Frequently Asked Questions
While the Province established the policy framework and service expectations for family support programs, the service system management role has be devolved to municipalities (e.g., York Region, Niagara Region, City of Toronto, Lennox Addington, etc.). These municipalities are referred to as Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs) or District Social Service Administration Boards (DSSABs). CMSMs and DSSABs work with local service providers to ensure, access, equity, and quality in local communities.
Programs are funded in many different ways. Some are funded by the Province, some by boards of education, and some by municipalities, United Way, church groups, or other organizations. Almost all programs struggle financially, and most engage in local fundraising activities. Through its recently-announced intention to create a system of family support services under the name EarlyON Child and Family Centres, the Province is seeking to develop a new funding model that will be more equitable and applied consistently across Ontario.
The short answer is no; programs looks for individuals with specific skill sets and attributes. However, FSIO provides training for individuals working in family support programs. Over the past decade or so, various academic and other institutions have developed training approaches for family support workers. These include but are not limited to FRP Canada and Ryerson University in Toronto. Family support workers typically come from a number of professions, including, education, early childhood education, social work and community development. In some cases, staff are community members or past program participants.