Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Administration on Children, Youth, & Families
 
Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System
HHS-2010-ACF-ACYF-CO-0012
Application Due Date: 08/02/2010

 

Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System
HHS-2010-ACF-ACYF-CO-0012
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview
Executive Summary
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
  2. Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - (if applicable)
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
  1. Address to Request Application Package
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. Funding Restrictions
  6. Other Submission Requirements
Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting
Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
Section VIII. Other Information

header icon
Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System
HHS-2010-ACF-ACYF-CO-0012
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | Validate & Approve
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children & Families
 
Program Office:Administration on Children, Youth, & Families - Children's Bureau
Funding Opportunity Title:Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2010-ACF-ACYF-CO-0012
CFDA Number:93.652
Due Date for Applications: 08/02/2010
Executive Summary:

The purpose of this announcement is to fund, by awarding cooperative agreements, comprehensive multi-faceted diligent recruitment programs for a range of resource families for children in foster care, including kinship, foster, concurrent, and adoptive families. Funded projects will: 

1.    Implement comprehensive multi-faceted diligent recruitment programs for resource families, including kinship, foster, concurrent, and adoptive families for children and youth served by public child welfare agencies as a means of improving permanency outcomes;

2.    Integrate the diligent recruitment program with other agency programs, including foster care case planning and permanency planning processes, to facilitate active concurrent planning activities;  

3.    Demonstrate the capacity to use this project as a transformative platform for improved system response to permanency, incorporating in changes at the policy and practice levels and embracing a philosophy of permanency beginning at the entry in the child welfare system;

4.    Evaluate the implementation of the comprehensive diligent recruitment programs to document processes and potential linkages between diligent recruitment and improved outcomes; and

5.    Develop identifiable sites that other States/locales seeking to implement improved diligent recruitment methods can look to for guidance, insight, and possible replication. 

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

The legislative authority is the Adoption Opportunities Program, section 203 (42 USC 5113) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act of 1978, (Public Law (P.L.) 95-266), as amended by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-36).

Description

Purpose

The purpose of this announcement is to fund, by awarding cooperative agreements, multi-faceted diligent recruitment programs for a range of resource families for children in foster care, including kinship, foster, concurrent, and adoptive families. Funded projects will:  

  1. Implement comprehensive multi-faceted diligent recruitment programs for resource families, including kinship, foster, concurrent and adoptive families for children and youth served by public child welfare agencies as a means of improving permanency outcomes;
  2. Integrate the diligent recruitment program with other agency programs, including foster care case planning and permanency planning processes, to facilitate active concurrent planning activities;
  3. Evaluatethe implementation of the comprehensive diligent recruitment programs to document processes and potential linkages between diligent recruitment and improved outcomes; and
  4. Develop identifiable sites that other States/locales seeking to implement improved diligent recruitment methods can look to for guidance, insight, and possible replication.

Background

The Adoption Opportunities program provides discretionary funds for projects designed to eliminate barriers to adoption and help find permanent families for children who would benefit from adoption, particularly children with special needs.

The major program areas, as mandated by the legislation, are:

  1. The development and implementation of a national adoption and foster care data gathering and analysis system;
  2. The development and implementation of a national adoption information exchange system;
  3. The development and implementation of an adoption training and technical assistance program;
  4. Increasing the placements in adoptive families for children of color who are in the foster care system and have the goal of adoption, with a special emphasis on recruitment of families of color who are from communities representative of the children in care;
  5. Post-finalization adoption services for families who have adopted children with special needs, including day treatment and respite care;
  6. Support the placement of children in kinship care arrangements, pre-adoptive, or adoptive homes;
  7. Study the efficacy of State contracting with public and private agencies (including community-based and other organizations);
  8. Increase the number of older children adopted from foster care, emphasizing several child specific recruitment strategies, including media campaigns to inform the public of the needs of older children available for adoption; training personnel in older children's needs; recruiting families to adopt older children; and educating families on adoption and attachment issues, particularly issues with older children;
  9. Improve efforts to eliminate inter-jurisdictional adoption barriers;
  10. Study the manner in which interstate placements are financed; best practice recommendations for inter and intrastate adoptions; and how State definitions of special needs differentiate and/or group similar categories of children; and
  11. Research adoption outcomes and factors that affect these outcomes.

The Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994, as amended, prohibits the delay or denial of any adoption or placement in foster care due to the race, color, or national origin of the child or the foster or adoptive parents. It also requires States to provide for diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families who reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children for whom homes are needed. Section 1808 of P.L.104-188 affirms the prohibition against delaying or denying the placement of a child for adoption or foster care on the basis of race, color, or national origin of the foster or adoptive parents of the child involved [42 U.S.C 1996b]. To meet MEPA's diligent efforts requirements, States must have a comprehensive plan that includes:

  1. A description of the characteristics of waiting children;
  2. Specific strategies to reach all parts of the community;
  3. Diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information;
  4. Strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community;
  5. Strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities;
  6. Strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers;
  7. Non-discriminatory fee structures; and
  8. Procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must ensure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

State agencies are required to submit a five-year comprehensive Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) which outlines initiatives and activities the State, Tribe, or Territory will carry out in administering programs and services to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families. In the CFSP, the State must describe its plan for the diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families that reflects the ethnic and racial diversity of children in the State for whom foster and adoptive homes are needed. In the Annual Services and Progress Report (http://basis.caliber.com/cwig/ws/cwmd/docs/cb_web/SearchForm), the State must describe the State's progress and accomplishments made in the past fiscal year with regard to the diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families who reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children in the State for whom foster and adoptive homes are needed as well as explain planned activities for recruiting foster and adoptive families in the coming year.

MEPA was intended to reduce the length of time that some children waited for adoptive placement and to facilitate the expedient selection of a home which could provide for the child's long-term needs for family connections and relationships. As with the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, there was an emphasis on the child's need to achieve permanency as quickly as reasonably possible to reduce the trauma of the uncertainty of foster care placement. However, continued monitoring of permanency achievement in States indicates that further efforts are required to reduce the length of time that children await a permanent family. 

In March 2004, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) completed the initial Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In these reviews, no State achieved substantial conformity on the outcome that evaluates the timely achievement of permanency goals for children in foster care. On the performance indicator which addresses stability of foster care placements (Item 6), a scarcity of appropriate placement resources, particularly for children with special care needs or severe behavior problems, was noted in 19 States. On the performance indicator which addresses adoption (Item 9), only six States performed satisfactorily. In 17 States, a contributing factor was a lack of consistency in conducting adoptive home studies or completing adoption related paperwork in a timely manner. In 14 States, a shortage of foster homes was identified, particularly for:

  • Adolescents;
  • Juvenile sex offenders;
  • Children with disabilities or other physical care needs; and
  • Large sibling groups.

In 22 States, a need for more culturally diverse homes (e.g., Native American, African American, and Hispanic) was identified. Finally, findings related to the systemic factors identified that 30 States had no formal process for analyzing the characteristics of the children in foster care in order to formulate a diligent recruitment plan with specific strategies for different communities based on the demographics of the children in foster care from that community. All of these findings support the need to develop more effective programs in support of placing children and youth with families who can provide permanent family connections.    

Projects funded under this priority area will be expected to coordinate with the State's CFSP. Additionally, projects will be expected to coordinate with the CFSR Program Improvement Plan (PIP) if related permanency issues and/or the diligent recruitment of resource families is an area needing improvement. It is expected that States may find coordination with the CFSR PIP to be beneficial in addressing strategies to improve permanency outcomes.

Based on Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data available, there were 463,000 children in foster care on the last day of FY 2008. The average age of these children was 10 years old and they had been in care for an average of 27 months. Over half (53 percent) were males. African-American non-Hispanic children comprised 31 percent of the population of children in foster care, white non-Hispanic children comprised 40 percent, and Hispanic children comprised 20 percent. 

These data also show that there were 123,000 children waiting to be adopted on the last day of FY 2008. On average, they were eight years old and had been in foster care for an average of 38 months. Over half (53 percent) were males. African-American non-Hispanic children comprised 30 percent of the population of children waiting to be adopted, white non-Hispanic children comprised 39 percent, and Hispanic children comprised 21 percent.

Of the 55,000 children and youth adopted in 2008, 54 percent of the adoptions were by foster parents and 31 percent were by relatives. The percentage of children who are placed for adoption dramatically decreases as the child ages. Children who are nine and over account for 42 percent of the population of waiting children, yet they comprise only 26 percent of adoptions.

While these data provide a limited description of the characteristics of children needing placement resources at the national level, recipients of these awards are expected to complete a thorough and far more detailed analysis of data on the characteristics of these populations in their jurisdictions. This analysis will guide the design of strategies to be used to develop a pool of potential families as placement resources that will meet the needs of the children in care.

