DS Workforce Initiative

In 2021 the Ministry of Children and Community Social Services released Journey to Belonging: Choice and Inclusion, a long-term vision for Ontario’s Developmental Services. A key pillar of this vision is to focus on launching  a strategy that will support a skilled, diverse and professional workforce to help people participate meaningfully in their communities and live good lives. Integral to this is ensuring that the strategy recognizes that an employer is not just an agency, but can also be a family, individual or other support group, aligning with the person-directed focus of Journey to Belonging. To do this, the MCCSS partnered with the developmental services sector to launch the DSWIC, and develop a workforce strategy so that people and their families have access to high-quality support staff.

In alignment with the DS Reform and building on previous work by the sector, including the 2008-2018 Developmental Services HR Strategy (see below), the Ministry and the Provincial Network Human Resource Committee is  co-leading an initiative that is focused on the following areas:

  1. Modernize the Developmental Services Core Competencies that reflect next generation expectations (e.g., individualized supports; skilled practitioners in other key sector(s))
  2. Operational-Leaders Training to improve retention of both management and skilled direct support staff, as well as to improve leadership capabilities to advance new workforce models and enable diversity in service models;

A Recruitment-Focused Marketing Campaign to ensure a diverse, stable and sufficient workforce that enables people to choose supports responsive to their individual needs.The goals of the Developmental Services Workforce Initiative:

  • Increase of qualified developmental services professionals who deliver high quality supports that lead to more positive outcomes.
  • Build capacity through an aligned approach to education, training and professional development in Ontario’s Developmental Services Sector
  • Provide opportunity for a variety of career paths for developmental service professionals
  • Responsive leadership grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion

Vision of the DS Workforce Initiative

“In alignment with DS Reform work, we build a diverse workforce that is stable and responsive with skills to deliver person-directed and quality supports for people with developmental disabilities in Ontario.”