The Social Assistance Review Advisory Committee has just released its report, stating that Ontario’s welfare system is not working and needs revamping. It states that the system should shift from simply providing financial support to helping people out of poverty. Easier said than done, and there is no consensus on how to achieve this.
In my humble opinion, the Ministry of Community and Social Services does not have the resources or the experts needed to properly service the needs of the clients they serve – this is evident in the fact that the social assistance system has never really worked.
As a starting point, I believe the Social Services component of this ministry should be spun off to two other Ministries which I believe are better equipped to handle these clients.
The people who need assistance because of mental or physical disabilities would be better served by the Ministry of Health, whose experts would assess these clients and provide the necessary assistance.
The able bodied people who need assistance because they have fallen on hard times would be better served by the Ministry Of Colleges and Universities, whose experts would help these clients to obtain the necessary skills (training/education) to reenter the work force. This Ministry could also be responsible for people with mental or physical disabilities but who also want to be part of the work force.
The above are only broad statements, and not carved in stone. I’m sure there are many people out there who have interesting suggestions on how we could fix this system and actually provide help to those that need it.