Archived - Evaluation of the Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach in Alberta for the Child and Family Services - Follow-up Report Status Update as of March 31, 2012

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of March 31, 2012

Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships

Evaluation of the Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach in Alberta for the Child and Family Services (1570-7/09059)
Approval Date: 24/09/10

Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
1. Revisit the EPFA funding model within the next year to learn from the past two years of implementation and incorporate resources for things, such as a remoteness factor that may address some of the issues faced by rural and remote communities. As part of this review, AANDC should also determine if the calculations that are based on an assumed population of children in care are relevant in achieving desired outcomes. Revisiting the EPFA funding model:

As the department transitions to the Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach province-by-province, costs such as remoteness are being incorporated into the funding formula (e.g. Saskatchewan, N.S., PEI all have remoteness as a factor, as will all remaining provinces). In the case of Alberta, First Nations and the Province did not flag remoteness during the discussion to develop the formula; therefore, it was not included.

The introduction and implementation of an EPFA to child welfare on-reserve will not necessarily result in an overnight decrease of children in care. In fact, initially, the children in care rate will continue to grow until the full implementation of this model takes effect, which will probably be after a few years. Alberta found that, with implementation of the provincial response model, it was able to better contain costs over a number of years. It is therefore anticipated in FNCFS that there will be fewer children and youth requiring costly out of home placements in institutions and group homes, thereby reducing federal costs of maintaining children out of their parental home, while allowing for better outcomes from FN children, youth and families.

Based on this recommendation, AANDC will determine if any modifications to the new model are required.
April 2012 Status: Underway

As of 31/03/2012:

AANDC will collaborate with First Nation and Provincial partners over the next 18 months in order to determine outcomes achieved and will explore opportunities to review the funding model within existing resources.

To date, AANDC has met with provincial representatives to discuss the development of an Accountability Framework. AANDC is currently sharing/reviewing documentation from/with the province in order to determine what should be included in this Framework document.

AANDC continues to meet with both provincial and First Nation partners regarding the development of a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on child and family services, and has provided support to the First Nation representatives to ensure they are able to bring the perspective of FNCFS Agencies to these discussions.

The conversations on the Accountability Framework and the tripartite MOU will provide appropriate forums to discuss the EPFA funding model in Alberta.

AES: Underway - The program maintains that a fixed rate is the most viable option for agencies, particularly for smaller agencies.
2. In partnership with the province and other federal agencies, if applicable, maximize the use of scarce capacity building funds to strategically invest in developing the capacity of FNCFS agencies, bearing in mind that some agencies have higher capacity needs than others. Assessing the use of scarce capacity resources:

AANDC will review its distribution of capacity resources region-by-region within the FNCFS program.
March 2011 Status: Underway

As of 31/03/2012:

AANDC received a number of project proposals from FNCFS agencies in need of assistance with capacity building (i.e. training, policy development, upgrading IT systems/connectivity, development work for opening of emergency placement homes and for group homes). A number of those projects were funded dealing with issues that included but were not limited to, staff development, policy development, IT upgrades, development for emergency placement homes and Board training.

A proposal by Technical Services Advisory Group (TSAG) was also funded to implement a Pan-Alberta approach to IT support in all FNCFS agencies across the province.

AES: Underway - Capacity development will continue to be a critical element for success in FNCFS agencies. The program should take steps to assist those most in need of capacity-building, who may not be able to take advantage of proposal-based project funding otherwise.
3. Ensure that First Nations agencies are sufficiently supported in the development of their business plans including establishing baseline data on common indicators for prevention in the start-up phase; that business plans are updated annually and adjusted based on the feasibility of indicators and targets; in collecting ongoing longitudinal research to report on effectiveness, and in reporting the results through one common format to the province and AANDC. Indicator and Business Plan development:

