• Within commercially reasonable efforts, any personal information that you share with IFSD is kept physically and electronically secure, with access limited to staff that require it to perform necessary job functions. Information is used only for the purpose it was collected.


Monthly Updates

August 2022

Many people are feeling pressure from price increases in food, clothing, and the cost of living.  In June 2022, inflation was 8.1% higher than the previous year (June 2021).  When working with First Nations and FNCFS agencies, we have heard concerns and challenges associated to increasing levels of inflation.

From a program funding perspective, inflation adjustments alone will not address broader issues of underfunding. Inflation adjustments do not replace program funding that is adequate for the needs of a First Nation.  If a program area is underfunded relative to need, it will remain insufficient even with an inflation adjustment.

IFSD’s Chief Economist, Dr. Mostafa Askari, prepared a primer on inflation and two approaches to remedy underfunding in First Nations program funding.  You can read the full note here.

Questions? Contact Dr. Helaina Gaspard (helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca | (613) 983-8461).

IFSD is writing to share its monthly update on First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) reform (updates will continue monthly).  Feel free to share this update with colleagues or invite them to join our mailing list (info@ifsd.ca).


July 2022


To better support young people transitioning out of the care of child and family services, best practices in post-majority services are being identified by youth with lived experiences and the organizations that offer that support. From housing to life skills, we have heard from First Nations not affiliated to a FNCFS agency about what they are doing and what they hope to do to deliver post-majority supports.  

Do you have an approach or program in post-majority support to share? Get in touch with IFSD

While we learn from you, IFSD has been working to compile existing frameworks and research to help understand the costs of designing and delivering post-majority supports and services. 
 
The Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G), an Indigenous youth-led organization prepared a report based on the experiences of children in care.  The report, Children Back, Land Back : A Follow-Up Report of First Nations Youth in Care Advisors, includes actions (past, present, and future) to support children and youth in contact with child and family services.

Hear from Dr. Melanie Doucet about the framework she has developed with former youth in care for post-majority supports standards in the mainstream system. The standards document and summary are available online.

Here is a summary of the framework proposed. Link to the full report can be found here.

Equitable Standard 

Description 

Financial  

Every young person should have the financial resources required to meet their needs. Youth in care deserve to have a financial starting point that is above the poverty line and allows them to pursue their career interests and dreams. 

Educational and Professional Development 

Every young person should experience an environment where they can learn and grow in ways that are meaningful to them and at their own pace. 

Housing 

Every young person should have a place they can call home without strict rules and conditions to abide by. 

Relationships 

Every young person should have people in their life that they can count on unconditionally and interdependently. 

Culture and Spirituality 

Every young person should be connected to their culture and spirituality, in ways that are meaningful to them, safe, and at their own pace. 

Health and Wellbeing 

Every young person should be provided with timely ongoing services and benefits that support their lifelong health and well-being. 

Advocacy and Rights 

Every young person should have their rights respected and should experience environments where their voices are heard. 

Emerging Adulthood Development 

Every young person should experience environments that cultivate personal growth and development as they transition into adulthood. 

Loiselle Arcand, Assistant Director, Social Development Program, Alexander First Nation, speaks to the challenges in delivering child and family services and what has worked well within the First Nation.

A friendly reminder that we are still accepting completed questionnaires.  Our team is available to support questionnaire completion in the way that works best for you. 

The questionnaire is 
available online.
 
This is our chance. Help ensure that we do better together for children and families.

Questions? Contact Dr. Helaina Gaspard (helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca | (613) 983-8461).

IFSD is writing to share its fourth monthly update on First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) reform (updates will continue monthly).  Feel free to share this update with colleagues or invite them to join our mailing list (info@ifsd.ca). 

May 2022


IFSD is writing to share its second monthly update on First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) reform (updates will continue monthly).  Feel free to share this update with colleagues or invite them to join our mailing list

This is a call to action.

IFSD needs your help to compile as many perspectives as possible through the questionnaire.  Building a dataset with contributions from First Nations not served by a FNCFS agency is critical to defining a baseline for cost analysis and future needs. 

The information will support the ongoing negotiations for long-term reform of the First Nations child and family services system.

