Archived - Terms and Conditions: Contributions to provide children and families with protection and prevention services (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)
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Update: Upcoming minor revisions
The Terms and Conditions for the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) program are expected to be revised in the near future in response to 2021 CHRT 41.
To learn more about how to apply for capital funding to support the delivery of child and family services (2021 CHRT 41), visit Funding for capital assets: Jordan's Principle and First Nations child and family services.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Authority
- 3. Purpose, objective and outcomes
- 4. Eligible recipients
- 5. FNCFS: Eligible program activities
- 6. FNCFS: Eligible expenditures
- 7. Band representative services: Eligible project activities and expenditures
- 8. Application requirements and assessment criteria
- 9. Method for determining the amount of funding
- 10. Maximum amount payable
- 11. Basis for payment
- 12. Stacking limits
- 13. Performance measurement and reporting
- 14. Official languages
- 15. Redistribution of contributions
In January 2016, in response to a complaint from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT or Tribunal) ordered Canada to cease its discriminatory practices and reform the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) program and the 1965 Agreement with the Province of Ontario. More details on these decisionsFootnote 1 are available online through the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
These revised terms and conditions continue to improve aspects of the program that were determined by the Tribunal to be discriminatory. The changes also support the broader reform of the program as ordered by the Tribunal (2016 CHRT 2 para 481) which focused on addressing the real needs of First Nations children and families living on reserve or in the Yukon and preventing the perpetuation of historical disadvantage. Canada is committed to a child and family services program that promotes culturally- based interventions to ensure the well-being and continuity of family, community and that cultural connections are preserved for First Nations children in care.
In line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which has been ratified by Canada, First Nations children, like all children, have the right to live free of discrimination, the right to grow up in their families and with members of their community and the right to participate in matters affecting them. Consistent with the UNCRC, changes to the FNCFS program emphasize that the safety and best interest of children are paramount and that cultural and linguistic connections should be upheld.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with partners, including provinces and territories, to making the system impartial and inclusive, child-centered, community-directed and focused on prevention and early intervention. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) will continue making changes to these terms and conditions to reflect the Tribunal orders, the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (The Act), agreements reached with the parties to the CHRT, advice provided by the National Advisory Committee on FNCFS reform, including the development of a new funding model.
The First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) program oversees and provides contribution funding for the ongoing provision of culturally appropriate prevention, including early intervention and least intrusive measures, and provincially or Yukon legislated protection services in order to respond to child maltreatment, support family preservation and well-being, including cultural and linguistic connections for First Nations children, youth and families on reserve or in the Yukon.
Children are defined as persons under the age of majority, which means the age at which a person is granted the rights and responsibilities of an adult, in accordance with provincial or territorial legislation. In addition, and to better support First Nations children's access to support services required to transition to adulthood, FNCFS provides funding for an extension of services for up to an additional two years following the period the youth is no longer eligible for provincial or territorial child and family services, either when the child has reached the age of majority, or is no longer eligible for extended care services as per the provincial or territorial legislation.
As of January 1, 2020, service providers delivering child and family services to Indigenous children must comply with the national principles and minimum standards set in the federal legislation An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, (The Act). The Act's national principles of substantive equality, cultural continuity, and the best interests of the child have been established to help guide the provision of Indigenous child and family services while supporting Indigenous groups and communities in their transition toward exercising partial or full child and family services jurisdiction at a pace and time that they choose. Until an Indigenous group, community or people exercises jurisdiction under The Act, agreements related to existing service providers remain valid unless the parties decide otherwise.
Child and family services, including Band Representative Services in Ontario, are provided in accordance with the legislation and standards of the province. FNCFS applies to First Nations communities who have not exercised child and family services jurisdiction and where the province or Yukon maintains jurisdiction.
In order to provide equal opportunity and achieve equitable results and outcomes, the program supports variations in service provision.
The FNCFS program is delivered under the authority of the Department of Indigenous Services Act, S.C., 2019, c. 29, s.336., which provides the Minister of Indigenous Services with powers, duties and functions that extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction and that are not by law assigned to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada, relating to the provision of services to Indigenous individuals who are eligible to receive those services under an Act of Parliament or a program of the Government of Canada for which the Minister is responsible.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders relating to the FNCFS program include the reform of the FNCFS program and the 1965 Agreementwith the Province of Ontario, including ceasing discriminatory practices, protocol on consultations, determination of budget, funding deficiencies, immediate funding relief, reimbursements for Band Representative Services and children and youth mental health services. More details on decisions are available on the Tribunal's website or by clicking on the CHRT decision links below:
3. Purpose, objective and outcomes
The FNCFS program is intended to provide resources and funding to support the delivery of protection and prevention services for children, youth and families ordinarily resident on reserve or in the Yukon. The FNCFS program funds provincially or Yukon delegated agencies to provide services that account for the distinct needs of First Nations children, youth and families including cultural, historical and geographical circumstances. Child and family services also include supports for families related to the prevention of child maltreatment.
The FNCFS program provides 3 streams of funding:
- Child Protection, Guardianship and Support (Section 5.1)
- Maintenance and Care (Section 5.2)
- Prevention (Section 5.3)
In response to paragraph 427 of the 2018 CHRT 4 Order, related to Band Representative Services in Ontario, the FNCFS program provides funding to support the functions of Band Representative Services when it relates to First Nations child welfare matters under the Ontario Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA) including the representation and advocacy of children's rights and collaboration with other service providers to ensure the best interest of the child. More information on Band Representation services can be found in Section 7.
The objective of the FNCFS program is to strengthen the safety and well-being of First Nations children and their families ordinarily resident on reserve or in the Yukon by funding provincially or Yukon delegated service providers as outlined in section 4 to deliver prevention and protection services such as child protection, guardianship and support and child maintenance and care.
Services under the FNCFS program will be provided in an inclusive and impartial manner on the basis of substantive equality to address the specific needs and circumstances of First Nations children and families living on reserve or in the Yukon, including their cultural, historical and geographical needs and circumstances, in a manner that accounts for the best interest of the child, cost drivers related to inflation and increased needs or numbers of children in care and their families.
The program provides access to linguistic supports such as translation or interpretation services of Indigenous languages, where appropriate, to ensure a culturally appropriate service delivery pursuant to Canada's authorities under the Indigenous Languages Act.
FNCFS outcomes focus on safe, healthy children and families being supported by communities able to identify and address child and family needs.
Immediate: 1 to 2 years
- First Nations families have greater access to culturally appropriate prevention and early intervention services
- First Nations service providers have adequate and predictable resources that allow for the development and delivery of culturally based child welfare standards and services including prevention services
Intermediate: 3 to 5 years
- First Nations children are connected to their families and Indigenous communities
Ultimate: 5 years and beyond
- The overrepresentation of First Nations children in care is decreased compared to the proportion of non-Indigenous children in care in the overall population of children in Canada
- First Nations children are free from severe physical danger and harm
4. Eligible recipients
Eligible funding recipients include:
|Eligible recipients||Funding FNCFS||Funding Band Representative Services in Ontario|
|FNCFS agencies, societies* or other child and family service providers delegated by provinces or the Yukon and where the province or Yukon maintains jurisdiction||yes||yes|
|Provincial and Yukon Governments directly providing child and family services||yes||no|
|* FNCFS agencies or societies could include agencies in the process of obtaining delegation, and those recognized by provinces or in the Yukon for the delivery of child and family services.|
5. FNCFS: Eligible program activities
The following are the 3 eligible streams of activities:
- Child Protection, Guardianship and Support (Section 5.1): agency operations, service delivery to support the provision of protection services
- multi-year planning (Section 5.1.1)
- Maintenance and Care (Section 5.2): direct services related to placing First Nations children into temporary or permanent care out of the parental home
- Prevention (Section 5.3): resources to support the delivery of prevention services
5.1 Protection: Child protection, guardianship and support
Child protection services are prompted when a child, ordinarily resident on reserve or in the Yukon, registered or entitled to be registered under the Indian Act, is identified as potentially being at risk of maltreatment.
