Ensuring the successful transition from workfare to participation in the work force long term involves the removal of barriers to adequate and successful participation in social service programs that are in place to support self-sufficiency, the establishment of supports in policies that acknowledge the transition process that is intended to take place when people participate in Ontario Works as recipients, and efforts to change public opinion of social assistance to shift away from the conservative ideology that is responsible for deviantizing Ontario Works recipients through policy and practice. According to the Metcalf Foundation report, this involves the "creation of a new government responsibility centre, re-orienting Ontario Works to support transition, and publicly championing the road to self-reliance."
The creation of a new government responsibility centre will help to remove the barriers to adequate and successful participation in social service programs that are in place to support self sufficiency. While these barriers come from "unintended consequences related to program overlap and duplication" improved communication between social service authorities to prevent this overlap needs to occur.
Re-orienting Ontario Works to support transition will ensure the establishment of supports in policies and practice that acknowledge the transition process that is intended to take place when people participate in Ontario Works as recipients. Such steps would require "Governments to create a program where an Ontario supplement and the Working Income Tax Benefit are combined. Authorities also need to raise asset levels to allow Ontario Works recipients to save money that is direly needed for job hunt expenses and emergencies that could occur during the transition from social assistance to work.
Finally, publicly championing the road to self reliance will address the need to change public opinion of social assistance to shift away from the conservative ideology that is responsible for deviantizing Ontario Works recipients through policy and practice. This primarily involves the creation of a public education program that "champions continuous improvement and counters the unrealistic expectation of making sudden leaps into self-sufficiency.” The public education initiative should be backed by a group of public relations firms, communications specialists and pollsters in order to "resolve the contradictions in public attitudes towards acceptance of public assistance by working age adults." Such steps will ensure the creation of a coherent social policy whereby public opinion is in support of the transition of Ontario Works recipients into a competitive job market instead of reflecting unrealistic expectations that Ontario Works recipients will make sudden leaps into work and embrace low paid jobs.
Recommendations for acknowledging the transition from workfare to work obtained from: “Why is it so Tough to Get Ahead? How Our Tangled Social Programs Pathologize the Transition to Self-Reliance.” John Stapleton, Metcalfe Foundation: Toronto, 2007.