Family Violence Prevention Program national guidelines

Table of contents

1. Introduction

These guidelines provide information for the delivery of the Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP). The guidelines set out the delivery requirements and, where relevant, standards for funding recipients who have entered into a funding agreement with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Potential funding recipients (applicants) may also find these guidelines useful as an additional source of information.

This document took effect on of November 30, 2022 and replaces the Family Violence Prevention Program National Guidelines 2021 to 2022.

This document is to be read in conjunction with the signed funding agreement and applicable:

Where ISC has entered into an agreement with a province or territory, the obligations set out in the agreements are to be read first and take precedence over the delivery requirements and standards of the FVPP as explained in this document.

2. Objective

The objective of the FVPP is to improve the safety and well-being of Indigenous peoples, families and communities.

The FVPP aims to fund protection and family violence prevention services for Indigenous women, children and families across Canada. This includes:

Funding recipients provide Indigenous peoples with individual and family services that are developed and implemented through an Indigenous lens, focusing on the specific family violence prevention needs of the communities. The intention of the program is to help Indigenous individuals and communities:

The Family Violence Prevention Program has the following components:

Operations for shelters and transitional (second stage) housing

  • Funding to support the operations of emergency shelter and transition homes that serve Indigenous women, children and families across Canada, including First Nations, Inuit, Métis, urban and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people

Family violence prevention and awareness

  • Funding for culturally-appropriate community-driven family violence prevention activities to raise awareness and focus on First Nations, Inuit, Métis, urban and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people facing gender-based family violence such as public awareness campaigns, conferences, workshops, stress and anger management seminars and support groups
  • Funding for engagement and community family violence prevention activities to raise awareness and focus on Métis women, girls, as well as 2SLGBTQQIA+ people

Capacity building

  • To support program objectives, the FVPP 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 resource materials, and collaboration with key partners

Further information on program activities is provided in Section 6: Eligible activities.

3. Expected outcomes

The purpose of the program is to:

Immediate: 1 to 2 years

Indigenous families, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people facing gender-based violence have access to a continuum of supports, which includes:

  • increased shelter space for Indigenous peoples across Canada
  • increased transitional (second stage) housing for Indigenous peoples across Canada
  • culturally-appropriate supports and family violence prevention activities are defined and led by Indigenous organizations and communities, including First Nations, Inuit, Métis, urban and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people
  • increased engagement of men and boys in ending violence towards women and children

Intermediate: 3 to 5 years

Indigenous women, children, families and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people receive enhanced services and participate in family violence prevention activities, which includes:

  • services and supports from Indigenous-led shelters and transitional (second stage) housing facilities
  • community-based and culturally-appropriate supports and family violence prevention activities for First Nations, Inuit, Métis, urban and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people
  • violence prevention activities for Indigenous men and boys

Ultimate: 5 years and beyond

The safety and security of Indigenous women, children, families and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are improved.

4. Funding recipients

A funding recipient is an individual or entity that has met the eligibility criteria of the program and has signed a funding agreement with ISC to deliver an initiative (program, service or activity).

Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients Shelter operations Transitional
(second-stage)
housing
operations
Capacity
building for
shelter and
transitional
(second-stage)
housing
Family violence prevention and awareness
First Nations, governments and communities in Canada (including bands, district, tribal councils and associations) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Inuit representative organizations, Inuit governments and Inuit communities Yes Yes Yes Yes
Métis representative organizations and Métis settlements Yes Yes Yes Yes
Indigenous organizations Yes Yes Yes Yes
National Indigenous organizations No No Yes Yes
Provincial and territorial governments Yes Yes No No
Municipalities* Yes Yes No No
Non-governmental and voluntary associations and organizations, including non-profit corporations* Yes Yes No Yes
Educational or research institutions and associations* No No No Yes
*All non-Indigenous organizations, including provincial, territorial and municipal governments, require demonstrated support from Indigenous organizations or Indigenous community groups to be eligible for funding.

On an exceptional basis, individuals deemed capable of conducting family violence prevention activities can be considered for funding, but they must be associated with an Indigenous community or organization. This can be demonstrated by providing letters of support.

A recipient must have the legal capacity to enter into a funding agreement (such as being incorporated).

