The Communications Branch is responsible for the delivery
of communications services on behalf of the Minister and the
Department. This includes responsibility for meeting the
communication needs of the Minister as well as media
relations. The Branch responds to media calls and provides
them with information required to explain or clarify
department's policies, programs and services.

The Corporate Services Division is responsible for the development of policy frameworks, federal/provincial relations, research, planning and evaluation and the provision of financial, audit, facilities management, administration and information technology services to the Department.

As a strategic business partner, the Human Resource
Services branch provides support and services to
management and staff in an effort to increase
organizational effectiveness and maximize performance
while supporting the strategies and goals of the
department. In fiscal year 2006-2007, key priorities
included the competency profile development project,
leadership development training for the department’s
directors, managers and supervisors, training for the
Integrated front end service delivery project, and the
recruitment of social workers and legal administrative

The Employee Relations Services unit provides professional human resource services and support in the areas of employee recruitment and selection, job evaluation and classification, labour and employee relations, contract negotiations, interpretation of policies, collective agreement and legislation, conflict resolution and mediation, and performance management.

Employee and Organizational Development is responsible for the development of new human resource policies, workforce planning, human resource management reporting, workplace health, safety and wellness, official languages, the performance management system, leadership development training, and the coordination and delivery of specific training initiatives.

The Information Technology Services (ITS) branch supports all departmental program areas in achieving their business objectives by providing the appropriate information technology tools and solutions. ITS is responsible for information technology infrastructure, applications development, application support and maintenance. The branch provides services through a combination of internal departmental staff and several private-sector companies.

The finance and Administration branch consists of the following units: Budget and Financial Reporting, Accounting Services, Audit Services, Administrative Services, and Payment Processing.

Accounting services develops financial policies and procedures to ensure sound practices. The unit maintains the integrity and control of the various automated payment systems. It prepares financial reports on housing programs to the federal government, administers the departmental revenue and other applications used for purchasing and financial reporting.

The Audit Services unit is responsible for the Internal Audit, Caseload Sampling and Telephone Case Reviews.

Internal Audit is an independent group within the department responsible for evaluating internal control systems and measuring their effectiveness.

The Caseload Sampling unit is responsible for monitoring the continuing eligibility of the provincial social assistance caseload that is administered by the Program Delivery Division. The Unit Supervisor also provides support services to all levels of the Department in the specialized field of Client Investigations.

Budget and Financial Reporting is responsible for financial reporting, financial planning, budgeting and the interim financial statement process. This unit provides financial information on revenues and expenditures, analysis and advice to management and central agencies.

The Payment Processing unit is responsible for the processing of administrative accounts payable, grants, day care invoices and travel claims.

The Program Development and Monitoring Division is responsible for the planning, design and monitoring, from a provincial perspective, of all Departmental programs. This would include the interpretation of program guidelines, procedures, policies, standards, regulations and legislation.

The Program Development and Monitoring (PDM) Division has been divided into six branches, each responsible for a number of core businesses - Housing and Income Support; Early Childhood and School-Based Services; Child Welfare and Youth Services; Community and Individual Development; Nursing Home Services; and Services to Adults with Disabilities and Seniors Services.

The Services to Adults with Disabilities and Senior Services branch is responsible for the planning, design and monitoring of all departmental programs and services provided to adults with disabilities and to seniors. Programs and services in this area include the Long-Term Care Services Program, the Disability Support Program Pilot Project, Home Support Services, Adult Residential Facilities (special care homes and community residences), Alternative Family Living Arrangements, Adult Protection, Adult Developmental Activities Programs and Training (ADAPT) Program.

The Nursing Home Services branch is responsible for the planning, design, monitoring and inspection of the services provided to residents in nursing homes. This branch ensures the safety of residents through the licensing and monitoring of nursing homes, liaises with nursing homes and the NB Association of Nursing Homes on relevant issues and provides professional and program advice to directors of nursing homes.

During the year, the branch continued to work with the NB Association of Nursing Homes, the NB Council of Nursing Home Unions, the NB Nurses Union and the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission in their efforts to support and improve workplace health and safety in nursing homes.

The Child Welfare and Youth Services Branch is responsible for the planning, design and monitoring of all departmental child welfare and youth programs and services. These include the following programs and services: Access and Assessment, Child Protection Services, Child In Care/Post-guardianship Services, Adoption Services, Community-Based Services for Children with Special Needs, Children’s Residential Services (foster homes and group homes), Open Custody under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, Birth Parent Services and programming for youth such as the Social Assistance Youth Policy and Youth-at-Risk. The Child Welfare Training System which joined the Branch on January 17, 2005 is responsible for the ongoing development and monitoring of the Competency Based Child Welfare Training System as well as the delivery of training to Child Welfare social workers, social work supervisors, including First Nations staff, program delivery managers and provincial consultants throughout the province.

The Community and Individual Development branch is responsible for the planning, design and monitoring of all departmental programs and services intended to help develop the community capacity necessary to support the clients of the department as well as to help individuals achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Programs and services in this area include Case Management Services for Social Assistance Clients, Career Development Options for Social Assistance Clients, the Community Involvement Program, the Home Orientation and Management Program, the Youth Services Partnership, the Community Raising Children Initiative, Family and Community Volunteer Awards, the Community Volunteer Action Program and Transition Houses, including the Child Witnesses of Family Violence Program. The branch also liaises between the department and the First Nations Child and Family Services agencies that deliver child welfare services in First Nations communities.

The Housing and Income Support branch is responsible for the planning, design and monitoring of all departmental housing and income security programs and services. These include the following programs and services: the Transitional Assistance, Interim Assistance and Extended Benefits Programs; all income support special benefits; and the Family Support Order Services.

Housing programs monitored by the branch include the Public Housing, Rent Supplement and Rural and Native Housing Programs; Non-Profit and Cooperative Housing Programs; the Federal/Provincial Repair Program; the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program; the Affordable Rental Housing Program; the Home Completion and Home Ownership Assistance Programs; and other housing loan programs.

Responsible for the direct delivery to clients of services such as Post-Adoption Services, After Hours Emergency Social Services, and housing engineering services and property management.

After Hours Emergency Social Services is a toll-free telephone line that enables the Department of Family and Community Services to respond to requests for emergency services. The AHESS provides services from 4:30pm to 8:15am during weekdays and on a 24-hour basis on weekends, holidays, storm days and other times when the regional offices are closed.

The Operational Support branch is responsible for the provision of day-to-day support to the eight regional offices and central office staff on operational issues. This includes developing or modifying operational procedures to be applied consistently province-wide, providing data management and system analysis services, providing financial management advice with respect to budget allocations to regions and budget monitoring of all programs and ensuring that departmental information systems meet the business needs of users.

Responsible for the direct delivery of departmental programs and services throughout the province from regional offices and satellite offices.