Protective child and family services must be delivered in accordance with the provincial or territorial legislation and standards, and are funded as per the respective provincial or territorial funding guidelines and policies. As of January 1, 2020, service providers delivering these services must also comply with the national principles and minimum standards set in the Act.
Eligible services and activities include:
- intake, assessment and investigation of child maltreatment reports, including after-hours services
- intervention planning implementation and evaluation to address identified risks and promote protective factors
- after hours and crisis line services
- alternative dispute resolution services and proceedings, such as family group conferencing
- legal fees associated to child and family services, or other legal fora
- supervision orders
- guardianship, voluntary and special needs custody agreements
- adoption and customary care services
- community and stakeholder engagement and education on child and family services and child maltreatment including associated risk and protective factors
- placement development including recruiting, assessing, training, supporting, monitoring and evaluating care providers
- placement services, community liaison and outreach
- alternative care resource development, training, support and monitoring
- services to support the delivery of culturally appropriate interventions
- placement planning, development and implementation provisions, culturally-based standards that could be applied by First Nations for child welfare
5.1.1 Multi-year planning
Each delegated FNCFS agency is required to develop a multi-year plan for child and family services outlining the agency's response to needs and priorities identified within the communities it serves, including how service delivery will be coordinated with other service providers, and contribute to the expected outcomes. The plans provide a better understanding of priorities and alignment with the First Nations needs over the medium-term and how to best support these priorities going forward.
Eligible activities include:
- community consultations and coordination to support the development, implementation and the delivery of child and family services
- stakeholder engagement and education
- policy development to support the delivery of FNCFS programming
- design of service and delivery models including staffing requirements
- design, implementation and evaluation of change management
- development and implementation of operational plans
- strategic planning
- negotiation of agreements
- development, implementation and evaluation of service standards and outcomes
- development and implementation of cultural services and supports
- development, implementation and evaluation of emergency measures related to child, youth and family (for example, pandemic or natural emergencies that place children at higher risk of maltreatment or mental health crisis)
5.2 Maintenance and care
Child maintenance and care include the services associated to placing First Nations children into alternate care. Eligible activities and services are delivered in accordance with the provincial or territorial legislation and standards and funded as per the respective provincial or Yukon funding guidelines and policies.
The FNCFS program also supports First Nations children who are aging out of care by providing funding to extend services to help ensure their needs are supported as they transition out of the child welfare system. The extension of services, for up to a maximum of two years, applies when a youth is no longer eligible for child and family services, either because the youth has reached the age of majority, or is no longer eligible for extended care services as per the provincial or Yukon legislation. This extension of care services is intended to support the successful transition of First Nations youth into adulthood and independence.
Eligible activities include:
- special needs assessment and testing
- placement, support and supervision for children and youth in alternate care while measures are taken with the family to remedy the situation, such as kinship, foster or group care, residential treatment, support for Elders and extended family members caring for children, independent living
- family visitation, including parents, siblings and extended family members
- services for children with behavioural problems
- non-medical, time limited services
- direct services and supports not covered by First Nation and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) or other federal or provincial programs
- other provincially approved professional services, including child representation and/or associated legal services, where funding from other sources was or will not be received, in whole or in part, to support that activity
- formal customary care, adoption and post-adoption services
- direct services to support a child's care plan
- activities to meet the needs of children in care, including land-based or cultural activities
- provision of child custody/guardianship
- reunification of children and youth in, or formerly in, care with families on reserve or in the Yukon
- extension of services to facilitate the transition of First Nations youth into adulthood toward self-care and independence
The development and the delivery of prevention services that support the safety of children, family and community well-being, including at the primary, secondary or tertiary levels, are evidence-informed and culturally- appropriate, address identified risk factors, and build protective factors within families and communities. Prevention projects or activities also support the implementation and operationalization of the minimum standards and principles laid out in The Act as well as projects and activities intended to build a greater evidence for cultural specific intervention.
