This website will change as a result of the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the creation of Indigenous Services Canada and the eventual creation of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. During this transformation, you may also wish to consult the updated Indigenous and Northern Affairs home page.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)'s First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) program funds prevention and protection services to support the safety and well-being of First Nation children and families on reserve.
INAC provides funding to First Nation child and family services agencies which are established, managed and controlled by First Nations and delegated by provincial authorities to provide prevention and protection services. In areas where these agencies do not exist, INAC funds services provided by the provinces and Yukon but does not deliver child and family services. These services are provided in accordance with the legislation and standards of the province or territory of residence and in a manner that is reasonably comparable to those available to other provincial residents in similar circumstances, within INAC program authorities.
Funding for child and family services in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories is provided by the Department of Finance Canada through transfer payment agreements with the territorial governments which make up a portion of their annual budgets. These governments decide how and where to spend the funds.
Since 2007, INAC has introduced a prevention-based funding model to support more focus on prevention, early intervention, and alternatives to traditional institutional care or foster care, such as the placement of children with family members in a community setting. Starting in 2016, all INAC regional offices provide three streams of funding under FNCFS:
Operations: core and operational funding for protection services
Prevention: resources for enhanced prevention services
Maintenance: direct costs of placing First Nation children into temporary or permanent care out of the parental home (such as foster care rates and group home rates)
Tripartite tables, technical working groups, and regional advisory committees comprised of First Nations representatives, INAC and provinces are in place in all provinces:
British Columbia: First Nations Leadership Council Tripartite Working Group; and,
Memorandum of Understanding Between Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the First Nations Health Council in Relation to Services for First Nation Children and Families in British Columbia
Alberta: Senior Officials Steering Committee (SOSC) and Technical Working Group
Saskatchewan: Regional Table
Manitoba: Regional Advisory Committee and Funding Model Working Group
Ontario: Technical Table on Child and Family Well-Being
Quebec: Regional Roundtable and Tripartite Working Group Table
Nova Scotia: Tripartite Working Group
New Brunswick: Tripartite Aggregation Working Group
Prince Edward Island: Policy and Planning Forum
Newfoundland and Labrador: Innu Round Table Secretariat
In the Yukon , the Council of Yukon First Nations is engaged by the territory and INAC.
1965 Welfare Agreement:
INAC, The Province of Ontario, and First Nations are working together towards a new funding approach regarding child and family services in Ontario.
The Memorandum of Agreement Respecting Welfare Programs for Indians of 1965, more commonly known as the 1965 Agreement, sets out an arrangement for INAC to reimburse the province of Ontario for the cost of delivering child and family services to First Nation children and families on-reserve according to a cost-sharing formula.
Currently, INAC pays around 93% of the costs while Ontario pays around 7%.
Text description of the First Nations Child and Family Services national expenditures (2006-2007 to 2015-2016)
This image visually describes INAC's First Nations Child and Family Services national expenditures growth trend from 2006-2007 to 2015-2016.
First Nations Child and Family Services national expenditures for fiscal years 2006-2007 to 2013-2014 for each region (in millions of dollars)
Grand total of all regions
Note: The total may not balance due to rounding.
The actual program expenditures for 2015-2016 were $680.9M. This includes $676.8M in grants and contributions, and $4.1M in operating expenditures.
Budget 2016 investments
Budget 2016 invested $634.8 million over five years, with $176.8 million in ongoing funding after year five. These new investments are over and above the program's annual budget of $676.8 million in 2015-16.
First Nations Child and Family Services program statistics of First Nations children in care on-reserve: National picture
Text description of the Percentage of First Nations Children in Care - By Placement Type
Bar chart depicting national percentage of First Nation children in care on-reserve by placement type.
First Nations Child and Family Services program statistics of First Nations children in care on-reserve
% of children in care
For 2014-15 and 2015-16, a portion of kinship placements are reflected in foster care due to coding changes (following legislative changes in Quebec).
Children in care counts are based on a point in time, typically the last day of the fiscal year (March 31). It is important to note that this number does not include the number of Indigenous children in care from provincially-funded agencies.
Since 2007, when the INAC began shifting the program towards prevention-based funding child placement trends have shown a gradual decrease in foster care and institutional care, and an increase in kinship care.
Number of First Nations children in care, average maintenance costs per child, total expenditures for maintenance (only), and total expenditures for FNCFS
Questions related to child and family services and funding provided for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children residing off-reserve should be directed to the appropriate provincial or territorial ministry.