ARCHIVED - Evaluation of the Income Assistance, National Child Benefit Reinvestment and Assisted Living Programs - Follow-up Report Status Update as of March 31, 2011

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of March 31, 2011

Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships - Social Policy and Program Branch

Evaluation of the Income Assistance, National Child Benefit Reinvestment and Assisted Living Programs (200812)
AEC Approval Date: 26/Feb/2009

Project
Recommendations
Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program
Response
Overall Recommendations
1. Create an Evaluation working group of INAC Audit and Evaluation Sector and Program Staff and First Nations representatives to develop outcome indicators for all three programs that will be meaningful and acceptable at the community level. The Program, in consultation with regions, developed an RMAF which outlined program objectives, expected results and evaluation criteria.

The Program, in collaboration with regions is developing an integrated Performance Measurement and Risk Management Strategy which will include the following components: program profile, logic model, risk profile, performance measurement framework and evaluation strategy. Once an initial draft is completed it will be shared with First Nations with a view to seeking their input.
31/03/2010 Status: Complete (Request to Close)

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

A Performance Measurement Strategy for all 5 social development programs was approved by EPMRC in February 2011. Consultation with regions and other stakeholders including First Nation representatives informed the development of the strategy and will be used as INAC moves to implementation. A risk management framework for the 5 programs is under development with a June 2011 target completion date.

AES: Will be closed when the June 2011 target is reached.
2. Develop a standard data system and standardization of indicators for all regions to facilitate comparability. As part of the Performance Measurement Strategy presently under development, the Program will identify standard outcomes and indicators, as well as support the implementation of a renewed data collection and management process. 31/12/2010 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

The umbrella Performance Measurement Strategy for all 5 social development programs was approved by EPMRC in February 2011. The Strategy has a total of 18 indicators, 15 of which match those collected by provinces and territories. As part of the Income Assistance reform work that is now underway, data standardization, including the analysis of existing data systems nationally, regionally and locally will be examined for possible adaptation/adoption going forward.

INAC is also exploring opportunities for collaboration with provinces in order to improve program management and performance reporting and reduce reporting burden.

AES: Underway (In progress)
3. The Working Group created should have a discussion of OCAP principles regarding program data. While INAC needs to manage data for program design and accountability purposes, it will ensure that program data is publicly available. Ongoing Status: Close

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/09/2010:

INAC complies with requirements for transparency and public access to internal data and information.

AES: Close – Fully Implemented
Income Assistance Recommendations
1. Develop, in partnership with relevant bodies such as HRSDC, AFN, and provincial ministries, an integrated strategy to address on-reserve labour and employment needs. The strategy would recognize the complex and unique needs of the on-reserve unemployed, such as restricted access to labour markets; multiple employability barriers; transportation needs; and the need for child care and other necessary supports while in training or educational upgrading programs. As part of the social program and policy reform, INAC is working with willing provinces and First Nations in a tripartite process that is unique to each jurisdiction. This process focuses on Active Measures to help a larger number of income assistance recipients to transition to the labour force.

More specifically, INAC is working with provincial governments to develop and implement approaches for active measures using provincial expertise and services to encourage youth to pursue employment rather than income assistance. These approaches will take into account the need to coordinate and integrate related programming, as well as supports necessary to pursue training, education and employment.

Program redesign and authority renewal will be based on best practices and will be moved out nationally.
Ongoing Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

INAC is working collaboratively with several provinces, including Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia and relevant First Nations. In July 2010 a formal tripartite framework agreement was signed with the Government of Quebec and First Nations to identify and propose solutions to issues relating to the administration and delivery of income assistance benefits on reserve. In Saskatchewan, a Memorandum of Understanding between five Tribal Councils, the Province, INAC and HRSDC on how to increase labour market participation of Aboriginal people through active measures was signed on March 11, 2011. Work towards similar arrangements in other jurisdictions will be pursued as part of Income Assistance reform work underway.

As part of IA program and policy authority renewal, INAC is developing a comprehensive national approach to income assistance reform. There are four areas of focus for this work: Active Measures; Mobilizing Partners; Improved Program Alignment; and Accountability. The approach will address the action plan elements of the evaluation.

Authority renewal of the IA program has occurred so that terms and conditions are compliant with the 2008 Policy on Transfer Payments. Further work is being undertaken to align authorities with IA reform.

