Social Programs National Manual 2017-2018

For any additional information or if you have any questions about the Social Programs National Manual for the four Social Programs funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), please contact your INAC Regional Office.

Table of contents

Chapter 1:  Overview

1.0 Definitions

  • 1.1 For the purposes of this Manual, the definitions in the Indian Act and the Funding Agreement apply.
  • 1.2 Additional general definitions necessary to interpret this Manual include:
    • 1.2.1 Administrator – the person who has been delegated responsibility by a Funding Recipient to carry out functions on behalf of the Funding Recipient.
    • 1.2.2 Age of majority – The age at which a person is granted the rights and responsibilities of an adult in accordance with provincial or territorial legislation.
    • 1.2.3 Authorities – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) funding and program authorities received from Treasury Board.
    • 1.2.4 Child (Children) – A person under the Age of Majority in the relevant province or territory.
    • 1.2.5 Client – A person who ultimately receives the benefit of programs or services funded by INAC.
    • 1.2.6 Funding Agreement – A written agreement or documentation between the Government of Canada and a Funding Recipient setting out the obligations of both with respect to one or more grants or contributions.
    • 1.2.7 Funding Recipient – An individual or entity that either has been authorized to receive a grant or contribution or that has received that grant or contribution.
    • 1.2.8 Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is one of 34 federal government departments responsible for meeting the Government of Canada's obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and for fulfilling the federal government's constitutional responsibilities in the North. The legal name remains the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND).
    • 1.2.9 Manual – The Social Programs National Manual 2017-2018
    • 1.2.10 Specified Communities – Members of non-reserve communities or land-less Indian Bands that are eligible to receive Social programs and services (refer to Appendix A).
    • 1.2.11 Social Programs – The collective term for the following individual programs:  Income Assistance, Assisted Living, Family Violence Prevention Program, and First Nation Child and Family Services. Each of which operate within their own approved terms and conditions.
    • 1.2.12 Technical Interpretation Bulletins – A document whereby INAC may provide interim program direction and clarifications on technical issues identified by Funding Recipients and INAC staff.

2.0 General Statement

  • 2.1 This Social Programs National Manual replaces the Social Programs National Manual published in 2012.

3.0 Purpose

  • 3.1 This Manual provides direction for the delivery of the Social Programs funded by INAC.

4.0 Scope

  • 4.1 This Manual applies to all Funding Recipients that have entered into Funding Agreements with INAC for the delivery of Social Programs.
  • 4.2 This Manual is to be read in conjunction with:
    • The Funding Agreement signed by a Funding Recipient;
    • The applicable INAC program Terms and Conditions;
    • INAC policies and procedures for managing transfer payments;
    • Applicable provincial/territorial legislation;
    • INAC Regional Office program manuals or guidelines;
    • Technical Bulletins; and
    • Any other INAC approved documentation.

5.0 Eligible Expenditures and Amounts

  • 5.1 Eligible expenditures are limited to INAC’s Authorities and departmental mandate.
  • 5.2 Administrators are required to exercise due diligence when approving expenditures, ensuring that they are reasonable and appropriate.

6.0 Roles and Responsibilities

  • 6.1 Funding Recipients have a responsibility to:
    • deliver programs in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the Funding Agreement;
    • ensure that internal controls are in place to manage funding;
    • ensure that program Administrators are properly trained and possess the skills and knowledge to deliver the programs;
    • ensure that reporting requirements are met and reports are submitted to INAC in an accurate and timely manner;
    • cooperate with INAC staff during compliance reviews;
    • provide access to services in both English and French where there is significant demand and Part IV of the Official Languages Act is applicable; and
    • develop and implement by-laws, policies and procedures to protect personal information, collected in the course of complying with the program delivery requirements, from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.

    All functions performed by Administrators are performed on behalf of Funding Recipients.  Funding Recipients are responsible for ensuring that Administrators perform these functions.  Failure to ensure that an Administrator performs a function may result in a finding by INAC that a Funding Recipient is in default under its Funding Agreement.
  • 6.2 INAC has a responsibility to:
    • provide funding to Funding Recipients as authorized by approved policy and program Authorities;
    • lead the development of policy and provide policy clarification to Funding Recipients; and
    • provide oversight to ensure programs operate according to Authorities and Canada's financial management requirements, by ensuring that reporting and accountability requirements are met.

7.0 Social Programs Performance Information Profile

  • 7.1. The Social Programs Performance Information Profile sets out the expected outcomes from the various Social Programs. The profile identifies program data necessary to assess to what extent these outcomes are being achieved. The program data, collected through reporting, must be accurate to support effective program management.

8.0 Funding Recipient Reporting and Information Management

  • 8.1 The Reporting Guide is the single location for recipients to obtain all the reporting requirements for the financial and program performance aspects of their Funding Agreement with INAC.
  • 8.2 All recipient reporting requirements are subject to compliance review activities to determine the accuracy of the information provided to INAC.

9.0 Stacking Provisions

  • The maximum funding that will be provided to a Funding Recipient by INAC are 100 percent of the eligible costs associated with a particular program (activity, initiative or project) to be funded.
  • A Funding Recipient is required to declare any and all sources of funding for the program that are expected to be received or that are received, including all funding from the Government of Canada and from provincial, territorial, and municipal governments.  Annual financial reporting must show all sources of funding received.
  • Provision for repayment will be made when INAC's contribution is in excess of $100,000 and when funding from all sources exceeds eligible expenditures.  Funding Recipients must provide INAC with information showing the amount to be repaid and the basis for calculating that amount.  The reimbursement should be proportionate to INAC's contribution, expressed as a percentage of the total funding obtained by the Funding Recipient from all government sources for that program. 

10.0 Federal-Provincial and Territorial Agreements

INAC has entered into agreements with the provinces. The obligations set out in the agreements are to be read first and take precedence over the delivery requirements and standards of the social programs, as explained in this Manual.

  • In Ontario, the Memorandum of Agreement Respecting Welfare Programs for Indians guides INAC's reimbursement to the Government of Ontario for social services cost-shared in accordance with the agreement.  This agreement (referred to informally as the "1965 Agreement" or the 1965 "Indian Welfare Services Agreement"), supports cost-sharing of four social programs delivered in First Nation communities under the overall management oversight and responsibility of the Government of Ontario: Ontario Works (Income Assistance), Children's Aid Societies and approved prevention programs (Child and Family Services), Child Care (Day Nurseries Act), and Homemakers Services (Assisted Living)
  • In Alberta, the Arrangement for the Funding and Administration of Social Services (referred to informally as the "1991 Alberta Reform Agreement") guides INAC reimbursements to Alberta for social services that the Government of Alberta delivers to First Nations individuals who are ordinarily resident on reserve in the Province of Alberta.
  • Other bilateral or tripartite agreements or memoranda of understanding may be developed in collaboration with, and must first be approved by the INAC Social Programs branch at INAC Headquarters.

11.0 Program Management and Monitoring

  • Program compliance reviews, conducted by INAC, are required in order to provide assurances to INAC that program activities and expenditures comply with the program terms and conditions.
  • Compliance reviews will be carried out by one or more authorized individuals including, but not restricted to, INAC staff or external contractors engaged by INAC.
  • Funding Recipients will be notified in advance when a compliance review is required.
  • A Funding Recipient is required to provide supporting documentation, including books, records, source documentation, correspondence and any other information which supports an expenditure as an eligible activity and eligible amount which was incurred on behalf of an eligible individual or Client.
  • A Funding Recipient is required to provide adequate working space, for onsite reviews including access to a washroom, table or desk, chair, electrical plug-in for a laptop, and adequate lighting.
  • Persons who have knowledge of the program expenditures, make decisions or approve program expenditures as well as other persons who are responsible for program management and delivery, are required to provide information, attend interviews and discussions during the compliance reviews to ensure that  program management issues are assessed appropriately and in a timely manner.

Chapter 2:  On Reserve Income Assistance Program

1.0 Program Description and Objective

  • 1.1. The on reserve Income Assistance Program provides funds to individuals (known as Clients) and families (Clients and their dependants) who are ordinarily resident on reserve, as a last resort where all other means of generating income to cover basic needs have been exhausted. Funds support:
    • the basic and special needs of  Clients and their Dependants on reserves; and
    • access to services to help Clients transition to and remain in the workforce. 

    The Income Assistance Program has four components which provide the following:
    • funds to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter (utilities and rent);
    • special needs allowances for goods and services essential to the physical or social well-being of a Client;
    • employment and pre-employment supports; and
    • funding for service delivery, which is funding provided by INAC to Funding Recipients to enable them to administer the Income Assistance Program.
  • 1.2. The expected results of this program are that:
    • men, women and Children have access to supports to meet their basic and special needs;
    • men and women have access to supports that help them to transition to and remain in the workforce; and
    • men and women are employable and able to become or remain attached to the workforce. 

