Audit of the Implementation of the Child and Family Services Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach - Follow-up Report Status Update as of December 31, 2013

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Audit Committee - As of December 31, 2013


Audit of the Implementation of the Child and Family Services Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach
Approval Date: 09/28/2012

Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. Ensure that more formal processes be put in place that provide/ demonstrate proper governance, accountability and oversight for initial costing models, accountability frameworks, and actual implementation leading to an overview of expenditures and results. AANDC HQ and Regions should then collaborate with partners in trying to address arising issues. Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships (ESDPP) will analyze what may be necessary to have within formal tripartite processes and will discuss these needs with relevant stakeholders.

With this information, ESDPP will formalize EPFA processes for:
  1. Establishing initial costing models;
  2. Establishing accountability frameworks;
  3. Regular monitoring of implementation, expenditures and results.
In addition, ESDPP will produce records of EPFA bilateral and tripartite meetings.

ESDPP will organize and host regular conference calls and face-to-face/ videoconference meetings with regional partners to address implementation issues as they arise within specific jurisdictions.
September 2013 Status: Underway

As of 31/12/2013

Work has continued from Q2 pertaining to the compilation of arising issues regarding costing occurring at tripartite tables.

Work is underway to clarify roles and responsibilities of tripartite partners including expectations for AANDC funding recipients.

ESDPP has formalized EPFA processes in jurisdictions that have yet to transition to the new approach (BC, NB & NL).

For example, in BC, the EPFA Tripartite Framework is being reviewed and updated with BC stakeholders. An Executive Steering Committee and a Technical Working Group are in place and meet on a regular basis to ensure ongoing progress. A draft EPFA framework is now developed and has been discussed with the Technical Working Group and was shared with the BC First Nations Chiefs for comments. After their review, this will be sent to the Executive Steering Committee for in Q4 for completion. A generic template for the EPFA costing model has been shared and discussed with the Technical Working Group. The Executive Steering Committee met in October 2013 and the Technical Working Group continues to meet weekly, records of discussion are kept and distributed to all participants. EPFA approaches were also presented and discussed at the Joint Gathering in Vancouver in October 2013.

The FNCFS program continues to work trilaterally on a CFS Engagement Process and bilaterally on an Accountability Framework for CFS in Alberta.

Also, initial discussions on a bilateral Quality Assurance Framework in Saskatchewan are scheduled to begin in January 2014.

SPPB is undertaking risk-based program compliance reviews of individual agencies. This work will accelerate in 2014-15.

AES: Ongoing

2. Ensure that the Program undertakes regular reviews (i.e. annually) of the implementation of EPFA in each jurisdiction that will include an assessment of the costing models and the development of and reporting against business plans both financially and on activity results. Agencies provide the Program with sufficient information with respect to EPFA expenditures against the activities in the Agency business plans. AANDC HQ and Regions should then collaborate with partners in trying to address any arising issues. ESDPP will continue to liaise with regions through monthly conference calls and informal conversations to review financial pressures that may arise during EPFA implementation. These conversations have/will allow HQ to forecast future costing while also allowing HQ and Regions to develop possible mitigation strategies for arising issues.

ESDPP HQ will also begin the process of annually reviewing a sample of Business Plans in order to allow ESDPP to better report against business plans both financially and on results.

In the last quarter of fiscal year 2011/12, ESDPP reviewed the 5-year Business Plan templates and has ensured consistent use of the tool by clarifying that the intent is for recipients to provide annual updates which project ahead 5 years.
September 2013 Status: Request to close
As of September 30, 2013

Bilateral conference calls with regions occur on a regular basis. Monthly conference calls continue to be held between HQ FNCFS program staff and their regional counterparts with the SPPB DG and ARDGs on all Branch issues.

Regions and HQ FNCFS continue to review the EPFA costing models to identify options to mitigate future financial pressures.