AES: Underway (In progress)
2. In the near term, until a strategy to address the causes of welfare dependency is in place, and achieving the desired outcomes; and to provide better support for basic needs: review the 2% funding increase policy to assess whether it is meeting First Nations Income Assistance costs. See response to Recommendation No. 1 (Income Assistance)

The 2 per cent funding cap was imposed on INAC by the Treasury Board in 1998. With the growth in First Nation demographics, the two per cent is a constraint in delivering the program. However, it is not within the control of the department to remove the funding cap. The Program is trying to reduce funding pressures through a renewed focus on both compliance and Active Measures in order to reduce income assistance dependency and encourage transition to employment.
31/03/2011 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

Given that the 2% cap cannot be removed unilaterally by INAC, the Department has put in place a strategic process where allocations of the 2% address price and volume growth in basic program areas like Income Assistance. In this way First Nations’ income assistance costs are being addressed. This has been in place since 2009.

Work continues at both the regional and HQ levels to reduce growth in expenditures through increased use of Active Measures and through compliance work. The comprehensive national approach to income assistance reform now being developed, with its focus on four areas: Active Measures; Mobilizing Partners; Improved Program Alignment; and Accountability will result in improved management of costs.

AES: Underway (In progress)
3. In the near term, address INAC staffing shortages and training needs at the national and regional levels. Once the Performance Measurement Strategy has been developed, revisions to the National Manual, First Nations National Reporting Guide and training guides will be undertaken and subsequently provided to regional staff and First Nations. 31/12/2010 Status: Complete (Request to Close)

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

An umbrella Performance Measurement Strategy (PMS) for all 5 social development programs was approved by EPMRC in February 2011. A new National Manual for all 5 programs has been developed and will come into effect in April 2011. This document will be further refined during the spring and summer of 2011 and will, along with the indicators from the PMS, be incorporated into the National Reporting Guide for 2012-2013. Communication of the new products and training of staff and First Nations representatives will occur in 2011-2012 as part of the roll out of the various program management tools for the 5 social programs.

AES: Will be closed when completed in 2011/2012
4. In the near term, fund a representative sample of community needs assessments that will provide meaningful cost measures for items such as shelter, utilities and transportation. As opposed to funding a representative sample of community needs assessments, INAC will undertake research to identify characteristics and needs of income assistance recipients and service delivery models. This will support the development of policy options aimed at reducing dependency and supporting transition into the workforce. 31/03/2010 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

Work has been underway at the regional level to look at characteristics and needs of income assistance recipients and service delivery models through Active Measures pilot projects. The recently signed MOU on Active Measures in Saskatchewan will further this work in the Saskatchewan context through research undertaken by a working group. As part of the INAC’s work plan to develop a comprehensive national approach to income assistance reform, research on the needs of recipients, as well as service delivery options, will be conducted and recommendations on possible policy and program delivery adjustments presented to Ministers in 2011-2012.

AES: Underway (In progress)
5. In the longer term, create a working group of INAC, First Nations and Provincial representatives to develop a strategy for addressing IA jurisdictional and funding issues, including a discussion of the costs of needs in rural/remote communities. See response to Recommendation No. 1 (Income Assistance).

The approach of working with provinces on an incremental basis will help to ensure that the geographic and community-specific needs of First Nations are taken into account.
Ongoing Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

INAC is working collaboratively with several provinces, including Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia and relevant First Nations. In July 2010 a formal tripartite framework agreement was signed with the Government of Quebec and First Nations to identify and propose solutions to issues relating to the administration and delivery of income assistance benefits on reserve. In Saskatchewan, a Memorandum of Understanding between five Tribal Councils, the Province, INAC and HRSDC on how to increase labour market participation of Aboriginal people through active measures was signed on March 11, 2011. Work towards similar arrangements in other jurisdictions will be pursued as part of Income Assistance reform work underway.

AES: Underway (In progress)
6. Take the lead in initiating an integrated education and training strategy with HRSDC, Aboriginal organizations, and relevant provincial ministries, to address the education needs of First Nation youth in particular, as a way of reducing the number of youths who choose welfare over further education and/or employment. See response to Recommendation No. 1 (Income Assistance)

INAC will undertake research to identify the characteristics and needs of income assistance recipients that will help identify the scope of the education and pre-employment needs of First Nation youth.
March 2010 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

It was agreed at a meeting between the Deputy Ministers of INAC and HRSDC on October 21, 2010 that senior officials of both INAC and HRSDC would meet on a regular basis to discuss how to better integrate programming. A work plan has been developed to solidify actions in the areas of education, skills training and development and Active Measures focused on pre-employment supports.

The Ministers of HRSDC and INAC were co-signatories on the March 11, 2011 MOU on Active Measures in Saskatchewan along with the Province of Saskatchewan and 5 Tribal Councils.

HRSDC is collaborating with INAC on the development of the comprehensive national approach to IA reform and is actively contributing to the development and implementation of the work plan for this work.