2.0 Eligible Expenditures

  • 2.1. In accordance with Program Authorities, Funding Recipients are provided with funding to cover specific costs related to the following items to support Income Assistance Clients and their dependants.
    • 2.1.1. Eligible expenditures for basic and special needs are determined by reference to the provincial or territorial standards of the province or territory in which the reserve is located and must be equivalent to those of the province or territory. These eligible expenditures may include funding for:
      • food allowance including special diets;
      • clothing allowance including Children's winter and school clothing;
      • shelter allowance (rent and utilities), in accordance with the National Directive on the Administration of Shelter Allowance to Income Assistance Client's On-Reserve;
      • personal incidentals;
      • essential household items;
      • transportation (non-medical) and moving costs; and
      • funeral and burial costs (not to exceed $ 3,500.00) and, when necessary, costs to repatriate the remains of a deceased person (not to exceed $ 6,000.00) by rail, air or vehicle transport.

        Note: Medical or health services are to be provided by Health Canada (i.e. non-insured health benefits) or by the province or territory in which a reserve is located.
    • 2.1.2. Employment and pre-employment eligible expenditures are determined by reference to the provincial or territorial standards of the province or territory in which the reserve is located. These eligible expenditures may include funding for:
      • Child care and accommodation costs;
      • transportation and equipment costs;
      • employment-related relocation costs;
      • training; and
      • career and job-seeking skills counselling.
    • 2.1.3. Employment and pre-employment financial assistance eligible expenditures are determined by reference to the provincial or territorial standards of the province or territory in which the reserve is located and must be equivalent to those of the province or territory. These eligible costs may include funding for:
      • training allowance;
      • wage subsidy associated with work experience; and
      • transfers to employers, other institutions and governments for training and employment services (e.g., Work Opportunity Program, Aboriginal Social Assistance Recipient Employment Training, Job Corps).
    • 2.1.4. Service delivery and administrative costs directly attributable to program and service delivery are determined by reference to the provincial or territorial standards of the province or territory in which the reserve is located. These eligible costs may include funding for:
      • salaries, wages and benefits; travel, transportation, accommodation; training and professional development, office supplies; instructional and information materials; office equipment; telecommunications; computer systems; printing and professional services;
      • data collection and management activities required for program monitoring, planning, reporting and evaluation; maintenance and upgrading of systems; and
      • development and implementation of case management systems including structured Client assessment, referral, job placement, re-assessment and counseling, training and professional support for Administrators and case managers; and funding to support the development of operational policy guidelines and projects to encourage local integration or aggregation of services (e.g. management control framework, aggregation models, income support and labour market programs) for more effective delivery and administration of the programs.

3.0 Eligibility Requirements for Clients

  • 3.1. For purposes of confirming the eligibility for Income Assistance benefits, the Client must demonstrate that he or she:
    • is ordinarily resident on reserve;
    • is eligible for basic or special financial assistance (as defined by the province or territory of residence, and confirmed by an assessment covering employability, family composition and age, and financial resources available to the household); and
    • has no other source of funding to meet basic needs and therefore, requires income support under the Income Support Program.
    • 3.1.1. For the purpose of providing the Income Assistance Program and services, "ordinarily resident" means that a Client:
      • lives on reserve and does not maintain a primary residence off reserve; or
      • is off reserve for the primary purpose of obtaining required medical care or social service support because there is no reasonably comparable service available on reserve, and lived on reserve immediately prior to receiving the medical care or social service support.

        Note: For the Income Assistance Program, "reserve" is as defined in the Indian Act; includes the Yukon Territory; and excludes lands which have been designated for commercial purposes (for First Nations operating under the Indian Act) or leased for commercial purposes (for First Nations operating under the First Nations Land Management Act).
    • A student who is registered and attending a secondary or post-secondary education or training program and is receiving education funding from the federal government, a Band or Aboriginal organization continues to be considered ordinarily resident on reserve if he or she:
      • maintains a residence on reserve; or
      • is a dependant of a family that maintains a primary residence on reserve;
      • returns to live on reserve with parents, guardians, caregivers or maintainers during the year, even if they live elsewhere while attending school or working at a temporary job; or
      • meets the student eligibility requirements in  the reference province or territory.

        Note: A student receiving post-secondary student support program funding can only be considered eligible for Income Assistance under exceptional circumstances as determined by reference to the provincial or territorial standards of the province or territory in which the reserve (of which the student is a member) is located.
    • The residence of a Child who comes into the care of a mandated Child welfare authority is derived from the residency of the Child’s parent or guardian at the time the Child is taken into care.
    • In the case of Children, Clients must be formally assessed as requiring such services, but only in cases where the responsibility for the funding and provision of such services does not lie with other agencies or programs. Children out of parental home are eligible to be funded as determined by reference to the provincial or territorial standards of the province or territory in which the reserve (where the child lives) is located
  • 3.2. Clients must also meet the qualifying requirements of the reference province or territory of residence, including an assessment covering all of the following:
    • financial need (income and assets);
    • employability;
    • family composition and age; and
    • financial resources available to the Client's household.
  • 3.3. Clients must confirm that they have not applied and do not receive any Income Assistance from any other source.
  • 3.4. Clients must provide all information necessary to confirm that the eligibility requirements have been met and that the information provided in their application is accurate.
  • 3.5. Administrators must take all necessary steps and precautions to verify information and require supporting documentation to ensure that eligible services are only provided to eligible Clients.

4.0 Child out of Parental Home

  • 4.1. Eligible expenditures pertaining to a Child out of the parental home, for purposes of Income Assistance, are according to the provincial or territorial guidelines and do not include a Child taken into care under Child and Family Services.
  • 4.2. Eligible expenditures pertaining to a Child out of the parental home should not result in a duplication of payments or services (e.g. the Child is counted for Income Assistance benefits while receiving supports through Child and Family Services).
  • 4.3. Once a Child receives supports as a Child out of the parental home through Child and Family Services, he/she ceases to qualify for supports through the Income Assistance Program.

5.0 Requirement to Maintain Files and Records

  • 5.1. Funding decisions require that the Administrator collect and keep information that supports the eligibility of the expenditures and the management of an applicant’s and a Client’s circumstances.Footnote 1

6.0 Minimum Required Documentation for Funding Recipients

Notwithstanding the minimum documentation requirements identified in this section, there may be additional INAC, provincial or territorial requirements as per the Recipient funding agreement or written notification to the Recipient. Funding Recipients shall ensure that all the documentation requirements are met.

  • 6.1. Guiding Principles
    • Documentation to support a requirement for Income Assistance support must be kept by the Funding Recipient in the Client case file.
    • Eligibility is an ongoing requirement, and files must be maintained and regularly updated to confirm a Client's ongoing eligibility to receive Income Assistance.

      Note: When, by exception, documentation related to a requirement is not available, a record of ongoing efforts to obtain the documentation or an explanation of why it cannot be obtained must always be clearly outlined in the file. The note should include the date, person spoken to and details of the conversation to support the exception.
  • 6.2. Application Form

    The application form must be completed in full by the potential Income Assistance Client in full and contain:
    • The name of each person in the family;
    • The date of birth (DOB) for each person in the family (i.e. merely listing ages is not be acceptable);
    • Signatures of the Client and dependent spouse, dated as per INAC's formats and procedures;
    • A declaration, signed and dated by the Client and dependent spouse, that the information provided is accurate to the best of the Client's knowledge;
    • An authorization to release information to verify the eligibility of the Client signed by both the Client and dependent spouse; and
    • A valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) for the Client and dependent spouse (as required by the reference province or territory).

      Note: If the Client has not provided the SIN and requires additional time to obtain it, the file documentation must demonstrate that the Client is actively pursuing the missing SIN. After 60 days, the Client is considered ineligible. Exceptions beyond the 60 days should be evaluated on a case by case basis to ensure that the Client is actively seeking a SIN but that exceptional and unique circumstances have delayed the receipt of it.
  • 6.3. Identity Verification
    • 6.3.1. Client and Dependent Spouse
      A copy of one piece of valid photo identification issued by the government (federal, provincial or territorial), or a signed attestation by the Administrator stating that he or she has verified the identity of the potential Client and dependent spouse, must be placed on the case file by the Administrator.
    • 6.3.2. Any Other Dependents
      A copy of one identification document, or a signed attestation by the Administrator stating he or she has verified the dependant’s identification, must be placed on the case file by the Administrator for all dependants.

      The following identification documents may be presented as acceptable proof of identity for each dependant:
      • one piece of valid photo identification issued by the government (federal, provincial or territorial);
      • certificate of live birth;
      • school records;
      • report cards;
      • school identification (ID);
      • Canada Child Benefit;
      • tax assessment;
      • paystub;
      • verification of the family composition from the Indian Registry Administrator or the Nation's Band Membership Department; and
      • Status Card.
  • 6.4. Financial Needs Assessment

    A clear demonstration of financial needs is required on file by the Administrator and must include:
    • all of the supporting documentation for the Client and his or her dependent spouse at the time of approval of benefits
    • completed and signed budget and decision forms as per INAC procedures. 
    • documentation showing amounts received from Employment Insurance (EI) or demonstrating that the Client and dependent spouse are not eligible for benefits;
    • documentation showing amounts received for Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), Old Age Security (OAS) or Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or demonstrating that the Client or dependent spouse is not eligible for benefits (when it appears that the Client or dependent spouse could be eligible for one or more of these benefits);
    • current bank account statements (if Client or dependent spouse has a bank account).
    • c urrent and complete income tax assessment that shows total income and deductions (if Client or dependent spouse has filed a tax return); and
    • the application for maintenance enforcement as per INAC procedures
  • 6.5. Primary Residence

    Documentation is required to verify that the Client is ordinarily resident on reserve prior to issuing benefits.

    When no documentation can be obtained, a Band Council Resolution (BCR) verifying the Client's residency on reserve may be accepted by INAC. However, documentation must be on file indicating that other methods of verifying residency have been exhausted.
  • 6.6. Employability and Education

    The case file must identify the highest educational attainment of the Client, as well as any trades training or other special skills that the Client possesses.
  • 6.7. Hardship or Emergency Supports

    Hardship or emergency supports may be available as an interim measure in accordance with provincial or territorial requirements. Documentation on file must be in accordance with the provincial or territorial requirements in order to demonstrate Client eligibility for hardship or emergency supports.

Chapter 3:  Assisted Living Program

1.0 Program Description and Objective

  • 1.1. The Assisted Living Program is an income dependent residency-based program that provides funding for non-medical social support services to seniors, adults with chronic illness, and Children and adults with disabilities (mental and physical) so that they can maintain functional independence and greater self-reliance.
  • 1.2. The objective of the Assisted Living Program is that low-income individuals are helped to maintain their independence for as long as possible through in-home, group home and institutional care supports.
  • 1.3. There are three components available through the Assisted Living Program.
    • 1.3.1. All three program components respond to three distinct and progressively intensive care needs:
      • in-home care (e.g. meal programs, housekeeping);
      • adult foster careFootnote 2 (e.g. care in a group home setting); and
      • institutional care (e.g. care provided in provincially licensed residential facilities).
    • 1.3.2. In addition, funding is available for the Disabilities Initiative, which provides proposal-based funding for projects to improve the coordination and accessibility of existing disability programs and community services to persons living on reserve.
  • 1.4. INAC funds the Assisted Living Program supports and services for Clients that are aligned with the eligibility criteria and rates established by the reference province or territory. Assisted Living funding can be used for eligible service delivery expenditures.

    Note: Eligible program expenditures are outlined in sections 4.0 and 5.0 of this chapter.

2.0 Eligible Funding Recipients

  • 2.1. Eligible Funding Recipients for in-home care, adult foster care and institutional care are:
    • Band Councils of First Nations bands recognized by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development;
    • Tribal Councils;
    • Provinces;
    • Yukon Territory;
    • Aboriginal communities and organizations;
    • political and treaty organizations;
    • municipal governments or agencies;
    • private businesses, organizations or agencies; and
    • volunteer, not-for-profit, and non-governmental organizations.
      • 2.1.1. In-Home Care
        Funding Recipients must have:
        • operational processes and procedures for the delivery of services that are consistent with this Manual and with programs, standards and guidelines of the reference province or territory;
        • established management and accountability processes and procedures for program funding;
        • documentation to confirm that in-home care services, provided to a Client, correspond to or make up part of a Client's care plan based on assessed needs; and  
        • supporting documentation relating to past program delivery (this provision does not apply to a new Funding Recipient).
      • 2.1.2. Adult Foster Care and Institutional Care
        Funding Recipients must:
        • operate according to the licensing and accreditation guidelines applicable to the facility type of the reference province or territory;
        • maintain up-to-date documentation confirming that adult foster care or institutional care services, provided to a Client, corresponds to or makes up part of a Client's care plan based on assessed needs; and
        • ensure that the care services for which the care facility is invoicing do not exceed Types I and II care as defined in Health Canada's (1973) Federal Classification System for Institutional Care or equivalent.
  • 2.2. Funding Recipients for the Disabilities Initiative are:
    • Band Councils of First Nations bands recognized by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development;
    • Tribal Councils;
    • Aboriginal communities and organizations;
    • political and treaty organizations;
    • volunteer, not-for-profit, or non-governmental organizations; and
    • educational institutions.

3.0 Clients

  • 3.1. In-home care, adult foster care and institutional care Clients must be:
    • ordinarily resident on reserve;
    • formally assessed by a designated social service or health professional using the care assessment criteria recognized by INAC as requiring one or more eligible supports;
    • unable to pay for the assessed services themselves (in accordance with the requirements outlined in section 6.3.4 of this chapter); and
    • in the case of in-home care, there are no individuals living in the household or there are no family members living within the community who can provide the services.
  • 3.2. Ordinarily Resident On Reserve for the Assisted Living Program

    "Ordinarily resident on reserve" means that a Client has, at the time of applying for a care assessment, demonstrated that he or she:
    • lives on reserve  and does not maintain a primary residence off reserve; or,
    • is off reserve primarily to obtain required medical care or social service support because there is no comparable service available on reserve, and lived on reserve immediately prior to receiving the medical care or social support.

      Note: For the Assisted Living Program, "reserve" is: as defined in the Indian Act; includes the Yukon Territory; and excludes lands which have been designated for commercial purposes (for First Nations operating under the Indian Act) or leased for commercial purposes (for First Nations operating under the First Nations Land Management Act).
    • 3.2.1. A student who is registered and attending a secondary or post-secondary institution or training program and who is in receipt of education funding from, the federal government, a Band or Aboriginal organization continues to be considered ordinarily resident on reserve if he or she:
      • maintains a residence on reserve; or
      • is a dependent of a parent or legal guardian  that maintains a primary residence on reserve; or
      • returns to live on reserve with parents, guardians, caregivers or maintainers during the year, even if they live elsewhere while attending school or working at a temporary job.
    • 3.2.2. Services provided to individuals residing off reserve may only be funded when:
      • the individual meets the definition of "ordinarily resident on reserve" at the time of applying for a care assessment; and
      • the service provided is in an institutional care or adult foster care facility that  meets the eligibility requirements described in section 4.4.3 of this chapter.

        Funding for in-home care services is not to be provided for individuals residing off reserve.
    • 3.2.3. Residency status is determined at the time an individual applies for a care assessment and follows the Client until he or she no longer requires Assisted Living care.

      Note: Individuals, who are ordinarily resident on reserve and relocate to another reserve to be admitted to an on reserve institutional care facility, will be considered to be "ordinarily resident on reserve" and eligible to receive funding support from the reserve of origin for the Assisted Living Program services.

4.0 Eligible Expenditures

  • 4.1. Guiding Principles

    Where it is not clear whether or not a particular service would be eligible for funding under the Assisted Living Program, the following guiding principles should be considered:
    • services are intended to be aligned with those provided by the reference province or territory for Clients subject to a financial needs test. This includes services for which a person with sufficient means would be expected to pay out-of-pocket. For example, the Assisted Living Program would fund attendant care (as an eligible item under in-home care) to the same extent as would the reference province or territory on the basis of an income test;
    • the maximum amount payable to any Funding Recipient with respect to any Client is the actual costs of the eligible expenditures associated with that Client for in-home care, foster care and institutional care consistent with the reference provincial or territorial programming;
    • administrators are required to verify and cross reference the Funding Recipient's information from other programs (e.g. income assistance) to the Client's application, to ensure that there is no duplication of supports and benefits, when considered as a whole;
    • for Assisted Living in-home care, services should apply to care in the Client's home and community environment (e.g. housekeeping), but not care of the Client directly (e.g. nursing care);
    • the amounts should always be reasonable in the circumstances in which the services are provided. Hourly rates may include incidental costs (e.g. transportation and supplies). In all cases, expenditures must be supported by documentation and information as listed in section 6.0 of this chapter; and
    • Assisted Living Program funding (including service delivery funding) cannot be used for capital expenditures (i.e. for the construction of care facilities).
  • 4.2. The in-home care component provides funding support for non-medical services. These services include:
    • meal programs, meal planning and preparation;
    • day programs;
    • attendant services (this could include services such as accompanying an individual to an appointment or while shopping, but does not include care of the Client directly, e.g. bathing, dressing);
    • short-term respite care for the caregiver (as defined by the reference province or territory);
    • group care;
    • laundry;
    • ironing;
    • mending;
    • carrying water;
    • chopping and/or carrying wood;
    • home management which may include making beds, dusting, washing dishes, sweeping, wiping counter tops, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, scrubbing a bathroom or floor, washing walls or shampooing carpets;
    • minor home maintenance (for example, fixing a door knob or attaching a railing along stairs); and
    • non-medical transportation.
  • 4.3. The adult foster care component provides funding support for supervision and care in a family-like setting to individuals unable to live on their own due to physical, cognitive or psychological limitations, who do not need continuous medical attention.

    Before Client expenses in adult foster care can be reimbursed, Eligible Funding Recipients must verify that the adult foster home:
    • charges provincial or territorial per diem rates; and
    • operates according to the licensing or accreditation guidelines of the reference province or territory.
  • 4.4. The institutional care component of the program provides funding support for individuals requiring Types I and II care in institutions operating according to provincial or territorial laws and standards both on and off reserve.
    • 4.4.1. Provinces and territories are responsible for licensing and monitoring facilities, providing funding for higher levels (i.e. Types III, IV and V) of institutional care on and off reserve and setting program rates and standards.
    • 4.4.2. Co-Payment and User Fees
      Clients residing in an institution are expected to pay the provincial or territorial government established co-insurance or user fee for care, maintenance, clothing and personal expenses to the extent that they are financially able to do so. This may require using or assigning income received from alternate income-support programs (e.g., Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and personal income from all sources).
    • 4.4.3. Eligibility Requirements for Institutional Care
      Before actual expenses for institutional care services may be reimbursed, Eligible Funding Recipients must verify that the care facility:
      • operates according to the licensing or accreditation guidelines of the reference province or territory; and
      • the client care services for which the care facility is invoicing do not exceed Types I and II care.
    • Definitions of Type I and II:Footnote 3
      Type I care is "residential care for persons requiring primarily supervision and assistance with daily living activities and social and recreational services - ½ to 1 ½ hours therapeutic and personal care or supervision daily".

      Type II care is "extended care for persons requiring availability of personal care on a 24-hour basis, under medical and nursing supervision - 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours care or supervision".
    • 4.4.4. Eligible Institutional Care Expenditures:
      • standard accommodation in accordance with the reference province's definition of institutional care;
      • meals, including therapeutic diets;
      • food;
      • laundry;
      • necessary emergency and routine treatment supplies;
      • professional social services, as needed, in accordance with assessed client needs;
      • programs for social and recreational activities;
      • clothing;
      • special diets;
      • age allowance;
      • personal living allowance; and
      • guide dogs.

        Note: Specialized medical and capital items are not eligible expenditures.

5.0 Service Delivery Eligible Expenses

  • 5.1. Funding Recipients who deliver the Assisted Living Program receive resources to support the administration of the program.
  • 5.2. Eligible expenditures to support the administration of the Assisted Living Program are:
    • salaries, wages and benefits;
    • travel;
      Note: Travel outside of Canada is not an eligible expenditure unless it is pre-approved in writing by the Director General, Social Programs and Policy Branch (INAC).
    • transportation;
    • training for professional or paraprofessional Administrators and case workers;
    • related office costs;
    • activities related to collecting and managing data required for program management;
    • monitoring, planning, reporting and evaluation;
    • maintaining and upgrading program management systems;
    • developing operational policy and related documents, and delivery options to encourage local integration, where possible, of education, health and social services needed to effectively deliver and administer the Assisted Living Program; and
    • developing and implementing case management protocols, including the following:
      • structured Client assessments;
      • referrals;
      • re-assessment and counselling;
      • training; and
      • professional support for Administrators and case managers.

6.0 Requirement to Maintain Files and Records

  • 6.1. Funding decisions require that the Administrator collect and keep information that supports the eligibility of the expenditures and the management of a Client’s circumstances.Footnote 4

    In accordance with the record keeping requirements set out in the Funding Agreement, Administrators are required to keep information that is collected from all current and prospective Clients, whether or not they are eligible for services, including:
    • completed applications;
    • incomplete applications; and
    • all supporting documentation provided during the application process.
    In sections 6.2 to 6.3, the term "individual" refers to all Clients and prospective Clients.
  • 6.2. The types of information that are used to assess and confirm the needs and eligibility of an individual and related expenditures are:
    • application form(s) (refer to section 6.3.1 in this chapter);
    • authorization forms used to confirm the individual's information;
    • documentation confirming and supporting the verification of the identity of the  individual and his or her dependent spouse;
    • documentation verifying the residency of the individual (refer to section 6.3.2 in this chapter);
    • documentation verifying the  financial need of the individual and his or her dependants (refer to sections 6.3.4 to 6.3.6 in this chapter);
    • all supporting documentation for program expenditures (receipts, invoices, cancelled cheques, log of care services, and formal assessment and care plan  documenting the supports and services provided);
    • for adult foster care and institutional care, documentation demonstrating that the care home or facility operates according to the licensing and/or accreditation guidelines of the reference province or territory (refer to section 6.3.9 in this chapter);
    • the Funding Recipient's general ledger and supporting accounting records;
    • working papers, lists, system reports and any other information necessary to complete each INAC reporting requirement; and
    • pay lists used to create monthly Assisted Living benefit payments and cheques.

    In addition, Administrators are required to verify and cross reference the Funding Recipient’s information from other programs to the individual’s application, to ensure that there is no duplication of supports and benefits, when considered as a whole. The types of information to consider include:

    • schedule of salary and honoraria paid to elected officials and Band employees (including any individuals who are paid to provide services);
    • income assistance pay lists used to create monthly Income Assistance benefit payments and cheques; and
    • post-secondary education lists and nominal rolls.
  • 6.3. Documentation for Program Management Activities

    There are several key activities that form the overall management of program expenditures. The minimum requirements for documenting key program management activities are outlined in detail below.

    Additional INAC Regional Office requirements for documenting key program management activities may also apply.

    When determining an individual's eligibility for the Assisted Living Program, the Administrator must:
    • obtain authorization from the individual to verify with the Income Assistance Program whether or not the individual is in receipt of Income Assistance  benefits;
    • once authorized, verify and document any Income Assistance benefits received at the time the individual applies for care; and
    • include notes and other supporting documentation in the individual's Assisted Living Client file  to confirm that the individual meets the requirements listed in sections 6.3.1 to 6.3.7 in this chapter.
    When the individual is not in receipt of Income Assistance benefits at the time of applying for Assisted Living care, the verifications of eligibility outlined in sections 6.3.1to 6.3.7 in this chapter must be completed and documented in the individual's file before providing any Assisted Living services to the individual.
    • 6.3.1. Application Form
      The application must be completed in full and contain all of the following information and supporting documentation before issuing benefits to the individual.
      • the full name of the individual and the individual's dependants (refer to section 6.3.3 "Identity Verification" in this chapter);
      • the date of birth for the individual and individual's dependants (i.e. ages listed is not acceptable);
      • the signature of the individual and his or her dependent spouse,  and the date of those signatures  as per INAC Regional Office formats and procedures;
        Note: Dates can be of any form including electronically date stamped from a system or manually entered;
      •  an address or other indication of on reserve residency (refer to section 6.3.2 "Primary Residence" in this chapter); and
      • a declaration that the information provided is accurate to the best of the individual's knowledge, signed and dated by the individual and his or her dependent spouse.
    • The application must be updated annually (or sooner when there is a change in circumstances, including a break in assistance).
    • 6.3.2. Primary Residence
      The Administrator must confirm that the individual is ordinarily resident on reserve before issuing benefits (the requirements for ordinarily resident on reserve are set out in section 3.2 in this chapter).

      Documentation containing the current home address for the individual and each of his or her dependants must be kept in the individual’s file.

      The documentation must contain the current home address on at least one of the following pieces of information:
      • utility bill;
      • income documentation (e.g. a pay stub or other information slip  for government programs such as Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan, and Employment Insurance);
      • bank statement;
      • income tax assessment or information slips for the most recent year;
      • lease agreement;
      • tenancy agreement;
      • residency verification provided by the a Band Council's housing department;
      • driver's license or vehicle registration;
      • vendor invoices;
      • school records (current registrations); and
      • declaration of residency signed by a landlord.
    • When the documentation listed above cannot be obtained, given the circumstances, a Band Council Resolution verifying the Client’s residency on reserve may be accepted by INAC. However, there must be evidence on file that other sources of identification are unavailable.
    • 6.3.3. Identity Verification
      Within 60 days of the date of the initial application, the Administrator must confirm the identity of the individual and dependent spouse as listed in the application and ensure that copies of each person's identification are placed on file. The individual applying for assistance has up to 60 days to provide proof of identification for the individual and his or her dependent spouse.

      If, after 60 days of the date of initial application, the individual has not provided identity documentation for the individual and his or her dependent spouse, he or she will be ineligible to receive benefits. However, if the individual demonstrates that he or she is actively pursuing the missing identity documentation, the Administrator may extend the 60 day period until such time as it is received. In this situation, it is important that the Administrator note in the individual’s file the efforts made by the individual to obtain the missing documentation.
    • 6.3.4. Financial Needs Assessment
      A clear demonstration of financial need, taking into consideration all financial resources available to the individual and dependent spouse, must be obtained from the individual prior to issuing benefits to the individual.

      This means that prior to issuing benefits the Administrator must verify the individual’s financial need by:
      • completing and documenting an assessment of all financial resources, including income, assets, savings, and investments, available to the individual and dependent spouse; and
      • verifying official documentation to fully support the assessment of financial need.
    • Note: Personal property and assets identified in the financial needs assessment should be evaluated and assessed in a manner that aligns with the reference province or territory of residence.
    • The financial needs assessment must include copies and verification of the supporting documentation for the individual and his or her dependent spouse:
      • at the time of approving the application; and
      • when the assessment is updated annually (or sooner when there is a change in circumstances, including a break in assistance).
    • 6.3.5. Budget and Decision Sheets
      The budget and decision sheets must:
      • be completed in full, itemizing the individual's and dependent spouse's financial resources and needs;
      • be available for review during the on-site review; and
      • have a numerical amount entered for each line item, including a zero (0) where there are no amounts.
    • 6.3.6. Documentation to Support the Financial Needs Assessment
      The following documentation, supporting the financial needs assessment must always be in the file:
      • documentation showing amounts received from Employment Insurance  or showing that the individual and dependent spouse are not eligible for benefits;
      • documentation showing amounts received for Guaranteed Income Supplement, Old Age Security  or Canada Pension Plan, or showing that the individual or spouse is not eligible for these benefits (when it appears that the individual or dependent spouse could be eligible for one or more of these benefits);
      • current bank account statement (if the individual or dependent spouse have a bank account); and
      • current and complete income tax assessments, showing total income and deductions, and/or information slips for the most recent year.
    • Note: When, by exception, a mandatory requirement is not met, a record of ongoing efforts to obtain the documentation or an explanation of why it cannot be obtained must always be clearly documented in the file.

      In addition to the mandatory documentation described above, the following additional sources of documentation can be used to document the individual and dependent spouse’s circumstances:
      • last pay cheque;
      • Record of Employment;
      • confirmation of the Recipient's payroll (or employee list);
      • Canada Child Benefit Notice;
      • National Child Benefit Supplement notice (letter);
      • confirmation with the province or other First Nations Social Programs to determine if the individual is receiving Income Assistance and Assisted Living benefits from the province or another First Nations Social Program (i.e. case notes, email, letter, or standard form); and
      • confirmation of Post-Secondary Education, funding amounts included.
    • 6.3.7. Formal Assessment for Non-medical Care Services
      The formal assessment for non-medical care (original or a copy of the original) must be on file, and must be completed by a health or social professional in accordance with the care assessment criteria recognized by INAC and include the following:
      • the name of the individual;
      • the name of the person authorized by the reference province or territory statutes and regulations to perform a formal assessment for non-medical care services (e.g. a physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, registered social worker);
      • the date and signature of the designated social service or health professional;
      • formal letterhead or form used by the person authorized by the reference province or territory statutes and regulations to perform a formal assessment for care services;
      • a precise statement about the non-medical care services required;
      • the period of time that the individual is eligible for non-medical care services (e.g. start and finish date covering the period that individual care services are eligible); and
      • the type(s) and amount of non-medical individual care services required.
    • 6.3.8. Expenditure Documentation
      Expenditures require supporting documentation and information. Some of the more common expenditures requiring supporting documentation are listed in section 4.0 and 5.0 in this chapter.

      When reimbursing expenditures, the following requirements apply:
      • the program expenditure must match the amount identified on the receipt, invoice, purchase order, chit or statement (original or copy of original) that is kept on file;
      • the file documentation must demonstrate that the amount paid is eligible as per this Manual;
      • for each receipt, invoice, purchase order, chit or statement that contains the Client's name, the name on the document must match the name of the individual or the dependent spouse;
      • the non-medical care services on the invoice (log of services provided and paid for) must correspond to, or make up part of, an individual's care plan based on the formal assessment of needs; and
      • for adult foster care and institutional care, documentation must be provided to verify that services do not exceed Types I and II care, federal classification or equivalent.
    • 6.3.9. Licensing and Accreditation Guidelines
      For adult foster care and institutional care, documentation confirming that the care home or facility operates according to the licensing, recognition, or accreditation guidelines of the relevant province or territory is required.

      Examples of documentation include a copy of the licence provided by the reference province or territory or a letter from the province or territory confirming that the facility meets licensing standards.

Chapter 4:  Family Violence Prevention Program

1.0 Program Description and Objective

  • 1.1. The Family Violence Prevention Program consists of two main components:
    1. Core Shelter Operations - Core operating funding to an existing network of 41 family violence shelters serving First Nation communities.
    2. Prevention - Proposal-based activities that support family violence prevention activities in Aboriginal communities such as outreach services and public awareness, education campaigns, conferences, seminars, workshops, counselling, support groups, community needs assessments, community program development, research and evaluation. 
  • 1.2. The Family Violence Prevention Program is intended to fund family violence prevention services that are responsive to community needs. The primary objective is to support women, children and families living on reserve with family violence shelter services through funding for core shelter operations. The secondary objective is to support family violence prevention activities through funding for Aboriginal communities and organizations (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) on and off reserve.
  • 1.3. The expected outcome of the Family Violence Prevention Program is the enhanced safety and security of women, children and families living on reserve by providing funding to Funding Recipients to permit them to deliver family violence prevention and protection services.
  • 1.4. The Family Violence Prevention Program reimburses the Government of Alberta and the Government of Yukon, where service delivery arrangements currently exist, for the actual costs of maintaining an individual or family ordinarily resident on reserve in Alberta or Yukon family violence shelters at provincial or territorial per diem rates and rules. INAC undertakes reviews and compliance activities to verify these expenditures.
  • 1.5. The Family Violence Prevention Program also provides funding to the National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence to provide a national coordinating role by supporting shelters and their staff through training forums, gatherings, the development and distribution of resources, and research and collaboration with key partners.
  • 1.6. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provides capital for the construction, renovation and major repairs of women’s shelters through its Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP). For more information, please visit CMHC's website or call CMHC at: 1-800-668-2642.
  • 1.7. Other federal programs provided to First Nations from Health Canada, the Department of Justice, Public Safety Canada, and provincial and territorial programs contribute to the continuum of services required to address family violence.

2.0 Client Eligibility Criteria

For the purposes of providing services and support through the Family Violence Prevention Program, "ordinarily resident on reserve" means that an individual:

  • lives or stays on reserve and has no usual home elsewhere; or
  • continues to be considered ordinarily resident on reserve when he or she is off reserve for the primary purpose of obtaining medical, education, training or social services not available on reserve.

Note: Emergency supports may be provided in accordance with provincial and territorial guidelines. For the purposes of Family Violence Prevention Program, First Nation residents in the Yukon are considered "ordinarily resident on reserve".

3.0 Eligible Funding Recipients

Note:  indicates the program component that the Funding Recipient is eligible for.

Eligible Funding Recipients Core Shelter Operations Prevention
Councils of First Nation bands recognized by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Eligible Eligible
Tribal Councils Eligible Eligible
Provinces Eligible  
Yukon Territory Eligible  
First Nations authority, board, committee or other entity approved by Chief and Council Eligible Eligible
Incorporated shelters (see section 3.1 in this chapter) Eligible Eligible
First Nation Child and Family Services Family Violence Prevention Program Agencies or Societies Eligible Eligible
Aboriginal communities and organizations (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) off-reserve   Eligible
  • 3.1. Incorporated Shelters

    If a shelter would like to become an eligible Funding Recipient and receive Family Violence Prevention Program funds directly, it must be incorporated provincially or federally.
    • 3.1.1. Provincial or Federal Incorporation

      INAC-funded shelters may choose to incorporate either provincially or federally.

      For more information on how to have a shelter incorporated provincially (to solicit funds provincially), refer to the Canada Revenue Agency website.

      For more information on how to have a shelter incorporated federally (to solicit funds across Canada), refer to the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada website.
  • 3.2. Registered Charities

    To complement INAC's core shelter operating funds, a shelter can become a registered charity and benefit from charitable donations. For more information, refer to "Applying for Registration" on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

    Note:   Any charitable donations received by the registered shelter are not included in its stacking limits.

4.0 Core Shelter Operations - Funding

  • 4.1. Conditions of Funding
    • 4.1.1. Funding for core shelter operations can only be used for family violence shelter and prevention activities (refer to section 6.0 in this chapter for a list of eligible services and expenditures).

      In order for a Funding Recipient to continue to receive shelter operating funding from INAC, a shelter must be operating as a family violence shelter for women, children and families. These shelters should therefore not be operating as a temporary or long-term housing solution (e.g. for youth, elders, the homeless, community members).
    • 4.1.2. If a Funding Recipient is not using shelter funds to support the operation of a family violence shelter (confirmed by a program compliance review), then INAC may request an operational or strategic plan from the Funding Recipient; recover funds; and change the type of funding arrangement to ensure that funding directly supports the provision of family violence shelter services.

      When a Funding Recipient is in default of the terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement, INAC may take action in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement.
  • 4.2. Funding Formula

    A national shelter funding formula establishes regional allocations and shelter operating budgets that are fair and consistent across Canada. Allocations are based on the size of the shelter, its province of operation and geographic location and, where applicable, funds to cover the costs associated with remoteness and emergency needs.

    This formula is designed to support primary and secondary core shelter operations.

    Primary core shelter operations outline the basic services and supports that shelters are required to provide.

    Secondary core shelter operations outline the additional services and supports that shelters may provide.
    • 4.2.1. Primary core shelter operations include the following:
      • a safe and welcoming residential environment, with appropriate space for children;
      • secured shelter, both inside and outside the shelter, which includes a fence, alarm system, surveillance camera, etc.;
      • secured file cabinets to maintain confidential documentation and case files;
      • training to assist staff in delivering or providing referrals for the following services:
        • programming and counselling (group and individual) for women, children, youth and men (for both perpetrators off-site and victims either on-site or off-site) in the areas of:
          • treatment and intervention (counseling for individuals, children, abusers, groups, mental health/illness, suicide intervention, referral for addictions)
          • culturally sensitive services
          • awareness
          • self-development
          • children's programs
      • crisis intervention (including a 24 hour/7 days a week crisis telephone line or a peak-time crisis telephone line when a 24 hour/7 days a week service already exists in the area);
      • individual case planning, referral and advocacy to access other supports, systems, and resources (social, legal, medical, etc.);
      • nutritious meals and safe food preparation;
      • transportation; and
      • data collection and tracking for administrative and evaluative purposes.
    • 4.2.2. Secondary core shelter operations include the following:
      • verification of post-shelter arrangements and referrals before departure;
      • community education and awareness-raising (for service providers and the general public);
      • development of networks, collaborations and protocols with other partners (other shelters, federal departments, provinces, municipalities, Aboriginal community organizations, First Nations Child and Family Services agencies, addiction treatment centers, health services, medical agencies, healing and health promotion, schools, police and RCMP, legal aid, social assistance agencies, social housing, charitable and not-for-profit organizations, volunteers); and
      • collaboration at the community level (e.g. between community health and shelter managers, etc.).

        Note: For a detailed list of eligible expenditures, please refer to section 6.1 in this chapter.

5.0 Prevention Projects - Funding

  • 5.1. Funding Methodology

    INAC Regional Offices distribute funding to Funding Recipients based on regionally-established proposal processes rather than only using a population-based formula. This methodology allows INAC Regional Offices to provide aggregate funding to various entities that are interested in developing their capacity to address family violence in a strategic way (see section 3.0 in this chapter).
  • 5.2. Application Process

    Each INAC Regional Office has its own process for applying, reviewing and approving prevention projects. Please contact your INAC Regional Office for more information.

    The FVPP Prevention Proposal assessment criteria for off reserve projects.

    Criteria include:
    • that the proposal meets the objectives and terms and conditions of the Family Violence Prevention Program;
    • that the project can support a target audience, a need, and identifies a delivery method;
    • that the project includes partnerships with other organizations to leverage volunteers, time, resources or funding (refer to the box note in section 5.3 in this chapter);
    • that the proposal indicates number of Clients expected to participate in this project; and
    • that the project can be adopted and used as a best practice by other communities or other organizations.

    Family Violence Prevention Program prevention funds are pooled in INAC's Regional Offices, who may then transfer these funds to a First Nations authority, board, committee or other entity approved by Chief and Council to administer. As proposals are approved by INAC Regional Offices or another entity such as a First Nations authority, board, committee or other entity approved by Chief and Council, available funds may be transferred to the First Nation's (or other eligible Funding Recipient's) Funding Agreement.
  • 5.3. Prevention projects include the following activities:
    • Treatment and Intervention: Individual or group counseling to help women, children, youth and men dealing with family violence and related issues (residential school trauma, grief, substance abuse and addictions, mental health illness, suicide intervention) for the duration of the prevention project only. 
    • Culturally Sensitive Services: Elder and traditional teachings, family healing, healing circles and traditional healing, inner healing, residential school survivor support.
    • Awareness: Alternatives to violence, anger management, bullying, characteristics of abuser, cycle of violence, men's programs, outreach, research projects (including collecting data such as inventories, literature reviews, training materials and data for statistics, conducting surveys, and evaluating treatment protocols and models for service delivery), safety planning.
    • Self-Development: Financial management skills, healthy parenting, healthy relationship, healthy sexuality, life skills, social skills development for youth and adults (women and men).
  • Generally, efforts should be made to support prevention projects that are able to leverage partnerships and additional funding so that the project can have a greater impact or demonstrate greater effectiveness in the community or in multiple communities.

Please note that some of these prevention activities may also be funded by another federal government department (e.g. Health Canada, Public Safety Canada). A Funding Recipient may apply for and receive funds from multiple partners in order to increase its total project budget so that it may deliver a more meaningful and effective family violence prevention project.  Funding recipients must ensure and demonstrate that funds from multiple partners are supporting different activities under the same project.

For example, a Funding Recipient may submit to INAC a Family Violence Prevention Program proposal for a prevention project on healthy parenting with a request for $15,000 to cover the costs of developing outreach and educational materials and submit to Health Canada a proposal with a request for $10,000 for the same project, but to cover different costs such as capacity building. In this case, both departments are funding the same project, but covering different activities.

  • 5.4. Delivery methods of prevention projects include:
    • Seminars, Workshops and Conferences: The project must demonstrate that the event will achieve an increase in knowledge, skill development, networking, or information sharing on a subject related to preventing family violence in Aboriginal communities.
    • Traditional Delivery Methods: To address family violence in a way that is responsive to community needs such as healing circles, traditional healing, cultural camp, elder and traditional teachings.
    • Public Outreach and Education Campaigns: To develop, produce, deliver and present to an audience printed or published materials to raise awareness and educate them on a subject related to family violence in Aboriginal communities.
    • Training: To identify, prevent and manage family violence for existing community service providers and staff, such as trainers, child protection workers, community health representatives, nurses, social workers, teachers, other professionals and para-professionals, law enforcement personnel and community leaders. Also includes developing training and resource materials or models for use in Aboriginal communities.
    • Community Needs Assessments: To identify Aboriginal community needs and develop a strategic plan to address family violence in the community, including all potential partners.
    • Community Program Development: To deliver community projects that are short term and innovative, build on, and strengthen existing community services or resources, and respond constructively to family violence in Aboriginal communities.
  • 5.5. Recipient Reporting

    When a Funding Recipient does not submit its Family Violence Shelter and Prevention Project annual report, the funding for approved prevention projects shall be withheld by INAC.

6.0 Eligible Expenditures

6.1. Note:  indicates the associated expenditure type is eligible.

Eligible Expenditures Core Shelter Operations PreventionFootnote 5 National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence
Staff salaries and benefits Eligible Eligible Eligible
Professional development, including:
  • membership and conference fees
  • tutoring functions (e.g. online training and other professional development opportunities)
Eligible Eligible Eligible
Board and committee operations (where applicable) Eligible Eligible Eligible
Direct Client costs, for example:
  • food
  • bedding, towels, soaps, etc.
  • personal incidentals (e.g. diapers, clothing and hygiene)
  • transportation to and from shelter
  • child care and car seats
  • programming and related supplies
  • recreation
Eligible    
Operations, minor maintenance, upgrading and repairs of facilities,Footnote 6 including:
  • utilities (includes garbage and snow removal)
  • appliances, furniture and equipment
  • computer and internet access
  • library and resources
  • upgrading (e.g. wheelchair accessible)
  • off-hour emergency services
  • security (e.g. fences, cameras, alarm system, file cabinets with locks)
  • Client needs assessments
  • data collection
  • post-shelter arrangements and referrals.
Eligible    
Overhead administration costs not exceeding 15% of the total contributionFootnote 7, including:
  • payroll administration fees
  • office supplies and equipment
  • telephone and IT support services
  • human resource services and recruitment.
Eligible Eligible Eligible
Crisis Line Eligible    
Staff transportation and travel (using established rates)  Eligible Eligible Eligible
Client transportation (e.g., taxis, use of First Nation owned/leased vehicles) Eligible    
Costs for prevention activities, training forums, workshops, outreach (including instructional and information materials, facilitator per diem) Eligible Eligible Eligible
Professional and Paraprofessional services Eligible Eligible Eligible
Legal services fees and costs Eligible Eligible Eligible
Insurance Eligible   Eligible
Audits, monitoring, evaluation and policy development Eligible Eligible Eligible

Note: Eligible expenditures also include the actual costs of maintaining an individual or family ordinarily resident on reserve in Alberta shelters and one shelter in Yukon, where service delivery arrangements currently exist, at provincial or territorial per diem rates and according to provincial or territorial rules.

  • 6.2. Notwithstanding the eligible expenditures identified in section 6.1, the following items are excluded as an eligible expenditure:
    • 6.2.1. Excluded Expenditures for Shelters and Prevention
      • capital costs (except minor maintenance);
      • feasibility studies for shelters, crisis centers or transition homes;
      • retroactive funding or formulation funding;
      • repayment of personal or community debts;
      • for-profit initiatives and investments;
      • costs related to the purchase, ownership, and maintenance of vehicles; and
      • shelters operating as temporary or long-term housing solutions (e.g. for youth, elders, the homeless, community members).
    • 6.2.2. Excluded Shelter Expenditures

      The Family Violence Prevention Program does not fund the construction, renovation or major repair of family violence prevention shelters.  Funding Recipients should apply to CMHC for funding for major renovation projects through the Shelter Enhancement Program.
    • 6.2.3. Excluded Prevention Project Expenditures

      Expenditures incurred after the project completion date, as set out in the approved project proposal, are ineligible for funding from INAC.

      Therefore, all prevention project expenditures must be incurred by the project completion date, as set out in the approved project proposal. For example, salaries can only be paid for the duration of the project and cannot support permanent positions.

      Ongoing costs, such as long-term treatment or counselling services, must be incurred by the project completion date. However, a Funding Recipient can refer Clients to other services. Funding Recipients with long-term service considerations can apply for multi-year funding.

7.0 Requirement to Maintain Files and Records

  • 7.1. Funding decisions require the administrator to collect and keep information that supports the eligibility of the expenditures and the management of a shelter.Footnote 8
  • 7.2. The type of information that is used to assess and confirm the eligibility of shelter expenditures includes the following:
    • general ledger and supporting accounting records;   
    • working papers, lists, system reports and any other information necessary to complete each INAC reporting requirement;
    • pay lists used to create payments and cheques;
    • all supporting documentation for program expenditures (receipts, invoices, cancelled cheques);
    • payroll records for Family Violence Prevention Program staff; and
    • admission records for Clients.

    The following program management information will also be requested during a program compliance review of the shelter operations and activities:
    • human resource policies;
    • confirmation or proof that a criminal records check was conducted; for each shelter employee;
    • shelter rules to support a safe environment for Clients;
    • practices and written procedures to protect confidential information;
    • community plan to address family violence; and
    • shelter security measures.
  • 7.3. Essential Records for Prevention

    The types of information that is used to assess and confirm the eligibility of prevention expenditures includes the following:
    • prevention project application form and approval letter;
    • working papers, lists, system reports and any other information necessary to complete each INAC reporting requirement;
    • documentation to support all prevention project expenditures and activities outlined in section 5.0 and 6.0 in this chapter (including receipts, invoices, and cancelled cheques); and
    • general ledger and supporting accounting records that reconcile the amounts per the financial statements and the financial expenditures contained within the project report.

Chapter 5:  First Nations Child and Family Services

Further to the January 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that the First Nations Child and Family Services Program's discriminatory practices must be reformed, the Government of Canada committed to a full-scale reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services Program. The government is working closely with key partners to reform the program, including the National Advisory Committee on First Nations Child and Family Services Program Reform, First Nations Child and Family Services agencies, front-line service providers, communities, leaders, organizations, provincial governments and the Yukon government. All of these partners have important voices and perspectives that must be heard and considered in order to make changes that will best serve the needs of First Nations children and families on reserve.

In the interim, minor administrative updates have been made to the First Nations Child and Family Services chapter of the Social Programs National Manual. This chapter and other guiding documents will be further revised as program reform takes place.

1.0 Definitions

The First Nation Child and Family Services Program uses the following additional definitions:

  • 1.1. Alternate Care – Placement of a child out of the parental home in a foster home, kinship care home, group home, institution or in an independent living arrangement. This does not include children eligible for the Children out of Parental Home available in some provinces under Income Assistance.
  • 1.2. Alternate Eligible Funding Recipient – An Eligible Funding Recipient that does not have provincial delegation for the delivery of First Nations Child and Family Services, but receives INAC funding for this purpose and subsequently provides the funding to an authorized service deliverer (i.e. First Nations that receive funding for the purpose of purchasing services from a First Nations Child and Family Services agency that has provincial delegation).
  • 1.3. Authority – Delegation or authorization by a province to an entity or an individual to deliver legislated child protection services, as opposed to those provinces that delegate that authority to the Eligible Funding Recipient to deliver child protection services in accordance with the relevant provincial legislation.
  • 1.4. Case Plan – A plan developed for a child in need of services.
  • 1.5. Child at Risk - A child deemed to be at risk of neglect or abuse, or both, in accordance with the legislation and standards of the reference province or territory.
  • 1.6. Child in Care – A child in an alternate care placement out of the parental home, in accordance with provincial or territorial legislation and standards.
  • 1.7. Children’s Special Allowance – A federal benefit paid on behalf of children who are in the care of provincial, territorial, or First Nation child welfare authorities.
  • 1.8. Custodial Parent – A parent with sole custody, or if the parents have joint custody, the parent with whom the child resides for the majority of the time.
  • 1.9. Eligible Funding Recipient – An organization to which INAC provides funding and that has been delegated by the reference province or territory to provide First Nations Child and Family Services to on-reserve residents. Eligible Funding Recipients may include First Nations Child and Family Services agencies, chiefs and councils or other organizations created to deliver mandated First Nations Child and Family Services services. This includes all provinces and the Yukon Territory, except the Northwest Territory and Nunavut, where provisions for these services are included in the territorial financing agreements.
  • 1.10. First Nation Child – refers to a Child that is registered or eligible to be registered under the Indian Act.
  • 1.11. Foster Home – An alternate residence for a Child in Care, regulated in accordance with the standards of the reference province or territory, which is a family setting.
  • 1.12. Group Home – An alternate residence for a Child in Care, regulated in accordance with the standards of the reference province or territory, which may accommodate several children.
  • 1.13. Guardian – The guardian of a child as defined under the legislation of the reference province or territory.
  • 1.14. Institution – An alternate residence for a Child in Care, regulated in accordance with the standards of the reference province or territory, which may accommodate larger numbers of children in a setting that is designed to provide more intensive intervention.
  • 1.15. Kinship Care – An alternate residence for a Child in Care, regulated in accordance with the standards of the reference province of territory, similar to a foster home but involving the use of the extended family of the Child in Care.
  • 1.16. Ordinarily Resident on Reserve

    For the purpose of providing child and family services, "ordinarily resident on reserve" means that an individual:
    • lives at a civic address on reserve; or
    • in the case of children in joint custody, lives more than 50% of the time on reserve; or
    • stays on the reserve and has no usual home elsewhere.

    Students registered full-time in a post-secondary education or training program and who are in receipt of federal, band or Aboriginal organization education or training support funding continue to be considered ordinarily resident on reserve if:
    • they maintain a residence on reserve, are a member of a family that maintains a residence on reserve;
    • they return to live on reserve with parents, guardians, caregivers or maintainers during the year, even if they live elsewhere while attending a school or working at a temporary job.

    The residence of a First Nation Child who comes into the care of a mandated child welfare authority is derived from the residency of the First Nation Child's parent or guardian at the time that the First Nation Child is taken into care.  Individuals who are off reserve for the purpose of obtaining educational, medical or social services not available on reserve because there is no reasonably comparable service available there continue to be considered ordinarily resident on reserve.
  • 1.17. Prevention Services – Services designed to reduce the incidence of family dysfunction and breakdown or crisis and to reduce the need to take children into Alternate Care or the amount of time a child remains in Alternate Care.
  • 1.18. Protection Services – Provincially or territorially legislated services designed to protect children from neglect and abuse.

2.0 Program Description and Objectives

  • 2.1 Program Description

    A prevention-based model was introduced as a federal funding model to enable Eligible Funding Recipients to focus on prevention, early intervention, and on alternatives to traditional institutional care or foster care, such as placement of Children with family members in a community setting.  Starting in 2016, all INAC Regional Offices now receive prevention which can be allocated to three funding streams:
    • Operations:  core and operational funding for protection services;
    • Prevention:  resources for enhanced prevention services; and
    • Maintenance:  direct costs of placing First Nation Children into temporary or permanent care out of the parental home (e.g. foster care, rates, and group home rates).

    By having a dedicated funding stream for prevention activities, Eligible Funding Recipients have the means and capacity to help First Nations Children and families before they require a more intrusive approach to care, including apprehension from the family home.
  • 2.2 Objectives

    The First Nations Child and Family Services Program provides funding to assist in ensuring the safety and well-being of First Nation Children ordinarily resident on reserve by supporting culturally appropriate prevention and protection services for First Nations Children and their families.

    These services are to be provided by Eligible Funding Recipients 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 Authorities.

    The objective of the First Nations Child and Family Services Program is to ensure that:
    • families receive the support and services they need before they reach a crisis;
    • community-based services and the child and family system work together so families receive more culturally appropriate services in a timely manner;
    • First Nations Children in Care benefit from permanent homes (placements) sooner, for example, involving families in planning alternative care options; and
    • services and supports are co-ordinated in a way that best helps the family.

3.0 Provincial Delegations

Child welfare is an area of provincial responsibility whereby each province, in accordance with their legislation, delegates authority to First Nations Child and Family Services agencies to manage and deliver child welfare services on reserve.

The First Nations Child and Family Services agencies, delegated by the province, provide protection services to eligible First Nation children, ordinarily resident on-reserve in accordance with provincial legislation and standards.

The First Nations Child and Family Services Program funds First Nations Child and Family Services agencies to deliver protection (out of the home) and prevention services (in the home) to First Nation Children, youth, and families ordinarily resident on reserve.

4.0 Guiding Principles for Community-Based Practices

While respecting the provincial and territorial governments' constitutional mandate to provide Child and family services, the First Nations Child and Family Services Program provides funding, as a matter of social policy, to support the delivery of Child welfare services in First Nation communities.  Funding under the First Nations Child and Family Services Program is intended to acknowledge and respect the values, beliefs and unique cultural circumstances of First Nations communities.

It is important to note, however, that this principle in no way restricts First Nation control and/or interpretation of the types of services needed in individual communities.

5.0 Annual Work Plans

An annual work plan is required from a First Nations Child and Family Services agency prior to receiving any prevention-based funding. The Reporting Guide provides further information on its completion, but as a minimum includes:

  • objectives and deliverables that will be undertaken in the coming fiscal year; and
  • financial activity budgets required for the provision of services to Clients.

6.0 Program Funded Activities

  • Maintenance – to cover costs related to maintaining a First Nation Child in Alternate Care out of the parental home.  Full costs of foster, group and institutional care are reimbursed in accordance with provincial rate structures up to a maximum daily per diem allowable as set by INAC's Authorities.
  • Operations – to support aspects of First Nations Child and Family Services agency operations not covered by the Maintenance or Development components.
  • Prevention– to support programs that reduce the need to remove First Nation children from  the parental home by providing tools that allow individuals to better care for their Children, as well as promoting increased permanency planning for First Nation Children in care.
  • 6.1 First Nations Child and Family Services funding is provided to Eligible Funding Recipients to fund three streams of activities: maintenance, operations and prevention.
    • maintenance is budgeted annually based on actual expenditures of the previous year;
    • operations and prevention services funding is based on a cost-model developed at regional tripartite tables and is consistent with INAC's Authorities.  These Authorities have been updated to represent appropriate provincial and territorial changes in the cost for services;

    To address the particular needs and circumstances facing individual communities, Eligible Funding Recipients can move funding from one stream to another.
  • 6.2 Eligible Development Expenditures
    • 6.2.1 Costs associated with the pre-planning, planning and start-up of First Nations Child and Family Services agencies may include:
      • allowances for assessment;
      • community consultations;
      • negotiation of agreements;
      • design service and delivery modes;
      • development of staffing and financial policies;
      • research and development of service standards;
      • identification of staffing requirements;
      • hiring of agency staff;
      • establishment of an agency office;
      • purchasing of equipment and furniture;
      • orientation and initial training of local committees; and
      • boards of directors.
    • 6.2.2 In order to allocate funding to a new Eligible Funding Recipient, INAC requires:
      • that an agreement be entered into between the affected First Nation, the affected Eligible Funding Recipient, the reference province or territory, INAC Regional Office and INAC headquarters in order to proceed or take action; 
      • that a Band Council Resolutions (BCR) be provided by the Band Council of the affect Band signifying it agrees that  a new Eligible Funding Recipient be created or realigned with other Eligible Funding Recipients; and
      • the reference province or territory has provided written confirmation that it is willing to support the creation of a new Eligible Funding Recipient.
    • 6.2.3 It is recognized that in exceptional circumstances funding may be given to a smaller First Nations Child and Family Services agency should the Eligible Funding Recipient demonstrate the need based on:
      • geographic reasons why they cannot belong to a larger Eligible Funding Recipient, noting that isolation and remoteness (being the distance between Bands) may impede operational efficiency and effectiveness of services;
      • cultural uniqueness and extreme differences supporting effective working relationships; and
      • administrative arrangements for the service delivery of other social programs not suited for aggregated management and service delivery of this program in a cost effective manner.
      INAC may approve these requests where there is sufficient evidence to substantiate the creation of a smaller First Nations Child and Family Services agency if the province or territory are in agreement in authorizing the Eligible Funding Recipient to manage and provide services.
  • 6.3 Eligible Maintenance Expenditures
    • 6.3.1 Provincial or territorial legislation and standards set out eligible maintenance expenditures for Children taken into care (out of the parental home) which may include:
      • non-medical services to Children In Care with behavioural problems and specialized needs;
      • purchases on behalf of Children In Care;
      • other provincially-approved purchases not covered by other federal or provincial funding sources;
      • per diem costs for Children In Care in placements out of the parental home (including foster care, Group Homes, institutional care, and Kinship Care);
      • post-adoption subsidies and supports; and
      • professional services not covered by other jurisdictions or by Health Canada's Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.
    • 6.3.2 Non-Eligible expenditures for maintenance may include:
      • insured health services under the authority of provincial or territorial guidelines; and
      • program areas which fall under the authority of another INAC Program (education or housing), other federal departments, or other provinces or territories. This includes costs related to medical requirements (Health Canada) and Young Offenders (Department of Justice, and the provinces and territories).
  • 6.4 Eligible Operating Costs for Service Delivery

    Eligible operating costs to administer the First Nation Child and Family Services Program include:
    • salaries;
    • travel;
    • benefits for agency staff (e.g.: agency director, senior management staff, supervisory staff, support staff, protection and prevention workers, and resource workers);
    • insurance;
    • rent or mortgage;
    • IT equipment, rentals and supports;
    • off-hour emergency services;
    • janitorial services;
    • expenses related to board and committee operations;
    • professional development and staff training;
    • special needs assessment and testing;
    • legal services fees and costs;
    • paraprofessional services; and
    • audits, monitoring and evaluation (i.e. costs of preparing agency evaluations).
  • 6.5 Eligible Expenditures for Prevention and Least Disruptive Measures

    Eligible expenditures for prevention and least disruptive measures may include:
    • salaries;
    • travel;
    • benefits for prevention workers and resource workers;
    • paraprofessional services family support services;
    • professional development; and
    • non-medical services designed to:
      • keep families together and Children in their own homes (i.e. brief services or time-limited duration) as defined by provincial or territorial homemaker and parent aid services;
      • mentoring services for Children;
      • home management; and
      • non-medical counselling services not covered by other funding sources.

7.0 Evaluations

  • 7.1 Eligible Funding Recipients are funded annually to complete internal reviews of their operations in order to identify weaknesses and strengths and to plan any desired improvement to the quality of their services. Over and above these internal reviews, an Eligible Funding Recipient may be required to participate in program evaluations in relation to its mandate regarding the protection of Children from abuse, neglect and prevention (where applicable).
  • 7.2 Once an internal review is completed, the Eligible Funding Recipient is required to submit a report to INAC detailing the findings and conclusions and an action plan to address the recommendations. These results will be used to ensure progress is being made to correct areas of concern.
  • 7.3 The INAC Audit and Evaluation Sector will undertakes reviews of the results being achieved by the entire Child welfare program rather than reviews of specific organizations or agreements. As part of its review, INAC’s Audit and Evaluation Sector will analyze the information submitted to ensure that program terms, conditions and objectives are being met.

Appendix A Specified Communities

The following is a list of Specified Communities whose residents are deemed eligible for INAC-funded social programs and services based on unique circumstances.

  1. Kitcisakik - Canton de Hamon
  2. Long Point First Nation - Winneway
  3. Pakua Shipi - Saint Augustin
  4. MaïganAkik - Barriere Lake
  5. Aroland
  6. Nibinamik
  7. Marcel Colomb Cree - Lynn Lake
  8. Mathias Colomb Cree Nation - Granville Lake
  9. O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation - South Indian Lake
  10. War Lake First Nation - Ilford
  11. Fox Lake First Nation - Gillam
  12. Ocean Man
  13. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) - Ft. Chipewyan
  14. Mikisew Cree First Nation - Fort Chipewyan
  15. Little Red River Cree Nation (LRRCN) - Garden River
  16. Lubicon Lake Band - Little Buffalo
  17. Tsay Keh Dene First Nation (Ingenika Band)
  18. Old Massett Village Council
  19. Lax Kw'alaams
  20. Iskut
  21. Lake Babine Nation
  22. Wet'suwet'en First Nation - Bromon Lake
  23. Whe-La-La-U
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