What Is FCSS?

Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is a unique 80/20 funding partnership between the Government of Alberta and participating municipalities or Métis Settlements. Provincially, the FCSS Program receives its mandate from the Family and Community Support Services Act and Regulation.

The Regulation sets out the service requirements that a municipality or Métis Settlement must meet to be eligible for funding. Section 2.1(1)(a) of the FCSS Regulation states: “Services under a program must 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.” Section 2.1(2)(b) states: “Services under a program must do one or more of the following:

  1. help people to develop independence, strengthen coping skills and become more resistant to crisis;
  2. help people to develop an awareness of social needs;
  3. help people to develop interpersonal and group skills which enhance constructive relationships among people;
  4. help people and communities to assume responsibility for decisions and actions which affect them;
  5. provide supports that help sustain people as active participants in the community.”

At the local level, a municipality or Métis Settlement Council chooses whether to establish an FCSS Program and enters into an agreement with the Government of Alberta to jointly fund projects/services. These projects/services depend on community resources, often involving volunteers in management and delivery.

The FCSS philosophy is based on a belief that self-help contributes to a sense of integrity, self-worth and independence. Programs developed are intended to help individuals in their community to adopt healthy lifestyles, thereby improving the quality of life and building the capacity to prevent and/or deal with crisis situations should they arise.

One of the key principles of the FCSS Program is local responsibility for priority setting and resource allocation. Within the parameters of the FCSS Act and Regulation, each municipality or Métis Settlement determines how the FCSS funding they receive should be allocated to best meet the needs of their community. Local FCSS Programs are part of the larger provincial Program that collectively helps to ensure that Albertans have access to a strong network of prevention supports.

A number of FCSS resources and publications such as the FCSS Program Handbook and the FCSS Program Advice Inventory Listing are available on the Alberta Human Services website at http://humanservices.alberta.ca/family-community/15537.html