5. Program recipients (clients)

Program recipients (may also be referred to as clients) are persons or groups that receive the benefit of services and supports delivered through the FVPP. Program recipients are eligible to receive services from the program as outlined within Section 4: Funding recipients.

6. Eligible activities

Shelter operations

ISC provides core operating funding to emergency shelters serving Indigenous communities across Canada, including First Nations, Métis, urban and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

Shelters may be managed by a non-Indigenous entity with community support but must primarily serve Indigenous women, children and families.

Where service delivery arrangements currently exist, the department will reimburse provincial and territorial bills for the actual costs of providing services to individuals and families ordinarily resident on reserve, according to provincial or territorial daily rates and policies.

Primary 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 for example, a fence, alarm system and surveillance camera
  • 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 survivors either on-site or off-site) in the areas of treatment and intervention (counseling for individuals, children, abusers, groups, mental health or 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, such as social, legal and medical
  • nutritious meals and safe food preparation
  • appropriate health and safety measures
  • transportation
  • data collection and tracking for administrative and evaluative purposes

Secondary 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
    • Indigenous 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
    • collaboration at the community level, for example, between community health and shelter managers

Transitional (second stage) housing

Transitional housing provides a safe and supportive living environment for occupants in need for additional time and support to heal from their trauma, offering them the experience, tools, knowledge and opportunities for living independently and violence-free.

It is considered an intermediate step between emergency shelter and supportive housing, and has limits on stay duration. The average length of stay at a transition house or second stage housing is 6 months to 2 years.

The FVPP will provide core operating funding to transitional (second stage) housing that serves Indigenous communities across Canada, including First Nations, Inuit, Métis, urban and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. These facilities may be managed by a non-Indigenous entity with community support but must primarily serve Indigenous women, children and families.

Capacity building for shelters and transitional (second-stage) housing

Core funding for Indigenous organizations to provide support to shelters and their staff through training forums, gatherings, distribution of resources including research and policy development.

Family violence prevention and awareness

Family violence prevention activities that serve Indigenous populations and may include but are not limited to:

  • public outreach and awareness
  • conferences
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • support groups
  • community needs assessments

The eligible family violence prevention activities are set out in the approved work plan or proposal as referenced in the funding recipient's signed funding agreement.

Family violence prevention activities include the following:

  • treatment and intervention: individual or group counseling to help women, children, youth and men dealing with family violence and related issues, such as trauma, grief, substance abuse and addictions, mental health illness, suicide intervention, for the duration of the family violence prevention activity only
  • culturally sensitive services:
    • Elder and traditional teachings
    • family healing
    • healing circles and traditional healing
    • inner healing
    • trauma supports
  • Awareness:
    • alternatives to violence
    • anger management
    • bullying
    • characteristics of abuser
    • cycle of violence
    • programs for men and boys
    • 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

Delivery methods of family violence prevention activities include:

  • seminars, workshops and conferences:
    • activities on a subject related to preventing family violence in Indigenous communities must demonstrate that the event will achieve an increase in:
      • knowledge
      • skill development
      • networking
      • information sharing
  • traditional delivery methods:
    • 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:
    • develop, produce, deliver and present to an audience printed or published materials to raise awareness
    • educate them on a subject related to family violence in Indigenous communities
  • training:
    • 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
      • community leaders
    • also includes developing training and resource materials or models for use in Indigenous communities
  • community needs assessments:
    • identify needs for Indigenous communities
    • develop a strategic plan to address family violence in the community, including all potential partners
  • community program development:
    • deliver community activities that are innovative
    • build on and strengthen existing community services or resources
    • respond constructively to family violence in Indigenous communities

Funding is intended to broaden the continuum of care delivered by its funding recipients, including family violence prevention activities and wraparound services that are comprehensive and holistic in addressing client needs and challenges.

Funding will be provided for enhanced services, such as family violence prevention activities, case management, programs to reduce the risk of sexual exploitation, as well as culturally appropriate mental health and addiction supports.

7. Proposal process

Family violence prevention activities are proposal-based. Funding is available through ISC regions as well as ISC headquarters.

Regional funding

Generally, funding managed by regions is geared towards First Nations needs on-reserve. Funding for family violence prevention activities is determined based on regionally-established proposal processes and guidelines and, therefore, may vary from region to region. Please contact your ISC regional office for more information.

As proposals for family violence prevention activities may be approved by ISC regional offices or another entity such as an Indigenous authority, board, committee or other entity, available funds may be transferred to an existing funding agreement.

Headquarters funding

Generally, funding managed by headquarters is geared toward the 2SLGBTQQIA+, Indigenous urban, Inuit and Métis community needs or supports activities with a national scope.

Applicants are encouraged to review the annual call for proposals available on the program's website.

Multiple funding sources and partners

Generally, family violence prevention activities that are designed to leverage partnerships or additional funding are preferred because they can have a greater impact or demonstrate greater effectiveness in the community or in multiple communities.

Some family violence prevention activities may also be funded by another federal government department, for example, Health Canada or Public Safety Canada.

A funding recipient may apply for and receive funds from multiple partners in order to increase its total project budget. 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:

  • ISC 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
  • 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 providing funding under the same project, but covering different activities.

Proposals that fail to disclose other partnerships will be considered exclusively funded by ISC and must demonstrate how the total funding will be used to deliver all aspects of the project, including outreach, educational materials and capacity building.

8. Type and nature of eligible expenditures

Funding recipients and potential funding recipients (applicants) are encouraged to review the sections below on eligible expenditures and ineligible expenditures

These expenses should directly support the
activities stated in section 6
Shelter
operations
Transitional
(second-stage)
housing
operations
Capacity
building for shelter
and
transitional
(second-stage)
housing
Violence
prevention
and awareness
Salaries and employee
benefits
Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Professional fees
(contracts)
Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Honoraria for Elders Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Domestic travel and
transportation
Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Costs related to the
purchase, ownership, and
maintenance of vehicles,
including insurance as
applicable, to support
operation of the facility
Eligible Eligible Non-eligible Non-eligible
Meetings Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Hospitality Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Training and development Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Equipment Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Rent and utilities Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Translation and
communications
Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Materials and supplies Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Volunteer participation
expenses
Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Audits and evaluation Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Legal and banking fees Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Insurance Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Overhead administration
costs
Eligible Eligible Eligible* Eligible*
Direct client costs Eligible Eligible Non-eligible Non-eligible
Operations, minor
maintenance, upgrading
and repairs to facilities not
exceeding $50,000
Eligible Eligible Non-Eligible Non-Eligible
Crisis line Eligible Eligible Non-eligible Non-eligible
Off-hour emergency
services
Eligible Eligible Non-eligible Non-eligible
Provincial and territorial
bills**
Eligible Non-eligible Non-eligible Non-eligible
*Not exceeding 15% of the contribution.
**Where service delivery arrangements currently exist, the department will reimburse provincial and territorial bills for the actual costs of providing services to individuals and families ordinarily resident on reserve, according to provincial or territorial daily rates and policies.

Administration costs

Eligible overhead administration costs include:

A reasonable cost is defined as a price that is consistent with what a person would pay in the same or similar circumstances for the same or similar item.

Travel and hospitality

Expenditures related to hospitality have to be reasonable for the activities undertaken. Refer to the Treasury Board guidelines on hospitality for examples of rates and eligible expenditures.

Expenditures related to travel have to be reasonable for the activities undertaken. Refer to the National Joint Council travel directive for examples of rates and eligible expenditures.

Other expenditures

Other expenditures may be considered eligible based on direct link to the activity and are subject to FVPP review and approval.

Ineligible expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include:

  • purchase of capital assets with a market value in excess of $5,000 unless pre-authorized in writing, excluding vehicles
  • international travel unless pre-authorized in writing
  • deficit recovery
  • for-profit initiatives and investments
  • capital costs except minor maintenance

The FVPP does not fund the construction, renovation or major repair of facilities. Funding recipients may apply to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which offers application-based funding for major renovation projects through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund - revitalization or the Shelter Enhancement Program for First Nations communities on reserve.

Family violence prevention project completion date

Funds spent after the project completion date, as set out in the approved project proposal, are ineligible for funding from the FVPP.

Therefore, all family violence prevention project expenditures must be spent 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 spent 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.

9. 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.

10. Maximum amount payable

Maximum amount of funding

The maximum amount of funding to be provided to a funding recipient in a fiscal year is set out in the funding agreement signed by the funding recipient.

Operational funding for shelters and transitional (second-stage) housing

Contribution amounts for operational funding are based on a national funding formula. The formula calculates a core operating budget for each shelter based on the province or territory of operation, size of area served and geographical location using 4 expenditure factors:

Contribution amounts for transitional (second-stage) housing will align with the approach used to fund shelter operations.

Capacity building for shelters and transitional (second-stage) housing and family violence prevention

The amount of funding for shelter and transitional (second-stage) housing capacity and family violence prevention projects is determined by:

The department will also ensure that the funding amount is appropriate.

Provincial and territorial service delivery arrangements

Where service delivery arrangements currently exist, the department will reimburse provincial and territorial bills for the actual costs of providing services to First Nations women, children and families at provincial or territorial shelters off reserve, according to provincial or territorial daily rates and policies.

Eligible recipients Maximum amount
Shelter operations Transitional (second-stage)
housing operations
Capacity building for shelters
and transitional (second-stage) housing
Family violence prevention and awareness
First Nations governments
and communities in Canada
(including bands, district,
tribal councils and
associations)
$2,500,000 $2,500,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Inuit representative
organizations, Inuit
governments and Inuit
communities
$2,500,000 $2,500,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Métis representative
organizations and Métis
settlements
$2,500,000 $2,500,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Indigenous organizations $2,500,000 $2,500,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000
National Indigenous
organizations
Non-applicable Non-applicable $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Provincial and territorial
governments
Negotiated amount* Negotiated amount* Non-applicable Non-applicable
Municipalities $2,500,000 $2,500,000 Non-applicable $3,000,000
Non-governmental and
voluntary associations and
organizations, including
non-profit corporations
$2,500,000 $2,500,000 Non-applicable $3,000,000
Educational or research
institutions and associations
Non-applicable Non-applicable Non-applicable $3,000,000
*Subject to agreements between the department and provinces or territories.

11. Basis for payment

Payments will be made in accordance with the type of funding arrangement and will be guided by departmental policies as reflected in the contribution agreement.

Where it is advantageous to the success of the activities, the department will offer fixed or flexible funding approaches for contributions to Indigenous recipients, in accordance with Appendix K of the Directive on Transfer Payments.

Basic payment principles applicable to FVPP specify that:

Advance payments will be permitted, based on a forecast of cash flow provided by the recipient.

Progress payments will be subject to periodic reports of activities and expenditures, as specified within the funding agreement, which will be reviewed and validated by the department.

Officials will ensure that all applicable requirements are met before processing a payment.

Holdback requirements, if applicable, will be determined based on risk assessment and may be up to 20% of the total contribution.

Final payment will depend on the receipt by the department of the final activity, performance and financial reports, as specified in the agreement.

Funding under the FVPP is targeted and cannot be used for any other purposes.

Provision for repayment will be made when ISC's contribution is in excess of $100,000 and when funding from all sources exceeds eligible expenditures. Funding recipients must provide ISC with information showing the amount to be repaid and the basis for calculating that amount.

The reimbursement should be proportionate to ISC's contribution, expressed as a percentage of the total funding obtained by the funding recipient from all government sources for that program.

To complement FVPP's operating funds for shelters and transition homes, these facilities can become a registered charity and benefit from charitable donations. Any charitable donations received by the registered facility are not included in its stacking limits. For more information, consult Registering for charitable or other qualified donee status on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Unexpended (surplus) and redirected funding

For information on managing unexpended and redirected funding please consult departmental personnel for more information. Contact information is found in section 19 in this document.

12. Application requirements and assessment criteria

This section reflects the requirements and criteria by which the department will support program delivery.

In order to be considered for receipt of contribution funding from the department, an eligible recipient must complete and submit an application form that identifies the following:

Additional documentation may be requested by the department to assess new funding recipients for the purpose of determining eligibility and suitability in being able to deliver on the objectives of the project.

Funding applications may be assessed against the following criteria:

13. Due diligence and reporting

The 2008 Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments requires effective monitoring and oversight for program management as follows:

Performance measurement strategy

To support a reduction in the reporting burden, performance measurement data will be collected using various methods and sources. Recipient performance reporting requirements will be set out in departmental recipient reporting documents. Frequency of reporting will be based on recipient risk.