Research has shown that barriers to permanency include inappropriate placements, poorly selected and improperly trained foster parents, and caseworkers failing to address permanency issues early and consistently in case planning. The AFCARS data above documents that foster parents and relatives most frequently become the adoptive families for children and youth.

A question needing further exploration is whether current procedures for case planning and permanency planning can be revised to support an increased use of relatives (both paternal and maternal) and foster parents as permanent placements for children and youth. Adoption Opportunity projects recently funded by the Children's Bureau (CB) are exploring the effectiveness of open adoption models for youth who wish to maintain contact with their families. This allows them to achieve the security of a legal family relationship in adoption while maintaining personally valued family ties. Early findings seem to indicate that using the open adoption model assists youth who would not otherwise be willing to consider adoption to move successfully into finalized adoptions.

Projects funded under this program announcement will be expected to collaborate with CB National Adoption Recruitment Campaign and the fulfillment activities conducted by AdoptUsKids. In an effort to assist States in finding homes for older children in foster care, CB, in partnership with the Ad Council and AdoptUsKids, launched the first national public service announcement (PSA) campaign for the adoption of children from foster care in July 2004. This campaign was focused on recruiting families for children over the age of eight. CB continues to contract with the Ad Council for the development of the multi-media recruitment campaign, which includes both Spanish and English language PSAs for print, radio, and television media. Through a cooperative agreement with CB, AdoptUsKids provides the fulfillment activities for the campaign, including a toll-free telephone number answered in both English and Spanish for families interested in foster care or adoption. It also operates www.adoptuskids.org, with information about adoption and foster care and photo listings of specific children waiting for adoption.

AdoptUsKids also provides training and technical assistance to States and Tribes to support them in the development and implementation of diligent recruitment strategies. The "Answering the Call" series of guidebooks can be found at: http://www.adoptuskids.org/resourceCenter/atcPublications.aspx. These guidebooks are designed to support States and local agencies in developing and implementing multi-dimensional diligent recruitment strategies. 

A large number of children and youth ages nine and older who are awaiting families are ultimately not placed in adoptive homes. This points to the need for the foster care and adoption community to question the strategies and models of current permanency planning programs as well as current diligent recruitment and training programs and strategies.

Although the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 authorized the use of concurrent planning, the movement towards full utilization of this technique had been slow, inconsistent, and at times piecemeal. True concurrent planning provides for procedures which support staff and families in actively moving toward two or more permanency plans simultaneously. The support for active concurrent planning required from the agency and collaborating agencies includes training, policy, leadership, a practice model, and resources, including dual-licensed or concurrent families.

Diligent recruitment should not be viewed as a separate system. Rather, it should be part of the overarching process for achieving permanency from the day that a child or youth enters care. The analysis of the children's characteristics should take into account the larger percentage of older children who are not expediently placed in permanent homes by current foster care and adoption programs. This information can be used to specifically recruit resource families who are willing to be dual-licensed to both foster and adopt and who are trained to act as concurrent homes, supporting the achievement of at least two permanency plans. Families, whether relatives or others having existing relationships with youth, should be contacted and included in the permanency planning process early and on an ongoing basis during the child's time in care. That way they can develop a community of support for the child or youth in moving into a family setting which will become the youth's new permanent home if reunification cannot be achieved. The expertise of adoption programs can assist foster care case planning staff early in the case by helping to assess families' commitment to the child or youth and preparing foster families or relatives for the long-term legal commitment of adoption via effective training and support programs.  

There is a need to design and implement models of diligent recruitment for kinship, foster, and adoptive families to improve permanency outcomes for children and youth in foster care and to meet the diligent recruitment requirements of MEPA. These models must be multi-faceted and recognize that permanency efforts should begin when a child first enters care. Options for permanency should include the early and continued exploration of kin, including both paternal and maternal family members, foster and adoptive families who can provide for children concurrent planning placements, as well as thorough exploration of youth's existing and past relationships in order to find those willing to build commitment to become adoptive parents or enter into some type of permanent relationship with the child. Projects under this program announcement will be expected to meet the diligent recruitment provisions of MEPA. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide information to potential resource families throughout the community about the characteristics and needs of the available children; the nature of kinship care, foster care, and adoption processes; and supports available to kinship, foster, and adoptive families. This includes the provision of information to the community of natural relationships such as, but not limited to, teachers, mentors, coaches, parents of friends, communities, and extended family members.

