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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ontario Works Cases Increase

Grey County | by Jonathon Jackson  

Grey County will hire more staff to deal with spike in Ontario Work cases.


The number of Ontario Works cases in Grey County has increased by 70 per cent in less than five years.

But new provincial funding will help the County hire two additional social services caseworkers.

County council approved on Tuesday a resolution to add the new positions in order to help deal with the caseloads that have increased by 70 per cent since 2007.

Social Services Director Barb Fedy says until now, staff within the department have juggled responsibilities in order to handle the workload.

But caseworkers are each dealing with an average of 115 to 130 cases.

Fedy says the goal is to get that number closer to 100 and she expects to be able to do that with the new hires.

She says there are about 15 hundred people receiving assistance in Grey County right now and that number is expected to increase by about five per cent this year.

The number has steadily increased since 2007 due to the recession that has claimed many jobs -- some of which Fedy says are not expected to be available again.

Fedy says the manufacturing sector has been hit hard, but seasonal employment is also down and hasn't fully recovered because spring is taking so long to arrive.

Fedy says the two new positions will be filled right away, bringing the complement in the department to 17.

 

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