Poverty and Occupational Therapy Network

A network of CAOT members who are interested in exploring and understanding poverty and the effects and implications for occupational therapy practice.


To build the capacity of network members to understand the impact and effects of poverty as it relates to occupational therapy practice through sharing of expertise, resources and practice tools.


  • To develop an online platform to share resources, tools and information related to poverty and occupational therapy.
  • To develop formal alliances and partnerships with key stakeholders in poverty reduction work nationally
  • To share expertise and knowledge of network members through monthly meetings.
  • To promote the inclusion of competencies related to income, poverty, and social determinants of health into occupational therapy curricula.
  • To promote and support research in poverty reduction and occupational therapy.



Resources for Canadian Occupational Therapists

Poverty Assessment, Interventions and Strategies for Financial Empowerment 

Centre for Effective Practice (November 2016). Poverty: A Clinical Tool for Primary Care Providers. Toronto: Centre for Effective Practice. Available from https://thewellhealth.ca/poverty/

Davies, S. (2017). Occupational therapy in low-income communities: Uncovering strengths, building capacity and creating sustainability Occupational Therapy Now, 19(4), 14-15. Available from: https://www.caot.ca/document/5750/Occupational%20therapy%20in%20low-income%20communities.pdf

Guptill, C. & Perry, A. (2015). Snapshots of occupational therapists as change agents: Poverty. Occupational Therapy Now. 17(5), 16-17. http://caot.ca/document/4340/Snapshots%20of%20occupational%20therapists%20as%20change%20agents%20Poverty.pdf

Hocking, C. & Townsend, E. (2015). Driving social change: Occupational therapists’ contributions to occupational justice. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin. 71(2), 68-71. DOI: 10.1179/2056607715Y.0000000002 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/2056607715Y.0000000002

Hammell, K.W. (2015) If human health is impacted by occupational opportunities (and it is), what are we doing about poverty? OT Now, 17(5), 14-15. http://caot.ca/document/4330/If%20human%20health%20is%20impacted%20by%20occupational%20opportunities%20what%20are%20we%20doing%20about%20poverty.pdf

Leadley, S., & Hocking, C. (2017). An occupational perspective of childhood poverty. New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(1), 23–31. (no DOI) https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=743435363990857;res=IELHEA

Mazumder, R., Duebel, E., Hoselton, E & Anand, H. (2016). CAOT Professional Issue Forum: Poverty and homelessness. Occupational Therapy Now. 18(4), 9-11. https://caot.in1touch.org/document/4868/pif_home.pdf

Mikkonen, J., & Raphael, D. (2010). Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts. Toronto: York University School of Health Policy and Management. Available at http://www.thecanadianfacts.org/

World Health Organization. (1986). Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Available at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/docs/charter-chartre/pdf/charter.pdf

Personal and Popular Stories

Personal stories and popular books are crucial in understanding experiences of poverty. Let’s start with Pat Capponi’s 1997 classic book Dispatches from the Poverty Line published by Penguin Canada.


ABLE (Asset Building Learning Exchange) https://ablefinancialempowerment.org/

Prosper Canada: http://prospercanada.org/

Health Providers against Poverty https://healthprovidersagainstpoverty.ca/

OT Education

Beagan, B. L. (2007). Experiences of social class: learning from occupational therapy students. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. Revue Canadienne D’ergotherapie, 74(2), 125–133. DOI doi:10.2182/cjot.06.012 http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2182/cjot.06.012x

Fleming-Castaldy, R. (2015). A macro perspective for client-centred practice in curricula: Critique and teaching methods. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 22, 267-276, https://doi.org/10.3109/11038128.2015.1013984

Hocking, C, Townsend, E, Gerlach, Al, Huot, S., Laliberte Rudman, D., & van Bruggen H. (2015). “Doing” human rights in diverse occupational therapy practices.OT Now. 17(4), 18-20. https://caot.in1touch.org/document/5003/humanrights.pdf

Sakellariou, D. & Pollard, N. (2013). A commentary on the social responsibility of occupational therapy education. Journal of Further and Higher Education. 37(3), 416-430. DOI:10.1080/0309877X.2011.645459 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0309877X.2011.645459


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