Effective models to recruit kinship, foster, and adoptive parents must be multidimensional. General, targeted, and child-specific recruitment efforts should all be included. Child-specific recruitment efforts should be broadly viewed to include specific family and relationship exploration to work with youth to identify and develop existing relationships and nurture them into long-term connections and even possible permanent legal placements for the youth. The funded projects will collaborate and partner with groups from the communities representative of those groups from which children in care come, to help identify and support potential resource families and to conduct activities that make the waiting children more visible. The target population for this project includes any children or youth in public foster care systems.

 

Working with Other CB Discretionary Grant Projects

CB currently funds approximately 300 discretionary grants projects in over 50 different program areas. Through their work with a broad spectrum of populations within the child welfare arena, discretionary grantees develop a wealth of knowledge across numerous program areas. The findings from these programs can be useful in informing the field. Specifically, CB has addressed the important issues related to diligent recruitment, including various formulas and issues surrounding discretionary grants. Applicants are strongly encouraged to utilize the knowledge being developed by CB discretionary research and demonstration projects and other related Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) activities when developing proposals in response to this funding announcement. For more information on CB discretionary grant programs, please see http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/index.htm#disc and http//basis.caliber.com/cbgrants/ws/library/docs/cb_grants/GrantHome.

 

Specific Tasks to be Performed by these Projects During the Planning and Implementation Phases

In their applications for funding under this Program Announcement, applicants must propose a design that clearly and concisely describes a strategy for a 12-month strategy development phase (Phase I) for the development of the project as well as a 48-month implementation phase (Phase II). In Phase II, the projects will implement the plans that were proposed in their applications and fine-tuned during the first year of the project.

Applicants are required to describe in detail how they will address all the planning and implementation requirements described in this program announcement.

Plan for Phase I (Strategy Development)

During the initial year, projects will be refining their proposed plan for meeting the requirements and accomplishing the goals described in this Program Announcement. Additionally, they will be actively working on program development and implementation issues so that the revisions to practice can begin implementation at the beginning of Year Two. The initial year will provide time to fine-tune the proposed strategies and put in place infrastructure to carry out the plan, subject to CB approval. Phase I could also be called a strategy development or planning phase.

In their proposals, applicants must present a "Phase I" plan that describes how they would address each of these planning components; and how they would address issues at the policy, procedure and practice levels to ensure systematic impact:

  • Description of the characteristics of children in care utilizing information and analysis of AFCARS data and other data available to the State, Region, or County;
  • Complete a projection of the types of foster, concurrent, and permanent families who may be needed, based on current case trends for different characteristics of children and youth;
  • Assess the current pool of available foster, concurrent, and adoptive placement resources;
  • Analyze barriers presented by the agency or current processes in order to increase the rate of retention of prospective foster, concurrent, or adoptive families and to reduce the dropout rates;
  • Explore barriers and identify possible strengths of the agency in support of the dual licensure of foster and adoptive homes;
  • Develop or enhance collaborations and public-private partnerships that reflect the communities where the children in care come from;
  • Identify or develop training for staff to engage effectively with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities who are reflective of the children and youth in foster care;
  • Identify or develop training to prospective foster and adoptive parents regarding the characteristics, needs, and issues of children who have experienced trauma and removal as well as adoption clinical issues;
  • Explore barriers and identify possible strengths of the agency in working with families, youth, and possible placement resources on active concurrent plans;
  • Explore barriers and identify possible strengths of the agency in utilizing a "customer service" model in collaboration with AdoptUsKids in responding to kin as well as prospective foster or adoptive parents;
  • Assessment of agencies and community-based organizations which can provide services (including foster care, adoption, and family finding facilities and programs) in a family-centered model of active concurrent planning with families involved in the child welfare system and development of strategies to improve performance if necessary; and
  • Develop a plan to be implemented by the project in years 2-5. This is the "Phase II- Version A" plan.

Applicants must describe the approach and processes that they would use to develop the "Phase II- Version A" implementation plan and address anticipated logistical and administrative issues.

Plan for Phase II - Version A: Implementation

During the strategy development year (Phase I), the projects must develop and submit a "Phase II - Version A" implementation plan. This plan will build on the work done and the knowledge gained during the initial year.

Applications in response to this program announcement must explain in detail the proposed project activities that they anticipate implementing during years 2-5. Applicants must submit a preliminary design for a proposed "Phase II - Version A" in their application for funds under this program announcement. This proposed design must present a clear and comprehensive vision of how the proposed project would operate, what it would accomplish, how it would be evaluated, and how project findings would be disseminated.

Once funded, projects will have considerable flexibility in making revisions and developing a strategy based on their work and knowledge gained during "Phase I", subject to CB approval.

