Council OKs FCSS grants

By Geoff Lee

November 29, 2017 2:10 PM

 

Christmas came early for 17 non-profit organizations as a portion of $420,000 was allocated from the Family Community Support Services Grant (FCSS).
Council approved the list of FCSS grant applicants on Monday that provide preventative social services programs.
The funds will be dispersed to community partners in January 2018.
The FCSS program is an 80/20 funding partnership between the Province of Alberta and municipalities, provided through the FCSS Act and Regulation.
Some of the locally funded programs on the list include In School Mentoring by Big Brothers Big Sisters, First Steps by Midwest Family Connections, and Community Education by Libbie Young.
Lloydminster FCSS manager of social programs and services, Patrick Lancaster reported three applications received this year got no funding following a review by the FCSS Advisory Board.
He told council one program for example was questionable that it would be eligible for funding, while another proposal had incomplete information in their application.
“At the end of the day, we would like to fund all programs that come in and we’d love to give all programs their full ask, but unfortunately there are limited funds that are available to put out,” said Lancaster.
“So not all organizations received their full ask, and unfortunately not all organizations can receive some—in some cases, based on the criteria, they don’t receive funding.”
Lancaster said the applications were examined based on factors such as the type of program, expenses, and community need.
“As well as did the application contain enough information about the program, and also whether it was an eligible program based on the regulations set forward under the FCSS Act and Regulation,” said Lancaster.
This year a total of 20 applications were submitted by the deadline, requesting a total of $614,860.
As for determining the final amount of each allocation, Lancaster explained each program model was looked at.
“In some cases expenses were looked at as to whether they’re an eligible expense or other expenses that would be eligible under the grant program, or if their programs could still function with receiving a little less than what was asked for,” he explained.
Approximately $26,000 will be carried over for special project funding in 2018.
Lancaster was also pleased to accept a suggestion from council to document and make public reports on the effectiveness of each funded program along with the need.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to share the outcomes from these different grant program and internal programs that are run through FCSS,” he said.
“So we’re going to look at producing reports that we can share out to the community based on the reports received from each program.”
Lancaster said currently each program that participates in FCSS funding, including the city’s FCSS funding internally, has to submit a report that goes to the province.
“So we’re going to take some information from those reports and put it into a format that is easy for the community to read,” he said.
“It’s something we intend to release next year on this year’s projects.”
When asked to explain why the results of the programs have never been recorded or released to the public before, Lancaster said, “It simply hasn’t come up at this point.”
He went on to say they have been documenting the results of the program for as long as the city has been participating in the partnership program, dating back nearly 50 years.
“The province has asked for outcome reports for all FCSS programs since 2013, and we keep records of those and we’ve been putting them together, as well as the financial report has been required since the onset of the program,” said Lancaster.
“Up until this point, it hasn’t been something that has been requested, but we are more than happy to put those out and we look forward to the community seeing the good work taking place in the community.”

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