Government’s New Crown Agency and What it Means for PSWs

In the fall of 2017, the Ontario government announced the future implementation of a government home care agency for PSWs designed to provide personal care support to patients directly in their homes.

The new agency, called Self-Directed Personal Support Services Ontario (SDPSSO), has the intent to improve home care to Ontarians that need support.

Although these services are already managed by organizations such as the Community Care Access Centre, or CCAC, the new government home care agency for Personal Support Workers is looking to provide those in need of a Personal Support Worker in their home with more choice in choosing a support worker and more control in the schedule of their caregiving.


Please note that this new agency focuses on changing the delivery of Personal Support Worker services provided in the home only and should not affect those PSWs working in hospitals and long-term care facilities.


This government’s intervention in the delivery of personal support services stemmed from an audit of the CCAC in Ontario that took place in 2015.

The results of the audit highlighted many concerns with the way the CCAC has been handling government provided funding as well as the delivery of care to its clients.


The first of the many issues found is the lack of clarity in spending directly on health care costs.

It is difficult to determine how much of the funding provided to the CCAC agencies was actually used to directly benefit patients.

For example,

when looking at services such as face-to-face treatments with patients, only 61 percent of their expenditure went directly to patient care.


Another alarming issue the government uncovered through this audit is that the rates charged for different services were highly inconsistent within each service offering.

For example,

for only 94 different services, they found 14000 contract rates.

This essentially means that clients have been charged different amounts for the exact same service.


Additionally, some patients requiring immediate attention upon release from a hospital were not seen for over 24 hours.


A final glaring issue, in light of these service delivery concerns, is the fact that between 2009 and 2013 executives at CCAC had their salaries increase by 37% while client care was sub-optimal.

All these issues present a clear picture of the problem with how the government feels the CCAC has fallen short with the delivery of client care and allocation of funds.


Beginning May 3rd of this year, and wrapping up on June 21st, the government will begin merging the current CCAC organizations with the new SDPSSO.

These services will all now be a part of Ontario’s Local Health Integration Network or LHIN for short.

The new organization will provide more flexibility in the care for patients requiring a PSW.

The care will be self-directed in that patients will have the ability to choose their own PSW and arrange a care that works best for their needs and their schedule.


There are pros and cons to this new method of PSW service delivery.


Cutting costs of upper management redirect the costs back to the direct care of patients – meaning PSWs will have the funding required to do their job in providing home care in a more effective manner.

The new government home care agency for PSWs will hire PSWs that will be considered government employees, and the government often provides comfortable wages and benefits as well as job security.

There will likely be an increase in job creation in the PSW field as this organization recognizes the need to increase the availability of home care workers to help meet the needs of clients.


Besides the CCAC, there are other reputable non-profit organizations providing personal support care services to patients in Ontario including Victorian Order of Nurses and Saint Elizabeth Health Care.

These non-profit organizations currently provide quality care but could provide better care if given more government funding.

Long-term, the SDPSSO may draw financial resources away from these other organizations, which will inhibit their ability to continue to provide quality care.

Eventually, it could lead to the SDPSSO monopolizing home care service in Ontario.

Again long-term, if the SDPSSO monopolizes all in-home care delivery across Ontario, PSW jobs in other home-care organizations could be at risk as they struggle to have enough funds to support clients and pay workers.


At this point, it is still early on in the implementation of this new organization and management is likely taking its time assessing current resources and determining where there are shortages.

Since the SDPSSO is a part of the LHIN, as positions become available, they will most likely be posted on the LHIN website, which can be found here.

There are separate pages for each geographic region, so be sure to check out each of the career pages for the regions you would be interested in working in.


At this time, it is still very early in the process, so it could take months, if not years to feel the full effects of this new organization on the health care system.

There are many that are not happy with the government’s decision to overhaul home-care delivery, and as a result, the government is now facing a lawsuit from a coalition of home care organizations.

These companies are questioning the intent of the government’s implementation of the SDPSSO and highlight potential dire consequences on the health care system.

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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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  1. It would be a good idea. Where I work as a PSW, the company does EVERYTHING it can to avoid giving end workers a pay raise. I have NOT had a pay raise in 2 years, despite 2 excellent Performance Appraisals. At $16.50/hr, I have daily car expenses of about $20. So, my real salary is $14.50 and hour. Once gas hits $1.40/litre, I will be looking elsewhere for work. What is truly DISGUSTING is when the management tries to give “good news” while actually avoiding legal obligations for providing pay raises. For example, last year, instead of giving raises, they decided to give mileage…. after 50km, that is… so only about 1% of the workers actually got any type of pay increase. But management can now point at them and say “See? See? That $18/hr we are supposed to give is actually paid in mileage…”
    No matter what, if there is no significant pay increase, then PSWs will be forced to stop homecare because it will cost them more to do the job than earn at the job. We love helping people, but it is unfair asking PSWs to fund the companies they work for by absorbing increases in gas/car costs.

  2. Who well said…and now u can’t even write off ur car expenses at tax time I heard..with the price of gas you wonder if it really make any sense

  3. I find it disgusting that the company directors reap the rewards of the extremely hard work PSW do and pay them a pittance with no benefits or incentives for them or even a chance of a pay rise.
    The govt needs to step in and sort out this situation and protect the hard working PSW
    Canada is an ageing country and will no doubt need more PSW so they need to sort it out now

    • You’re right Robert!
      PSWs are an integral part of the health care system in Ontario. They have been recognized by provincial Government many times, however, the ground reality is still far where it needs to be.
      There is a need for a massive action on part of the Government in order to improve the working conditions and financial viability of this wonderful profession.

  4. Spectrum health care , one of the biggest healthcare providers in Canada do not give their PSWs a yearly pay rise , they give it every 9000 hours but all the other staff get increases
    How is that right
    Come on govt officials ! Sort it out

  5. Spectrum health care give their PSW a pay rise after 9000 hours (roughly 5 years) but all the other staff get a pay rise yearly
    Now the PSW earn the company the money but get no rewards , no increase nothing
    What a joke and Mr Trudeue does nothing about it

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