The actual "Phase II - Version A" plan is due to CB nine months after the award of the cooperative agreement and must include, among other things, the strategies listed below. This "Phase II- Version A" plan is to include implementation of all the following comprehensive multi-faceted diligent recruitment and retention strategies. Applicants should propose a plan for a project that would implement each of these strategies, with a goal of increasing placement options for children in foster care: 

  • Procedures for consistently updating the characteristics of children in care utilizing information and analysis of AFCARS data and other data available to the State, Region, or County;
  • Procedures for ongoing analysis of the current pool of available foster, concurrent, and adoptive placement resources;
  • Collaboration and public-private partnerships with groups representative of the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential kinship, foster, concurrent, and adoptive families;
  • General, targeted, and child-specific recruitment, including relationship mining for youth, to meet placement needs of children in care; 
  • Recruitment and development of homes, including relative homes, who can provide placement as a part of concurrent planning for the child;
  • Recruitment and development of homes for siblings in care to be placed together or reunited when they have been separated in care;
  • Ensuring that all prospective parents, including relatives and people who have important existing relationships with youth in care, have access to the home study process, including foster, concurrent, and adoptive parent training at a local or community level and that the home studies are initiated and completed in a timely manner;
  • Utilizing a "customer service" model in collaboration with AdoptUsKids responding to kin as well as prospective foster, concurrent, and adoptive families and to reduce the dropout rates;
  • Addressing barriers presented by the agency or processes in order to increase the rate of retention of prospective foster, concurrent, and adoptive families and to reduce the dropout rates;
  • Training staff to engage effectively with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities who are reflective of  the children and youth in foster care;
  • Providing training to prospective foster and adoptive parents regarding the characteristics, needs, and issues of children who have experienced trauma and removal as well as adoption clinical issues;
  • Dealing with linguistic barriers;
  • Ensuring a non-discriminatory fee structure, including the use of purchase of service arrangements with public and private agencies (including community-based and other organizations) when necessary to facilitate and support placement;
  • Dual licensure of foster and adoptive homes; 
  • Working with families, youth, and possible placement resources on active concurrent plans;
  • Collaboration and coordination with CB's National Adoption Recruitment Campaign and the fulfillment of activities conducted by AdoptUsKids;
  • Timely search for prospective parents for children in care, including strategies for locating relatives (both maternal and paternal), mining existing relationships of youth, and eliminating barriers to the interjurisdictional placement of children, including the use of adoption exchanges, including www.AdoptUsKids.org and/or regional or local exchanges as well as the establishment of procedures and processes to facilitate interjurisdictional placements and payment mechanisms; 
  • Collaboration with agencies and community-based organizations that can provide services (including foster care, adoption, and family finding facilities and programs) in a family-centered model of active concurrent planning with families involved in the child welfare system and implementation of strategies to improve performance if necessary;
  • Development of plans to address legal issues related to the effective judicial support of early and continuous family finding and relationship mining as one aspect of child specific recruitment for foster, concurrent, and adoptive homes;
  • Development of strategies to move the program towards a philosophy of working on permanency from the first day that children enter the child welfare system, including revision of policy, procedures, and practice models that do not support that philosophy; and
  • Training strategies for staff and community partners.

Plan for Phase II - Version B: Implementation

Nine months after the award of the cooperative agreement, each project will submit a written description of its "Phase II-Version A" implementation plan to CB staff in Washington, D.C.

One month after feedback is received from CB, the project must submit a revised implementation work plan "Phase II - Version B" incorporating the recommendations of CB staff. CB will review these plans and they must be approved by CB before they can be implemented.

Travel for Conferences and Presentations

Within two to four months after the award of the 12-month planning phase of the cooperative agreement, the project directors must attend a one-day work planning meeting in Washington, D.C., with the Federal Project Officer (FPO) and other CB staff for the purpose of discussing details of the project work plan and cooperative agreement.

Additionally, 10 months after the award of the cooperative agreements, the projects may be requested to make an oral presentation to CB staff in Washington, D.C., describing and defending their plans for the "Phase II - Version A" implementation. Applicants are advised to propose sending three project staff members to make the presentation, including the project director, the evaluator, and one other key partner.

The proposed project budget should include funding for these two meetings, as well as funding for the meetings described in the Project Requirements section (below).

Evaluation

CB requires a rigorous, objective evaluation of the project. Projects funded under this announcement must collect descriptive data on characteristics of individuals and families served, types and nature of needs identified and met, the services provided, measures of client outcomes, child development and well-being, client satisfaction, parenting skills, parent/child interaction, cost benefit, service utilization, and any other such information as may be required by CB.

