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Welfare Reform and Single Mothers - Ontario Social Safety NetWork Backgrounder

This is one in a series of Ontario Social Safety NetWork Backgrounders, examining different aspects of Bill 142, the Social Assistance Reform Act. Bill 142 replaces the current Family Benefits and General Welfare Assistance programs with two new programs. The Ontario Disability Support Plan (ODSPA) will provide assistance to some people with disabilities. All other people in need -- the unemployed, single mothers, elderly people and people with temporary illnesses or disabilities -- will have to seek assistance under the Ontario Works Act (OWA).

This paper provides a critical analysis of the significant impacts that SARA/Bill 142 will have on single mothers. "For the first time in Ontario since the introduction of the Ontario Mothers Allowance Program

in 1920, single mothers will face mandatory employment requirements as a condition of receiving financial assistance. As a result, women in Ontario