Implementation Evaluation of the Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach in Manitoba for the First Nations Child and Family Services Program - Follow-up Report Status Update as of September 30, 2014

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of September 30, 2014

Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships

Implementation Evaluation of the Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach in Manitoba for the First Nations Child and Family Services Program
Approval Date: 27/06/14
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. AANDC consider increased funding for operational costs for multi-site agencies and travel to remote communities in any revisions to the costing model.
  • AANDC can review costing models under EPFA but any changes to costing models that result in increased funding will create cost pressures on the program that may not be addressed without seeking additional funding sources (reallocations within AANDC or new funding).
    • AANDC will intensify its collaborative work with the province of Manitoba and FNCFS Authorities and agencies to achieve a thorough understanding of agencies' resources and expenditures; to support developing sustainable plans for effective agency operations and service delivery; and to examine whether the existing service delivery mechanism is optimally serving First Nation populations within provincial standards and within current funding allocations.
March 31, 2015

Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/09/2014:

As stipulated in the Management Response Action Plan, AANDC can review costing models under EPFA, but any changes to costing models that result in increased funding will create cost pressures on the program that may not be able to be addressed without seeking external funding sources. 

AANDC continues to work with its partners to adjust to changing provincial standards and practices.

For example, monthly conference calls continue to be held between HQ FNCFS program staff and their regional counterparts to discuss arising issues. In addition, a Funding Model Working Group has been established in MB Region. This group has representatives from the Province, AANDC, FNCFS Authorities and Agencies. The group is collecting and reviewing data to support the costing of pre-identified funding model deficiencies

AES: Good progress to date. Report in Q1 of 2015-16.

2. AANDC explore:
  1. how to ensure prevention dollars are being utilized for prevention activities so that agencies are able to develop sustainable prevention programming; and
  2. other areas of activity to help reduce the number of children receiving care off reserve.
  • AANDC will intensify its collaborative work with the province of Manitoba and FNCFS Authorities and agencies to achieve a thorough understanding of agencies' resources and expenditures; to support developing sustainable plans for effective agency operations and service delivery; and to support a delivery mechanism that serves on reserve First Nation populations within provincial standards and within current funding allocations.
  • AANDC Headquarters will continue to liaise with the AANDC Manitoba regional office, through monthly conference calls and regular meetings, to review financial pressures that may arise during EPFA implementation. These meetings and discussions will allow Headquarters to determine how funding pressures can be addressed, forecast future expenditure demands, and develop possible mitigation strategies for arising issues.
  • AANDC will continue to work collaboratively with relevant internal and other federal partners, as well as the province of Manitoba through existing tripartite tables, bi-lateral forums and other fora to identify and better understand arising issues such as why children are being sent off reserve (i.e. to access specialized services, education, availability of licensed foster care facilities). As an example, AANDC will continue working with Health Canada to further align programming available to First Nations children and families. AANDC will continue making linkages among related departmental programs such as Family Violence Prevention Program, Education and Community Infrastructure. AANDC will also continue to build on external collaborative steps undertaken to date, including three meetings of the FPT Working Group of the Directors of Child Welfare, the most recent being in May 2014, in order to identify ways in which AANDC can work collaboratively with other partners moving forward.
Winter 2015

Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/09/2014:

2a. AANDC's FNCFS Information Management System has been released in three stages: Release 1 - April 2013, Release 2 - April 2014 and Release 3 - June 2014. The Information Management System was built to assist AANDC to gather and aggregate information about how funding is being used for First Nations children in care on reserve while supporting robust data collection. Agencies are requested to report on prevention activities through this system. Data collection will ensure that detailed analysis of investments provided under EPFA and resulting outcomes are tracked and reported. This will provide an information base that will enable analysis and measurement of the effectiveness of the FNCFS program including child well-being outcomes, as AANDC continues to work collaboratively with key stakeholders.

 2a.
As an ongoing activity to manage the FNCFS program, HQ and regional colleagues continue to participate at tripartite tables to compile information and issues as they arise and work to address them in a timely manner.