This evaluation should be designed to collect systematic data to answer questions such as the following:

  • By what percentages have the racial and ethnic distribution of approved foster homes changed to more closely mirror the racial and ethnic distribution of children and youth in foster care?
  • By what percentages have the racial and ethnic distribution of approved adoptive homes either awaiting placement of a child or awaiting finalization changed to more closely mirror the racial and ethnic distribution of children and youth in foster care awaiting adoptive placement?
  • Does the racial and ethnic distribution of approved foster homes in local jurisdictions more closely mirror the racial and ethnic distribution of children in youth in foster care in that jurisdiction?
  • By what percentage has the number of dual licensed homes increased?
  • By what percentage has the number of placements with relatives increased?
  • By what percentage has the length of time in care been reduced for children leaving foster care to a permanent placement?
  • By what percentage has the number of children and youth leaving foster care to a permanent home increased?
  • What percentage of families inquiring about relative care, foster, concurrent, or adoptive licensure received a return call within five working days, and by what percentage has this increased?
  • What was the average length of time for home study approval of families inquiring about relative care or foster, concurrent, and adoptive licensure from the time of inquiry, and by what percentage has this decreased?
  • What was the average length of time to placement of a child or youth for families approved for relative care or foster, concurrent, and adoptive licensure from the date of the home study approval, and by what percentage has this decreased?

The proposed evaluation plan should measure the effects of the implementation of the proposed project on safety, permanency, and well-being. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the data indicators measured in the CFSRs in identifying the outcomes they want to measure. It would be desirable for the findings from these projects' evaluations to provide States with examples of strategies that are tied to positive outcomes for children and families. One way to accomplish this would be for the projects' evaluation plans to use performance indicators equivalent to appropriate items of the CFSR On-Site Review Instrument (OSRI) http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/tools_guide/onsitefinal.pdf. Alternatively, projects could use their State's quality assurance system modeled on these items. The proposed evaluation plan should yield data that can be compared to, and contrasted with, regional, State and national level CFSR data. 

Demonstration Projects

Activities funded under this funding opportunity announcement are demonstration projects. At CB, a demonstration project is one that puts into place and tests new, unique, or distinctive approaches for delivering services to a specific population.

Demonstration projects may test whether a program or service that has proven successful in one location or setting can work in a different context. Demonstration projects may test a theory, idea, or method that reflects a new and different way of thinking about service delivery. Demonstration projects may be designed to address the needs of a very specific group of clients or focus on one service component available to all clients. The scope of these projects may be broad and comprehensive or narrow and targeted to specific populations. A demonstration project must:

  • Develop and implement an evidence-based model with specific components or strategies that are based on theory, research, or evaluation data; or replicate or test the transferability of successfully evaluated program models;
  • Determine the effectiveness of the model and its components or strategies using a rigorous evaluation approach; and
  • Produce detailed procedures and materials based on the evaluation that will contribute to and promote evidence-based strategies, practices, and programs that may be used to guide replication or testing in other settings.

ACF will expect grantees to engage in an evaluation of sufficient rigor to demonstrate potential linkages between project activities and improved outcomes. Guided by a logic model for the project, this evaluation will include both process and outcomes evaluation components. The process evaluation will assess the implementation of the project, as well as the linkages between the collaborative partners that will help ensure that identified needs of children and families are met. The outcomes component will use a sufficiently rigorous approach to examine how the approaches used in this demonstration project affect key outcomes of interest. The evidence from the evaluation will support evidence-based practice and provide States with examples of strategies that are tied to positive outcomes for children and families.

Additional Project Requirements

The applicant's signature on the application constitutes its assurance that it will comply with the following requirements:

1.  Have the project fully functioning within 90 days following the notification of the grant award.

2.  Participate if CB chooses to do a national evaluation or a technical assistance contract that relates to this funding announcement.

3.  Submit all performance indicator data, program, evaluation, and financial reports in a timely manner (see Section VI.3). CB prefers and will accept the interim and final reports on disk or electronically using a standard word-processing program; however, grantees are required to provide the original and two copies of performance progress and final reports.

4.  Submit an original and two copies of the final report, the evaluation report, and any program products to CB within 90 days of project end date. 

