Call for Proposals: Preventing and Addressing Family Violence - the Health Perspective

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is pleased to invite eligible organizations to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for projects that prevent and address family violence and its health impacts by delivering, testing and supporting diverse health promotion programs and interventions that are tailored to the needs of those who have experienced, are experiencing, or are at-risk of experiencing family violence.

This Call for Proposals is a two-step process. The first step is the submission of a LOI, which provides an overview of the proposed project. Applicants whose LOIs best fit the objectives of this funding opportunity will be invited to move on to the second step by submitting a full proposal.

LOIs must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on January 27, 2021.

Applications must be submitted using PHAC’s Preventing and Addressing Family Violence LOI Template. To obtain a copy of the LOI Template, please contact: phac.chpv-pscv.aspc@canada.ca with the subject line “LOI Preventing and Addressing Family Violence”.

Section 1 – Overview

Family violence is any form of abuse or neglect that a child or adult experiences from a family member, or from someone with whom they have or had an intimate relationship (including relationships with a person in a position of trust). There are many forms of violence, including physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse, or neglect. It includes intimate partner violence (sometimes referred to as domestic violence), child maltreatment, and elder abuse. It can include violence from a current or former spouse or dating partner.

Family violence is a serious public health issue, with impacts on individuals, families and communities. Violence in relationships is often repeated or ongoing and can cause complex trauma. The effects of family violence on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health can persist throughout the life course, and can affect future generations.

Family violence touches all types of families in all parts of Canada. However, some families and communities are disproportionately affected by family violence.

Colonization, racism and the Indian Residential School system have had devastating effects on First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada, and laid the foundation for intergenerational cycles of violence. Other populations, including LGBTQ2+ people, persons with disabilities, and those living in northern, rural and remote areas, also experience higher rates of family violence, and have access to fewer supports and services.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children, families and seniors have been at increased risk of family violence as families have faced economic and emotional stress; children and families have quarantined in home environments that are not always safe; and community contacts and supports have diminished. There is a need to explore and determine new ways to reach populations affected by family violence in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to deliver programs and interventions in safe and trauma- and violence-informed ways.

Health promotion is the process of enabling individuals, families and communities to increase control over and improve their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing. Health promotion programs and interventions can help prevent family violence by fostering skills and behaviours for healthy and safe relationships. They can support survivors by equipping them with knowledge, abilities and supportive environments to reclaim and sustain their health and wellbeing.

Section 2 – Objectives of this funding opportunity

Through this funding opportunity, PHAC aims to increase the evidence-base and uptake of health promotion programs and interventions that are effective in preventing and addressing family violence and its health impacts. Projects will use trauma and violence-informed approaches that are tailored to the needs of those who have experienced, are experiencing, or are at-risk of experiencing family violence. Projects funded through this opportunity must contribute to the evidence-base of “what works” to prevent and address family violence and support the health of survivors. Projects must also support scale up and sustainability of approaches that are shown to be effective.

Types of programs or interventions

Projects should implement a health promotion program or intervention aiming to:

Types of project activities

Each project must implement, and build the evidence-base through intervention research, a relevant health promotion program or intervention to prevent or address family violence. The program or intervention may be:

All projects must take the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and response efforts into consideration, proposing adaptations or new approaches where relevant.

All projects must integrate knowledge mobilization activities to share and exchange evidence-based learning about effective approaches.

Projects must also include strategies to support the future sustainability, and the potential for scale up of programs or interventions, should they be shown to be effective.

Ineligible programs, interventions or activities

This funding opportunity focuses on family violence. Projects that aim to prevent or address other forms of violence, such as violence in institutions, gang violence, or suicide and self-harm, will not be supported.

Projects that propose to deliver primary care services, including treatment, therapy or individual counselling, will not be supported.

This opportunity provides time-limited funding for project-based activities. Projects that seek core funding for ongoing operations or standalone activities will not be supported.

Section 3 – Who can apply

The following types of Canadian organizations are eligible to apply funding:

Special consideration for populations disproportionately affected

While this Call for Proposals is open to projects addressing any form of family violence in any population in Canada, PHAC is committed to promoting equity and reducing health disparities. Special consideration will be given to proposals for projects that demonstrate strong relationships with First Nations, Inuit and Métis; LGBTQ2+ people; persons with disabilities; and other groups who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and who are disproportionately affected by family violence.

