Combine Ontario Works and ODSP, report says
Municipal-offered social assistance will be better for Sudbury, as well as clients
A report looking at the social assistance system in Ontario says more services should be offered at the municipal level.
The commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario released its final report to the public on Wednesday and recommended combining Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.
"Currently, the municipality runs the Ontario Works program," said Luisa Valle, director of social services with the City of Greater Sudbury.
"The Ontario Disability Support Program is run by the province and it is the other component of social assistance, and we work very closely with that office."
Valle said the transition to municipal-offered social assistance will be easier for the city, since the two services are already offered in the same building.
Plus it will help clients to get access to services in-person, said Frances Lankin, one of the report’s authors.
"We are stripping away from a system that is rules-oriented and focused on checking boxes, to replace it with one that is about enabling people's pathway forward," Lankin said.
The review was commissioned in 2010 by the Ontario government as part of the province's Poverty Reduction Strategy. With the recommendations that stem from the report, Ontario's social assistance system will be getting an overhaul for the first time in two decades.