5.3.1 Primary Prevention
Primary prevention services are aimed at the community as a whole and include the ongoing promotion, public awareness and education on healthy families and child maltreatment.
Eligible activities include:
- classes, workshops and outreach to improve family preservation and well-being, for example:
- domestic violence and anger management awareness
- nutrition classes for parents and teen parents
- parent education programs to enhance family preservation and well-being such as nurturing adult-child relationships
- community outreach and awareness campaigns on child maltreatment, children's rights, prevention and how and where to report suspected child maltreatment
- well-being services that support children and families at risk in the home and community
- coordination efforts with other relevant federal or provincial sectors or programs including addictions and mental health, income support, housing and domestic violence to support community wide information and awareness sessions
5.3.2 Secondary prevention
Secondary prevention services are activated when a child may be at risk of child maltreatment and where intervention could enhance protective factors and remediate the risk.
Eligible activities include:
- group interventions or supports
- home visit programs for new parents and teen parents
- parent mentoring, parenting skills programs, in-home supports, respite care
- family counseling, guidance and assessment
- addictions treatment for parents as an alternative to taking children into care or as part of a plan for family reunification
- addictions treatment for youth as part of a plan for family remediation
- mediation and alternative resolution disputes
- coordination and references to other providers related to wrap-around services and interventions to ensure a coordinated approach based on identified needs including income support, housing, addictions and mental health
- services to support reunification and repatriation of children and youth with families on reserve or in the Yukon, including maintaining and enhancing community connections
5.3.3 Tertiary prevention
Tertiary prevention services target specific families when a child has been identified as at risk of child maltreatment. Tertiary prevention attempts to mitigate the risks of separating a child from his or her family and end the crisis. Targeted, least disruptive interventions and measures refer to the most appropriate level of service needed by a family whose child(ren) is/are at risk of maltreatment or where maltreatment has taken place.
Eligible activities include:
- immediate crisis interventions
- domestic violence interventions
- intensive family preservation services
- restorative intervention services
- mental health and addictions treatment for parents as an alternative to taking children into care or as part of a plan for family reunification
- mental health and addictions treatment for youth as part of a plan to remediate risk and promote family wellness
6. FNCFS: Eligible expenditures
Protective child and family services must be delivered in accordance with the provincial or Yukon legislation and standards, and are funded as per the respective provincial or Yukon funding guidelines and policies. Eligible expenditures are considered the costs necessary to operate, deliver and support the provision of child and family services and activities outlined in section 5.
In addition to building repairs which are reimbursed on actuals as per the Tribunal orders, FNCFS agencies can allocate up to $2.5 million per agency per year from either their increased Budget 2018 funding (ramp-up and remoteness allocation) or any surplus for FNCFS to support infrastructure and capital requirements to provide activities and services listed in Section 5 above. In regard to the purchase and sale of capital assets and buildings, the FNCFS terms and conditions are consistent with those of the First Nations Infrastructure Fund.
Eligible expenditures include:
- staff salaries and benefits to support the direct delivery of protection services
- employee assistance program costs
- staff travel and transportation
- staff recruitment, training and professional development costs (training, workshops)
- costs supporting orientation and training of local committees
- honoraria for Elders and Knowledge Keepers
- interpretation costs including cultural and First Nations language supports to ensure the delivery of culturally appropriate services
- paraprofessional and professional fees
- legal fees associated to child and family services, or other legal fora
- costs related to supervision orders
- after hours and crisis intervention supports
- placement development such as recruiting, assessing, training, supporting, monitoring and evaluating care providers
- costs to support the central administration functions (administrative overhead and costs) such as office lease, computer and IT, utilities, insurance and janitorial and ground maintenance services to support the delivery of services
- minor maintenance such as general repairs, painting, plumbing, minor electrical
- professional dues and subscriptions, licenses, memberships, etc.
