what is fcss?
• Unique in Canada • 1966 – Preventive Social Services
• Promote Independence; reduce dependence on social assistance
• 1981 – became FCSS under new Act
• 80/20 partnership • Voluntary
• FCSS Act and Regulation
– mandate and requirements
– responsibilities and funding parameters
– strategic outcomes
• Emphasis on prevention • Local autonomy
• Community development
– self help = self-worth and independence
– People helping people approach
– Build capacity and resiliency to help prevent
and/or deal with crisis
• Prevent social breakdown • Involve people and communities
• Focus on strengths and find solutions • Community identifies priorities
• Volunteers/self-help = strength • Cooperate and coordinate
• Healthy attitudes and values
• Stronger communities
• Involve citizens
• Involve volunteers
• Use resources effectively and efficiently
• Work with local organizations
the fcss story
We Respond to Crisis Because Pain is Acute and Immediate
Nearly 50 years ago, a group of courageous Albertans sought a better way, more economical and more human.
If we could build a provincial system that relied on local knowledge and leadership, the quirks and strengths of local cultures, maybe we could do what no other jurisdiction had tried: inspire our neighbours, families and colleagues to prevent crises, community by community.
That system, known today as Family and Community Support Services, is one of Alberta’s most important inventions. Our province’s mythologies are often about individuals. But our truest and finest stories are about individuals coming together.Turn on the news.
We like to think of ourselves as builders. We build Albertans.
• Available to all municipalities/Metis Settlements who want to participate
• A resolution by the municipal council is needed to join initially
• 80/20 Funding Agreement is signed
• Funding is allocated based on an established funding model
• Single Program
• Multi-Municipal Program
• Partnering or Grant Transfer
• FCSS Department?
• Community Services Department?
• Direct Municipal Management: CAO/
• Direct Service Delivery
• External Grants
• Combination of both
roles of council, boards & director
• Municipal Council
• Advisory Board
• FCSS Program Director
• Partner with FCSS Society
managing your fcss program
• Assess community needs
• Budget, administer and monitor finances
• Oversee FCSS program operation
• Evaluate FCSS program
• Develop and monitor policy
• Oversee PR and promotion of your program
• Leadership and support
• Interpret FCSS legislation
• Analyze issues/trends
• Promote best practices
• Develop policy
• Ensure accountability
• Adherence to legislation
• Relationship building
• Manage FCSS budget
program requirements & eligibility
Must be preventive and enhance social well-bing of individuals and families. Contribute to one or more of the following:
- Self-reliant and resilient individuals
- Positive relationships
- Engaged citizens who contribute to community
- Address social issues and influence change
- Encourage active participation in the community
Services provided under an FCSS program must not:
- Fund recreational needs
- Offer direct assistance
- Be primarily rehabilitative
- Duplicate services already funded by government or government agency
- Purchase land or buildings
- Construct or renovate a building
- Purchase motor vehicles
- Costs not related to direct delivery of FCSS services
- Municipal property taxes or levies
- Payments to board members
- FCSS Handbook
- FCSS Eligibility assessment tool located in Chapter 5 of handbook
- Program Advice Inventory Listing
- Ministry website:
- Experience well-being
- Connected with others
- Develop positivity
- Function in a healthy way
- Have social supports
- Are connected and engaged
- Identify and address social issues
- Social impact of program
- Funding requirement
- Communicate value of service to stakeholders
- Tool to assess funding applications
- Promote continuous improvement
- Inspire staff and volunteers
community & social services ministry outcomes: key strategies
Stability – Albertans are safe and have timely and consistent access to supports to meet their basic needs.
Participation – Albertans participate in their communities through employment and other opportunities to reach their individual potential.
Inclusion – Alberta’s communities provide a sense of belonging and foster resiliency.
FCSS Alberta Regulation 2021 Section 2:
Responsibilities of the Municipality
(a) promote and facilitate the development of stronger communities.
2.1(1) Services provided under a program must (a) be of a preventive nature that enhances the social well-being of individuals and families through promotion or intervention strategies provided at the earliest opportunity, and
(i) help people to develop independence, strengthen coping skills and become more resistant to crisis.
(ii) help people to develop an awareness of social needs.
(iii) help people to develop interpersonal and group skills which enhance constructive relationships among people.
(iv) help people and communities to assume responsibility for decisions and actions which affect them.
Financial net gains for the community:
For the combined MD of Fairview No. 136 and the Town of Fairview – 20% municipal contribution of $38,993 annually to the FCSS program, the province provides $155, 973, or 80% of the funds for the program.
In 2020 FCSS also applied and successfully received a $50,000 grant to help with food insecurity during COVID. Making the annual income in 2020 – $205,973.
Resulting in a net gain back to the community of $166,980 in 2020.
Fairview FCSS also granted out $85,950 of its 2020 budget to community organizations, nearly half of its regular operating budget. Leaving Fairview FCSS $109,016 to administer the program, provide direct programming, oversee indirect programs, and keep up with provincial reporting requirements. With the overall result of assisting Fairview and area residents 32,050 times during a pandemic, with one full time staff person.
What the Community is Saying
Ed is a 65 year young senior who needs help filling out his pension paperwork. He states that he finds it confusing and overwhelming and doesn’t even know where to start. FCSS is able to assist him by downloading the applications and assisting him to complete them. They include: Blue Cross; Old Age Security; Guaranteed Income Support; Canada Pension Plan/ and Alberta Seniors Benefit. The applications take around 45 minutes to complete. He reports being very thankful for the service.
Monty is a fifty something year old man who comes to FCSS because he is struggling. He explains that he was injured in a farming accident and can no longer work. He is not eligible for WCB, because he is self-employed, and he is too young for his pensions. FCSS is able to assist him complete the application for the Canada Pension Disability Plan, the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped and the Disability Tax Credit application. The applications take around 2 hours to complete. He reports being very grateful that FCSS was able to assist him.
Betty is an Indigenous Elder who has just moved to the community from Squamish B.C. She reports feeling lonely and isolated and would like to connect with other Indigenous people in the area. FCSS is able to connect her with the NW Aboriginal Services; the Sagitawa Friendship Centre; and other seniors resources. In addition, she is given a Newcomer Welcome Bag with important community information and contacts. She reports feeling very thankful that she was able to connect with FCSS.
Trish struggles with addictions. She is currently seeking treatment at AHS Addiction Services and asks for assistance because she has no money for food or medications. FCSS is able to assist her with her Income Support application as well as the Adult Health Benefit application which can assist with medication costs.
Bob is a very ill senior who drives all the way from Worsley to submit his travel receipts to the Alberta Seniors Assistance program. With his illness he has to drive to Edmonton often for medical procedures, which ia a hardship because he is on a fixed income. As there is nowhere in Worsley he can have this done, he reports being thankful to FCSS, because the money he gets back allows him to continue with his lifesaving treatments.
Bob is a single father who is new to the community and has two preschool aged children. He reports that he is broke and running out of food to feed his children. He explains that he is having issues transferring his Income Support account from his previous employer to the Peace River Office and that they have essentially cut him off. He reports that he has no money to pay the rent, or for food. He has been trying to work this out by himself with his workers, but he keeps going around in circles. FCSS is able to contact the Peace River Income Support office and advocate for him so that he is able to start receiving his payments within a week of FCSS intervening.
programs offered by fcss programs
agency offered programs funded by fcss
participants in programs 2020
Facts & Figures
• 87,315 Volunteers
• 2.5 Million Volunteer Hours
• Which Equals 37.7 Million Dollars
• 314 Municipalities & Metis
• 205 Local FCSS Programs
• 99% of Albertans Have Access to FCSS
• 8 FCSS Regions