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French PSW program helping to fill need in northern Ont.

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Starting in October, Carrefour Options +, Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon’s (CSCNO) continuing education school, will once again be offering its Personal Support Worker (PSW) program in Sudbury.

The program is being offered to students who are 18 years of age or older and who have completed grade 10.

“We do have a cohort right now with la Villa St. Gabriel. We’re doing a living classroom which is a very different model than what we’re used to in a traditional environment,” said principal Jocelyne Leclair. “In October we’re really going to be finalizing or enhancing the program so we can deliver great services in French because it is a francophone program. Also, we have a need, we have such a great need in general for PSWs but we have a need for francophone also.”

Leclair said to her the partnership makes sense with la Villa St. Gabriel Villa as 80 per cent of the population is francophone.

Students accepted into the program will get a mix of both theoretical and practical training.

A total of 345 hours before taking on an internship of almost 400 hours alongside the professionals.

“The partnership is great. Our students are lucky, we get to work with many francophone residents. So our theory is basically done in the classroom setting in their building,” she said.

“The francophone community in Chelmsford is very supportive and appreciative that we have the home to most, many francophone, geriatric, elderly residents,” said Tanya Anne Ball, the academic placement coordinator at St. Gabriel.

Ball says there is a need for French-speaking or francophone staff in several facilities, including there’s.

It gives residents a sense of comfortability in being able to communicate in their first language.

“For what types of things they’d like to do in terms of activities, to spiritual long religious care, to be able to express themselves passionately about what’s important to them and those residents really appreciate having francophone workers to deliver than intimate care,” she said in an interview with CTV News.

Those behind the program say the graduates will be well-equipped to work in several agencies and institutions across Greater Sudbury, filling a need for bilingual staff, at a time where a recent report found the city could be doing more in both official languages.

The program makes CSCNO only the second board in the province to offer the program in French.

People interested in applying for the program are being encouraged to take part in one of the information sessions scheduled for Feb. 15, March 19, April 16, May 9 and May 23.

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