Over the past decade, Literacy Link Niagara has operated an assessment and referral program for Ontario Works (OW) clients in the Niagara Region on a fee-for-service basis.  Other municipalities, literacy organizations and regional networks partner to better serve the literacy needs of Ontario Works clients across the province. The result of these local relationships means that there aren’t consistent processes and procedures in place across the province.

This project wanted to address OW and literacy relationships that have developed in Ontario and ask

  • how did these relationships develop?
  • what were the challenges and what are the successes?

A goal of the project was to provide areas with limited partnerships with tangible evidence of how strong partnerships were developed (referrals, programming, supports, tools) as well as evidence of the partnerships’ successes.

This project also looked at the new population that is emerging within some OW caseloads – clients with strong histories of attachment to the labour market who have exhausted their EI and cannot find a place for their skill sets within the current economy.