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Phase 2 Provincial Update
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The Department of Family and Community Services (FCS) was created during the Government of New Brunswick's Program & Service Review in the spring of 2000. FCS provides a variety of services to families such as literacy training, academic upgrading, life skills and transition to employment through a network of human resource service centres across the province. FCS is a leader, partner and supporter in creating opportunities for New Brunswickers to recognize and achieve their full life and work potential.
It was recommended as part of the Review that the Department of Training & Employment Development (TED) be given the responsibility for delivering and simplifying employment programs. TED introduced five new programs on April 1, 2000 - Work Ability, Training and Skills Development, Workforce Expansion, Employment Services, and Student Employment and Experience Development. Along with the transfer of all employment programs to TED, an agreement was reached between TED and FCS to have the Employment Counseling function for EI eligible clients transferred to TED on December 1, 2000. FCS, however continues to provide employment counseling for Social Assistance Recipients (SARs).
The service delivery model of FCS is based on a case management approach which transfers ownership and responsibility for self-sufficiency to the client who is in turn supported by Case Managers and the community. Under this approach, FCS clients undergo extensive needs assessments to support the development of individualized case plans aimed at enhancing their ability to become self-sufficient. Case plans will identify clients' needs in terms of education and training and readiness for employment.
The case plan fosters independence and is focused on results. FCS provides clients who are potentially employable with an employability needs assessment, individual case plans, personal counseling, career development, labour market information, education and training programs, job readiness programs and referral for work experience.
A comprehensive Training and Education Strategy (TES) was developed to ensure that clients have access to a co-ordinated and efficient network of educational and training services. Sixty per cent of New Brunswick's Social Assistance Recipients have less than grade 12 and many have literacy issues.
The Training and Education Strategy recommends the assessment of clients for employability and referrals to appropriate job readiness programs. The Case Manager and the client work together to determine the interventions required to achieve sustainable employment and agree on an appropriate caseplan to meet this goal.
The Career Development Options (CDO) Program provides a menu of interventions to support potentially employable clients in the acquisition of skills and experiences designed to increase their employability and limit the likelihood of long-term dependence on income support. Funding is also provided for transportation, child care, health card and other special items as requested.
Intervention under CDO include such initiatives as alternative schools, support to SAR dependants, Youth Services Partnership, upgrading, job preparation courses, Learning Disabilities Pilot and Career Development Workshops for Parents. FCS refers clients to three programs offered by TED Work Ability, Training and Skills Development (TSD) and Employment Services.
Future interventions being explored include mentoring, volunteering, Blueprint for Life/Work Designs and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). Policies are also being reviewed in an attempt to eliminate disincentives to work.
The Government of New Brunswick undertook a Program & Services Review in the spring of 2000. During this review, the Department of Family and Community Services (FCS) was created. FCS provides a variety of services to families and children. These services include programs such as child welfare, day care, income support, housing, long-term care, nursing homes and services to seniors, youth and persons with disabilities. The department also provides literacy training, academic upgrading, life skills and transition to employment through a network of human resource service centres across the province. The Human Resource Division of the Department of Family and Community Services is a leader, partner and supporter in creating opportunities for New Brunswickers to recognize and achieve their full life and work potential.
As part of the Program and Services Review, it was recommended that employment development programs offered by the Province be simplified and housed within one department. The responsibility for delivering and simplifying employment programs was given to Training & Employment Development (TED). Five new programs were introduced by TED on April 1, 2000 in order to eliminate overlap and duplication. Along with the transfer of all employment programs to TED, an agreement was reached between TED and FCS to have the EI Employment Counseling function transferred to TED on December 1, 2000. FCS, however continues to provide employment counseling for Social Assistance Recipients.
FCS delivers financial assistance to Social Assistance Recipients in the following three groups:
- Interim Assistance - Financial assistance is provided to persons and families, who are in need, yet are expected to attain self-sufficiency in a relatively short period of time. Benefits and services to these clients are generally temporary in nature. The average monthly caseload for the 2000-2001 fiscal year was 1,743 or 6% of the total caseload.
- Transitional Assistance - Financial assistance is provided to persons and families who have potential to become self-sufficient once certain barriers to employment are addressed. The average monthly caseload for the 2000-2001 fiscal year was 20,595 or 73 % of the total caseload.
