THUNDER BAY – Changes are coming at The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB). The new management structure is intended to support the integration of services in the new building in Thunder Bay as well as throughout the District. The DSSAB has offices in Thunder Bay, Marathon, Manitouwadge, Nipigon and Schreiber.
DSSAB has announced changes to its senior management team to prepare for an integrated client services delivery model. Assuming new roles at the DSSAB are William Bradica, appointed as Director, Corporate Services, and Sandy Isfeld, Director of Service System Planning. Mr. Isfeld will also assume the interim role of Director of Client Services until that position is filled on a permanent basis. The re-organization is planned in phases, with further evaluation of integration opportunities in late 2012. The DSSAB building construction remains on schedule with a targeted move-in date of February 2012.
“Historically, licensed child care, social housing, and Ontario Works are programs that have been delivered by the DSSAB in silos by separate groups of staff, based on the way the programs are funded by the province and municipalities. This requires clients to deal with several different workers even for routine matters, and is not the best or most efficient way to deliver services from either the clients’ perspective or from a staff perspective,” stated Melissa Harrison, the DSSAB’s Chief Administrative Officer.
The DSSAB engaged consulting firm Deloitte Inc. to conduct an extensive organizational review, including client and staff surveys and comparison with how services are delivered in other jurisdictions. “The research told us for example that someone living in rent-geared-to-income housing might have several workers they deal with at the DSSAB for child care fee subsidy, Ontario Works, their rent calculation, a special needs child, property maintenance, or one of our other services. Our goal and the trend in the province is to be more efficient and provide one stop shopping and one main contact as much as we can, bearing in mind that we will still have some specialized services and staff for clients requiring additional assistance,” Harrison stated.
“One of the goals of the new DSSAB building was to bring our staff and services under one roof, and to provide better client services in a building built for the purpose. Now the CAO is working to align our organizational structure to reflect integration. We want to provide better and more efficient service by reducing the number of times clients have to tell their stories and repeat information, as well as make sure people receive the help they need when they need it”, stated Councillor Iain Angus, TBDSSAB Board Chair.
The DSSAB’s intention is that the new integrated services model will be ready when services are relocated to its new building in the downtown South Core, planned for February 2012.
Photo courtesy of Nicole Baxter