Building Strength and Resilience: Tools for Early-Career Social Workers

Helping human beings in distress is a rewarding profession—and a stressful one. It can be hard to stay positive, because problems are what we are expected (and expect ourselves) to solve. These expectations take a toll and sometimes result in a process of gradual exhaustion, cynicism, and loss of commitment…. Read the tips from Marilyn Lammert on

Building Strength and Resilience: Tools for Early-Career Social Workers –


Residents urged to apply for Canadian citizenship to avoid hurdles on horizon

| Toronto Star

When Ottawa enacted the new law in June, many, including frontline immigrant settlement workers, assumed it would take effect immediately and that little could be done to beat its more restrictive criteria.

In fact, some of the most controversial changes — requiring citizenship applicantsto be present in Canada for four years out of six (rather than three years out of four), and raising the age of exemption from language and citizenship tests to 65, from 55 — won’t come into force until next June, immigration officials confirmed to the Star.

“We want to tell people it’s not too late, and they should take advantage of the old rules,” said Ann McRae, executive director of the Rexdale legal clinic, a member of the Inter-Clinic Immigration Working Group. Residents urged to apply for Canadian citizenship to avoid hurdles on horizon | Toronto Star.

Private corporations helping widen inequality gulf: study

The Globe and Mail

Income inequality in Canada is more pronounced than previously believed, a new report reveals, because many of the country’s wealthiest people are funnelling their income through private companies that are not included in standard measures of individual earnings.

A study by three leading academics says Canada’s top 1 per cent ofincome earners took home an average of $500,200 in 2011 – including income from private corporations they control directly or indirectly through holding companies. That is 39 per cent more than the $359,000 figure calculated when traditional individual income tax data are used.

Private corporations helping widen inequality gulf: study – The Globe and Mail.

Ontario’s election ads: Profiling the leaders’ messages – Ontario Votes 2014


Three leaders. Each a hard sell in his or her own way, each with a laundry list of unflattering customer reviews.

For voters, even if you’re not sold on what’s on offer, how the product is pitched can make a big impact on whether you’ll buy what they’re selling.

For politicians, ads are another level of reach. Beyond knocking on doors, staged town halls and photo-ops, advertising is the closest the party leaders will get to many voters. Ads can be crucial to success, and they can be campaign killers. Sometimes they fail (remember former Progressive Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell’s backfiring Chrétien ads?) sometimes they stick (recall the federal Conservatives’ “not a leader” Stéphane Dion spots?).

The goal is for the message to be crisp and memorable.

In this Ontario campaign leading up to the June 12 vote, we’re seeing tactics as varied as the leaders’ platforms, with three profiles emerging

Ontario’s election ads: Profiling the leaders’ messages – Ontario Votes 2014 – CBC.

Birth rate stalls after recession, hurting economic growth

Based on ‘Business’ – CBC News

We tend to think economic growth comes from working harder and smarter. But economists attribute up to a third of it to more people joining the workforce each year than leaving it. The result is more producing, earning and spending.

Now this secret fuel of the economy, rarely missing and little noticed, is running out.

“For the first time since World War II, we’re no longer getting a tailwind,” says Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at Blackrock, the world’s largest money manager. “You’re going to create fewer jobs. … All else equal, wage growth will be slower.”

Births are falling in China, Japan, the United States, Germany, Italy and nearly all other European countries. Studies have shown that births drop when unemployment rises, such as during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Birth rates have fallen the most in some regions that were hardest hit by the financial crisis.

Birth rate stalls after recession, hurting economic growth – Business – CBC News.

Minding Our Bodies

About the Project | Minding Our Bodies.

People with serious mental illness are at high risk for chronic physical conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are associated with sedentary behaviour, poor nutrition, and reduced access to primary health care.

At the same time, mental illness can influence a person’s health behaviour. Studies indicate that depression, for example, negatively impacts a person’s nutritional choices, their commitment to exercise, and adherence to medical therapies. Choices around diet, exercise, smoking and treatment adherence can all have a serious impact on the state of one’s physical health.

To compound the issue, psychiatric medications can cause significant weight gaMinding our bodies CMHAin, and a high percentage of people with serious mental illness are smokers, often as a means of combatting the side-effects of medication.

Research evidence shows that increased physical activity and improved diet can have significant positive effects in preventing chronic disease, improving chronic disease outcomes and supporting recovery from mental illness. Exercise can alleviate primary symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as secondary symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Yet despite the known benefits, physical activity and healthy eating interventions are not commonplace or well integrated with other services delivered by community mental health care providers in Ontario.

How Do We Measure Nonprofit Effectiveness?


Just a few years ago, the only measure for a nonprofit’s effectiveness was the percent they spent on overhead expenses. If a nonprofit spent a magic 20% or less on non-program expenses they were deemed worthy of donations. This destructive way of evaluating nonprofit organizations has been losing favor over the last few years as rating agencies like Charity Navigator have recognized the need for a broader evaluation of nonprofit effectiveness. New measures have started to include outcome and impact elements.

But all of this begs the ultimate question which is how do we create a system for measuring and comparing nonprofits across the many social issues and operating models that make up the sector? Because however faulty the overhead percentage measurement was, at least it allowed a comparison of apples to apples. You could see how one nonprofit stacked up against another. But if each nonprofit organization is now creating their own theory of change, and their own outcome and impact measurements, how do we compare those to another nonprofit’s outcome and impact measures?How Do We Measure Nonprofit Effectiveness? | NTEN.

Global Slavery Index 2013 :Walk Free Foundation –

The Global Slavery Index provides a ranking of 162 countries, reflecting a combined measure of three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, a measure of child marriage, and a measure of human trafficking in and out of a country. The measure is heavily weighted to reflect the first factor, prevalence. A number one ranking is the worst, 160 is the best.

Walk Free Foundation – Global Slavery Index 2013 | Findings – Walk Free Foundation – Global Slavery Index 2013.


Homeless in the GTA: Finding affordable housing especially tough for women

Story: Toronto Star

Lisa Roberts and her 15-month-old son, Liam, spend their days at the Whitby library or walking around parks and playgrounds. At night, the same playgrounds become their place to sleep, curled up in the play structures wrapped in blankets.

Roberts, 38 — who is nearly eight months pregnant with a girl — and her son have been homeless since the beginning of May, when she had to leave her basement apartment in Whitby because her landlord’s son was returning from university.

Living off welfare, she has been unable to find a one-bedroom apartment for less than $800 in Durham Region.

Homeless in the GTA: Finding affordable housing especially tough for women | Toronto Star.