Evaluation of the B.C. Family Maintenance Enforcement Program's Pilot Outreach Project



This report presents the findings of an evaluation of the British Columbia Family Maintenance Enforcement Program’s Pilot Outreach Project. The Pilot Outreach Project consists of three educational/outreach and enforcement components that involve payors and recipients of maintenance payments. These are: 1) Client Meetings, held primarily with Family Justice Centre clients; 2) Information Sessions provided to Social Assistance Recipients; and 3) Payment Conferences, an enforcement mechanism used for payors with substantial arrears.

The Pilot Outreach Project is managed and staffed by the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP). The FMEP is responsible under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act (FMEA) for monitoring and enforcing all the maintenance orders filed with the program. This may involve calculating, reassessing, recording and forwarding payments to the person receiving maintenance payments (recipients) or taking action to ensure the person required to make payments (payor) is making payments. The FMEP is an “opt-in” program with voluntary registration, except in cases where recipients are receiving provincial social assistance benefits.

This report provides a detailed description of the Pilot Outreach Project (Section 2.0), a description of the evaluation framework and methods (Section 3.0), research issues arising from the evaluation (Section 4.0), and evaluation findings related to each of the program components (Section 5.0). Section 6.0 presents the summary and conclusions of the study.