ARCHIVED - Evaluation of the Income Assistance Program - Follow-up Report Status Update as of September 25, 2008

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PROJECT TITLE
EVALUATION OF THE INCOME ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (200706)
ACTION PLAN APPROVAL DATE: 12/19/2007
PROGRAM
EDUCATION AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND PARTNERHSIPS – SOCIAL POLICY AND PROGRAMS BRANCH
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
1. Refocus the Income Assistance Program (IAP) to include support to assist individuals in need to make the transition to work.
STATUS: Request to Close
ACTION PLAN EXPECTED COMPLETION DATE RESPONSE
  • The Income Assistance Program is being refocused through the introduction of active measures starting in Ontario in 2008-09. The active measures approach is aimed at helping income assistance clients make the transition from welfare to work. To introduce active measures in Ontario we will coordinate with the Region and the Province to ensure implementation.
Policy approval, January 2008;
Begin implementation in Ontario in 2008-09; other regions to follow in 2009-10 and beyond.
As of 30/09/2008:

As follow-up to the strategic planning sessions on June 26-27 and September 17-18, 2008, INAC will develop a new policy proposal that includes active measures.
  • The Income Assistance Program will seek funding in order to implement active measures in other regions.
AES Comment: To close, same reason as cited in recommendation 2.
  • Revise Program terms and conditions to reflect implementation of active measures.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
2. Develop an active measures approach to delivering income assistance programming on-reserve, including organizational changes required for successful implementation at the community level.
STATUS: Request to Close
  • In consultation with the Regions, Provinces and First Nations, INAC will develop a statement of goals and objectives for the implementation of active measures. The statement will be used to increase awareness among all stakeholders of changes that will be needed to shift from passive to active programming.-May 30, 2008.
30/05/2008 As of 30/09/2008:

As follow-up to the strategic planning sessions on June 26-27 and September 17-18, 2008, INAC will develop a new policy proposal that includes active measures.
  • The Program will complete the implementation plan to introduce active measures in Ontario. Other Regions to follow. This plan includes:
    1. Regional frameworks with targets to reduce welfare dependency and improve outcomes for income assistance recipients
    2. Comprehensive First Nations community plans to meet regional targets
    3. Support for income assistance clients to improve their job readiness.
Start with Ontario in 2008.

Other Regions to follow in 2009-10 and beyond
Request to close. Ontario Works (a form of active measures) is being implemented in 26 First Nations in Ontario.

AES Comment: To close
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
3. Strengthen capacity of First Nations income assistance service providers with adequate training, access to individual assessment tools and systems.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
  • Begin by working with Ontario in April 2008 to build First Nations capacity to deliver active measures.
31/10/2008 As of 30/09/2008:
  • As other regions become ready to implement active measures, the Social Policy and Programs Branch will encourage them to adopt a model used in British Columbia. The First Nations Social Development Society has been engaged by INAC to work with the region, the Province and First Nations to provide information to First Nations income assistance service providers regarding provincial requirements and train them on how to implement active measures.
Other regions to follow in 2009-10 and beyond AES Comment:  To close, same reason as cited in recommendation 2.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
4. Improve coordination of the Income Assistance Program at the national, regional, and local levels with INAC's education, economic development and other social programs. Work with federal and provincial labour market partners to enable income assistance clients on-reserve to access a range of active measures.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
  • Social Policy and Program Branch will work with other INAC programs, in particular those focusing on education and economic development, to develop a plan to identify how these programs can work together with the IAP to increase the employability of income assistance recipients, in particular youth.
31/12/2008 As of 30/09/2008:

Work is underway with HRSDC, Education, Lands and Economic Development, and a number of provincial governments to strengthen program linkages and improve access to active measures programming.
  • Build on/strengthen existing partnerships and improved program coordination with Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreements at the national, regional and local levels aimed at helping income assistance clients access employment assistance that will enable them to make the transition from welfare to employment.
Ongoing AES Comment:  To close, same reason as cited in recommendation 2.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
5. Through its income assistance and other programs, in concert with other federal departments where appropriate, implement preventive strategies to ensure young people stay in school and graduate, and avoid welfare dependency. Explore transitional programs such as educational upgrading and skills training targeted to youth that access income assistance.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
  • Support the efforts by INAC Education and First Nations leaders and parents to ensure young people stay in school and graduate, and work on joint initiatives.
Ongoing As of 30/09/2008:

Work is underway with HRSDC, the Education Branch and a number of provinces to improve education literacy levels and transition to employment.
  • Set up a committee, with INAC Education and Economic Development, and Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreements, to identify innovative practices and develop educational upgrading and skill training program for First Nations youth.
31/12/2008 AES Comment:  To close, same reason as cited in recommendation 2.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
6. Improve program delivery and monitoring by addressing weaknesses in the basic needs component so INAC can more effectively plan for and manage changes introduced by provinces/territories, develop a sustainable coherent program, and to ensure services of a reasonably comparable nature.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
  • Revise the methodology for allocating resources to ensure a better alignment between funding and income assistance needs, to enable INAC to better forecast and manage changes in benefit rates introduced by provinces/territories, and improve program delivery.
31/03/2009 As of 30/09/2008:
  • Headquarters will strengthen the management control framework to facilitate monitoring and compliance to enhance program effectiveness, and reflect changes in the national program manual and program terms and conditions as required.
AES Comment:  To close, same reason as cited in recommendation 2.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
7. Income Assistance Program and clarify accountabilities for monitoring, measuring and reporting on effectiveness and outcomes of the Program.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
  • The Social Policy and Program Branch will develop an RMAF with clear expectations and performance indicators such as welfare dependency rate and other outcomes for income assistance recipients, and a plan for ongoing performance monitoring and future evaluation work.
September 30, 2008 As of 30/09/2008:

Program outcomes and indicators are currently being revised through ongoing meetings with regions (including meeting on September 17-18) and program stakeholders to be incorporated into the program RMAF.
  • Strengthen the management control framework in order to establish clearer roles and responsibilities for Head Quarters and the Regions.
March 31, 2009 AES Comment:  To close, same reason as cited in recommendation 2.
 
 
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