In 2012-13, ESDPP HQ continued to work with Regions to ensure that the common template outlining criteria required to develop business plans (developed in FY 11-12) was being used consistently across all regions.

AES: Recommend to close.

3. Establish a common set of outcome-based non-financial performance measures and baseline for EPFA These should be communicated to all Regions and incorporated into Agency business plans. In addition, ensure that the development of the new Information Management system incorporates the ability to track and report on the performance measures and baseline. The program will develop and establish baseline measures of their First Nation Child and Family Services (FNCFS) National Child Welfare Outcomes Matrix indicators by March 31, 2013. March 31, 2013 Status: Request to close
As of September 30, 2013

FNCFS data collection instruments (DCI) have been reduced to one national DCI and one national business plan.  Six outcome-based indicators have been developed for FNCFS that are measurable and reportable. Following release 2 of the First Nation Child and Family Services Information Management System scheduled for April 1, 2014, AANDC will report on the Social Development Performance Measurement Strategy on an annual basis. The review of the Agencies’ business plans involve ensuring that the measures are incorporated.

The system will further enhance the program’s data quality and contribute to evidence-based decision making. In an effort to streamline and reduce the reporting burden, SPPB is working to enter into data sharing agreements with willing provinces and territories.

AES: Recommend to close.

In the annual update on indicators for the approved 2011 Social Development Performance Measurement Strategy, the FNCFS program has identified the data that would be required to support ongoing measurement of the programs. September 2013
4. Review the EPFA administrative structure and distribution of Human Resource needs of both HQ and the Regional Offices in order to determine an optimal and/or practical level of staffing necessary to efficiently administer and manage the EPFA. Headquarters will review the FNCFS administrative structure and distribution of Human Resources needs in consultation with Regional Operations.

ESDPP will develop and update tools, manuals, guidelines, templates, technical interpretation bulletins and information circulars in order to clarify program requirements enhance compliance and reduce reporting burden in the regions. Tools that will be updated include the National Social Programs Manual. Tools now being developed include the Management Control Framework; Integrated Risk Management Framework; a National Handbook on Program Compliance; a DCI Management Framework; and technical interpretation bulletins or information circulars to clarify FNCFS program policy, as required.

Through monthly conference calls and annual face-to-face/videoconference meetings, ESDPP and Regions will continue to support one another in identifying efficiencies in order to help ease the workload burden that has been identified. Minutes from all Headquarters/Regions monthly calls and face-to-face/videoconferences will be produced and shared.

All above documents will help ensure consistent and streamlined processes, serving to alleviate the administrative burden on regional staff.
September 2013 Status: Underway

As of 31/12/2013

A Program Management Business Plan to develop a structure for the Program is underway and will be completed by March 31, 2014.

On December 6, 2013 SPPB communicated to AANDC Regions the overview of changes to 2014-15 Data Collection Instruments (DCI), Proposals and Application Work Plans (PAW). Minor amendments have been made with reporting requirements in order to further facilitate improvements in program management, reduce duplication, streamline and improve clarity of the Annual Business Plan. Updates of the Business Plans will be required on a yearly basis. This work is linked to the FNCFS IMS which is actively being used by AANDC Regions.

Regional training on FNCFS Information Management System data input has been completed and additional ad-hoc training may occur as required. Training on system’s reporting capabilities is planned for Q4.

Work on the National Social Program Manual is ongoing; the FNCFS section has been revised to better clarify program management requirements and will be available and effective April 1, 2014.

The two Information Circulars specified in Q2 are being finalized and will be completed and available at the same time as the manual.

Work is ongoing on all policies described in Q2. FNCFS colleagues work with other programs across SPPB to continue to develop policies that capture common issues and for consistency.

Bi-lateral conference calls with regions continue to take place on a regular basis. Monthly conference calls continue to be held between HQ FNCFS program staff and their regional counterparts, and the SPPBs DG and ARDGs on all Branch issues.

AES: Ongoing.


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