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Sous-fonds consists of records created and/or maintained by the Social Service Programs Branch and its predecessors. The sous-fonds includes Social Allowances and Services Branch records and central registry files.
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Biographie / Histoire administrative
The Department of National Health and Welfare's Social Service Programs Branch (SSPB), created in July 1975, was given the mandate of ensuring the maintenance of a "social safety net" for Canadians by supporting the provision of social assistance to persons whose economic circumstances are inadequate to meet their needs, or whose social circumstances expose them to the risk of poverty, isolation or dependency. Early forms of such social assistance had included allowances to blind persons (through amendments to the Old Age Pensions Act of 1927, and the subsequent Blind Persons Act of 1951), and allowances to disabled persons under the Disabled Persons Act of 1954. The latter allowances were augmented in 1961 with the passage of the Vocational Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons Act (VRDP), creating a cost sharing agreement through which the federal government would contribute fifty per cent of the provinces' costs of providing services to the disabled.
Following the federal government's earlier efforts to provide allowances to blind and disabled persons, a federal-provincial working group on social welfare recommended in 1964 that both levels of government work towards creating a comprehensive, integrated general assistance programme based on need, and that the federal government should share in the costs of mothers allowances and health services and administration. The result of these recommendations was the Canada Assistance Plan Act (CAP) enacted on 15 July 1966, with an effective date of 1 April 1966. CAP is a federal-provincial cost-sharing arrangement by which the federal government contributes funding to the provinces to defray the costs of provincially-organized social assistance programmes.
In addition to the provisions of CAP and VRDP, SSPB encouraged the development and demonstration of new, innovative and effective community social services through the National Welfare Grants programme implemented in 1962. It provided grants and contributions to promote and maintain the continued participation of Canadian senior citizens within the community through the New Horizons programme, created in 1972, and the Seniors Independence programme initiated in 1981. In addition to these granting programmes, SSPB advised federal and provincial officials, voluntary organizations and consumer groups on a variety of issues such as adoption, family and children's services, community development, voluntary actions, and rehabilitation of disabled persons.
The SSPB was briefly amalgamated with the Health Services and Promotions Branch in March 1993, and subsequently split between the former Department of National Health and Welfare (now the Department of Health) and the newly created Department of Human Resources Development (HRD) as a result of the federal government reorganization in June 1993. All functions relating to social welfare, such as Cost-Shared Programmes (CAP and VRDP), National Welfare Grants, Child Care Programmes, and the National Adoption Desk, became part of the Social Development and Education Branch of HRD. The remaining functions, including New Horizons, Family Violence Prevention, the Children's Bureau and the Seniors Directorate, remained in Health, where they form part of the Health Promotion and Programs Branch (formerly the Health Services and Promotions Branch).
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