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Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: May 10, 2016
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06 Other Client Groups

First Nations

IESA  

INTENT 

To ensure First Nation applicants have appropriate access to Child Support Services (CSS) according to legislative authority, program policy and CSS guiding principles. 

POLICY 

Applicants Living Off Reserve and Receiving Assistance from Community and Social Services

When Registered Indians live off-reserve and receive assistance payments and/or benefits under the Income and Employment Supports Act (IESA) from Community and Social Services, the Director has all the rights to support for that person and their dependent child(ren).

Under the Arrangement for Funding and Administration of Social Services, the following communities are viewed as reserves:

  • Woodland Cree Band – Cadotte Lake
  • Fort Chipewyan Cree Band and Athabasca Chipewyan Band – Fort Chipewyan
  • Fort McKay Band – Fort McKay
  • Little Red River Band – Garden River
  • Lubicon Lake Band – Little Buffalo


Several Indian bands in Alberta have negotiated with Community and Social Services to deliver assistance benefits to their band members who live off-reserve. When a band has entered into an agreement with Community and Social Services to deliver assistance benefits under IESA to their band members living off reserve, the Director has the right to support and CSS services are the same as for other assistance clients. The bands that deliver these services are:

  • Siksika First Nation


The Child Support Services (CSS) Specialist or CSS Supervisor responsible for providing services in these situations negotiates with the band to develop appropriate protocol and procedures. Regions make arrangements with any such bands in their jurisdiction about mandatory CSS and client compliance expectations.

Applicants Living On Reserve

The Director does not have any rights to support when applicants living on reserves receive social assistance benefits from the Federal Government. Applicants from these communities are regarded as other Albertans with low income and are subject to the CSS program suitability and eligibility criteria. Applicants receive the same CSS as other Albertans with low income.

The suitability requirements for applicants living on reserve include the CSS Specialist confirming with:

  • The Document Service Provider that the band has a formal agreement with them that allows the process server on the reserve to serve CSS respondent documents, and
  • MEP that the band has a formal agreement with MEP that allows the enforcement of a support order or agreement when a payor lives on the reserve.


Other Registered Indians considered ordinarily residing on a reserve are applicants who are away from the reserve:

  • For the purpose of obtaining care in a facility, but who ordinarily resided on the reserve immediately before leaving. The reason for leaving the reserve was to access a social service not available on-reserve, or
  • For the purpose of accessing post-secondary or a training program.


CSS Suitability and Respondents Living on Reserve

In addition to the suitability requirements for other Albertans with low income, CSS suitability for all applicants includes the determination of whether the respondent lives on a reserve.

For all applicants living on or off reserve and whether they are First Nation applicants or not, when the respondent is living on a reserve, the suitability requirements include:

The CSS Specialist confirming with:

  • The Document Service Provider that the band has a formal  agreement with them that allows the process server on the reserve to serve CSS respondent documents, and
  • MEP that the band has a formal agreement with MEP that allows the enforcement of a support/order or agreement


OR

The band provides a copy of a Band Council Resolution that indicates the process server can access the reserve to serve documents and that MEP can enforce support agreements/orders on the reserve

OR

The CSS Specialist confirms with the regional designated band liaison staff that the band is voluntarily supporting provincial programs to ensure child support can be obtained and enforced when respondents live on their reserve.

The above policy is applicable whether or not the applicant is a Registered Indian and for both assistance clients and other Albertans with low income.