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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A client evaluation of the personal support and development network Dorin, Casey Shane


In recent years, there has been a trend in Canada towards a model of social assistance which is pro-active in getting people off social assistance and into the labour force. Despite the proliferation of supply-side focussed programs emphasizing training and employment-counselling, however, there has been little research and evaluation of workfare models in the Canadian context. The purpose of this study is to explore the primary and secondary effects, as perceived by the clients, of a three month employment-counselling program (PSDN) that serves long-term unemployed social assistance recipients in Edmonton, Alberta. The qualitative study utilizes a basic time series (A-B) design for exploratory-descriptive purposes. Four categories of participants in the PSDN program are identified: Reactive, Pro-active, Restricted and Reluctant. The findings suggest that policies and programs need to acknowledge the diversity and heterogeneity of problems being faced by the unemployed on social assistance. There are potential benefits in developing programs for the unemployed on social assistance which are flexible, positive, motivating, and supportive. Clients require different levels of interventions and services depending on their needs.

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