April 25, 2013

Dear OMSSA members and friends, 

As in every life, cycle or organization, change must come. It is no different for OMSSA, and I write today to tell you that after sixteen years of service, Julia Frost has retired from OMSSA.

Dear OMSSA members and friends, 

As in every life, cycle or organization, change must come.  It is no different for OMSSA, and I write today to tell you that after sixteen years of service, Julia Frost has retired from OMSSA. 

I know that many of you will miss her, as will we here at the office.  We were able to send Julia off with a staff lunch this week, and I know you all join me in celebrating her many years of contributions and loyal service.  In honour of this, OMSSA gave Julia an Honourary Lifetime Membership in the Association.  Julia was thrilled, and now of course, can stay in touch in this new way. 

I, the OMSSA Board and the full staff team wish Julia well in her next adventures, as, again, I know you all do too.  Good luck Julia! 

I also draw readers’ attention to a short essay from Diya Gill, our Manager of Education, in the OMSSA section below about what she learned recently in the SAIL classroom. 

My best to all, Kira  


2013-2014 Ontario Budget

Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, announced earlier this week that the provincial budget will be delivered on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. 

OMSSA will provide an overview and analysis on key areas of interest to its members.

Ontario Government Expanding Access to Care for Seniors 

Following the recommendations in Living Longer, Living Well, Dr. Samir Sinha's report on a Seniors Strategy for OntarioThe Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced that seniors and patients will be provided with improved access to physiotherapy, exercise, and falls prevention classes.  Beginning August 1, 2013, more one-on-one physiotherapy, group exercise classes and fall prevention services will be available in long-term care homes and in communities across Ontario.

Ontario Proposes Investments in Home and Community Care 

The Office of the Premier announced that the Ontario government will add an additional investment in the community care sector of $260 million in 2013-2014 to reduce wait times for patients. This would also help set a target for patients who require nursing services and those with complex needs to receive home care within five days of their Community Care Access Centre assessment. 

Improving access to home and community care is part of The Action Plan for Health Care in Ontario


Halton Region Early Years Conference – Save the Date! 

Save the date for Halton Region’s early years conference Embracing the Early Years, Capture the Moment to be held November 20th – 23rd, 2013 at Holiday Inn – Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre.  Full agenda, brochure, and registration details coming soon.

 Institute to Release Working Paper on Ontario Government Revenue, Spending, and Debt 

OMSSA members may be interested in attending as Roger Martin, Chairman of the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity and Dean of the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management releases the sixteenth Working Paper, titled Making sense of public dollars: Ontario government revenue, spending and debt.  

The event will be held on Thursday, May 2, 8:00-9:30 am at Fleck Atrium (Ground Floor - North Building), Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, 105 St. George St, Toronto. 

At 8:00 am, registration check-in and a light breakfast will be available.  Dress code is business casual. Pre-registration is required to attend. To register for the event, click here before 5:00 pm on Friday, April 26.  The event is free of charge, but spaces are limited. 

Housing Services Corporation Hosting Retirement Reception in Honour of Lindsey Reed                                                                                                       

Celebrating 30 plus years in Housing!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

4:00p.m. to 8:00p.m.


Cost: $40/person – includes 1 drink, appetizers, and gift contribution.

Payable via *cheque, or cash at the door

Cash Bar will be available


Lithuanian Hall

1573 Bloor Street West


Please RSVP by April 22, 2013 to events@hscorp.ca


*Please make cheques payable to Housing Services Corporation

TVO and CAMH present Mental Health Matters Week 

For the second year in a row, TVO, in association with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), present Mental Health Matters May 6 to 12. 

The Agenda with Steve Paikin, anchors the week May 6 through 10 at 8 and 11 pm with five nights of discussion and debate of critical issues in mental health. Topics covered during the week include: mental health and the immigrant experience; resilience in children; a look at the high suicide rates for Aboriginal youth; anxiety as a mental health disorder; and a broader look at the prevalence of anxiety in our society. 

TVO's dedicated mental health website at www.tvo.org/mentalhealthmatters is the online home and central resource for Mental Health Matters during the week and beyond. The site features live streaming and catch-up viewing of The Agenda with Steve Paikin as well as web exclusive videos that tell the stories of people who have been affected by mental illness, interactive graphics that map mental health in Ontario, and live chats and blogs from mental health experts.

Conference on Change Management 

The Conference Board of Canada is hosting the following conference:


Change 2013: The Art and Science of Leading Change

Thursday May 9 - Friday May 10 2013

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel

Toronto, Ontario


The conference features a keynote presentation from Daryl R. Conner, the author of Managing at the Speed of Change and Leading at the Edge of Chaos. 


What I Learned in my Week of SAIL Training – By Diya Gill, OMSSA Manager, Education

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a week long SAIL training session with management staff in the Region of Peel.

The training – as anyone who has gone through it knows – was an amazing experience. As I attended the training, I realised that in the current climate of change, SAIL continues to be a resource for relationship management, capacity building and change management.

While it began as an Ontario Works focussed training, SAIL has morphed into an essential toolkit for any human services staff, no matter what their program area. Midway through the week long training, conversations emerged in my cohort applying SAIL concepts to personal experiences. In turn these conversations lead to conceptual and thoughtful discussions about a systems thinking approach to change and transformation.

SAIL is also a useful resource to manage change effectively. As Paul Duhigg says in The Power of Habits, during times of change, ingrained good habits (he calls them keystone habits) make the difference between success and failure. At a time when social, technological, economic, and political change is affecting the way we work in human services, SAIL competencies have the ability to develop those keystone habits in individuals and in organizations.

Service Managers have been using SAIL competencies as a relationship building toolkit in their work with clients and communities. I see the potential for using these same concepts to strengthen organizations and build community capacities going forward. 

Last, but not the least, as the pictures indicate, I learned that the Region of Peel staff are awesome bakers!

Upcoming OMSSA Education Opportunities!


Family Support Worker Core

May 1 – 3, 2013 in Toronto

Click here to Register 

This intense three-day session will provide new and experienced Family Support Workers (FSW) with practical information about the court system and the role and responsibilities of the family support worker. Attend the workshop for detailed information on relevant legislation, and on specific issues such as child support, same sex spousal support, sponsorship issues, legal liabilities, and more.

Additional information


Results Based Performance Measurements

May 8 – 9, 2013 in London

Click here to Register 

This two day workshop will provide strategies and tips to apply performance measurement processes to human services. Understand the need for measuring performance; learn how to set performance indicators, how to engage stakeholders in the process, and how to use performance measurement in decision-making.

Additional information


Time Management Strategies: Webinar

May 15, 2013 (10 am – 11:30am)

Click here to Register 

Attend this webinar to gain the essential tips and strategies you need to manage your time more effectively. You will learn how to recognize your time style, identify time wasters and develop strategies to help you generate more time.

Additional information


Effective Risk Based Decision Making: Managing Risk in Working with Community Human Services

May 16 - 17, 2013 - Barrie

June 5 - 6, 2013 - North Bay

September 26 – 27 - Toronto

Click here to Register 

Understand how risk management principles apply to human services, and how to apply risk management concepts to improve and support your decision making process. Attend this workshop to learn how to incorporate risk mitigation strategies into your organizational systems, strategies, and decision making practices.

Additional information