New-Brunswick ’s Social Assistance Program:. Better Action through Better Understanding Linda McCaustlin and Ysabel Provencher, Ph.D. Study Context. Action Research paid for by the Public Health Agency of Canada
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Better Action through Better Understanding
Linda McCaustlin and Ysabel Provencher, Ph.D.
4 from the Common Front, 1 Senior Investigator
and 2 Associate Members.
Conducting the research
(information gathering and analysis).
Research Action evaluation.
The Case Worker = Policy’s key individual.
Assesses the needs/obstacles/means of individuals.
Are available to facilitate the “client’s” progress towards independence.
Key Tool = Case management plan. Needs, obstacles, means assessement; establishing timelines, etc.
Case Workers = Only for specific classes of recipients (single parent families, certain individuals under age 55). Each case worker has a case load of 130-150 “clients”.
Other Case Workers = Financial Counsellors. Each case worker has a case load of 700 - 900 “clients”. Contacts done solely by telephone. Once a year visits are sometimes made by summer students.
-different interpretation of policies according to the individual or region of the province
-non-recognition of the handicaped status, even though the handicap is medically documented.
The aim of New Brunswick ’s social assistance program is to help recipients achieve independence.
There is a real and perceived contradiction on the part of the system’s users and practitioners between the political discourse and how the program is actually delivered.
“I went for goal setting. And they say they’re gonna do everything, like they’re gonna help me, get me like ressources that I need to get into, into those things, but then they never did! They never get back to us, at all! And they have all the opportunity in the world, because I wanted to participate in all the programs!”
“That was a part of goal setting. They never got back so what’s the sense of going in there, telling that is your goal, and this is what we want to do and this, and they like, oh well, we’ll see you next year when we do the exact same thing.”