AES: Underway (In progress)
INAC will work with HRSDC and provinces to develop approaches to encourage youth to pursue educational opportunities rather than applying for income assistance. March 2011
7. Strengthen links with other relevant departments such as HRSDC to enhance information sharing so that long term employment outcomes can be measured, and develop more refined outcome indicators for future evaluation activities. INAC is developing a Performance Measurement Strategy with clear program outcomes and measurable indicators to improve capacity to monitor program effectiveness.

INAC will work with HRSDC, Health Canada, provinces and First Nations as it transforms its income assistance program so that it can measure employment outcomes from a "passive" to "active measures" approach.
31/03/2010 Status: Complete (Request to Close)

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

An umbrella Performance Measurement Strategy (PMS) for all 5 social development programs was approved by EPMRC in February 2011.

It was agreed at a meeting between the Deputy Ministers of INAC and HRSDC on October 21, 2010 that senior officials of both INAC and HRSDC would meet on a regular basis to discuss how to better integrate programming. A work plan has been developed and signed by the Deputies to solidify actions in the areas of education, skills training and development and Active Measures focused on pre-employment supports.

A similar arrangement also exists between the Deputy Ministers of INAC and Health Canada.

HRSDC and Health Canada are committed to collaborating on the development of the comprehensive national approach to IA and are actively contributing to the development and implementation of the work plan for this work.

AES: Underway (In Progress)
Once the comprehensive national approach, including how to work with Provinces and First Nations is complete, this will be closed.
National Child Benefit Reinvestment Recommendations
1. Initiate a formal discussion with First Nation organizations and INAC regional staff on the most effective way to address reporting issues so that meaningful outcomes can be measured. INAC will work with its regional offices and First Nations to identify performance outcomes and indicators as well as the development of appropriate data collection tools, to be pilot tested prior to full implementation. September 2010 Status: Complete (Request to Close)

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

The umbrella Performance Measurement Strategy for all 5 social development programs was approved by EPMRC in February 2011. The Strategy has a total of 18 indicators, 15 of which match those collected by provinces and territories. Consultation with regions and other stakeholders including First Nation representatives informed the development of the strategy and will be used as INAC moves to implementation.

INAC’s NCBR Working Group has been re-established and meets by teleconference monthly or more often if necessary. The Working Group, with its HQ and regional membership, focuses on a number of items including data, reporting, research, best practices and improving collaborative relationships with relevant partners.

AES: Close - Fully Implemented
INAC’s NCBR program will reinstate the HQ/Regional INACNCBR Working Group, which will focus on evaluation of NCB/NCBR impacts, data, reporting, outcomes, strategic research, best practices, and improving collaborative working relationships with relevant partners. Fall 2009
2. Recommend to regions that they adopt a management regime similar to Saskatchewan region, which does the following:
  • Outlines clear expectations;

  • Sets targets in collaboration with First Nations;

  • Communicates the intent of NCBR;

  • Provide project proposal support.
Regions are expected to adopt a management regime similar to the Saskatchewan model. Management practices with respect to NCBR will be on the agenda of an INACNCBR national meeting (late summer 2009). August 2009 Status: Complete (Request to Close)

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

INAC is strengthening the NCBR guidelines to improve complimentarily with other programs such as Income Assistance/Active Measures while respecting the community-driven nature of NCBR programming, and to provide sufficient guidance and support to communities to target key activities that help reduce poverty and support attachment to the labour force. For example, the Saskatchewan Region is putting more emphasis on the transition to work component of NCBR where appropriate (e.g., where available employment opportunities exist). The Saskatchewan Region’s approach has been shared with other regions.

The Social Policy and Programs Branch is updating and consolidating a range of program management tools with the goal of providing clarity to staff and First Nations with respect to roles and responsibilities, improving data collection and reporting, decreasing the number of performance indicators, and introducing a robust risk management approach focused on tracking results and outcomes. The suit of tools that will apply across all 5 social programs include a comprehensive Management Control Framework, an umbrella Performance Measurement Strategy, a single National Program Manual and a Risk Management Framework. Regional and HQ staff have been participating and providing input into strengthening these management tools. All tools will be available for use by the end of the first quarter of 2011-2012. Training of staff and refinement of the tools will occur in the summer and fall of 2011.

AES: Close - Fully Implemented
As per the design of the National Child Benefit Initiative, of which NCBR is one component, NCBR management and programming must be in the context of P/T/regional regimes; HQ will work with/support each region to strengthen its management regime and supports within the reference P/T/regional social development context. Ongoing
3. Revise reporting mechanisms to avoid multiple counting of program participants. INAC will work with its regional offices, First Nations, HRSDC (NCB Initiative) to develop an improved project proposal template and reporting tool for collecting more accurate information regarding NCBR activities and beneficiaries and provide better information for evaluating outcomes, with a view to pilot testing and implementation of the new tool. September 2010 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

An improved project proposal template has been developed.

