Presentation to the Social Assistance Review Commission

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Presentation to the Social Assistance Review Commission

  1. 1. Social Assistance Review Commission Ontario Disability Employment Network August, 2011
  2. 2. Employment First Policy Framework <ul><li>Guides all funding investments for people who have a disability </li></ul><ul><li>Not a ‘work for welfare’ program </li></ul><ul><li>Considerable success in over 20 US states and jurisdictions </li></ul><ul><li>Blankets all Ministries and funding pots that interface with disability supports </li></ul><ul><li>Raises the bar on ‘expectations’ </li></ul>
  3. 3. Employment First Policy Framework <ul><li>Requires standard definitions and operating practices – ‘real work for real pay’ </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures equity of access to services and supports </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes career development and job enhancements </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces dependency on Income Support and government funded programs </li></ul><ul><li>Helps people contribute to the tax base </li></ul>
  4. 4. People Can Work <ul><li>Demands on IS system unmanageable </li></ul><ul><li>Employer awareness & acceptance on the rise </li></ul><ul><li>Labour shortages looming </li></ul><ul><li>Studies and reports show people who have a disability as viable in the workplace with many value added features </li></ul>
  5. 5. People & Employers Need Support <ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-employment prep’n </li></ul><ul><li>Skills Training </li></ul><ul><li>Case Management </li></ul><ul><li>Job Development </li></ul><ul><li>Wage Subsidy </li></ul><ul><li>Job Coaching </li></ul><ul><li>Employer Assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Off the job support </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis Intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Career advancement </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH, Svc Cda </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH, Svc Cda </li></ul><ul><li>EO </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH, Svc Cda </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH, ODSP, EO </li></ul><ul><li>EO </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH, ODSP ? </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH, ODSP ? </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH, ODSP ? </li></ul><ul><li>DSA, MOH, ODSP ? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Range of Supports <ul><li>Full basket of services </li></ul><ul><li>Career development & job enhancement </li></ul>
  7. 7. Ensuring Good Job Matches <ul><li>Formal skills and severity of disability not always the best indicators of success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Job Match, fit and soft skills often win the day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation, reliability, travel & supports more critical </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Employability must be determined by service provider </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ensuring Good Job Matches <ul><li>Assessment and pre-employment are essential </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many people who have a disability have limited work history and/or education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives service provider understanding of skills, interests, motivation, support needs, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be time-limited (short) & curriculum based </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pre-employment to ensure a good match </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Job Start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>408 people since 2002 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>60% still employed </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Ensuring Good Job Matches <ul><li>Continuity of services smoother when assessment and case management are provided by the agency that has made a commitment to help the person get a job </li></ul><ul><li>Specific skills training should be available where appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized assessments should be available as needed </li></ul>
  10. 10. Challenges with Supports <ul><li>Access all supports that the person needs </li></ul><ul><li>Gaps and limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Management inefficiencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disconnect between funding sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duplication & redundancies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different objectives, rules and structures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some undermine others </li></ul><ul><li>Adds barriers rather than eliminating them </li></ul>
  11. 11. Challenges with Supports <ul><li>Risk of accessing multiple funding sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>House of Cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some operators choose safety even though capacity is limited </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Navigating the system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge for the individual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many give up </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modernization has all but eliminated expertise within government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has not proven to improve customer service </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Challenges with Supports <ul><li>Need to retain specialists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Range of disability & interventions too broad to be all housed under one roof </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Generic Service models have not proven effective for people who have a disability </li></ul>
  13. 13. Invest in Employment <ul><li>$3.3 billion vs. $35 million </li></ul><ul><li>ODSP Income support growing at over 5% per year </li></ul><ul><li>Demographics project even greater demands on the system while, at the same time, the tax base is shrinking </li></ul><ul><li>Help people contribute to the tax base rather than living off it </li></ul>
  14. 14. Invest in Youth <ul><li>Apply Employment First thinking and expectations to Ministry of Education </li></ul><ul><li>Bolster co-op education and co-op placements for students </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in employment supports for students for summer jobs and after-school jobs </li></ul>
  15. 15. Invest in Innovation <ul><li>Ontario agencies are falling behind </li></ul><ul><li>Need to build research capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Need to find and promote best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Need to nurture innovation & creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Agencies need infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff training & development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation & quality improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agencies need stability – base + incentive </li></ul>
  16. 16. Employer Engagement <ul><li>Based on customer service, relationships and trust </li></ul><ul><li>Good customer service = repeat business, avoiding crisis and creating opportunities where they otherwise might not exist </li></ul><ul><li>Agencies support employers almost as much as the people in service </li></ul><ul><li>Employers see service providers as the ‘disability experts’ </li></ul>