- Extended Benefits - Financial assistance is provided to support to persons and families for whom dependency on the department is long term due to a particular disability. The average monthly caseload for the 2000-2001 fiscal year was 5,838 or 21% of the total caseload.
Valuable lessons were learned from the NB Works Demonstration Project and these have been integrated into the province's service delivery framework. This framework transfers ownership and responsibility for self-sufficiency to the client who is in turn supported by Case Managers and the community. The province has significantly increased the number of case management staff resulting in a greater number of participants being case managed.
Creative and innovative interventions, programs and services are necessary to address the multiple barriers facing at least 73 % of the caseload. The intensity of the programs and interventions for the current caseload requires increased knowledge about clients needs, continued professional development of staff to provide intensive case management, and counseling support.
Case Management is a process of coordinating and brokering the multiple services needed for clients to progress toward self-sufficiency. A caseplan is developed for clients in our information system NB CASE. Background information on client's health, personal and social skills as well as education and employment history are recorded during the client's eligibility determination. The process continues with the identification of an employment goal and interim goals to achieve self-sufficiency. The client and case manager plan a series of interventions appropriate to client goals and needs. These interventions are recorded in NB Case as an Action Plan which is comprised of a step by step outline of services linked to the relevant goal with target dates. The client's progress is monitored to maximise effectiveness of interventions. FCS believes that clients should be given an opportunity to process and personalise education, training and work experiences.
The case plan fosters independence and is focused on results. FCS provides clients who are potentially employable with an employability needs assessment, individual case plans, personal counseling, career development, labour market information, education and training programs, job readiness programs and referral for work experience.
A client-centred case management approach is based on the following twelve case management principles:
- Income support is a transitional phase.
- Financial accountability is a client empowerment value.
- Client contact is at a level that supports self-sufficiency.
- Standardisation is applied to the assessment of financial eligibility.
- Maximising client access to alternate resources supports the development of problem-solving skills.
- Assessment is the critical factor of the case management process.
- The integrity of assessment information is directly related to the client case-manager relationship.
- Assessment information is temporally specific. It must be tested and verified over time.
- A client-driven case management approach is based on collaborative relationships that support client decision-making. Commitment facilitates human resource development.
- Motivation is directly influenced by perceived abilities to influence the situation.
- The case management process will observe, interpret and challenge client behaviour.
- Case managers have a vested interest in client success.
Training and Education Strategy
Education and training play a key role in developing the academic, personal, social and technical skills necessary to access and maintain employment. Current research indicates that higher levels of education are related to higher levels of employment. In addition, there is evidence that new jobs will continue to demand even higher levels of education or specialization in certain fields.
A comprehensive Training and Education Strategy (T&ES) was developed to ensure that FCS clients have access to a coordinated and efficient network of educational and training services.
The T&ES sets the stage for FCS to do the following:
- Establish an effective linkage with other organizations involved in supporting the Economic and Human Resource Strategy;
- Guide in shaping an effective and efficient service delivery model;
- Provide practical guidance to case managers, in terms of training and education parameters, to make the best choices when counseling clients -- a guide to resource allocation;
- Provide a " living document"; some aspects need further development while others will be refined with experience.
The T&ES assesses clients for employability and referral to appropriate job readiness programs. The Case Manager, together with the client, will determine the interventions required to achieve sustainable employment and agree on an appropriate caseplan to meet this goal.
Career Development Options Program
The Career Development Options (CDO) Program provides opportunities and supports for potentially employable clients to acquire skills and experiences designed to increase their employability and limit the likelihood of long-term dependence on Income Support.
Within a case management approach, a number of interventions and services are available to clients. These are delivered from any one of our 21 service delivery locations and include initiatives such as literacy training (CASP), academic up-grading, work placements, mentoring, volunteerism, career development workshops for parents, Training and Employment Support Services for persons with disabilities, financial support and Career Information Centers. Life skills development is usually integrated in all career development interventions and is provided to any client with assessed needs.
- To provide interventions and services required to support clients attainment of self-sufficiency;
- To support clients in making successful life/school/work transitions by providing appropriate career development opportunities;
- To reduce income support expenditures by supporting successful clients transition into the labour market.
All Social Assistance Recipients with career development case plans are eligible for CDO interventions.
