A Case for Online Services

ETHOS has successfully delivered online services to our clients since 2006. The development of online services grew from a combination of our intention to offer our services in a variety of platforms and a funder request to include an online presence in Employment Services. While the quote is somewhat vague a number of years later, the principle remains engrained. Allow options so that “those who can, will” and “those who cannot, will not”. The premise being that by providing online services, costs are lowered by having smaller onsite services where those “who cannot” will access services. Providing options allows as many clients as possible access, whether in-person or online.

Our philosophy on online services is to enhance, not replace, onsite services. There is still considerable resistance from the Service Provider Community to move away from traditional methods of service delivery; the same services have been in existence for the nearly 20 years I have been working in this industry. Service providers who embrace, rather than resist, new methods may find more acceptance from clients and the funder than anticipated.

With everyone watching their pennies, it makes sense to consider a move to increase offsite access to services. There is simply not enough money to provide in-person employment related services to everyone in every city and town in British Columbia, so alternatives must be considered. Governments have also made the move to offer more online options to deliver core services. A parallel move by the Industry is warranted to better respond to the realities of today’s labour market and fiscal responsibilities.

Deborah Bromley

CEO

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