Income Assistance Reform: Enhanced Service Delivery

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Name of lead department: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

Federal partner organization: Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

Non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Start date: June 2013

End date: March 31, 2017

Total federal funding allocated (start to end date): $241,500,000

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Description: This initiative to improve the on-reserve Income Assistance Program, announced as part of Economic Action Plan 2013, has two components: Enhanced Service Delivery (administered by AANDC) and the First Nations Job Fund (administered by Employment and Social Development Canada). The two departments will allocate funding according to a proposal-based process. First Nation organizations that receive funding will be required to implement mandatory participation in personalized case management. They will serve clients using a case-management approach that includes intake and triage, an employability assessment, a personalized action plan, and referral to training services. Eligible Income Assistance clients must be between the ages of 18 and 24 and require less than one year of training to become employable. The First Nations Job Fund is designed to provide training opportunities and supports to clients referred from First Nations using the Enhanced Service Delivery approach.

For more information, please visit: Income Assistance Program — Frequently Asked Questions

Shared outcome:

Governance structure: Enhanced Service Delivery is supported by an interdepartmental governance and oversight structure comprising headquarters and regional representatives from AANDC and Employment and Social Development Canada. This governance structure includes Regional Implementation Teams, a Program Review and Advisory Committee and an Oversight Committee, which also includes representatives from the Treasury Board Secretariat and Health Canada. Each of these governance bodies helps implement Enhanced Service Delivery and the First Nations Job Fund. They also work to ensure that the Program meets targets, respects the objectives of the on-reserve Income Assistance reform policy, reduces duplication and works efficiently.

Performance highlights: The results as of the end of 2014–2015 indicate that over 6,800 First Nations youth between 18 and 24 years old have been case-managed since the inception of the Reform in 2013–2014. This number includes new clients as well as carry-over clients who may have started their action plan in the previous year. Approximately 2,000 youth have exited Income Assistance, transitioning either into employment or returning to school full time, which exceeds the target of 1,388 clients for 2013–2014 and 2014–2015. As well, 29% of First Nations communities are currently participating in the Income Assistance Reform Program, inclusive of Ontario. In Ontario, $7.5 million were allocated to the provincial Ontario Works Program, which delivers Enhanced Service Delivery on behalf of the Department. This increased allocation of resources in Ontario resulted in an increase in the number of First Nations communities delivering case management and pre-employment activities in this province.

Performance Information
Federal organizations Link to Program Alignment Architectures Contributing programs and activities Total allocation (from start to end date) 2014–2015
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Social Development Income Assistance Program — Enhanced Service Delivery $132,500,000 Planned Spending: $30,900,000
Actual Spending: $20,700,000
Expected Results: Reduced Income Assistance dependency among First Nations youth aged 18 to 24 years old, who are job-ready and require up to one year of training.
Actual results against targetsa: In 2014–2015, 27 Enhanced Service Delivery providers received $13.2 million in funding to conduct activities that helped reduce Income Assistance dependency among First Nations youth aged 18 to 24 years old, who are job-ready and require up to one year of training, in 88 First Nations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Atlantic and Yukon.
Since the Reform was launched in 2013–2014, Enhanced Service Delivery providers case managed over 6,800 First Nations clients of whom an estimated 2,000 became employed or opted to return to school full time. Enhanced Service Delivery providers continued to build their capacity and expand the implementation of the Program in 2014–2015. For example, an additional 16 case workers were hired in 2014–2015 to increase the ability of service providers to case manage Income Assistance clients, linking them to employment opportunities or school.
The percentage of communities participating in Enhanced Service Delivery increased from 24% of all First Nations targeted in 2013–2014 to 29% of all First Nations in 2014–2015. In Ontario, $7.5 million were provided to Ontario Works to increase the number of First Nations communities engaged in that province. The number of First Nations communities delivering full Ontario Works (both financial and active measures activities) increased from 65 in 2013–2014 to 71 in 2014–2015. Including Ontario by the end of 2014–2015, 159 out of 550 First Nations were delivering a case management approach (i.e. 29% of Income Assistance providers).
Employment and Social Development Canada Skills and Employment Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) — First Nations Job Fund $109,000,000 Planned Spending: $23,202,787
Actual Spending: $9,496,333
Expected Results: Improved labour market outcomes for First Nation Income Assistance clients aged 18 to 24 years old, who are job-ready or require up to one year of training.
Actual results against targetsa:
Clients employed: 215
Clients served: 1,125
Clients returned to school: 38
Total for all federal organizations $241,500,000 Total planned spending: $54,102,787
Total actual spending: $30,196,333
a Performance indicators are defined in the Performance Measurement Strategies and/or Performance Measurement Frameworks of each federal partner.

Comments on variances:

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
The variance between Planned and Actual Spending was due to the Income Assistance Reform Program starting later than anticipated.

Employment and Social Development Canada
Spending for First Nations Job Fund (FNJF) is based on cost per client. All clients served by FNJF must be referred by Enhanced Service Delivery.

In the first year of the Program (2013–2014), $8.05 million were re-profiled equally to all remaining fiscal years. An amount of $2.68 million was assigned to the 2014–2015 fiscal year, bringing the total planned spending for 2014–2015 to $25,886,072. Of this, $11.9 million were re-profiled to 2015–2016 in anticipation of low referrals from Enhanced Service Delivery. This left planned spending at $13.98 million (including funds re-profiled from 2013–2014 to 2014–2015). Of this, actual spending was $9.5 million. Of the 2,994 clients expected to be referred by Enhanced Service Delivery to FNJF, 1,125 clients, approximately 38% of expected, were actually referred from Enhanced Service Delivery and served by FNJF accounting for lower than planned spending.

Results achieved by non-federal and non-governmental partners: AANDC actively pursued partnerships with First Nations and the province of Ontario to ensure First Nations have access to employment opportunities.

Contact information:

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Brenda Shestowsky
Director
Income Assistance and Urban Aboriginal Strategy
Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Telephone: 819-997-8212
brenda.shestowsky@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca

Employment and Social Development Canada
Althea Williams
Director
Program Policy Division
Aboriginal Affairs Directorate
Employment and Social Development Canada
Telephone: 819-654-3127
althea.williams@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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