The annual budget for CDO activities is $7.8 million. To capture spending areas, the budget is broken down into the following categories:
- Employability Development - increases the employability level of clients by using interventions such as academic upgrading, training and/or life skills development courses as recommended in the Training and Education Strategy.
- Youth Initiatives - provides services to youth 15 to 24 years of age who must overcome serious barriers to become employable. Interdepartmental collaboration on identifying local solutions to address complex youth issues is supported.
- Strategic Initiatives - innovative interventions that promote self-reliance. They are sometime piloted in a specific region before being assessed or adapted for province wide application.
- Special Benefits - provides financial assistance to help clients on social assistance cover training or employment related costs such as transportation, childcare and/or special clothing.
The Career Development Option program provides a high degree of flexibility that allows the local office to use funding in a manner that meets their regional need.
Approximately 20,000 interventions are provided each year.
The following details available interventions under the CDO program.
Literacy Training (CASP)
Sixty per cent of social assistance recipients in New Brunswick have less than a grade 12 education and many have literacy issues.
Community Academic Services Program (CASP) provides accessible and flexible literacy training throughout the province, reaching both urban and rural learners. Since 1991, over 800 CASPs have been funded, providing access to literacy programs to over 16,000 New Brunswickers. Today, approximately 140 anglophone and francophone CASP classes are in operation.
To provide New Brunswickers with widespread access to learning opportunities that raise their basic education level, particularly with a view to improving their employability and quality of life.
Any New Brunswicker in need of literacy training at the grade 1 through grade 9 level is eligible for CASP. Information on the program may be provided by the case manager, however, self-referrals are most common.
As of February 2001, approximately 400 SARs were actively participating in CASP. This number does not include many of those individuals who have self-referred.
The upgrading intervention provides educational opportunities to clients who are ready and are in need of this type of intervention. Upgrading initiatives include literacy (intermediate and senior levels), Adult High School Diploma, GED, basic computer skills and career education. The duration of the intervention is based on the case plan and individual needs.
- Facilitate acquisition of high school graduation equivalence for individuals 19 years of age or over;
- Facilitate re-entry into the school system for individuals under 19 years of age.
Social assistance recipients 19 years old or over who have a career development case plan can benefit from upgrading services.
For clients under the age of 19, consultation and partnerships are established with the Department of Education to facilitate re-entry into the school system.
Funds to cover upgrading expenditures come from the Career Development Options (CDO) budget under the Employability Development category.
Clients who are receiving EI or are Reachback clients are funded through the Training and Skills Development program under the Department of Training and Employment Development (TED).
Upgrading interventions were provided last year to approximately 2000 participants.
A variety of programs and services targeting the unique needs of youth are available throughout New Brunswick. The goal of these programs is to prevent youth from becoming part of the intergenerational cycle of dependency by assisting those with multi barriers. These youth initiatives may be locally or provincially driven and change from year to year based upon the needs of this diverse client group. As a result, specific initiatives are only available in certain areas of the province.
Many of these programs and/or services would not have been possible without the strong partnerships that exist between a number of government departments and outside agencies concerned about the future of New Brunswick's youth population.
$1.3 million of the CDO budget has been allocated to Youth Initiatives for the 2001-2002 fiscal year. The majority of this money is distributed to regional offices to be used in a manner consistent with local youth needs and objectives. The following are examples of the types of interventions available through Youth Initiatives
- Alternative Schools
- For a variety of reasons, the regular school environment does not meet the needs of all youth. As a result, the regional offices of many provincial departments have chosen to contribute to the development and maintenance of a number of alternative learning environments. Although all of these alternative schools tend to be structured differently, the principle goal remains the same - to ensure that youth receive the education they require in a manner that meets their individual needs.
- Youth Needs Assessments
- A youth needs assessment provides a detailed overview of local youth needs and gives government departments and other service providers an indication of the programs and services required in individual regions. Assessments have been carried out in a number of regions in an effort to ensure that appropriate programs and services are available for youth.
- Youth Telephone Lines/Information Guides
- In some areas of the province, special telephone lines are in place for youth who are looking for information on a variety of topics including employment, education, and health. In many areas, information guides have also been developed to ensure that youth know who to contact when looking for specific information.
Strategic initiatives are special projects that provide innovative solutions designed to meet local needs. This component of the Career Development Options Program enables the testing of new approaches to promoting client self-reliance. The needs of clients are ever changing and departmental interventions must adapt to reflect this. These projects or initiatives often involve a collaborative effort between government departments and other service providers. The following are examples of the types of interventions available through Strategic Initiatives.
Based in the Central region, the Youth Choices program is a joint initiative between Family and Community Services-HRD Division and the Fredericton Boys and Girls Club. This program provides counselling and intervention services for "at-risk" youth between the ages of 15-19 whose families are in receipt of social assistance. Two youth counsellors/intervention workers provide a number of services including:
- Outreach services and home visits;
- Advocating on behalf of clients;
- Referrals to appropriate services within the community;
- Consultation with parents and case managers; and,
- Collaborating with schools and other community agencies in order to provide services to clients.
- To address the issues, obstacles and unmet needs of "at-risk" dependent SAR youth.
- To help reduce barriers that may be keeping these youth from reaching their full potential in life and to help "level the playing field" for them.
- To provide a unique, proactive counseling and intervention program which helps to prevent intergenerational dependency.
Youth 15 - 19 years of age are referred to a youth counselor/intervention worker by the family's FCS-HRD case manager. Others are self-referred or have heard about the program by word of mouth. The youth counsellor meets with each youth and his/her family individually for an initial assessment and then they develop a case plan together.
As of March 2001, there have been 119 referrals to the Youth Choices program - 77 of these cases are open.
Learning Disabilities Pilot
Clients with learning disabilities have difficulty in processing information.
Most people with learning disabilities have average to above average intelligence. Approximately 15% of individuals in the general population possess a learning disability. There are five problem areas: visual, auditory, motor, organizational and conceptual. Although learning disabilities are not reversible, they are remedial and treatable. Sixty per cent of adults with literacy problems have an undiagnosed learning disability.
Currently this intervention is a pilot project focused in the South East Region aimed at assessing clients for learning disabilities and assisting them in developing compensatory strategies and accommodations for learning and workplace settings. The target group for the pilot are clients with a suspected learning disability. Considerable staff training for screening clients for potential learning disabilities was provided as part of the pilot. The identification of the proportion of clients in the Southeast region seen during a specific period of time who actually have a learning disability in this region will be possible after the pilot. This pilot will assist in Literacy Development. Consideration will be given to enhancing the program and delivering it province wide in the near future.
An evaluation report will be available in 2002.
Career Development Workshops for Parents
Parents have a significant influence on the career development and career decision making of their teens. Although parents are anxious to help their teens in this regard, many feel ill equipped to do so. The aim of the Lasting Gifts Workshop Series: "Becoming a Career Development Ally for Your Teen" is to assist parents to develop the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate the career development of their teens. This initiative is a family based intervention, which responds to the mandate of the Department of Family and Community Services.
The targets of this intervention are the dependants of Social Assistance recipients. Indirect benefits would be received by increasing the career development knowledge and skills of the parents. The generational cycle of dependency would be challenged in some cases. The workshops were created by the Canadian Career Development Foundation and funded by FCS in cooperation with the Department of Education. Family & Community Services Career Consultants and Case Managers trained in the delivery of the workshop in November 2000. The series is currently being tailored to better meet the needs of Social Assistance Recipients. An evaluation report is expected to be available in January 2002.
Pilot projects will be executed by six regions of the province in the Fall 2001 in English and French with mixed groups and Social Assistance Recipients only.
Work Ability (TED)
Work Ability provides workplace opportunities in support of case plans that will develop the skills necessary for permanent employment. The program provides wage subsidies to eligible employers who are willing and able to provide a job experience for 4-26 weeks as defined in an individual's case plan.
- To provide unemployed New Brunswickers who are being case managed with an opportunity for work experience and skill development;
- To help prepare unemployed New Brunswickers for long-term sustainable employment;
- To help address the problem of structural employment imbalances; and
- To reduce the number of individuals on income support.
Eligible Participants- Individuals whose career plan indicates they require employment experience
Eligible Employers -Municipalities, Government Departments/agencies, non-profit and private sector.
6,000 **These numbers include EI clients as well as SARs
Renumeration is normally for 35-40 hours per week at $6.25 per hour
Training & Skills Development (TED)
Training & Skills Development assists case managed individuals, whose case plan identifies skill development as being necessary, in accessing appropriate training & education programs so that they can achieve their goal of becoming self-reliant.