Projects working with First Nations, Inuit or Métis populations

PHAC recognizes the importance of supporting Indigenous-led programming and research. Projects reaching First Nations, Inuit or Métis populations as a primary audience should be led by Indigenous organizations or research teams, or by organizations or research teams that provide evidence of meaningful and culturally safe collaboration with First Nations, Inuit or Métis communities.

Applicant capacity requirements

Applicants to this funding opportunity, together with their collaborators, should have the necessary experience and knowledge to deliver the project successfully. Capacity requirements include:

Applicants are required to establish collaborative relationships to bring the necessary capacity to the project. For example, a service delivery organization might collaborate with a research partner to integrate both programming and research capacity. Collaboration is required from the proposal development stage through to implementation of the project, if funded.

Section 4 – Key requirements

Projects supported through this funding opportunity must incorporate the following key requirements.

Evidence-based

This funding opportunity aims to increase the knowledge and uptake of programs and interventions that are rooted in evidence. Applicants must provide evidence of the effectiveness of the program or intervention, and/or propose a plan to measure the effectiveness through intervention research. Various research designs may be used to develop or demonstrate evidence. This can include research methodologies used by First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and can include traditional Indigenous ways of knowing.

Health equity

This funding opportunity aims to promote health equity by reducing disparities in health outcomes among population groups in Canada. Applicants must demonstrate understanding and consideration of the disproportionate effects of family violence among population groups in Canada. For example, applying a health equity lens would recognize and respond to differences based on sex and gender, ethnic/cultural backgrounds, migration histories, geographic locations, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status.

Trauma-and violence-informed

Trauma- and violence-informed practice is built on the knowledge and understanding of the impacts of trauma and violence on people’s lives and health. It addresses the effects of historical, intergenerational and ongoing trauma, as well as structural and interpersonal violence, that people have experienced as a result of political processes and systemic violence, such as colonization and cultural oppression. The approach requires programs and interventions to integrate this knowledge into all aspects of practice and programming in ways that foster safety, respect and empowerment. Applicants must describe the ways in which the design, implementation and evaluation of the proposed project, including intervention research methods, are trauma- and violence-informed.

Multi-level and multi-sectoral collaboration

Preventing and addressing family violence is complex and requires collaboration across multiple levels and sectors. Applicants should include plans for multi-level and multi-sectoral collaboration. This may include project activities that engage individual, family, and community and system levels; and activities that involve collaborators both within and outside the health sector, including researchers, health and social service providers, policy makers, educators, police and justice, etc.

Cultural safety

Promoting and improving cultural safety involves the understanding of social, political and historical contexts to design policy, research and practice that are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually safe. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of cultural factors relevant to their project, and integrate cultural safety into the proposed project’s design, implementation and evaluation, including intervention research methods.

Section 5 – Funding amount and duration

The value of funding per project is a minimum of $100,000 annually. There is no maximum budget per project. PHAC anticipates supporting up to 30 projects with an envelope of up to $6 million per year.

Projects can be a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years in duration. 

Applicants will be assessed on their ability to leverage in-kind and financial contributions that will contribute to the project’s development, implementation and associated research. A specific matched funding ratio is not required. Applicants will be required to demonstrate that these contributions are secured if invited to submit a full proposal.

Section 6 – Application process

This Call for Proposals is a two-step process. The first step is the submission of a LOI, which provides an overview of the proposed project. Applicants whose LOIs best fit the intent of this funding opportunity will be invited to move on to the second step by submitting a full proposal. Applicants with ineligible, incomplete or unsuccessful LOIs will not be invited to submit a full proposal.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on January 27, 2021 using PHAC’s Preventing and Addressing Family Violence LOI Template. To obtain a copy of the LOI Template, please contact: phac.chpv-pscv.aspc@canada.ca with the subject line “LOI Preventing and Addressing Family Violence”.