- costs related to development or purchase, implementation and evaluation of client information management and technology systems, data collection and analysis
- costs to support the development and implementation, audits, monitoring, program evaluation
- provisions to ensure privacy, security and proper management of records
- costs to support board and committee operations
- incorporation costs and incorporation reporting costs including annual general meetings
6.2 Care and maintenance
Child care and maintenance expenditures are the direct costs of placing First Nations children into temporary or permanent care out of the parental home, including foster care rates and group home rates. Eligible expenditures support services delivered in accordance with the provincial or territorial legislation and standards, and are funded as per the respective provincial or territorial funding guidelines and policies.
Eligible expenditures include:
- allowance for assessment
- placement development costs, such as recruiting, assessing, training, supporting, monitoring and evaluating care providers
- direct costs and supports related to a child's care plan
- costs to support children in alternative care
- purchases on behalf of children in care
- special needs assessment and testing costs
- non-medical services to children with behavioural problems
- non-medical, limited-duration services
- direct costs for a child to support services not covered by FNIHB or other federal or provincial programs
- other provincially approved, professional services and costs, including child representation and associated legal fees, where funding from other sources was not and will not be received in whole or in part to cover the costs
- costs to support the establishment and maintenance of Registered Education Saving Programs when necessary to comply with provincial legislation or policy
- costs to support formal customary care and adoption
- post-adoption subsidies and supports
- costs to support the provision of child custody or guardianship
- costs to support activities to meet the needs of children in care, including land-based or cultural activities and equipment
- costs to support First Nations youth transition into adulthood and independence, including placement or living arrangements, mental health supports, life skills development, education activities or assistance to establish family and social relationships and self-care supports
- costs to support the reunification of children and youth in care with families on reserve or in the Yukon
- costs related to family preservation, cultural and linguistic connections and supports to ensure the provision of inclusive and impartial child and family services including needs related to disability, sexual orientation, gender diversity and other characteristics protected by law
Eligible expenditures support prevention services, outlined in section 5.3 and include:
- salary & benefits to support the delivery of prevention services
- costs related to supporting recruitment, training or professional development of prevention workers
- honorariums for Elders and Knowledge Keepers
- professional and paraprofessional services and professional fees
- professional dues and subscriptions, licenses, memberships, etc.
- general program delivery costs
- non-medical travel costs and accommodations to support the delivery of services
- court related costs for families
- travel or other costs, including addictions treatment to support the reunification and repatriation of children or youth in care or formerly in care with families on reserve or in the Yukon
- costs to support the central administration functions (administrative overhead and costs) such as office lease, computer and IT, utilities, insurance and janitorial and ground maintenance services to support the delivery of prevention services
- program costs and assistance to support specific needs for children, youth, and families at risk of becoming involved with the child and family services system and those already involved in the child and family services system:
- episodic or emergency supports to assist caregivers in meeting children's and caregivers' basic needs
- assistance for children and families to support and facilitate the maintenance and enhancement of community connections by coordinating access to culture and language programs, including one-on-one assistance to strengthen families
- costs supporting an extension of services for youth transitioning out of the child welfare system to adulthood that are complementary to, and not covered under the provincial or territorial legislation
- costs and supports to ensure impartial provision of child and family services for persons with distinct identities and characteristics protected by law such as persons with disabilities or LGBTQ+ persons.
6.3.1 Ineligible expenditures
- community-wide programming, activities or events that are not aimed at addressing or promoting child safety and wellbeing
- community wide education related expenditures for children such as tuition fees, transportation, year-end school activities, recognition events or graduation ceremonies (these costs may be eligible for children in care as detailed in provincial legislation)
- infrastructure related to recreational or sports activities (such as arenas, pools, splash pads, rinks, community centers) and associated maintenance costs
- community wide registration fees, equipment or other costs related to recreational or sports activities such as registration fees for leagues, tournaments, training camps, lessons, Winter or Summer games, participation in sporting events, equipment, or uniforms (this cost may be eligible for children in care as detailed in provincial legislation)
- community wide transportation costs related to recreational or sports activities such as drivers, bus and car rentals, boats, plane or bus tickets (this cost may be eligible for children in care as detailed in provincial legislation)
7. Band representative services: Eligible project activities and expenditures
In response to paragraph 427 of the 2018 CHRT 4 Order related to Band Representative Services in Ontario, the FNCFS program supports the functions of Band Representative Services when it relates to First Nations child welfare matters under the Child, Youth, and Families Services Act (CFSYA)including the representation and advocacy of the children's rights and collaboration with other service providers to ensure the best interest of the child.
Under the CYFSA, a representative from the band, known often as a Band Representative, but sometimes also referred to by other names such as Child and Family Advocate, can speak for the collective interest of the First Nation as well as its families and children whenever a society, agency, person, or entity seeks to provide a prescribed service or exercise a prescribed power in relation to a First Nations child. The CYFSA provides participation rights, rights of notice and consultation rights to a representative of a band, as set out below. Accordingly, the role includes a wide range of responsibilities in representing, advocating and collaborating with other service providers in the best interest of the child, the family and the First Nation in child welfare matters under the CYFSA. Best interest of the child must be understood from a First Nations lens. For further information on the provincially legislated roles of Band Representatives, see the relevant provincial legislation: Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
Ontario Band Representative Services support the following child and family services related activities, functions and responsibilities:
- provide alternate dispute resolution (such as mediation, including Indigenous approaches)
- provide information and resources to First Nations children and families on court proceedings
- act as a key contact and resource to Children's Aid Societies and FNCFS agencies and advocate for First Nations families and their community's best interest in court
- enhance knowledge and awareness within Children's Aid Societies by providing or guiding the provisions of culturally appropriate care options, particularly customary care arrangements
- collaborate with other support services related to prevention and care options
- act as a key contact and resource within First Nations communities for courts, and for Children's Aid Societies and FNCFS agencies
- collaborate with communities, agencies and children's aid organizations in other jurisdictions to maintain cultural and community connections and facilitate repatriation and reunification of children in care with families on reserve
- attend and participate in court proceedings to support First Nations children and families involved with matters related to child protection, and support consultations and the decisions related to adoption of First Nations children
- participate in the development and monitoring of child or family care plans
- receive notifications and monitor Temporary Care Agreements and Voluntary Service Agreements with Children's Aid Organizations and Societies
Eligible expenditures support the activities listed above and include:
- salaries, benefits, and costs to support the delivery of services
- human resources recruitment, training or professional development including daily honorariums for Elders and Knowledge Keepers
- paraprofessional and professional fees (such as legal services, professional dues and subscriptions, licenses, memberships, etc)
- general program delivery costs such as non-medical travel costs, accommodations, transportation, or meals for Band Representatives to support the delivery of services
- program delivery costs and family support services including supporting specific needs for children, youth, and families at risk of becoming involved with the child and family services system and those already involved in the child and family services system. These include the following:
- episodic or emergency supports to assist caregivers in meeting children's and caregiver's basic needs (child essentials of life such as food, diapers, clothing, cleaning or hygiene supplies, bedding and towels, children's furniture, car seats, etc)
- supports to caregivers involved with Children's Aid Societies or Child and Family Service Agencies, such as parental capacity assessments and related travel costs (when not covered by the delegated agency or FNIHB)
- assistance for children and families to support and facilitate reunification, repatriation, maintenance and enhancement of community connections by coordinating access to culture and language programs, including one-on-one assistance to strengthen families
- overhead, administrative costs such as office rent, computer and IT, utilities, insurance to support the delivery of Band Representative Services
One-time capital funding of up to $1.5 million is available to First Nations to address immediate capital needs to deliver Band Representative Services. Eligible costs could include the acquisition or new construction of a building, lot servicing, or expansion to the existing office or program space aimed to support the delivery of services. Capital project development, preliminary work and assessment leading up to the completion of the capital project are also eligible.
In regard to the purchase and sale of capital assets and buildings, the FNCFS terms and conditions are consistent with those of the First Nations Infrastructure Fund.
7.1 Ineligible expenditures
- community-wide programming or activities or events that do not directly address risk factors related to child maltreatment
- community wide education related expenditures for children such as tuition fees, transportation, year-end school activities, recognition events or graduation ceremonies (this cost may be eligible for children in care as detailed in provincial legislation)
- infrastructure related to recreational or sports activities (such as arenas, pools, splash pads, rinks, community centers, and associated maintenance costs)
- community wide registration fees, equipment or other costs related to recreational or sports activities (such as registration fees for leagues, tournaments, training camps, lessons, Winter or Summer games, participation in sporting events, equipment, uniforms)
- community wide transportation costs related to recreational or sports activities (such as drivers, bus and car rentals, boats, plane or bus tickets)
- lease, purchase or repairs to private or band owned homes and vehicles
8. Application requirements and assessment criteria
Before entering into a contribution agreement, ISC will confirm its authorities to enter into an agreement with the recipient and to fund the proposed activities. The departmental review procedures for verifying eligibility, entitlement, and application approval (including risk assessments) are detailed in relevant departmental program directives and procedures.
Specific requirements include:
- legal entity's name, address and telephone
- provincial delegation document or certification when applicable
- for corporations: incorporating documents (articles of incorporation or Patents Letters), by-laws
- band council resolution for each community being represented or serviced by the agency
- disclosure of any involvement of former public servants who are subject to the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders or the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for the Public Service
- multi-year plan identifying community's needs, planned activities, performance measures and reporting requirements, along with evidence of consultation and collaboration with communities
9. Method for determining the amount of funding
As per CHRT decisions, costs incurred by FNCFS agencies for activities identified by the Tribunal, and incurred by First Nations, Tribal Councils or FNCFS agencies, to provide Band Representative Services for Ontario First Nations will be reimbursed retroactively based on actuals for the period of January 26, 2016, to March 31, 2018.
9.2 FNCFS agencies
As per CHRT decisions, until a new funding methodology is developed, the government will fully reimburse FNCFS agencies costs for intake and investigation, prevention or least disruptive measures, legal fees, building repairs, the child service purchase amount and for small agencies, based on actual needs and on the same basis as the practice for funding maintenance costs.
In terms of all other capital expenditures for agencies, the total capital costs per project per fiscal year cannot exceed $2.5 million per FNCFS agency. Agencies can use either the increased Budget 2018 funding (ramp-up & remoteness allocations) or any surpluses for these expenditures.
9.3 Band Representative Services in Ontario
As per CHRT decisions, until studies have been completed, or until further orders of the Tribunal, Canada will fully fund First Nations, Tribal Councils or FNCFS agencies based on the actual costs to provide Band Representative Services for Ontario First Nations.
In terms of capital expenditures, the FNCFS program can provide a one-time amount up to a maximum of $1.5 million per recipient.
10. Maximum amount payable
The program's funding methodology is being reformed as per the orders from the Tribunal. While the department has a temporary exception to item 8 of Appendix E of the Directive on Transfer Payments, from an operational perspective, the maximum amount payable is currently considered to be the maximum amount of a given claim of actual eligible expenditures that meets the reasonableness requirements included in Section 11 (Basis for Payment). Once the revised funding methodology has been established, and studies completed, the department will return to the Treasury Board with a maximum amount payable that adheres to the Policy on Transfer Payments.
11. Basis for payment
Payments will be made in accordance with federal policies as reflected in the contribution agreement, including the funding approach and conditions of payment principles. The department shall offer fixed or flexible funding to Indigenous recipients, in accordance with Appendix K of the Directive on Transfer Payments.
The reasonableness of a particular cost will be established by determining whether the expense was reasonable to ensure substantive equality and the provision of culturally appropriate services, given the distinct needs and circumstances of the individual child or family, and community including their cultural, historical and geographical needs and circumstances.
