Individual Supports Towards Employment Program (ISTEP)

The purpose of Individual Support Toward Employment Program (ISTEP) is to work closely with Ontario Works (OW) participants to help them find or increase employment and earnings.

The two target client populations include...

  • Youth - participants aged 18-29 and
  • Long-Term Unemployed - participants on Ontario Works for over 24 months, cumulatively.

 Participants should not...

  • Be in school full-time
  • Be dealing with significant legal issues
  • Have an addiction or mental health issues that would prevent them from participating in employment related activities
  • Have care giving responsibilities for a dependent under the age of 5
  • Or have an Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) referral pending


The Individual Support Toward Employment Program (ISTEP) is a partnership between the Employment and Income Support Participation Caseworker and Employment Programs that provides Ontario Works (OW) participants with at least 9 of months of more frequent individual support to move towards achieving sustainable employment and improve their quality of life.  This may include working with clients to create employability profiles, starting or moving forward with educational activities and/or linking them with appropriate supports and resources.


Please speak with your caseworker if you are interested in a referral to the ISTEP.