A decision was requested of town of Peace River council to transition Home Support Aide employee positions from casual to full time. Home support aides are funded through Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), explains Mayor Elaine Manzer. She notes that each municipality in Alberta receives money from the province to provide services for its residents. “We do get some allocations for the two surrounding municipalities as well, because our services may be used by their residents,” she says. The Home Support Program is to provide light housekeeping and listening support services for seniors to remain at home and be independent. The aides also provide advocacy for the seniors and provide other senior supports. Assistance completing household tasks is provided for the elderly, chronically ill or people with special needs. The program can also provide temporary assistance for people with physical limitations, people with injuries or individuals recovering from surgery. Director of Community Services Tanya Bell requested the two casual (20 hours per week) positions be transitioned into one full-time (30 to 35 hours per week) and one casual (5 to 10 hours per week) position. “The job is very demanding, and staff run off their feet,” says Manzer. “Many of the people who were working in the casual roles already had another job and were using this position for additional hours until their primary job offered them full time positions.” Manzer says the goal is to provide reassurance to clients that they’ll have the same aides each time they require a visit to their homes. Bell’s note in her request for decision document to council notes that there had been 14 employees in the last five years to fill the two casual positions. “We’re hoping it will be easier to recruit and retain an employee if they have full time hours offered to them.” The full-time position would be paid out of the current annual budget, with only an increase annually to the cost of benefits. Council approved of the changes proposed by Bell.
South Peace News - southpeacenews.com
Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News