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November 24, 2019

Cornwall Dilemma

Reuel S. Amdur

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As a social worker, I have a client in Cornwall whom I am assisting in her claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation. I live in Quebec, just north of Ottawa, and so it is not handy to get into Cornwall on a regular basis.

In my contacts with the woman, certain things became immediately clear.  She is homeless and of limited intelligence.  She has given birth to several infants and does not want more.  The local Children’s Aid Society has gone out of its way to assist her in applying for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).  But who will help her around housing?  Who will help her get surgery to prevent further pregnancies?  And when she gets a settlement on her claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation, who will help her handle the money?

Trying to locate an appropriate agency in an unfamiliar community two or more hours away is not easy. However, the obvious organization is Community Living Stormont County.  It is the agency whose alleged role is to assist people with limited intellectual capacity.  After a third attempt to get a response from my e-mails, I finally got an answer.  To obtain service from Community Living Stormont County, it is necessary to go through a substantial application process.

Back in the bad old days, social workers spoke of people with multiple social problems as hard to reach.  That kind of terminology has largely gone by the way.  However, it appears to me that Community Living Stormont County is a hard to reach agency.  Do they know the nature of the clientèle that they are allegedly there to serve?

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