- To provide case managed individuals with access to appropriate training and educational opportunities so as to prepare them for current and emerging employment opportunities;
- To increase the number of individuals who find sustainable employment as a result of receiving financial assistance in support of a training intervention;
- To reduce the number of individuals dependant on income support by providing assistance necessary to gain sustainable employment.
- Determined EI eligible;
- Be unemployed, underemployed or employment threatened;
- have an approved case plan that is in line with current and emerging employment opportunities;
- Require skills development in order to obtain sustainable employment;
- Have chosen training or educational program being delivered by a TED approved training provider;
- Require financial assistance to access skills training.
9,000+ **These numbers include EI clients as well as SARs
Employment Services (TED)
Employment Services provides the financial and professional supports needed to ensure that labour force needs of New Brunswick employers and workers are met. In this respect, it is recognized that support is sometimes needed to get individuals into the labour force and employers may require assistance to ensure the viability and sustainability of their workforce. Employment Services contains four (4) components: Adjustment Services, Job Placement Services, Training & Employment Support Services, and Research & Innovation
- To ensure that the labour market needs of workers and employers are met by:
- Supporting employers, employee or employer associations, community groups and communities in developing and implementing strategies for dealing with labour force adjustments and meeting human resource requirements;
- Facilitating the process of successfully matching workers (job seekers) with employers;
- Assisting individuals with disabilities to gain access to training and employment by contributing to the cost of essential support services;
- Supporting R&I projects to identify better ways of helping persons prepare for, return to or keep employment and become productive participants in the labour force.
Job Placement Services - New Brunswickers searching for jobs, New Brunswickers looking to enhance job readiness skills, employers looking for workers
Training and Employment Support Services (TESS) - New Brunswick residents between 16 and 64, that has a physical/mental disability and has potential to attain sustainable employment.
6,000+ **These numbers include EI clients as well as SARs
Funding and Program Costs
The annual budget for CDO activities is $7.8 million. During this fiscal year, $1.3 million of this budget was allocated to Youth Initiatives.
A number of special benefits are available for clients accessing training or employment related opportunities. These include assistance with transportation and childcare expenses, access to a health card, and other special items as required.
Assistance with transportation may be available to assist clients who have a developed case plan and wish to access unsubsidized or subsidized employment opportunities. This benefit may only be provided as a one-issue benefit until receipt of first pay.
This benefit is also available for clients with a developed case plan who are accessing training opportunities. Assistance with transportation is available for the duration of the training period.
- Private Vehicle: $0.11/km regardless of number of passengers
- Public Transportation: Actual cost of fare
- Tax: $0.29/km ($0.34/km including HST)
Subsidized daycare is also provided as already described.
For the first three months of assistance, all members of a social assistance case receive coverage for Prescription Drug and Ambulance Services. This Basic Start Up coverage turns to Full Basic after three months on assistance and coverage is expanded to include Dental, Optical and Other services.
At the discretion of the case manager, this coverage may be extended to individuals and their families as a transition to employment benefit (benefit can also be extended to those taking training ). This benefit may be approved for up to one year and may be automatic or the individual may be required to demonstrate that the unit's overall expenses are greater than the unit's income.
Special benefits refer to assistance above and beyond that which is normally provided to social assistance recipients. These benefits are only available once need has been determined and the specific criteria for the particular benefit has been met. Items that may fall under the special benefits category include special clothing, equipment, and fees/dues.
Subsidized Day care
Expenditures for total daycare costs for the fiscal year 2000/01 in New Brunswick were $6,366,290. Subsidized daycare is divided into the financial benefits provided under the Daycare Assistance Program and Alternative Childcare.
The Day Care Assistance Program is designed to help families to get the best possible child care. If the family's net monthly income is $1250 or less full day care assistance is provided $18.50/day/child is offered and $16.50/day/child over 2. If net monthly income is more than $1250 but less than $3825 partial assistance is available. The assistance received is paid directly to the licensed day care facility on your behalf. Clients are responsible for paying any difference between the actual day care rate and the assistance provided by the Department of Family and Community Services. Daycare subsidies for 2000-2001 totalled $5,786,259.