It is anticipated that projects funded through this Call for Proposals would begin in fall 2021. Please note that timelines are subject to change.

Section 7: Other considerations

Official language requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada (i.e., Francophones living outside the province of Quebec and Anglophones living in the province of Quebec) by supporting and assisting their development and fostering the full recognition and use of both official languages in Canadian society. Projects must be accessible in one or both official languages depending on the reach and audience. For additional information, consult the Official Languages Act.

Gender-based analysis requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). GBA+ incorporates consideration of gender as well as other identity factors such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income in the development of policies and programs. Applicants are expected to incorporate these considerations into their LOI submission. For additional information regarding GBA+, consult Women and Gender Equality Canada’s website.

Research ethics

Applicants must ensure that their research protocol is consistent with the principles set out in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS). If funded, projects must also have their research protocol approved by a research ethics board that adheres to the TCPS. If projects are unable to access a research ethics board compliant with the TCPS, they can apply through the Health Portfolio's research ethics board.

Ownership of research and data

Funding recipients and/or their community partners will retain ownership and control over data and research produced, and will be responsible for publishing, disseminating and mobilizing knowledge developed through funded projects.

Section 8: Contact us

To obtain additional information about this funding opportunity, please contact: phac.chpv-pscv.aspc@canada.ca, with the subject line “Preventing and Addressing Family Violence”.

Glossary of terms

Child maltreatment refers to any form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or neglect against children 18 years old and younger. It also includes exposure to intimate partner violence whether through direct witnessing or indirect knowledge.

Elder abuse (sometimes referred to as the mistreatment of older adults) refers to any form of physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse, or neglect against an older adult by someone in a relationship of trust. For the purpose of this funding opportunity, the focus is on elder abuse in the context of family violence.

Family violence is any form of abuse or neglect that a child or adult experiences from a family member, or from someone with whom they have or had an intimate relationship. It includes intimate partner violence (sometimes referred to as domestic violence), child maltreatment, and elder abuse. It can include violence from a current or former spouse or dating partner.

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health (it is distinct from health care or treatment of an illness or injury). A health promotion program or intervention aims to create supportive environments and provide programming that help people develop skills, knowledge and resilience to improve and maintain their physical and/or mental health.

Intervention research is the use of scientific methods to understand and identify “what works”, for whom and in which settings. It can include qualitative and quantitative measures, as well as research methodologies used by First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Intervention research requires planning and delivering a program or intervention with research questions in mind, and should be incorporated into a project from the outset. Researchers should be part of the project team from the proposal development stage through to implementation of the project, if funded. Research questions may measure and assess changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviours, and/or health outcomes.

Intimate partner violence (sometimes referred to as domestic violence) refers to any form of physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse by a current or former partner or spouse. It can also include coercive and control behaviour.  

Knowledge mobilization is the reciprocal flow and uptake of research knowledge between researchers and knowledge users, in such a way that it can be put into active use and have positive impacts in policy and practice.

Ongoing operations refer to the organization’s core activities that are not directly related to the funded project.

Programs and interventions are a set of actions and practical strategies that aim to bring about positive changes in individuals, communities, organizations, or systems in a way that produces identifiable and measurable outcomes. For the purpose of this funding opportunity, the terms are used interchangeably.

The scaling up of effective programs and interventions refers to sustained and increased impact. Scale up of a program or intervention may include reproducing and implementing in a new environment, integrating into a system (e.g. school boards or health systems), or adapting for new audiences or populations.

Activities are considered standalone when there is no program intervention with a project audience. Examples include conferences, symposia, and workshops, audio visual production or website/smartphone application development and maintenance, when not part of a health promotion program or intervention.

Sustainability refers to the ability for activities to continue over time. For the purpose of this funding opportunity, sustainability may take different forms, such as sustaining knowledge, sustaining the effective delivery of programs, sustained collaboration or impact, or sustained funding for ongoing delivery.

Trauma is both the experience of, and a response to, an overwhelmingly negative event or series of events, such as interpersonal violence, personal loss, war or natural disaster. In the context of violence, trauma can be acute (resulting from a single event) or complex (resulting from repeated experiences of interpersonal and/or systemic violence).

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