Healthy Families Initiative (HFI)

Program snapshot

Age group: Not age specific

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Families

Topic: Academic issues; Alcohol and/or drug use; Antisocial/deviant behaviours; Crime issues involving a mental health disorder or other health disorder; Family (domestic) violence/child maltreatment

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Social services setting

Location: Saskatchewan

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Healthy Families Initiative (HFI) pilot project is a two year multi-Ministry initiative aimed to address complex issues facing Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable families. The pilot is being delivered in Regina for up to ten families. 

The HFI is an intensive intervention (9-18 month duration) that utilizes a whole family approach. A single dedicated worker is assigned to a client family and will ensure that service delivery is seamless and sequenced. A family safety plan is developed in partnership with the family, a multi-disciplinary team and the community. As the client family stabilizes, meets identified outcomes and connects with community supports and services, the intervention intensity will decrease until the support of the worker is no longer needed.

The HFI will work with families to achieve outcomes in six areas: education, employment and housing, domestic violence and abuse, children in need, crime and antisocial behavior and mental health and addictions.


The main goals of the HFI program are to:

  • Reduce offending among family members;
  • Reduce incidents of family violence and abuse;
  • Support families so that they may safely care for their children;
  • Employ family members who are employable;
  • Reduce use and abuse of substances for family members (where problematic use or substance abuse is identified);
  • Improve family members' mental health; and
  • Increase in school attendance.


Vulnerable families with complex needs are families who are highly dependent on the social welfare system and have accessed multiple systems, services and programs over a number of years.

The program supports families who are the most in need of publically-funded programs and services. The Foxvalley Counselling staff works with the families to reduce criminal offences and family violence, supports families to care for their children, increases employment, supports families challenged by mental health and addictions, and ensures children are attending school.

Core Components

The program components of the HFI program include the following:

  • Culturally Responsive: Culturally responsive service delivery values and honours the different cultures and histories of all people who are engaged in the program. Consideration of cultural aspects that impact participation and client experience will result in more effective, relevant care; and
  • Whole Family Approach: This approach views the family as an interconnected system. It accounts for the reciprocal effect that one family member’s actions has on others within the family unit. Working within this context will allow for the development of a comprehensive plan that has sustainable outcomes.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: Research and develop an intervention that will improve social and economic outcomes for families with complex needs.
  • Partnerships: Delivery of the Healthy Families initiative requires the engagement and collaboration of the government and community-based sector.
  • Training and technical assistance: A two month intensive training curriculum has been developed for service providers.
  • Risk assessment tools: Signs of Hope (Adapted from Signs of Safety).
  • Materials & resources: The Healthy Families Initiative is modeled on “The Troubled Families Program” in the United Kingdom, which has showed measurable success. The United Kingdom’s national government claims that for every dollar invested in the program, a cost savings of two dollars was achieved.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The Program is being implemented in Saskatchewan. The program duration is September 1, 2016 to September 1, 2018. All four ministries are responsible for the implementation of the program: Health, Corrections and Policing, Social Services and Education.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

The cost of the two year pilot program is $750,000.


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Ministry of Justice, Corrections and Policing
600-1874 Scarth Street, Regina Saskatchewan SK S4P 4B3
Telephone: (306) 798-8066

Record Entry Date - 2018-02-23
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: