• 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.

A First Nations Child and Family Services Agency (FNCFS)

Complete the FNCFS questionnaire HERE

Project Overview

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Caring Society requested that the IFSD produce a response to Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) orders 408, 418 and 421, related to the discriminatory funding approach applied by Canada for First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) agencies

In December 2018, IFSD’s Phase 1 report, Enabling First Nations Children to Thrive, made eight recommendations for funding and structural changes to the FNCFS program, as well as three recommendations for further research. The report was previously submitted as evidence to the CHRT by the Caring Society in January 2019.

Following the acceptance of IFSD's report by the National Advisory Committee (NAC), IFSD was asked to undertake a follow-on study to identify options and plans for a change in structure and resources in FNCFS to transition agencies to an outcome-based approach based on well-being for thriving First Nations children.

In July 2020, IFSD’s Phase 2 report, Funding First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS): A Performance Budget Approach to Well-Being, proposed a new funding mechanism for FNCFS as well as an updated framework on child, family, and community well-being, Measuring to Thrive.

Phase 3 of this project will focus on the delivery of well-being for First Nations, families, and children. It will aim to do so by leveraging, building-on, and translating previous phases of work (Phases 1 and 2) into discrete First Nation-based delivery models that transform organizational strategy, people, process, and systems.

Project Components

There are five parts to this project:

  1. Defining a representative sample of FNCFS agencies and First Nations and defining baseline inputs based on data, including a capital needs assessment.
  2. Modelling and testing the Measuring to Thrive framework and related software.
  3. Testing the needs-based funding approach for existing FNCFS agencies and First Nations exercising jurisdiction through the Act.
  4. Developing organizational and operational options for a First Nations-led Secretariat (to serve as a First Nations-led supporting organization)
  5. Develop and deliver tools, resources, and capacity development based on the findings from #1-4. 

IFSD's ask to FNCFS agencies and First Nations

IFSD is seeking approximately 10 FNCFS agencies and 10 First Nations to serve as representative research collaborators for Phase 3. 

Over the course of the project’s 1.5-year timeline, research collaborators will be asked to periodically share information (e.g., financial, operations), review materials (e.g., software tools), and share knowledge with IFSD during in-person meetings (in accordance with public health guidelines).  IFSD suggests identifying a liaison person for this project to facilitate communication.  


PDF version of timeline

IFSD timelines are illustrative and subject to public health guidelines (COVID-19), and the availability of research collaborators, and data from various sources.

Month Target Activities
  • Prepare outreach materials and research tools for project launch
  • Briefings and engagement with stakeholders
  • Outreach to agencies and First Nations
  • Review of opportunities for participation and collaboration, e.g., questionnaire and research collaborator
  • Confirm research collaborators
  • Schedule virtual questionnaire workshops or a one-on-one session
  • Share initial considerations for a First Nations-led secretariat
  • Continued engagement with research collaborators
  • Share comparative analysis of CFS legislation in provinces and territories
  • FNCFS questionnaire participation to close this month
  • Continued engagement with research collaborators
  • Questionnaire data analysis begins
  • Update on First Nations-led secretariat models for consideration
  • Continued engagement with research collaborators
  • Continued questionnaire data analysis
  • Continued engagement with research collaborators
  • Continued questionnaire data analysis
  • Continued engagement with research collaborators
  • Initial review of the Measuring to Thrive framework and tools

Interim questionnaire findings shared back

  • Interim results of capital needs assessment shared
  • Refinements to the Measuring to Thrive framework and data collection approach shared
  • Interim findings from research collaborations shared back
  • Revised funding approach components with refinements and lessons from research collaborators and questionnaires shared

Month Target Activities
  • Revised funding approach is tested and system costs are estimated through the updated approach

  • Modelling revised funding approach and incorporating  lessons from questionnaires and research collaborators into organizational design
Month Target Activities

Project end (tentative)