The Ontario Works Program in Lac Seul has more to offer than one might think. Of course,
they offer financial aid for individuals in need of emergency assistance. However, the main
goal of the program is to help people in the community develop skills so they may obtain
employment and achieve self-reliance.
Employment support includes helping people look for jobs, assisting in the job application
process, as well as providing support for training opportunities. The Ontario Works Program
works closely with the Lac Seul Centre for Training and Excellence to provide training
such as computer literacy, WHMIS, First Aid, Safe Food Handling, and job readiness skills
(resumes, interviews). Other training opportunities have included outdoor survival,
self-esteem, and life skills workshops.
If an individual is hired at a job, the program will continue to work with that person to
ensure they maintain employment. Support will be provided to assist with childcare,
transportation, or equipment.
A component new to Lac Seul Ontario Works is the Eligibility Review Officer/Family
Support Worker. The ERO/FSW works closely with sole support parents, temporary
care clients to access services and support in the community and assists with the legal
application processes for child support and custody matters. Other supports include
referrals to family care, treatment care (addictions), and legal aid. The Eligibility Review
Officer position ensures client case files are properly documented and processed
according to policy directives.
With offices in Frenchman’s Head and Kejick Bay, the program has a current case load
of 228 in total. Last year, Lac Seul also entered into an agreement with the Ministry of
Community and Social Services to administer the Ontario Works Program for Slate Falls.
When applying for assistance, eligible clients sign a Participation Agreement that requires
individuals to perform 20 hours per month of community service. This includes taking
courses, helping with community events and activities, or employment placement. For
example, over the summer five participants helped to clear an area for a Midewin Lodge.
Also, another group of individuals took part in the portable sawmill training (that was part
of a subsidy program) to build log cabins, which has been met with great success and has
led to full time employment for 6 Ontario Works clients.
An increase in Social Assistance Transfer Funding has also led to full time employment
for 14 other Ontario Works clients: ten (10) full time positions at local elementary schools
as Education Retention Workers, and four (4) full time store clerk positions at Nishmart
Convenience, as well as seven (7) seasonal full time positions at Mahkwa Lodge and the
Lac Seul Resort.
The program has come a long way in recent years. Before Lac Seul offered a full delivery
Ontario Works program, only two people operated the program. Now, there is a team of
seven employees dedicated to helping people find success.
Frenchman's Head Phone: 582-3503 Fax: 582-3449
Kejick Bay Phone: 582-9640 Fax: 582-9642