Home and community support is the smartest investment in health care's future!
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January 2017


Of late, health care leaders at both the federal and provincial levels have money on their minds. As they negotiate a new federal-provincial health funding agreement, both sides have acknowledged that better home and community care is a priority. But of course, the devil is in the details.

OCSA encourages both federal and provincial leaders to resume negotiations toward a sustainable funding agreement which also includes targeted funding earmarked for home and community care.

Not only would such an agreement benefit our patients and clients, it would also bring enormous value to the health care system. On average, home and community care is significantly less expensive than long-term or hospital care, and our sector's focus on prevention and re-enablement doesn't stop at meeting a client's current needs - it actually guards against decline in future. Home and community care is desperately needed right now, but it is also a smart investment in our health system's future.

Health system funding is complex, but there is no time to waste. In Ontario, home and community support providers are overdue for investment, and it's time for the province to follow-through on its promises to strengthen the sector. Click here to read our 2017 Ontario budget recommendations.

- Deborah Simon, CEO

2017 Budget must include investments to build capacity and protect quality of home and community care

OCSA has submitted our 2017 Ontario Budget recommendations, and prepared an accompanying member toolkit. Members are encouraged to make use of the toolkit to contact their MPPs - check your inbox or log-in to our Members Only website to access it. To read our media release click here. 

Over the past few years, the province has made valuable investments in the sector. However, specific funding channeled directly into new service hours has not been accompanied by operational investments into the not-for-profit organizations that actually deliver these services. As the population ages and demand increases, many of them are reaching a breaking point.

Therefore, OCSA’s critical recommendation is an ongoing annual 2% base funding increase to service providers, in order to prevent erosion of services or a decline in the quality of care delivered to clients. An investment of $51.8 million would provide a 2% increase to base funding - $22.4 million of which could be found in administrative savings resulting from the CCAC/LHIN integration. New investment of $29.4 million would complete the funding increase for 2017. 

In addition to the $51.8 million base increase, OCSA also recommends additional new investments of approximately $30 million, in the following priorities:
  • $10 million invested into the budgets of front line home and community providers earmarked specifically to provide enhanced training for home and community care staff, in order to meet the needs of clients in a Patients First approach.
  • $11.8 million designated to enhance volumes for programs such as adult day services, respite, transportation and caregiver supports to support family and caregivers of dementia patients, as part of the upcoming provincial dementia strategy.
  • $8 million invested in attendant care services, to support innovative outreach and supportive housing models which address waitlists and enable people with physical disabilities to live in their homes for longer. 
If you have any questions, please contact

Sector Wage and Benefit Survey

OCSA’s wage and benefit survey is currently in the data collection stage, which is scheduled to close on Feb. 10.  Surveys were delivered to 385 CSS funded organizations/programs across the province and data has been submitted by 36 organizations to date. The delivery date for the summary report is still on target for March 31.  Results will serve a benchmarking tool that will enable providers to make informed decisions about compensation for recruitment and retention.

If your organization was not contacted to participate in the survey, or for more information, please contact David Hughes at or ext. 246.  

OCSA members who complete the survey will receive a complimentary copy of the summary report.

Legislative Update: Bill 87, Protecting Patients Act

On December 8, Minister Hoskins introduced Bill 87, Protecting Patients Act in the legislature. The bill aims to increase protections for patients and increase penalties for regulated health professionals against sexual abuse. It would also address a number of issues around informing parents on immunization, reform and modernize legislation on Elderly Persons Centres, simplify reimbursement requirements for seniors who receive prescriptions from nurse practitioners, and update requirements for diagnostic laboratories.

The press release and backgrounder can be found here and the full-text of the bill can be found here. An OCSA analysis for members is on the way shortly.

The Change Foundation Announces Four Partnerships 
Ready to Start Changing CARE

The Change Foundation recently announced four new community partnerships poised to make positive impacts on the experience and interaction family caregivers have with Ontario's health care system.

Through Changing CARE, partnerships in London, Huron and Perth counties, Cornwall and Toronto will develop local supports, programs, and/or resources that address four thematic needs identified by caregivers and health providers: communication, assessment, recognition, and education. 

Congratulations to OCSA Members One Care Home and Community Support Services and WoodGreen Community Services on their involvement in these exciting projects.

Click here to read more.

News from Queen's Park

On January 12, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced changes to her cabinet that included Dipika Damerla, becoming Minister of Senior Affairs, leading a new standalone Ministry. OCSA is pleased to see the increased attention paid to this extremely important demographic, and look forward to working with Minister Damerla to strengthen the sector.  

The shuffle also named Marie-France Lalonde as Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.  Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, also became Minister Responsible for Small Business. Indira Naidoo-Harris was given the new portfolio of Minister of Women's Issues and Tracy MacCharles becomes Minister of Government and Consumer Services, in addition to retaining her responsibilities as Minister Responsible for Accessibility.

Upcoming Training from Capacity Builders:

Back by Member Request!
Stepping Up to Supervisor: A Preparatory Course for Front-Line Staff Moving Into a Lead or Supervisory Role
March 21 and 28, 2017 in Toronto

This two-day course provides front-line staff with the opportunity to learn essential skills to prepare them for a supervisory or team leader role.

Emphasis will be on identifying the benefits of “stepping up to supervisor” and on identifying positive approaches to the challenges that arise. This is a very interactive course; we'll use real-world examples and case scenarios from a not-for-profit human service perspective.  A certificate will be awarded to those who successfully complete the course.  Participants will learn what supervisors are really supposed to do - from a task and interpersonal perspective, how to make a successful transition from peer to supervisor, about the role of a mentor and support system in facilitating the transition, and how to develop a personal plan to hone new skills.

*Not close to Toronto? No worries!  We’ll bring this course to you, anywhere in the province.  Please contact for more information.
More information

Update: Federal-Provincial Health Accord

Since a breakdown in negotiations before the holidays, seven provinces and territories have signed bi-lateral accords for health funding with the federal government. Ontario along with Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba and Prince-Edward Island remain without deals.

Those who have signed deals with the federal government have agreed to increases of 3% or the rate GDP growth, whichever is higher, plus various amounts of targeted dollars for mental health and home and community care. The remaining provinces are still negotiating for higher rates of growth in the transfers from the federal government.

Earlier in January, OCSA released this statement urging a return to the negotiation table.


Events and programs hosted by OCSA members.
  • Your Life: Looking Back, Moving Forward
    March 23 workshop in Toronto, hosted by the Aphasia Institute, will provide Recreationists and Activationists with the knowledge and skills to work with clients with communication challenges. 
Congratulations to the following OCSA members who recently earned their first accreditation: Are you an OCSA Member who would like to promote an event or program in our next issue? E-mail a link and one-sentence description to
Our call for 2017 conference workshop abstracts will be distributed next month - stay tuned!


Quick links from around the sector.


OCSA is pleased to advertise job opportunities on behalf of our members. To be included in our next issue, please e-mail a link to the posting, job location, and application deadline to
  • Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships (TIGP) is hiring a part-time bookkeeper to maintain the financials and bookkeeping tasks of a charitable, non-profit organization located in the City of Toronto. Click here for full job description.

Please submit at least 4 weeks before applications close.
Copyright © 2017 Ontario Community Support Association, All rights reserved.

The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) champions a strong, sustainable home and community support sector for all Ontarians. Our not-for-profit, community-based member organizations provide a wide variety of health and wellness services which help a full range of clients, including seniors and people with disabilities, remain independent in their own homes and communities. For more information, visit 

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