Notwithstanding the above, costs for maintenance will continue to be reimbursed based on actual eligible costs incurred. In addition, the department will reimburse actual costs for the following expenses when agencies have not already received funding through another federal program (including another program of ISC), or any provincial, territorial or municipal government funding source for that activity:
- prevention or least disruptive measures
- intake and investigations services
- legal fees
- building repairs
- full eligible agency operations costs for small agencies
- child service purchase costs
As per Tribunal orders, the department will also reimburse actual costs for Band Representative Services delivered to Ontario First Nations (see Section 7) for eligible expenditures and any applicable funding caps when First Nations have not already received funding through another federal program or any provincial, territorial or municipal government funding source for that activity.
In accordance with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Policy on Transfer Payments, advance payments are permitted, based on a forecast cash flow provided by the recipient and supported by the community plan. Progress payments will be subject to periodic reviews of activities and expenditures reports, as specified within the contribution agreement, which will be reviewed and validated by the department. Officials will ensure that all applicable requirements are met prior to processing a payment.
Holdback requirements, when applicable, will be determined based on risk assessment and may be up to 20% of the total contribution. Final payment will be contingent on the receipt by the department of the final activity, performance, and financial reports, as specified in the contribution agreement.
Funding under the FNCFS program is targeted and cannot be used for any other purposes.
12. Stacking limits
The stacking limit is the maximum level of funding to a recipient from all sources (including federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal) for any one activity, initiative or project. The limit is 100% of eligible costs.
The Children's Special Allowance or other federal child benefits are not to be considered as a source of revenue for stacking purposes.
13. Performance measurement and reporting
Data will be collected by recipients using various methods and sources, and will meet requirements set out in the reporting guide. Frequency of financial and performance reporting will be specified in the contribution agreement. All recipients will be required to report at least annually.
13.1 Performance measurement
To ensure that a balanced approach is implemented and that the reporting burden is minimized, a reliable performance data collection, analysis and reporting methodology is being developed that will meet the respective needs of the recipients, the communities, the provinces, Yukon, and the department.
The methodology will be developed collaboratively with the parties to the CHRT complaint, the National Advisory Committee, and other partners as appropriate, including the provinces or Yukon. Funding recipients will be required to provide the department only the performance data required to demonstrate performance and achievement of program outcomes.
Until the methodology is finalized and implemented, data will continue to be collected by recipients using various methods and sources and will meet requirements set out in the reporting guide.
The frequency of financial and performance reporting will be specified in the contribution agreement, but all recipients will be required to report at least annually on their Community Plan for Child and Family Services. Financial reviews will be conducted to ensure each recipient submits financial reports in accordance with its contribution agreement specifications. An annual audited financial statement will be required in all cases.
13.2 Financial reporting
Financial reporting requirements will be determined based on the recipient's risk assessment and the type of contribution agreement. Appropriate financial reporting obligations, including frequency, will be contained within each contribution agreement.
As per the department's Management Control Framework, annual reviews will be undertaken to ascertain whether funds provided are being expended for the purposes intended, and whether a recipient's financial situation is sufficiently stable to enable continued delivery of funded activities. Where any instability is due to the department's funding structures or levels of funding, the department will take appropriate measures to mitigate and remediate these risks. The department will respect privacy laws and regulations respecting the First Nations child and family service records of children, youth and families.
14. Official languages
Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, which means where there is significant demand, the recipient is required to provide access to services in both official languages. In addition, the department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in the Official Languages Act.
15. Redistribution of contributions
Recipients may redistribute contributions, as per the terms of their contribution agreement. Redistributions should be done in line with program objectives, eligibility criteria and eligible expenses. In doing so, however, recipients will not act as agents of the federal government.
Where a recipient further distributes contribution funding to another service delivery organization (such as an authority, board, committee, or other entity authorized to act on behalf of the recipient), the recipient will remain liable to the department for the performance of its obligations under the contribution agreements. Neither the objectives of the programs and services nor the expectations of transparent, fair and substantively equivalent services will be compromised by any redistribution of contribution funding.
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