Financial accountability

Financial reporting requirements will be set out in the funding agreements and the frequency of reporting will be based on the recipient risk. At a minimum, contribution recipients are required to submit annual financial reports or financial audits that account for the use of funding in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement.

To support monitoring and oversight activities funding recipients are required to collect and keep information regarding the expenses and management of a shelter, transition home or conducting family violence prevention activities.

Examples of required documents include the following:

  • general ledger and supporting accounting records
  • working papers, lists, system reports and any other information necessary to complete each ISC reporting requirement
  • pay lists used to create payments and cheques
  • all supporting documentation for program expenditures (for example, receipts, invoices and cancelled cheques)
  • payroll records for FVPP staff
  • admission records for program beneficiaries
  • human resource policies
  • confirmation or proof that a criminal records check was conducted for each employee
  • facility rules to support a safe environment
  • practices and written procedures to protect confidential information
  • community plan to address family violence
  • facility security measures
  • family violence prevention project application form and approval letter

14. Personal information

ISC's collection and use of personal information and other records for the purposes of program monitoring activities will be limited to what is necessary to ensure program delivery requirements are met.

ISC is responsible for all information and records in its possession. The confidentiality of the information will be managed by ISC in accordance with the Privacy Act and other related policies on privacy.

Funding recipients are responsible for the protection of personal information per the privacy legislation, regulations and policies that govern them up to the point that it is transferred to ISC.

Funding recipients shall develop and implement bylaws, policies and procedures to protect personal information, collected in the course of complying with the program delivery requirements, from unauthorized access, use or disclosure.

15. Accountability

ISC is committed to providing assistance to recipients in order for them to effectively carry out obligations set out in this document and funding agreements.

ISC has a responsibility to:

Funding recipients must:

16. Official languages

The department will take into account the relevant official language obligations and comply with all applicable official language requirements stipulated in the Official Languages Act and the related regulations, as well as federal government policies in this regard.

Transfer payments to recipients

Where it has been determined that:

  1. the clientele eligible to participate in a project to be carried by the recipient is composed of members of both official language communities
  2. the anticipated demand for project assistance by the clientele in both official languages justifies the use of both official languages, the department requires the recipients to:
    • make any announcements to the public concerning the project in both official languages
    • actively offer project-related services to members of the public in both official languages
    • make available in both official languages any documents or other information for the general public relating to the project
    • encourage members of both official language communities to participate in the project
    • provide its services, when appropriate, while accommodating the specific needs of both official language communities

If the department determines that the activities of a specific recipient may have an impact on official-language minority communities or be susceptible of promoting linguistic duality, the funding agreement will specify the recipient's linguistic commitments and ensure that additional expenses incurred as a result of these commitments are considered eligible.

Commitments relating to the development of minority communities will be determined based on the needs of the community (determined after consultations with the community, if appropriate).

17. Intellectual property

Where a contribution is provided for the development of material in which copyright exists, intellectual property ownership will reside with the recipient. However, in the event the department wishes to use the intellectual property produced by a recipient, the following clause will be included in the funding agreement:

"The recipient gives the minister a royalty-free, permanent and non-exclusive license to produce, reproduce, translate, modify or publish, in any way, the original work or an adaptation, in any language, for use within the federal public service and for non-commercial distribution, including the evaluation research design, data collection instruments and all interim and final evaluation reports".

18. Redistribution of contributions

As per the Directive on Transfer Payments, a recipient is defined as an entity that either has been authorized to receive a transfer payment or that has received that transfer payment. In this context, the department may provide contribution funding to recipients who in turn further distribute payments to one or more ultimate recipients to conduct approved activities.

The recipient must remain liable to the department for the performance of its obligations under the funding agreement. Neither the objectives of the programs and services nor the expectations of transparent, fair and equitable services will be compromised by any delegation or redistribution of contribution funding.

These transfer payment funds can be further distributed by recipients. However, any entity receiving funds from a recipient must also qualify as an eligible recipient under the program's terms and conditions.

A formal agreement is required to specify accountability requirements between the recipient and any ultimate recipient and will provide, in accordance with the Policy on Transfer Payments and its associated directive, the necessary requirements related to further distribution of funding

Recipients will have independence in the choice of those persons or entities to whom funds will be further distributed and will not be acting as an agent of the government in making distributions.

19. Contact information

More information is available at:

Related links

Date modified: