Human Services Symposium Identifier

Forward Together

The next generation of Human Services in Ontario

Thank you to those who attended the first annual joint AMO/OMSSA Human Services Symposium exploring the theme of "Forward Together: the Next Generation of Human Services in Ontario." 


Transforming Human Services in the UK Through Commissioning: The Case of Remploy
This session focused on the transformation of the provision of social service delivery in the United Kingdom through commissioning. Commissioning is an approach that involves deciding what kinds of services should be delivered to clients, who should be the provider, and how they should be funded. Leslie Wolfe and Beth Carruthers provided an overview of a mutalization initiative that resulted in a joint venture in the UK between Remploy and MAXIMUS to deliver employment services to persons with disabilities. Omar Raza, manager of Advisory Services with KPMG, introduced the session with an overview of the commissioning approach.
  • Presentations were made virtually.
  • To learn more about Remploy click here.
  • To learn more about Maximus click here.
Income Security Transformation  
Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, outlined priority activities of the Ministry including the development and introduction of a Basic Income pilot. The Ministry is actively exploring with stakeholders and other ministries across government on how best to transform the broader income security system in Ontario.
  • Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister, Ministry of Community and Social Services
Engagement, Integration and Working Horizontally
Municipal service system managers play a crucial role in facilitating healthy and prosperous communities, reducing poverty and enhancing economic competitiveness. Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services along with Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Clerk of the Executive Council and Head of the Ontario Public Service and Janet Menard, Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services engaged in a dialogue with delegates on ways the government can work horizontally in partnership with the municipal sector to facilitate human services integration and strengthen system manager responsibilities for planning, service, resourcing and accountability.
  • Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Clerk of the Executive Council and Head of the Ontario Public Service
  • Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister, Ministry of Community and Social Services
  • Janet Menard, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Community and Social Services
Ending Youth Homelessness
Darren Cooney, Manager with the Ministry of Housing, presented an overview of the government’s activities and programs related to the commitment to end chronic homelessness in Ontario within ten years. He also spoke to efforts that the government has taken in cooperation with the community and municipal sectors to address youth homelessness. Melanie Redman, Executive Director of A Way Home: Working Together to End Youth Homelessness in Canada, highlighted the coalition’s activities, particularly to help communities shift from crisis response to prevention and ending youth homelessness. The work of the coalition is focused on building on existing strengths of partnerships, community engagement and innovation, and a strong commitment to ending youth homelessness. The importance of education and poverty reductions strategies to enable healthy communities so youth can thrive was also discussed. Human Service Responses to Mental Health and Addictions
This session explored how provincial and municipal governments can play a role to help address mental health and addiction in Ontario’s communities. At the provincial level, Susan Pigott, Chair of the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council, outlined the Council’s work in informing Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. At the local level, Chief Michael Sanderson of Hamilton Paramedic Service presented the Social Navigator Program, which sends paramedics, police officers, and program coordinators to connect and support individuals and reduce reliance on the judicial and healthcare systems. Monica Bryce and Carmela Ciappa described an initiative York Region’s initiatives to  address mental health and addictions through resilience building, prevention, providing ongoing support, and providing effective crisis intervention. Good Policy Planning Comes from Robust Community Engagement  
John Taylor, Deputy Mayor and Regional Councillor for Newmarket, and Paul Johnson, Director of LRT Project Coordination in Hamilton, walked delegates through two initiatives that engaged their communities to address issues. In York Region, the Human Services  Planning Board initiated the Make Rental Happen campaign by working with a range of stakeholders to develop solutions to the lack of rental housing development in past years. In Hamilton, Paul Johnson outlined how the City established a new approach, involving a range of resident-centred engagement tactics. Community Hubs Vision for Ontario
Nancy Mudrinic, Assistant Deputy Minister in the Community Hubs Secretariat, described how the Province is working to improve client-focused service delivery, community infrastructure, and coordinated planning through its work on community hubs. Moving from engagement to development and implementation, the Secretariat is working on several initiatives. Through an interactive activity, delegates provided feedback on how the Secretariat could best chart the course forward to realize a community hubs vision for Ontario. Planning Sustainable Healthy Communities, Improving Quality of Life
This session focused on how to plan, healthy sustainable communities in order t improve quality of life. Vaughan Councillor Tony Carella spoke of the sue of the Canadian Index of Well-Being and outlined a plan to engage a neighbourhood of seniors to reap the health benefits of using the nearby river trail. Linda Stewart, Executive Director of the Association of Local Public Health Agencies of Ontario, explained that health is impacted by action across sectors, and outlined ways to bring a health lens to work in a range of areas. Catherine Matheson, General Manager, Community Development, City of Greater Sudbury, described how Sudbury became a United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability Regional Centre for Expertise in facilitating learning towards sustainable development in its community.