  17. 17. Employer Engagement <ul><li>On-going job coaching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As much a service to the employer as it is to the individual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kelly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sharon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Fear of firing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Warrantees and guarantees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out-placement </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Employer Engagement <ul><li>Need to appreciate what employer’s need </li></ul><ul><li>Responsiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-training and crisis interventions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New jobs must be filled quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marketing & engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer to peer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Champions </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Standards of Practice <ul><li>Service providers must demonstrate competency, consistency and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Need a sector-driven initiative to establish service quality indicators, credentials for staff and an evaluation/assessment process </li></ul>
  20. 20. Standards of Practice <ul><li>Need to establish, promote and recognize professional training for employment staff </li></ul><ul><li>Given time and support to reach the standard, services that consistently under-perform should be released </li></ul>
  21. 21. Employment First <ul><li>Will not be an easy sell </li></ul><ul><li>Will raise fears and anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the right way to go </li></ul><ul><li>Needs to be managed carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Needs sector input at all stages and all levels </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t simply be a cost-saving exercise </li></ul>
  22. 22. Benefits <ul><li>Remove disincentives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reconcile subsidized housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide Child Care options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change monthly reporting and amortize income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change assets rules – people should not have to deplete their assets to be eligible for employment supports </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Benefits <ul><li>Provide incentives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinstate employment supports automatically for those who previously qualified even if they are eligible for EI or CPP financial support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide transportation subsidies to job seekers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide same range of services that OW and EO offer – training, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Benefits <ul><li>Provide incentives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide telephones for job seekers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate personal assets from business assets for people who are self-employed </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Benefits <ul><li>Provide incentives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjust the claw back formula </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Considerations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mirror OW with first 25% free and clear </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Start claw back at $700 per month </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No claw back for first 3 months of employment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Set a minimum target income that combines employment earnings and income support </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Benefits <ul><li>Provide Safeguards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People who have a disability should not be faced with a ‘work for welfare’ model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide education about the financial benefits of working </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify benefit eligibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide benefits for those who are working but would otherwise qualify </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplement employer costs when they exceed the norm </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Benefits <ul><li>Considerations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research global impact of cost of unemployment – employment as an indicator of health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider regional differences when calculating benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporary or short term assist program to help people in crisis or transition </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Easier to Understand <ul><li>Plain language and alternate formats </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce reporting and paper </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify and streamline rules </li></ul><ul><li>Build education & awareness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One document related to employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide info sessions for those seeking employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post information, regulations and guidelines in one central on-line network </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Easier to Understand <ul><li>Provide better education for Case Workers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modernization creating further barriers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need consistency in the application of rules </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People on IS shouldn’t have to re-apply for Employment Supports </li></ul><ul><li>Eligibility process needs to be more transparent </li></ul>
  30. 30. Viable over the Long Term <ul><li>Place greater emphasis on employment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raise expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment First </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Best practices, Cost-benefit, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contain expenditures within the system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Streamline/reduce reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate duplicate eligibility processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If only paying for outcomes, reduce service provider reviews, unless problems identified </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Viable over the Long Term <ul><li>Address the revenue side of the equation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business stimulus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase tax base </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Re-invest a portion of the IS savings from those who work </li></ul>
  32. 32. Integrated Employment Supports <ul><li>EI & CPP should be able to contract employment services from existing agencies </li></ul><ul><li>People should be able to access the services they need without concern about who funds what </li></ul><ul><li>Transition from OW to ODSP is time consuming and difficult </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People have no service in the interim </li></ul></ul>

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