The National Child Benefit (NCB) Initiative is a joint undertaking by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments.1 Responsibility for the Initiative rests with the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services.
The NCB Initiative is an important undertaking developed with the aim of helping children to get the best possible start in life. Governments recognize that child poverty has long-term consequences, both for children and for society in general. Governments also support the position that families are better-off when parents are supported in their efforts to obtain and maintain employment.
A further key principle upon which governments agree is the importance of accountability, in terms of achieving results, and transparency in reporting such results —both to legislative bodies and to the public in general.
This evaluation report is an important part of such transparent accountability. It identifies, through the evaluation findings and other related research, the extent to which the NCB Initiative is achieving its objectives.
It does this by means of examining multiple lines of evidence from a range of studies conducted under the direction of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Evaluation Working Group. In addition, further analyses of the NCB Initiative undertaken by individual departments was reviewed and approved by the Evaluation Working Group.
The current report also presents an assessment of the evaluation findings. As will be seen, the overall assessment is that the NCB Initiative is achieving a number of positive impacts.
Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services
1 The government of Quebec has stated that it agrees with the basic principles of the NCB. Quebec chose not to participate in the NCB because it wished to assume control over income support for children in Quebec. However, it has adopted a similar approach to the NCB. Throughout this report, references to joint federal/provincial/territorial positions do not include Quebec.