Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services is the ministry in Ontario, Canada responsible for services to children and youth, social services such as welfare, the Ontario Disability Support Program, and community service programs to address homelessness, domestic violence, spousal support, adoption, and assisted housing for people with disabilities. The current Minister of Children, Community and Social Services is Todd Smith.

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
Ministère des Services sociaux et communautaires  (French)
Government ministry overview
Headquarters438 University Avenue, 7th floor, Toronto, ON M7A 1N3
Ministers responsible
  • Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
  • Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister for Children & Women's Issues
  • Jeremy Roberts, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services with responsibility for Community and Social Services
  • Amy Fee, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services with responsibility for Children and Autism
Deputy Minister responsible
  • Janet Menard, Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services
Parent departmentGovernment of Ontario
Child Government ministry

Ontario Works

Ontario Works is a last-resort income support program for the poor. Prior to 1997, persons requiring this assistance received support under the General Welfare Assistance Act. While the Ontario Works program purports to better respect peoples dignity, build self-esteem and promote independence, its origins are in the Ontario Works Act, 1997 as a workfare programme under the Mike Harris government.[1] Each of its participants is encouraged to be involved more in the community and find suitable employment.

Ontario Works is a program that provides income and employment assistance for people who are in financial need by developing an Action Plan in certain agencies. In other agencies participants are referred to other resources. This Plan identifies and addresses an individual's barriers to employment. It is a benefit for persons 18 years and older and by exception for peoples 16 to 18 and also single parents regardless of age. In order to qualify for Ontario Works, an applicant must be a resident of the province of Ontario, in immediate need of financial help, not have excessive assets and be a willing participant in employment assistance programs and activities.

There are exceptions to participating in employment related activities if the participant is unable to work due to medical reasons or if they are the primary caregiver for a relative. The amount of money received from Ontario Works will depend on family size, income, assets, and housing costs. Those eligible for Ontario Works may be able to receive other benefits such as medical and dental coverage, eyeglasses, moving or eviction costs and employment-related costs.

Ontario Works also assists applicants for the Ontario Disability Supports Program (ODSP) by providing immediate financial assistance, application for ODSP and advocacy in the appeal process. Applications for Social Assistance in Ontario can now be completed online at; Eligibility can also be determined at the same link without directly applying.

In 2014, a $240-million Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) software platform deployed by IBM's Cúram Software caused $20 million of overpayments to 17,000 Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (OW/ODSP) recipients, while thousands of others received token $5 monthly payments or nothing at all.[2] Some were unable to pay for rent or electricity, in some cases leading to their eviction.[3] Others were manually issued paper cheques.

Juvenile corrections

The ministry operates correctional facilities for juveniles who are convicted of crimes.[4]

Secure juvenile facilities include:[5]

  • Bluewater Youth Centre (Goderich) (This Youth Centre has shut down in 2012)
  • Brookside Youth Centre (Cobourg)
  • Camp Dufferin (hidden location)
  • Donald Doucet Youth Centre (Sault Ste. Marie)
  • Cecil Facer Youth Centre (Greater Sudbury)
  • Hope Manor (New Dundee)
  • Kennedy House Youth Centre (Ajax)
  • Portage Youth Centre (Kenora)
  • Ge-Da-Gi-Binez Youth Centre (Fort Frances)
  • William E. Hay Youth Centre (Ottawa)
  • Justice Ronald Lester Youth Centre (Thunder Bay)
  • Roy McMurtry Youth Centre (Brampton)
  • Sprucedale Youth Centre (Simcoe)
  • St. John's (Uxbridge)

List of ministers

Public Welfare

Social and Family Services

Community and Social Services

Children and Youth Services

Children, Community and Social Services

See also


  3. "Hamilton residents evicted due to faulty software: Whitehead". CBC Hamilton. 18 December 2014.
  4. " Youth are found guilty of offences, they are not convicted. About Youth Justice Services in Ontario Archived 2010-08-23 at the Wayback Machine." Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Retrieved on 15 September 2010.
  5. "Secure Custody Facilities for Youth Archived 2010-07-27 at the Wayback Machine." Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Retrieved on September 15, 2010.
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