Basic Needs of Staff

A red heart painted on human hands.

Like youth and families, EXL staff may be experiencing increased hardships in securing their own basic needs including child care, housing, food security, stable internet, adequate technology devices; stable hours and income, healthcare, and home care for other residents in the home. Some staff may be wondering if and how they will complete post-secondary education, or how their or their families’ immigration status might affect their ability to access available resources.

As schools reopen and physical EXL programming begins, staff may seek more or additional support for ensuring their basic needs are met. EXL providers must consider how to respond if EXL staff run out of paid sick leave, and anticipate potential staffing shortages due to EXL staff taking sick leave. By assessing the basic needs of staff, and then providing direct and indirect supports to meet those needs, EXL providers can help to ensure those that are serving the children and youth most in need are also adequately equipped to do so.

The following questions should be considered to ensure the basic needs of staff are met:

  • How do I/we involve frontline staff in informing the development of basic needs policies and ways to help staff access resources?
  • How do I/we support staff with accessing no/low-cost child care resources for their children?
  • How do I/we support staff with accessing no/low-cost health care for themselves and their families?
  • What additional efforts are in place to ensure low-income staff are aware of basic needs services available?
  • How do I/we ensure access to basic needs resources is confidential?
  • How do I/we ensure the framing of accessing basic needs resources is not deficit-based?
  • How do I/we prevent staff from being reprimanded when struggling to get their basic needs met?
  • How do I/we ensure wage/pay equity is a part of our agency policies?      
  • How do I/we ensure wage/pay equity is part of policy and advocacy efforts? 

Download a pdf of these questions to guide your decision-making.