Expenditures for Alternative Childcare were $ 580, 031. Financial assistance through Alternative Childcare may also be available to low-income parents or guardians who are in school or working and do not have assess to licensed day care. If there are no day care centres available in the client's community or child care is required during evenings, nights and weekends.
Clients have the right to appeal if:
- they feel the department is taking too long to make a decision about their assistance
- their request for assistance was turned down
- some of all of their assistance was stopped
- they feel they have not been granted enough assistance for their needs.
The appeal process is as follows:
First, there is a Request for Review form filled out at the local FCS-HRD office within 30 working days. This Request is forwarded to the Area Reviewer who is knowledgeable in the Family Income Security Act and Regulations. The area reviewer will make a decision within 15 days of receiving the Request and reply to the client by mail. If the client wants to pursue the issue further and is unhappy with the area reviewer's decision, the case can be reviewed by the Regional Family Income Security Appeals Board. The Board is composed of individuals for the community who do not work for the Department and they will provide an independent review of a departmental decision. Within 15 days of the hearing the Board will send the client and the area reviewer letters outlining what they decided and why.
The Employment Base
The unemployment rate in New Brunswick is the lowest in 25 years. The employment growth was in goods producing industries. This is unusual because three quarters of the jobs are in the service sector. Manufacturing industries, management and healthcare created the most jobs. The NBJobNet database is available to link skills of potential employees with employers in New Brunswick.
NBJobNet is an internet based tool for job searching and skills matching, where job seekers enter information on their skills, education and work history and employers search for potential employees by indicating the skills they need or by posting job openings. NBJobNet can also be used as a repository for labour market information which can be provided on a regional basis. This system is open to anyone looking for employment, but access to the database has been limited to New Brunswick registered employers or employers doing work in New Brunswick.
NBJobNet has also been used as a skill-based inventory of the New Brunswick labour force to assist in identifying economic development opportunities and labour force development needs. Currently, initiatives are being developed to profile regions of the province to capture labour market and skills information which meet specific information requirements of various New Brunswick regions. This information will assist with better analysis of the labour force in local areas, the development of relevant employment programs and identifying training needs and opportunities. The Province will be able to provide high level profiles of its workforce. These profiles would show the number of people by any geographical area, by skills, education level, etc.
Career Information Centres
Training and Employment Development leads a partnership with Family and Community Services Human Resources Division and Human Resources Development Canada in the establishment of Career Information Centres throughout the province aimed at providing career information services for clients.
At the Career Information Centres, Individuals typically have access to current, accurate and relevant career information on such topics as occupations, education and training, job search and maintenance, career planning, labour market, self-employment, personal and development, community services and government programs.
Youth Services Partnership (YSP)
The Youth Services Partnership (YSP) is a collaborative network that facilitates effective and efficient delivery of programs and services for youth at the provincial and local level. The partnership supports the development of a culture among community members to identify needs, available resources, and innovative approaches to service delivery. The objective is to ensure that services are comprehensive, responsive and flexible to the needs of youth.
YSP partners include, whenever possible, public, not-for-profit and private organizations that are involved in the delivery of programs and services to youth. Current partners common to local and provincial committees include: Human Resources Development Canada, Family and Community Services, Education, Training and Employment Development, Health and Wellness and Public Safety.
On the Move
"On the Move" is an on-line resource guide developed by the Federal and Provincial governments to assist youth in making the school to work transition. This electronic tool provides relevant and timely information on employment and career development programs available to New Brunswick youth. Information is divided into 6 sections - Career Development, Summer Employment, Volunteer Programs, Student Financial Aid, Point and Click: The World Wide Web, and Appendices. The site address is HYPERLINK http://www.ted-fed.gnb.ca/onthemove www.ted-fde.gnb.ca/onthemove in English and HYPERLINK http://www.ted-fde.gnb.ca/verslavant www.ted-fde.gnb.ca/verslavant in French
Program and Design Considerations
The focus of program design is on client centred case planning. Clients work in partnership with the case manager to identify what interventions are best for them. Clients drive the case plan and interventions must be available to meet their needs within a reasonable timeframe to assist them in achieving their goal of self sufficiency. Seventy three percent of FCS clients are multi barriered. The reasons for these barriers are being investigated and where possible interventions put into place to address them. Literacy level and employment are closely linked and the TES provides a plan of attack to address these issues in a holistic manner. The family focus of FCS enables us to consider client dependants and their needs for interventions.