As an example, the Regional office continues to financially support and participate in the FNCFS Regional Advisory Committee meetings that focus on agency operational issues. The committee is comprised of representatives from the Province, AANDC, FNCFS Authorities and Agencies. The Committee works collaboratively on issues that may impact First Nations' and other FNCFS agencies' ability in meeting their legislative mandates. This forum also supports agencies in improving the nature and extent of services provided to First Nation children, families, and communities. Through the collaborative work of this Committee, the relationship between FNCFS agencies, the Province and AANDC is being strengthened.

HQ is also producing a template and checklist for agency business plans, based on best practices from all jurisdictions under EPFA

2b.
As an ongoing activity to manage the FNCFS program, HQ and regional colleagues continue to participate at monthly conference calls and regular meetings to compile information and issues as they arise and work to address them in a timely manner.

2c.
The program is working more closely with the Family Violence Prevention Program to ensure that the prevention component of our programs is better aligned.

In addition, FNCFS HQ is working collaboratively with Education and other Social programs as well as other federal departments and the Province of Manitoba to better understand why children are receiving care off reserve.

To ensure better linkages are established and maintained with federal partners in Manitoba responsible for early childhood programming, AANDC will convene regular joint meetings with Health Canada and with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

AES: Good progress to date. Report back Q1 2015-16.

3. AANDC work with the Province and FNCFS organizations to address the issue of managerial capacity and business supports in agencies.
  • AANDC will continue to work with the Province of Manitoba and FNCFS organizations through tripartite tables, and enhance its compliance/audit review processes, First Nations Information Management System, and its joint organizational review and capacity-building efforts with First Nation agencies.
  • The FNCFS program will work with First Nation agencies to support the development and implementation of effective agency business plans by offering updated planning tools such as checklists and templates, and by reviewing business plans to ensure they flow from the Tripartite Accountability Framework and are aligned with program reporting requirements.
  • AANDC will work with the Province of Manitoba, First Nations Authorities and agencies to identify issues and develop additional measures to address capacity needs as required.
Winter 2015

Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/09/2014:

AANDC continues to work with the FNCFS agencies; the FNCFS Authorities and the Province of Manitoba through regular tripartite tables to identify any arising issues and mitigation strategies are discussed to address them in a timely matter.

To date 8 financial reviews of FNCFS agencies have been completed by the province of Manitoba and AANDC's Audit and Evaluation Sector. Both parties have agreed to complete financial reviews of the remaining seven FNCFS Agencies. Specific capacity building options will be identified as these joint reviews are completed.

 In addition, AANDC is preparing to undertake joint planning on program reviews with the Province of Manitoba. This work is being undertaken as part of the national approach to developing consistent FNCFS program compliance tools that would adopt risk-based analysis and engage willing provincial partners. This collaborative work is expected to gradually build agency capacity in responding to management challenges as service delivery and financial administration issues should not be addressed in isolation.

In partnership with the FNCFS Authorities, the Province and AANDC have been meeting with FNCFS agencies to jointly review and discuss recipient business plans. This process provides all parties with information on the status of the agencies' roll-out of prevention programs and services. It also provides the parties with a better understanding of agencies' operational resources, their challenges and opportunities.

Program has also gathered relevant information with respect to the development of nationally consistent tools such as Business Plan templates and checklists to support FNCFS agencies in their planning cycle.

AES: Good progress to date. Report back Q1 2015-16.

4. AANDC continue to pursue data sharing opportunities with the Province of Manitoba and streamline reporting for agencies.
  • AANDC is currently working with the Province of Manitoba on the development of a data-sharing agreement to allow information to flow between both governments which will ensure that accurate and relevant performance data is captured.
  • AANDC is currently involved in many collaborative initiatives to streamline processes and reduce the reporting burden on FNCFS agencies.
  • AANDC will require funding recipients to complete data collection instruments to meet reporting requirements.
Winter 2015

Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/09/2014:

AANDC and the Province of Manitoba assessed legal issues associated with concluding an Information Sharing Agreement. These issues have been addressed and the parties are working to conclude an agreement in the near future. It is expected that the draft text will be ready for signing in December of 2014.

AES: Good progress to date. Report back in Q1 2015-16.

 
 
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