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Productive Choices refers to a number of ways in which someone in receipt of Income Assistance can work toward independence. The focus of this program is to assist and encourage decisions and productive choices from among community opportunities in wellness, learning, training, and work experience to gain and maintain a greater degree of financial independence.
The program has five objectives:
- To enhance decision-making, accountability and self-reliance of communities and individuals seeking Income Assistance;
- To provide temporary support for individuals until they are able to make productive choices for themselves and their families;
- To recognize the roles of tradition and culture in people's lives and the importance of family in the types of income assistance services offered and in the manner in which they are delivered;
- To assess individuals seeking Income Assistance and refer them to community social programs primarily through one community office;
- To make better use of resources, including both Income Assistance funds and community human resources.
There are a number of examples of Productive Choices that include:
Upgrading, career support, employment, training, harvesting, community work/volunteer activities, parenting (children under five years of age).
Alcohol and drug counseling, mental health counseling, family support, medical assistance, community justice.
In order to receive guidance and support in Productive Choices, you must initiate the process by showing your interest in making these choices.
An Income Assistance Worker or Career Development Officer can assist you in making a short or long-term plan. There are no set number of required hours for Productive Choices. The amount of time is based on the productive choice selected.
Once a Productive Choices plan is in place, the Income Assistance Worker or Career Development Officer and you - the Client - sign a Productive Choice Agreement. This agreement outlines how financial assistance can support you in accessing the productive choice that you choose.
You are responsible to follow through with the plan to the best of your ability in order to continue to receive Income Assistance.
You may change the Productive Choice Agreement at any time if it is in the best interests of your progress.
Those who are considered disabled or over the age of 60 are not required to participate in Productive Choices.
The Income Assistance Worker can work with, and refer individuals to the following additional support:
- A Career Development Officer or Adult Educator, for career counseling, adult basic education programs, trades/college programs for training or higher education.
- A Career Development Officer or Outreach Worker, for help finding work.
- Elders or church members or Social Worker, for assistance with family problems.
- A Recreation Officer, for help in taking part in community life.
For more information on this and other programs offered, contact the Income Assistance Worker or Career Development Officer in your community or region: