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Draft French Language Services Plan - District of Sault Ste. Marie

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									Kim Streich-Poser, MSW,RSW
         Commissioner                                                    SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT
                                                                                    Finance
                                                                                  Ontario Works
                                                                               Housing Operations
                                                                                Housing Programs
                                                                              Community Child Care




  Report to: District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board

  Date: May 21, 2009

  Draft French Language Services Plan

  The Social Services Department of the City of Sault Ste. Marie is contracted by the
  District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board to deliver the following
  mandated services under the DSSAB Act. These include Ontario Works, Community
  Child Care and Social Housing.

  The Ministry of Community and Social Services has requested a French Language
  Services Plan from DSSMSSAB by June 1. 2009.

  Over the last 10 years since these services were devolved to the DSSMSSAB and
  delivered by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, the demand and requests to provide French
  Language Services has been minimal and the current capacity has been able to respond to
  the need in both divisions. The option is available for any who require or request it.

  Ministry of Community and Social Services and Ministry of Children and Youth
  Services Programs.

  The Ministry of Community and Social Services oversees the provision of Ontario Works
  through the Ontario Works Division, Social Services Department, City of Sault Ste.
  Marie for the DSSMSSAB. This division is responsible for the full range of services
  identified in the Ontario Works Act.

  The Ministry of Children and Youth Services oversees the provision of child care through
  the Child Care Services division, Social Services Department, City of Sault Ste. Marie for
  the DSSMSSAB. This division does all income testing for subsidized child care spaces,
  contracts for services with licensed child care service providers and manages the Best
  Start initiative.

  Ontario Works:

  Ontario Works Division has a number of staff who can provide services in the French
  language when this is requested.




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Telephone protocols are in place to deal with french speaking callers. If a caller requests
services in the French Language, staff who take the call respond in french for the caller
asking them to wait and a french speaking employee is contacted to deal with the caller.

When clients present themselves to our front counters for service and speak in French,
they are directed to our French Speaking support staff who respond to their needs in
French. Any French speaking clients in Ontario Works would be assigned to the French
Speaking Case Manager. This Case Manager would assist the client in the french
language. In the CVP Unit there is also one bilingual case manager who would complete
the reviews in french if this is required.

All posters and official information from the Ministry of Community and Social Services
regarding Ontario Works is made accessible and available in our waiting areas in both
official languages.

When correspondence from a consumer or a client is received in French, arrangements
are made for the response to be made in French. This would include having the response
translated officially by a translator or have Ministry Form letters or information that is
already available in french sent to the client or consumer.

During regular office hours, all calls that are received at the main office phone line are
answered by a receptionist. There is capacity with reception staff to respond to any french
language requirements and protocols for these calls to be transferred to appropriate staff
to address the customer service needs and french language needs of a client when
presented.

Community Child Care:

Community Child Care does the income testing for all persons wishing to access
subsidized child care within the community. The division is also responsible for the Best
Start Planning initiative. The Division manages the contracts with the Child Care
operators in the community. In the future the division will be managing a Central
Application Site for parents seeking child care services. Protocols and processes are in
the process of being developed.

Telephone protocols are in place to provide service to French speaking callers. If a caller
requests services in the French Language, staff who take the call respond in French for
the caller asking them to wait and a French speaking employee is contacted to assist the
caller.

Most appointments and visits to the Child Care Division are prescheduled and as such
any requests for services in French can be accommodated in advance. Currently neither
of the Case Managers is bilingual. Translators from either another Social Services
Division or from the community could be accessed to provide an intake interview in
French if required.

As part of the Best Start Planning processes, French language services and francophone
needs were addressed. Final reports and any ongoing reports have been and will continue
to be translated and available in French. The needs of the francophone community in


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Sault Ste. Marie DSSAB designated area are taken into consideration for ongoing
planning purposes and the local Francophone Centre is a key resource to the division in
addressing these needs. DSSMSSAB currently funds a fully francophone child care
service through a local Child Care Service provider.

Any correspondence received from a client or consumer in French would be responded to
in French. Translation services are retained by the division for these purposes.

Publications of reports local and provincial are available to the public and to consumers
in both languages. Flyers on local services are currently available only in English.

Future Consideration and Capacity Building.

Currently the DSSMSSAB Website is only available in English. This website should be
updated and all information should be translated and available in French.

The signage for the Social Services Department is currently all in English as the services
are contracted by the DSSMSSAB to the City of Sault Ste. Marie. Additional signage in
French is an area that the department will work to improve.

Some local information flyers on child care information will be translated into French.

Currently there are no positions designated as French among the workforce. Due to
collective agreements negotiated by the City of Sault Ste. Marie as the contracted service
provider for DSSMSSAB, this is not recommended. Future vacancies in the Ontario
Works Division and the Child Care Division should identify French as an asset in future
postings to replace positions. Consultation on this matter will take place with Human
Resources.

Both divisions will continue to monitor the demand for services in French and respond
accordingly.

Respectfully Submitted:



Kim Streich-Poser, MSW, RSW
Commissioner Social Services




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