Supporting Families Experiencing Separation and Divorce Initiative Evaluation

1. Introduction

The Supporting Families Experiencing Separation and Divorce Initiative (SFI) is a five-year federal initiative launched on April 1, 2009. The SFI contributes to improvements in access to the family justice system for parents experiencing separation and divorce and encourages greater parental compliance with their custody, access and support obligations. The SFI is directed towards mitigating the impact of separation and divorce on children and ensuring that the best interests of the child remain at the heart of the family justice system.

1.1. Purpose of the Evaluation

In accordance with the 2009 Policy on Evaluation, the primary purpose of the evaluation is to assess the relevance and performance of the SFI. In terms of relevance, the evaluation considered the continued need for the Initiative and the alignment of its priorities and activities with government priorities, departmental strategic outcomes, and federal roles and responsibilities. With regard to performance, the evaluation considered both effectiveness (i.e., the extent to which the Initiative has achieved its objectives), and efficiency and economy (i.e., the degree to which appropriate and efficient means are being employed to achieve the desired outcomes).

The evaluation covers the SFI activities undertaken between fiscal years 2009/10 and 2012/13.

1.2. Structure of the Report

The report contains six sections including the Introduction. Section 2.0 provides the background of the SFI, describing its governance, resources, stakeholders and beneficiaries, program logic and activities, outputs and outcomes. Section 3.0 describes the methodology and multiple lines of evidence used in the evaluation. Section 4.0 summarizes the key findings while Section 5.0 presents the conclusions. Section 6.0 outlines the recommendations and the management response.