Healthy Families Standards Development

The Healthy Family Program was initiated in four communities ten years ago, and is in the process of being rolled out to 33 communities across the NWT. The proprietary curriculum was written from the perspective of third parties delivering the program, and draft NWT standards were aligned with this approach since regional health authorities were funded to manage and deliver the program at a local level. The program was also written for large urban centers and while it called for cultural adaptation, there had been no standard approach to this in the NWT. Over time, this regional/local focus resulted in uncertainty as to whether or not there was sufficient consistency in program delivery to assure a standard of quality.


Before implementing the program in additional communities, the Kellett consulting team were engaged to conduct research and consultation, assess the current draft policies and standards, and write a comprehensive policy manual to govern the program across the NWT, while still allowing sufficient flexibility to meet the unique needs of participants with diverse demographic characteristics.


While the project is still ongoing, the following milestones have been completed to date on the project:

  • Complete review of all related governance documents including legislation, initiatives, and plans; e.g. Department of Health and Social Services Establishment Policy, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Child and Family Services Act, Safety Act
  • Reviewed curriculum of NWT and similar programs in other jurisdictions; e.g. AB, BC, YT, ON, MB
  • Consulted with staff regarding use of curriculum, regional and local operations, referral process, common and unique local issues
  • Held workshops in four communities in the NWT to further research and identify the difference in local operations across the territories.
  • Assessed 27 official forms and numerous regional and local adaptations to determine utility and compliance with legislation; created new forms for standardized use
  • Assessed existing program regulatory documents, identified gaps and outdated content
  • Synthesized all information gathered
  • Drafted policies, standards, procedures and guidelines
  • Planned and facilitated review sessions with managers, coordinators and staff
  • Produced final manual