Important dates

Application status: Open year-round, with funding starting either January 1 or April 1

Ministry responsible: Alberta Community and Social Services

Overview

Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is an 80/20 funding partnership between the Government of Alberta and participating municipalities or Metis Settlements. FCSS receives its mandate from the Family and Community Support Services Act and the Family and Community Support Services Regulation.

FCSS is based on a shared understanding that municipalities and Metis Settlements are in the best position to:

  • assess community needs and set priorities
  • support individuals, families and communities through preventative social programs and services

Joint FCSS funding must be used for programs and services that are preventative and do one or more of the following:

  • help people develop independence, strengthen coping skills and become more resistant to crisis
  • build awareness of social needs
  • support people in developing skills to have healthy relationships with others
  • help individuals and communities assume responsibility for decisions and actions that affect them
  • provide supports that help people participate in the community

Funding

A municipality or Metis Settlement chooses whether to sign an annual agreement with the Government of Alberta to jointly fund eligible services. They must provide at least 20% of the joint funding each year and the Alberta government will provide up to 80%.

Participating municipalities and Metis Settlements are responsible for allocating the joint FCSS funding at the local level. They may use it to:

  • deliver eligible preventative social programs and services themselves, and/or
  • provide FCSS grants to community agencies to deliver the programs and services

Eligibility

Eligible programs and services

Services provided under FCSS must be preventative and may include initiatives and programs that:

  • help communities identify their social needs and develop responses
  • promote, encourage and support volunteer work in the community
  • inform the public about services
  • support children and their families’ social development
  • help families enrich and strengthen family life and function more effectively in their own environment
  • enhance retired and semi-retired people’s quality of life

Ineligible programs and services

FCSS funding cannot be used for programs and services that:

  • are only focused on an individual’s leisure or recreational needs
  • provide an individual or family with basic living supports such as money, food, clothing or shelter
  • are only focused on rehabilitation
  • duplicate services provided by government or a government agency

Municipalities and Metis Settlements may use the Family and Community Support Services: Program Advice Inventory Listing to assess program and service eligibility.

How to apply

Step 1. Review the handbook

Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Program Handbook

Step 2. Write a letter

New FCSS funding requests are accepted year-round. Review the municipalities timeline and the Metis Settlements timeline to see how the grant process works.

To make first-time requests or requests following a hiatus, write a letter to Family and Community Services that:

  • requests participation in the FCSS funding partnership
  • includes a copy of the local resolution to join the program

Step 3. Submit the letter

Send your letter and local resolution by email, mail or fax to Family and Community Services.

Step 4. After you apply

You will get a letter confirming your participation in the FCSS Program. Then a funding agreement will be set up on the FCSS online system.

How to renew funding

Provincial FCSS funding allocation, distribution and reporting requirements follow separate timelines for municipalities and Metis Settlements as outlined below. Most transactions happen through the FCSS online system.

Municipalities timeline

  • April
    • The Alberta government sets the FCSS budget for the next fiscal year (April to March).
  • August
    • Funding requests for the coming year's grant allocation are set up in the FCSS online system for confirmation.
    • Municipalities decide whether to request the entire grant or partial funding based on their budget to match it by at least 20%.
  • October
    • Participating municipalities’ FCSS Funding Agreements are set up in the online system.
    • Participating municipalities review and electronically sign and return their agreement to Family and Community Services.
    • Family and Community Services electronically signs the agreements.
  • December
    • The Annual FCSS Program Report for financial reporting on previous year’s FCSS funding is set up in the online system.
  • January
    • The Alberta government provides the first quarter grant payment to participating municipalities.
    • Annual Provincial Progress and Outcome Reports are set up in the online system.
    • Participating municipalities start compiling their annual reports.
  • April
    • Participating municipalities electronically submit their annual reports by April 30.
    • The Alberta government sets the FCSS budget for the next fiscal year (April to March), amending FCSS funding agreements, if needed.
    • The Alberta government provides the second quarter grant payment.
  • July
    • The Alberta government provides the third quarter grant payment.
  • October
    • The Alberta government provides the fourth quarter grant payment.

Metis Settlements timeline

  • February
    • The Annual FCSS Program Report for financial reporting on previous year’s FCSS funding is set up in the online system for Metis Settlements.
    • The Annual Provincial Progress and Outcome Reports are also set up on the online system.
  • April
    • Participating Metis Settlements’ FCSS Funding Agreements are set up in the online system.
    • Participating Metis Settlements review and electronically sign and return their agreement to Family and Community Services.
    • Family and Community Services electronically signs the agreements.
    • Participating Metis Settlements start compiling their annual reports.
  • May
    • The Alberta government provides the first quarter grant payment to participating Metis Settlements.
  • July
    • Participating Metis Settlements electronically submit their annual reports by July 29.
    • The Alberta government provides the second quarter grant payment.
  • October
    • The Alberta government provides the third quarter grant payment.
  • January
    • The Alberta government provides the fourth quarter grant payment.

Processes and reporting

Review the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Program Handbook for more details about administrative processes and reporting requirements, including:

FCSS online system

Participating municipalities and Metis Settlements use this system for FCSS funding requests, agreements and reporting.

Use these manuals to find out how to get an ID and password and navigate the system:

Procedural Manual for Municipalities using the FCSS on-line system (PDF, 2.3 MB)

Procedural Manual for Metis Settlements using the FCSS on-line system (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Financial reporting

Use this guide to prepare the Annual FCSS Program Reports:

Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Financial Report Guide

Performance measurements

Local FCSS projects, programs and services must implement performance measures and report on outcomes. This will help determine:

  • how effectively they are meeting preventative social service needs
  • gaps in existing services
  • opportunities to learn and improve

Use these publications for guidance:

Family and Community Support Services Outcomes Model: How we are making a difference

Family and Community Support Services: Basic Guide to Outcome Measurement

Family and Community Support Services: Provincial Priority Measures with Instructions

Family and Community Support Services: Measures Bank with Provincial Priority Measures and Instructions

Publications

2013 FCSS Progress and Outcomes Report

Family and Community Support Services: Annual Overview (2001 to 2013)

FCSS Program Review Report

FCSS Program Review Report: Government Response

What is FCSS?

Working together in FCSS: gifts and challenges

Working together within municipalities and Metis settlements

Working together between municipalities

Working together with community organizations

Working together with Child and Family Services Authorities

Working together with health authorities

Working together with the justice system

Contact

To connect with Family and Community Services:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-415-8150
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-415-9345
Email: fcssadmin@gov.ab.ca

Address:

Family and Community Services
Alberta Community and Social Services
3rd Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5E6