There is not single window access although under the employees of HRDC and NB are currently co-located in Human Resource Service Centers. Initially the LMDA was with the department of HRD-NB but after December 1, 2000 these provincial departments were reconfigured and the Department of Family and Community Services was created and the LMDA responsibilities transferred to the Department of Training and Employment.
Regional delivery of programs and services reflects regional realities and differences. Partnerships are enhanced with communities and financially supported and communicated to the rest of the province through the Strategic Initiativea. Flexibility is key to meeting specific client needs and situations as outlined in their individualized caseplan.
As part of the case management approach the progression of the client through the caseplan is monitored. The client needs are reassessed in the financial, personal academic and employment areas. Interventions are reviewed and modified if necessary. Services and outcomes are evaluated through performance measures for the whole caseload. 3,732 Social Assistance Recipients left the caseload because the department helped them to find work or access a training program. Seventy four per cent of Social Assistance Recipients successfully completed employment programs. The cost and or benefit of the interventions is assessed. When the case is closed follow up occur through exit interviewing and case closure reasons. The efficacy of the caseplan is evaluated. Long-term goals are followed up on with the client in periodic contact in new employment situations over a specific period of time.
Initiatives currently under development and being discussed with departmental staff are new programming directions such as volunteering and mentoring intervention initiatives, Blueprint for Life/Work Designs and prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) and a policy review of disincentives to work.
The Mentoring intervention has a client-centred approach that allows the youth an opportunity to be placed in a positive working environment where they will receive guidance, encouragement and support from a mentor. The intervention will outline and demonstrate the advantages of post secondary education and raise the awareness of the current labour market, which will help the youth to plan for their future
There is a continuous intake for this client-centered initiative, thus allowing case managed clients the opportunity to use the mentoring intervention when appropriate. Intervention length is for a period that is based upon client needs and that follows the Work Ability guidelines.
Key partners within this intervention include: Mentee, Mentor, Family and Community Services staff, Employer, Training and Employment Development staff.
The mentee will be eligible for financial support under Training and Skills Development Program or receive a $1,000 bursary if they complete a mentoring intervention as set out with their Case Manager and return to school for upgrading, skills training or go on to post secondary education.
- To raise the awareness of the value of an education to the mentee.
- To offer the mentee exposure to a positive work experience.
- To expose the mentee to a positive role model.
- To provide an opportunity for the mentee to develop his/her transferable skills
- To provide an environment which will allow the mentee to increase their self-esteem and to realize their own potential.
- To provide an opportunity to the mentee to be eligible for financial assistance to help with educational cost.
A case managed youth who:
- Would benefit from a mentoring experience;
- Is an early school leaver or at risk of leaving before graduation; or
- Is unsure about his/her career path.
(Note: This intervention is also available to all FCS case managed individuals if the intervention is appropriate within their case plan.)
The volunteer initiative encourages case managed clients to volunteer their time with a community organization. Not only does the client benefit from this experience through the accumulation of transferable skills and the opportunity to volunteer in a positive environment, but the sponsoring organization also profits from the contributions of the new volunteer.
Participants are rewarded for their efforts by the Department providing they contribute the minimum number of hours required to their sponsoring organization. Financial incentives for post-secondary study are also available for these volunteers.
There is a continuous intake for this client-centred initiative, thus allowing case managed clients the opportunity to begin volunteering and earning rewards at an appropriate point in their case plan.
- To involve youth in activities that ease the transition from school to work by providing career relevant work experience and an opportunity to acquire transferable skills;
- To support young New Brunswickers dependent upon social assistance in accessing post-secondary education by reducing the level of student financial assistance they require; and
- To foster community service and involvement by youth, thus increasing contributions to society through volunteerism.
This initiative targets case managed SAR youth dependants but is open to all FCS-HRD case managed clients. In order to participate in this initiative, the case manager in conjunction with the client, must determine that it is an appropriate step in the individual's case plan.
Blueprint for Life/Work Designs
The Blueprint is a conceptual framework for guiding Canadians in the acquisition of career-related information, skills and knowledge. Career development is viewed as a complex and multidimensional process involving growing through life and work. The Blueprint outlines the development of 11 core skills, or competencies sorted into three areas: Personal Management, Learning and Work Experience, and Life/Work Building.
Potential applications for the Blueprint for Life/Works Designs in the department of Family and Community Services are currently being discussed among staff:
- a guide to interventions with clients to ensure a comprehensive life/work flow
- identification of needs and outcomes for additional programs and services
- evaluation programs and services
- development/redesign of programs and services
- marketing of client needs
- portfolio development (prior learning assessment and recognition)
- staff training and development tool
- coding of career resource material
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
PLAR is a nationally and internationally accepted means of giving individuals recognition for what they know and what they know how to do. This could range from formal school or on the job training, to community work and other life experiences. Portfolio Development is the main tool for demonstrating competencies.
Individual and small group workshops in Portfolio Development would be developed for FCS clients. Nova Scotia has used this process of self-reflection for Portfolio Development with SAR's and found a significant increase in self-esteem and change in attitude.
Review to Eliminate Disincentives to Work
In New Vision New Brunswick, there was a commitment to undertake a review of all social assistance and related programs to remove barriers and disincentives that discourage people from finding full and part-time work.
Subsequently, in November of 2000, Government identified six key areas that would be the focus of this review:
- Social Assistance Benefit Rate Structure
- Child Care Support
- Health Card
- Transportation Support
- Wage Exemption
- Skill Deficits.
Working Groups have been established for each of the six issues. The objectives of these Working Groups are as follows:
- To ensure that the features of social assistance and related programs are designed in a manner which support individuals and makes it more beneficial to pursue and maintain employment than to receive or return to social assistance.
- To ensure that the features of social assistance and related programs are designed in a manner which assists able individuals in their transition to the workforce.
- To ensure that social assistance and related programs are complimentary and are delivered in a streamlined, simplified and harmonized manner.
It is expected that the Department of Family and Community Services will bring forward to Government recommended responses to these issues by summer 2001.
Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement
New Brunswick has a long history of cooperation between the federal and provincial governments, at both regional and local levels which has resulted in innovative partnerships such as NB Works and NB Job Corps. The Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement was built on this tradition of cooperation.
New Brunswick assumed responsibility for the design and delivery of active employment benefits and measures supported by the Employment Insurance funds under the LMDA signed December 13, 1996. Implementation by New Brunswick began on April 1, 1997.
The recipient base to be served under this agreement includes active Employment Insurance claimants and reach-back recipients as defined by the Employment Insurance Act. Federal employment counselling staff were transferred to the province to deal with this additional caseload. Initially they were transferred to HRD now FCS but in the spring of 2000, the Government of New Brunswick undertook a Program & Services Review. As part of this exercise, it was recommended that the responsibility for delivering employment programs be shifted to Training & Employment Development (TED). This specific transfer of provincial responsibilities from FCS to TED took effect on December 1, 2000.
Primary Information Sources
- Family and Community Services Human Resources Division Draft Identity
- 1999-2000 Human Resources Development-NB Annual Report
- Family and Community Services Program and Service Description
- Training and Employment Development Employment Programs 2000-2001
- Family and Community Services-Human Resources Development Division Programs Branch Planning Document 2001
- Web site FCS
- Human Resources Development -NB Training and Education Strategy
- FCS Description and activities of Disincentives to Work Committees
- Get Work Experience Volunteer -Youth in Action
- Puzzled About Your Future -Youth Futures
- Youth Choices presentation notes
- Training and Employment Options
- Training and Employment Support Services (TESS)
- Set Your Course for Work Today
- As A Matter of Fact....New Brunswickers and Social Assistance
Index of Acronyms
- CDO - Career Development Options
- FCS - Family and Community Services
- FCS-HRD - Family and Community Services-Human Resources Development Division
- TED - Training and Employment Development
- TSD - Training and Skills Development
- TESS - Training and Employment Support Services
- TES - Training and Education Strategy
- CASP- Community Academic Services Program
- YSP - Youth Services Partnership
- EI - Employment Insurance
- SAR - Social Assistance Recipient
Louise Hale Finley
TITLE: Information Systems Analyst
Family and Community Services
PO Box 6000
E-MAIL: TELEPHONE: (506)444-5952 FAX: (506) 453-2152