This month’s messages: 

  1. Every First Nation/Band that completes the questionnaire will receive a $300 gift card. More First Nations not served by a FNCFS agency are needed to complete the questionnaire. 
    1. There are fewer than 30% of First Nations not served by a FNCFS agency that have completed the questionnaire to date. 
    2. Every First Nation/Band that completes the questionnaire will receive a $300 gift card to an outlet of their choice (e.g., Amazon, Shoppers, Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire, etc.). Share your questionnaire by June 30, 2022, to receive your gift card.
  2. In May 2022, six workshops were hosted across Canada, with another three workshops scheduled for Ottawa in early June.  The sessions have been invaluable in capturing the differences in First Nations’ approaches to child and family services.
  3. IFSD continues to seek out volunteer collaborators for this work, to share their practices and experiences in child and family services in an in-depth fashion.

Throughout the month of May, IFSD was pleased to host 6 workshops in Vancouver (2 sessions), Prince George, Whitehorse, Edmonton, and Yellowknife, with another 3 workshops scheduled for Ottawa in early June.

Across all sessions, we will have heard from 70 First Nations/Bands through 124 workshop participants.  It is evident that there is a broad range of approaches, needs, and points of departure in the delivery of child and family services in First Nations not served by FNCFS agencies.    

IFSD will be working on the discussion summaries of the takeaways from the workshop discussions (with participant reviews) to be shared in the next monthly update.   

While in-person participation in the workshops has been additive, there is a significant gap in data collection.  At this time, there are under 30% of First Nations not served by a FNCFS agency that have completed the questionnaire (there are 165 First Nations not served by a FNCFS agency).  It is a good start, but more contributions are needed to ensure cost analysis reflects current needs in communities.

The deadline to complete the questionnaire has been extended to June 30, 2022.

Questions? Contact Dr. Helaina Gaspard (helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca | (613) 983-8461).

April 2022


IFSD is writing to share its first monthly update on First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) reform (updates will continue monthly).  Feel free to share this update with colleagues or invite them to join our mailing list.

In January 2022, after years at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT), the parties came to an agreement in principle (AIP).
 
As the parties continue to negotiate a final agreement, there is an opportunity to shape the reform of the First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) system to focus on well-being.
 
IFSD is working with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Caring Society, and the National Advisory Committee (NAC) to provide research support and analysis for long-term reform.

We need your perspective to get this right. 

 
This project is designed to help identify and cost the needs of First Nations not served by a FNCFS agency that wish to design and deliver child and family services or prevention services in their communities.  By defining needs, costing approaches, and identifying current gaps, First Nations and stakeholders can prepare a way forward. 
 
How can I participate?
 
Share your experience as a First Nation not served by a FNCFS agency on child and family services programming, funding, and capital needs by completing a questionnaire by June 3, 2022
 
IFSD will cover the costs for two representatives from your First Nation (typically, one child and family services program expert, and one finance expert) for an in-person working session.  During the session, you will complete the questionnaire and engage in a group exchange on needs, successes, and challenges in the design and delivery of child and family services.
 
Join one of the following in-person work sessions:

  1. Vancouver, BC – Monday, May 9, 2022 
  2. Vancouver, BC – Tuesday, May 10, 2022
  3. Prince George, BC – Thursday, May 12, 2022
  4. Whitehorse, YK – Monday, May 16, 2022
  5. Edmonton, AB – Wednesday, May 18, 2022
  6. Yellowknife, NWT – Friday, May 20, 2022
  7. Ottawa, ON – Wednesday, June 1, 2022
  8. Ottawa, ON – Thursday, June 2, 2022
  9. Québec, QC – Monday, June 13, 2022

To attend an in-person workshop, complete the registration form and email it to helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca by May 27, 2022.
 
Virtual options are available OR you can complete the questionnaire on your own and return it to helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca.

Any data shared will only be used for the purposes of this project. Participants can withdraw at any time and any data they shared will be destroyed.  Learn more about IFSD’s privacy and data management practices here.
 
In addition, IFSD is seeking 10 volunteer First Nations to serve as collaborators for this work (an approximately 2-day commitment). 
 
If your First Nation is interested in volunteering as a collaborator, contact Dr. Helaina Gaspard (helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca | (613) 983-8461) before May 27, 2022.  IFSD will be working to balance various characteristics, e.g., region, geography, size of the population served, etc.  We are very open to volunteers but will not be able to accept all volunteers (as much as we would like to). 
 
Questions? Contact Dr. Helaina Gaspard (helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca | (613) 983-8461).