Management Response and Action Plan

Project Title: National Evaluation of the Aboriginal Courtwork (ACW) Program

Responsibility Centre: Policy Implementation Directorate (PID), Programs Branch

Conclusions Recommendations Management Response Action Plan Responsible Manager
(Title)
Planned Implementation Date

Update of the Roles and Responsibilities of Courtworkers

The evaluation found that in many jurisdictions, Courtworkers are faced with significant pressures from clients, courts and communities to expand the scope of their services. Over time, the range of services provided by Courtworkers has tended to expand as other programs have been scaled back.

Accordingly, a number of additional services have been identified by judicial and court officials, Courtworkers and the clients. At the same time, however, the number of Courtworkers has decreased. In turn, this has resulted in a reduction in the total number of clients served annually, even though the need for Courtworker services has remained constant and Courtworkers are working at the same level as they did in 2005/06, in terms of number of clients served per Courtworker.

Current expectations of the Program exceed its capacity to produce the desired results, particularly in under-served remote areas.

Given the pressures to expand the scope of services, the resources available and the demand for Courtworker services, the Program would benefit from a review of the roles and responsibilities of Courtworkers and what it will mean in terms of the scope of their work in the current operational context.

Any significant change in the roles and responsibilities of Courtworkers should be supported with the appropriate training.

1. It is recommended that, in consultation with the provinces and territories, a review of the roles and responsibilities of Courtworkers be undertaken to determine which Courtworker services can reasonably be delivered in the current operational context.

We agree with the conclusion and recommendation and will work with the provinces, territories and service delivery agencies to review the roles and responsibilities of Courtworkers.

Currently, in collaboration with provinces and territories, through the Tripartite Working Group (TWG) of the ACW Program, a review to update Courtworker activities is underway.

The TWG will work over the course of the next agreements (2013 to 2018) to clarify Courtworker roles and responsibilities.

 

Senior Director, PID

March 2018

Performance Measurement

The evaluation found that some of the performance measures are very time-consuming to collect, difficult to roll up and not very useful for a national review of the Program performance. These include performance measures regarding partnerships (performance measure #4), common training provided to Aboriginal Courtworkers (performance measure #5) and training survey responses (performance measure #6). For example, in performance measure #4, jurisdictions are expected to report on the name and purpose of partnerships, external committees, councils, task forces, commissions and formal networks on which the Courtworkers sit during the reporting period. This data is very detailed, difficult to interpret (it counts situations where the Courtworkers have only limited involvement equally with those where they may play a lead role), and relates only indirectly to key evaluation questions.

The evaluation found that the performance measurement strategy needs to be reviewed and updated to ensure that the performance measures are consistent with the priorities and intended outcomes of the Program. In addition, the updated performance measures should be cost-effective to collect.

2. It is recommended that the ACW Program performance measurement strategy be reviewed to ensure that relevant information is being collected to support ongoing monitoring and reporting activities and future evaluations.

We agree with the conclusion and recommendation and will continue to work with the provinces, territories and service delivery agencies to update the performance measurement strategy and implement new national performance measures (referred to as the Aboriginal Courtwork Program National Data Requirements).

The TWG is currently finalizing new national data requirements.

The TWG will work over the course of the next agreements (2013 to 2018) to update the performance measurement strategy.

Senior Director, PID

April 2014

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