Efforts are currently underway to further strengthen performance measures and collection of data through the development of a comprehensive Performance Measurement Strategy for the FNCFS Program. This Strategy will be informed by the National Child Welfare Outcomes Indicator Matrix (NOM), which is being adopted by provinces. As in the past, this work will continue to be undertaken in collaboration with key program stakeholders. This Strategy will ensure alignment with agency business plans, the policy on Evaluation and the Policy on Transfer Payments and is anticipated to be completed December 2010. AANDC will support agencies in updating their business plans each year in collaboration with the province and will review progress in implementing their plans through meetings during the year.
December 2010 Status: Underway

As of 31/03/2012:

Alberta region has developed a FNCFS Business Plan Workbook that will help to support agencies in the creation of their business plans; this workbook has also been distributed to the province for their use in supporting agencies. Business plan training has also been provided to agencies to ensure that their business plans are based on a five year trajectory and that they are targeting proper outcomes.

Alberta region has also made some modifications to their NOM indicators in order to make them more culturally appropriate and First Nation specific. The region will soon begin to work with the province to harmonize these indicators to ensure consistency across governments.

AES: Underway - Finding a common format is essential.
4. Improve communication and awareness of the purpose, processes, procedures and inherent flexibility of the EPFA to FNCFS agencies to facilitate implementation and administration of the EPFA moving forward. Improved communication and awareness

AANDC is aware that new program requirements need to be clearly articulated to all parties. AANDC is currently updating existing material (program manual, reporting guides) and is expected to make these materials publically available by the end of fiscal year 2010-2011; it will be posted on the AANDC website.
March 2011 Status: Request to Close

As of 31/03/2012:

AANDC Alberta Region meets regularly with FNCFS agencies to discuss implementation of EPFA, and this includes clarifying purpose, processes, procedures and flexibility of EPFA.

As well, AANDC has been developing and updating tools, manuals, guidelines and templates in order to clarify program requirements, enhance compliance and reduce reporting burden in the regions and agencies. The National Social Programs Manual has been updated and distributed to regions and agencies and is now available on AANDC's website; the Management Control Framework; Integrated Risk Management Framework; and a DCI Management Framework are nearing completion. These documents will be made available on the AANDC website as they are completed.

Going forward, work will be done on the creation of a national handbook on program compliance; three risk tools for supporting guides to examine program management risks; standard check lists for various items to ensure national consistency; as well as a compliance Directive. These updates are expected to be completed and shared with regions and recipients on an as-built-basis.

AES: Recommend to close - The program has made significant headway in clarifying the purpose, processes and procedures around the EPFA, and are continuing in that direction.
5. AANDC and the province discuss, clarify and formally agree (i.e. in the Tripartite Accountability Framework) to their respective roles and responsibilities with regard to training and technical support (particularly computer/IT training) for FNCFS agency staff, as well as data collection requirements. Roles and Responsibilities

AANDC, as a funder, will continue to work with the provinces to establish roles and responsibilities with the remaining provinces that will transition to EPFA. AANDC will continue to build relationships via tripartite tables and will assess the feasibility of entering into more formal arrangements with the provinces as well as identify other mechanisms to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined including data collection requirements.

In all future development of Tripartite Frameworks, AANDC will ensure that roles and responsibilities are included.
Alberta and other jurisdictions under EPFA: March 2011 Status: Request to Close

As of 31/03/2012:

In early 2012, a meeting between AANDC and the Province of Alberta was held to discuss the development of an Accountability Framework. The Accountability Framework will allow AANDC and the province to come together to better support FNCFS agencies, while focussing on program outcomes, governance, roles and responsibilities, risk management, fiscal accountability and Delegated First Nation Agency obligations.

AANDC is currently sharing/reviewing documentation from/with the province in order to gain perspective into what is necessary to have within an Alberta Accountability Framework. AANDC will be working towards completing the framework with the province, by end of fiscal year 2012-2013.

The Province of Alberta, AANDC and First Nation PTOs have had several meetings regarding the development of a tripartite MOU on child and family services. Discussions are ongoing and focused on the scope and intent of the MOU.

AES: Recommend to close.

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