5.  Allocate sufficient funds in the budget to:

  • Provide for the Project Director, the Evaluator and other key partners to attend an early kickoff meeting for grantees funded under this priority area to be held within the first three months of the project (first year only) in Washington, D.C.; and
  • Provide for the Project Director, the Evaluator and other key partners to attend an annual 3-day grantees' meeting in Washington, D.C.
II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Total Funding: $2,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 5
Award Ceiling: $400,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $0 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $400,000 Per Budget Period

Length of Project Periods:

60-month project with five 12-month budget periods

Additional Information on Awards:

Awards made under this announcement are subject to the availability of Federal funds.

Description of ACF's Anticipated Substantial Involvement Under the Cooperative Agreement

A cooperative agreement is a specific method of awarding Federal assistance in which substantial Federal involvement is anticipated. A cooperative agreement clearly defines the respective responsibilities of CB and the grantee prior to the award. CB anticipates that agency involvement will produce programmatic benefits to the recipient otherwise unavailable to them for carrying out the project. The involvement and collaboration includes: 

  • CB review and approval of planning stages of the activities before implementation phases may begin;
  • CB and recipient joint collaboration in the performance of key programmatic activities (i.e., strategic planning, implementation, information technology enhancements, training and technical assistance (T/TA), publications or products, and evaluation);
  • Close monitoring by CB of the requirements stated in this announcement that limit the grantee's discretion with respect to scope of services offered, organizational structure, and management processes; and
  • Close monitoring by CB during performance which may, in order to ensure compliance with the intent of this funding, exceed those Federal stewardship responsibilities customary for grant activities.

Please see Section IV.5 Funding Restrictions for any restrictions on the use of grant funds awarded under this announcement.

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants
  • State governments
  • County governments

Collaborative efforts are acceptable but applications must identify a primary applicant responsible for administering the cooperative agreement.

Collaborative efforts must include the pertinent State or local child welfare agency(s) as full and active participants in the project. The State and County offices must take a leadership role and must actively participate in the project throughout the entire funding period.

Collaborations may include private agencies, Tribes, faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations, institutions of higher learning, family finding organizations, organizations with relevant experience to one or more of the required strategies, and any combination of the eligible applicants listed. The public child welfare agency must identify and have jurisdiction over the population to be served.

To be eligible to apply as part of collaboration, institutions of higher education must have an accredited social work education program or other accredited bachelor or graduate level programs leading to a degree relevant to work in the child welfare field.

It is critical that, as a group, these projects address the specific issues and challenges associated with implementation in urban and non-urban sites, as well as County-driven systems and State-driven systems. This is especially true in States with very large urban areas that require a great deal of focus in the State's CFSR PIP. Therefore, CB reserves the right to award funding to one urban project and one non-urban project, as well as one project in a State-driven system and one project in a County-driven system, depending upon the applications received. These projects are designed to address geographic diversity across the United States as well. Therefore, CB reserves the right to consider the totality of the annoucements to ensure that geographic representation is considered in the pool of grantees who are awarded.

Partnerships are encouraged, but applications must identify a primary applicant responsible for administering the grant. The primary applicant must be one of the eligible entities listed above. 

Individuals, foreign entities, and sole proprietorship organizations are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.

III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: No
III.3. Other

Disqualification Factors

Applications with requests that exceed the ceiling on the amount of individual awards as stated in Section II. Award Information, will be deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for funding under this announcement.

Applications that fail to satisfy the due date and time deadline requirements stated in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times, will be deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for funding under this announcement. 

See Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times for disqualification information specific to electronically-submitted applications:

  • Electronically-submitted applications that do not receive a date/time-stamp email indicating application submission on or before 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date, will be disqualified and will not be considered for competition.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications that fail the checks and validations at www.Grants.gov because the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) does not have a current registration at the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) at the time of application submission will be disqualified and will not be considered for competition.

 

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at the ACF Forms webpage at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html
Standard Forms are also available at the Grants.gov Forms Repository website at http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/FormLinks?family=15.

 
CB Operations Center
c/o Master Key Consulting
4915 St. Elmo Avenue, Suite 101
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (866) 796-1591
Email: cb@luxcg.com
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

This section provides information on the required format, Standard Forms (SFs) and other forms, certifications, assurances, D-U-N-S requirement, project description, budget and budget justification, and methods of application submission.  A checklist of required application elements is available for applicants' use in Section VIII of this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit one original and two copies of all application materials if applying in hard-copy.  Applicants submitting applications electronically via www.grants.gov need not provide additional copies of their application materials. The original signature of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is required only on the original copy.  The AOR is named by the applicant, and is authorized to act for the applicant, to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to the grant application or awards.  A point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified on the SF-424 at 8f.  This point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.

