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Ontario investing in personal support worker recruitment

By CJ Goater Nov 23, 2023 | 4:14 PM

Stan Cho Sceen Capture via Government of Ontario Announcement Youtube

The Ontario government is investing more than $300 million over three years to help people launch careers as personal support workers.

As part of the province’s Your Health Plan, Ontario is continuing to increase the amount of direct care provided to long-term care home residents to ensure residents receive four hours of direct care per day by 2025, and more personal support workers are needed to meet this goal. Direct care is hands-on care that includes help with dining, bathing and dressing, as well as other important tasks such as helping residents move and providing medication.

“Our government is fixing long-term care by training, hiring and retaining thousands of people to provide high-quality care for residents,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Long-Term Care. “These incentives will help people launch rewarding careers, increase the hours of direct care our residents connect to, and support the staffing needs of rural, remote and northern long-term care homes.”

“Personal support workers play a critical role in helping people in Ontario connect to the care they need in the comfort of their own home and in their local community,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.  “Bolstering our number of personal support workers in the home care sector allows us to increase people’s access to in-home services which prevents unnecessary hospital and long-term care admissions, shortens hospital stays and provides people with the choice to stay in their own home longer.”

Ontario is also now offering new incentives of up to $25,400 to students and recent graduates of personal support worker education programs, including:

• Up to $5,400 to students while they complete their clinical placement in long-term care or home and community care

• $10,000 for current students and recent graduates who commit to working in a long-term care home or with a home and community care service provider for 12 months

• $10,000 to help with relocation costs to graduates who commit to working in a long-term care home or with a home and community care service provider in a rural, remote or northern community for 12 months

“This investment will make a great difference to a population that is in great need. The PSWs of Ontario are burned out from overworking themselves in understaffed facilities and (are) desperate for help on the front line,” highlighted Miranda Ferrier CEO of the Ontario Personal Support Workers Association. “These important incentives will bring them that help and that support while enabling the students to focus solely on their education and training.”

These incentives are retroactive to April 1, 2023, for those who recently completed their clinical placements and personal support workers who started working in long-term care or home and community care.

Students who started a district school board personal support worker program on or after April 1, 2023, will also have their student fees waived or reimbursed.