, to recommend resources, connections and a voice for youth in care and former youth in care.
What's significant about the report is that its input comes from crown wards given at hearings held at Queen’s Park in November 2010. The report calls for implementation of an action plan by November 2012.
Seniors mental health guidelines released
New guidelines for seniors’ include key factors in planning an integrated mental health system; an integrated model for mental health services in late life; and, facilitators of a mental health service system.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto is dedicated to ensuring the provision of health and social services and to provide leadership and advocacy on behalf of the member agencies and those in need. The people served live and work throughout the Greater Toronto Area, as well as, in Simcoe, Durham, Peel and York.
25 in 5 Network calls for specific measures to remove barriers that trap people in poverty
The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction has an on-line campaign underway to call for specific measures in the upcoming Ontario Budget that would remove barriers which trap people in poverty.
Among the things it is calling for, it is urging the Ontario Government to allow people to people on social assistance to keep $200 of any earned income before clawbacks. It asks that the asset limits be raised so people applying for social assistance do not have to impoverish themselves before they can receive help.
The 25 in 5 network says that single parents should be allowed to keep 50% of their child support when on social assistance. There should be an increase in the Ontario Child Benefit to $1,310 per year. It also calls for a raise in social assistance rates, starting with $100 per month increase for single adults on Ontario Works.
The network is encouraging people take a few minutes to add their voice to make poverty reduction a priority in the Ontario budget.
READ MORE at www.25in5.ca
About the dignity of every person
Three of Catholic Charities' member agencies are Rose of Durham, providing supportive programs for young parents in Durham region; Silent Voice, the only GTA organization offering community and family-based support to deaf children and adults in ASL; and,
Catholic Community Services of York Region