Counsellor, Financial Empowerment

Program Overview – Financial Empowerment, Community Programs

WoodGreen’s Financial Empowerment (FE) Program serves to prevent, reduce, and alleviate poverty by directly addressing the financial barriers in the lives of our clients.  We provide free and unbiased financial counselling, education, and tax filing support to Torontonians who are living on a low income and who are unable to address these issues alone.  We are a program in constant development and expansion, actively pursuing opportunities to explore innovative methods and produce research on best practices to maximize client impact.

What You Will Do

  • Keep current on financial regulations and resources relevant to living on low-income in Toronto, including, but not limited to, income security, benefits access, debt and credit management, budgeting, banking, saving, and retirement planning.
  • Use client-centered/trauma-informed approach to address presenting financial concern.
  • Develop and implement service plan with clients based on clients’ goals.   
  • Undertake financial benefits eligibility assessments with clients.   
  • Help clients apply for government benefits and income supports.
  • Problem solve/advocate for clients who have been denied government benefits/income supports.
  • Prepare income tax returns and T1 adjustments.
  • Keep current about the range of services available at WoodGreen and in other agencies. 
  • Provide clients with appropriate referrals to other resources (WoodGreen or external) to address additional needs as appropriate.
  • Maintain a client caseload as assigned by program manager.
  • Maintain records and keep up-to-date and accurate case notes on all clients.
  • Participate in strategic program planning and development activities, both within Financial Empowerment program and with larger Community Programs Unit.
  • Develop, update, and deliver Financial Literacy workshops to client groups and social service professionals.
  • Support Tax Clinic development and service planning by participating in meetings and providing input on service design. 
  • Assist in the creation of Tax Clinic volunteer training materials and delivery of volunteer training sessions.
  • Oversee the operation of the volunteer Tax Clinic on a rotating schedule, supporting volunteers and providing direct client tax services in clinic setting where necessary.
  • Provide information on financial topics to other WoodGreen and external social service professionals
  • Assist in training, overseeing, and supporting volunteers and students.
  • Responsible for collection of statistical data required for the accountability of the program.

What You Bring to the Team

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work required.
  • Registered Social Worker (RSW) in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
  • Financial Counsellor Accreditation is considered an asset.
  • Minimum of two (2) years of case management experience.
  • Minimum of two (2) years of experience working or volunteering in a community-based setting or the not-for-profit sector.

What Will Set You Apart

  • Experience providing income support case work and/or financial problem solving to clients.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of provincial and federal income supports and benefits.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of debt and credit management.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Canadian income tax system.
  • Sensitivity to the needs and challenges faced by our clients, and a desire to serve our community.
  • Experience working from a client-centered, trauma-informed, and anti-oppressive framework.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Self-directed and independent, but also proven experience in working effectively as a team member in collaboration with other community professionals.  
  • Experience developing and facilitating educational workshops (for clients and/or staff).
  • Detail-oriented worker with strong organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to resolve conflicts autonomously and seek appropriate support when necessary.
  • Experience working with and mentoring volunteers and students with varied skill sets.
  • Comfortable providing services in the field using mobile technology (laptop, cell phone, cloud-based software).
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Office 365 applications.
  • Strong understanding of intersectionality of race, age, sexuality, gender, and ability and the associated risks of poverty and homelessness that often follow. Those with lived experience of one or several of these dynamics are highly encouraged to apply.