Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) Evaluation

The CAPC program is evaluated at the national, regional and municipal levels. The evaluations provide information on the development of activities and on their impact on the children and families participating in the CAPC program.

National Evaluation

There are currently 440 CAPC sites delivering programs in more than 3,000 communities across Canada.

Data collected in November 2008 showed that CAPC reached 38,575 children, parents and caregivers over the course of one month.

CAPC sites have demonstrated innovation and expertise in reaching women, children and families who are most at risk. According to the most recent evaluation data:

  • 23 percent of CAPC households have incomes of less than $15,000
  • 54 percent of CAPC households have incomes that are below the low-income cut off published by Statistics Canada
  • 24 percent of CAPC participants were living in lone parent families
  • 26 percent of CAPC parents had not finished high school

CAPC sites have developed partnerships with a wide variety of organizations. On average, CAPC sites have 16 partners for a total of over 6,000 partnerships program-wide. More than 88 percent of sites partner with health organizations, 70 percent with educational institutions, 66 percent with community associations, and 57 percent with early childhood or family resource centres. Over half of CAPC sites partner with child protection services.

The CAPC approach is based on meaningful engagement of participants that is beneficial to the site and to the participants. Participants have been actively involved in program development, management, delivery and evaluation. More than half (55 percent) of sites reported direct participant involvement in decision making and 44 percent reported having participants as members of their advisory boards or committees.

“I got to sit on the board as a parent member. I felt respected by the other board members. This was a very positive experience for me… It helped me to develop confidence and was a fantastic self-esteem booster” – CAPC participant

Communities clearly support the activities of CAPC sites. Between April 1, 2005 and March 31, 2006, CAPC sites reported receiving $21 million in funding from partners and $6.7 million in in-kind donations. CAPC sites also receive volunteer support from both participants and members of the community. Participant volunteers contribute nearly 292,000 hours annually, while community members contribute over 268,000 hours, with a combined value of over $5.2 million.

The evaluation conducted in 2007 confirmed that the design of CAPC reflects a population health approach. Findings have demonstrated that

  • improvement of parenting skills and parent-child relationships was identified by 89 percent of CAPC sites as a main program objective;
  • improved child development (75 percent), decreased social isolation (74 percent) and increased self-esteem (59 percent) were also cited as objectives of CAPC programming; and
  • almost three-quarters of sites (72 percent) reported child-focused activities, such as pre-school programs and play groups as the main method of program delivery.

“My participation in the program has made me a better mother because I get a chance to relax, socialize and learn new skills” – CAPC participant

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