A more accurate reporting tool is under development as part of the development of program management tools across the 5 social development programs. It is expected that this tool will be pilot tested and launched in 2011-2012.

AES: Underway (In progress)
A national meeting is tentatively scheduled for August 2009 to strategize and move forward with improvements to NCBR outcomes / reporting. Fall 2009
Assisted Living Recommendations
1. Continue the initiative to devolve the funding and authority for the in-home component to the FNIHCC program. Overall Approach: In its broadest context the Assisted Living program is working towards a more integrated and coordinated First Nations continuing care system on reserve that is more responsive to the needs of seniors, and adults and children with disabilities or chronic illness.

The Options Analysis Paper (2008) prepared for the Joint Working Group on Continuing Care, as well as the Assisted Living Program Review (2008), are key documents that will assist in determining future directions for the program. The analysis will take into consideration the recommendations, including service requirements, such as improving access to services for First Nation recipients, greater alignment with provincial/territorial practices, and improving program efficiency and effectiveness.

INAC will continue to work with Health Canada to improve the delivery of home care services and better meet the needs of First Nation individuals (and Inuit) by exploring and advising on the options for federal home care services. The Options Analysis Paper presented to the Joint Working Group on Continuing Care in July 2008 had included integration of home care services in two of the three proposed options and noted that integration would improve access to home care services for First Nation recipients, allow greater alignment with provincial home care practices, and improve program efficiency and effectiveness.
To be determined Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

An Impact Analysis study was undertaken in 2010 to assess the viability of the proposed transfer of the in-home care component of the Assisted Living Program to Health Canada. Work was also undertaken to investigate the potential impacts the proposed transfer may have on INAC, Health Canada, regional staff, First Nations, and on delivery of home care services on reserve.

Regional meetings were undertaken in Ontario (via teleconference), Quebec, Atlantic, Alberta and Manitoba to examine regional specific issues that could potentially impact on the proposed transfer. Visits in the remaining regions will be held in spring 2011.

INAC and Health Canada are developing a work plan for 2011-2012 with the goal of completing the transfer by March 31, 2012.









AES: Underway (In progress)
2. Secure Treasury Board funding for children’s AL services, to resource the program authority in place since 2003. See response to Recommendation No. 1 (Assisted Living)

INAC will undertake needs assessments in the areas of foster care, including supportive living, and institutional care to inform decisions on the further direction of the program.
September 2009 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

A national assessment of the Assisted Living Program is now complete. The findings will provide insight about the types of non-medical social supports and services that are currently required for children with disabilities living on reserve, including an estimated number of children who may benefit from these services. The findings from this study will also provide information about adults with disabilities and chronic illness living on reserve who would benefit from supportive living arrangements.

AES: Underway (In progress)
INAC will undertake analysis regarding the social, non-medical needs of children with disabilities and related costs to inform proposed options for future direction of the program for this population. April 2009
INAC is currently reviewing provincial and territorial funding practices related to institutional care clients on reserve and, based on this review, will develop a position paper clarifying roles and responsibilities with respect to the provision of funding. March 2010
3. Coordinate discussions at the Federal / Provincial / Territorial and First Nations level to address other AL service gaps, resolve jurisdictional issues and develop an integrated approach to a full continuum of care model. See response to Recommendation No. 1 (Assisted Living)

INAC will continue to participate in multi-stakeholder committees and working groups (i.e. Joint Working Group on Continuing Care and Home and Community Care Working Group of the Federal Healthcare Partnership Committee) to explore possible mechanisms to address assisted living gaps on reserve.
March 2010 Status: Complete (Request to Close)

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

The updated response should read:

INAC participates in and contributes to the work of the Interdepartmental Committee for Seniors, organized by HRSDC. INAC will also continue to work with Health Canada in developing an implementation strategy for the proposed integration of in-home based health and social services on reserve.

AES: Close - Fully Implemented
4. Fund community-based AL needs assessments and uses the information as a basis for reviewing current funding levels. See response to Recommendation No. 1 (Assisted Living)

INAC’s current assisted living allocations are based on a historical funding formula that allows for a 2% increase per year. Any proposed revisions to the funding formula would be based on needs assessments conducted on foster care and institutional care.
31/03/2010 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2011:

Community-based needs assessments remain a priority for the Assisted Living Program. The study on institutional care costs in Yukon is now complete and the Department is considering funding options following the study's findings.

AES: Underway (In progress)
 
 
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