MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Young, Robert

Geographical Areas

Region of Waterloo


This paper examines the reasons why Ontario Works (OW) clients return to social assistance, with a specific focus on the Region of Waterloo. It uses an analysis of case file data from the Province of Ontario’s social assistance database to provide a comprehensive understanding of the OW caseload for the regional municipality. The findings reveal that the reasons why clients return to OW in the Region of Waterloo are complicated and there are many factors – such as gender, age, education, family composition, and housing – that determine whether a client will return to social assistance.