Each application must contain the following items in the order listed:

Application for Federal Assistance. SF 424, SF-424A and SF-424-B. Follow the instructions that accompany the forms and those in Section IV.2, Application Review Information.

Certifications/Assurances. See Forms, Assurances, and Certifications, below.

Table of Contents. List the major sections of the application, and show the page that each section begins on.

Project Summary/Abstract (one page maximum, double spaced). See Section IV.2, Project Description. Clearly mark this page with the applicant name as shown on SF-424, identify the program announcement and the title of the proposed project as shown on SF-424, and indicate the service area as shown on SF-424. The summary description should not exceed 300 words.

Care should be taken to produce a summary/abstract that accurately and concisely reflects the proposed project.

The Project Description. Applicants should organize their project description in this sequence: 1) Objectives and Need for Assistance; 2) Approach; 3) Evaluation; 4) Organizational Profiles; and 5) Budget and Budget Justification.  

Budget and Budget Justification. Provide a budget with line-item detail and detailed calculations for each budget object class identified on the Budget Information Form (SF-424A). Detailed calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.

Indirect Charges. If claiming indirect costs, provide documentation that the applicant currently has an indirect cost-rate approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant Federal agency.

Third-Party Agreements. If applicable, include a letter of commitment or Memorandum of Understanding from each partner and/or contractor describing their role, detailing specific project tasks to be performed, and expressing commitment to participate if the proposed project is funded. Note: General letters of support not expressing specific commitments are not required and will not be considered by reviewers under the evaluation criteria.

Staff and Position Data. Include job descriptions and curriculum vitae/resumes for proposed project staff.

Page Limit. The length of the entire application package may be less than, but must not exceed 100 pages. This includes, but is not limited to, all required Federal forms, narrative and attachments.

All pages of the application package must be sequentially numbered, beginning with SF-424 as page one. Each applicant must organize its application in the order listed in this section and number all application pages. Pages will be counted in the order they are submitted in hardcopy and numbered when received electronically.

All pages of each application will be counted to determine total length. All pages exceeding the page limit will be removed and will not be considered in the reviewing process. Applicants are reminded that a cover letter and general letters of support are NOT required and if submitted, they will count towards the page limit.

General Content and Form Information. To be considered for funding, each application must be submitted with the Standard Federal Forms and must follow the guidance provided. The application must be signed by an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency and to assume responsibility for the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the award. The project description must be typed and double-spaced on a single side of 8.5 x 11 inch plain white paper with a least one inch margins on all sides, using black print with 12-point size Times New Roman font.

For charts, budget tables, supplemental letters, and documents, applicants may use a different point size and font, but no less than 10-point size and single spaced.

Applicants that deviate from these format and page limit requirements risk having pages removed from their applications.

All copies of an application must be submitted in a single package.  A separate package must be submitted for each funding opportunity. The package must be clearly labeled for the specific funding opportunity it is addressing.

Because each application will be duplicated, do not use or include separate covers, binders, clips, tabs, plastic inserts, maps, brochures, or any other items that cannot be processed easily on a photocopy machine with an automatic feed. Do not bind, clip, staple, or fasten in any way separate subsections of the application, including supporting documentation. Use a clip (not a staple) to securely bind the application together. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the Federal Government for review.

Tips for Preparing a Competitive Application. It is essential that applicants read the entire announcement package carefully before preparing an application and include all of the required application forms and attachments. The application must reflect a thorough understanding of and support the purpose and objectives of the applicable legislation. Reviewers expect applicants to understand the goals of the legislation and CB's interest in each topic and to address and follow all of the evaluation criteria in ways that demonstrate this understanding. Applications that do not clearly address the evaluation criteria or program requirements generally receive very low scores and are rarely funded.

CB's website (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb) provides a wide range of information and links to other relevant websites. Before preparing an application, applicants can learn more about CB's mission and programs by exploring the website.

Logic Model. A logic model is a tool that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the linkages among program elements. While there are many versions of the logic model, they generally summarize the logical connections among the needs that are the focus of the project, project goals and objectives, the target population, project inputs (resources), the proposed activities/processes/outputs directed toward the target population, the expected short- and long-term outcomes the initiative is designed to achieve, and the evaluation plan for measuring the extent to which proposed processes and outcomes actually occur. Information on the development of logic models is available on the Internet at: www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/developing/toolkit/

Evaluation.  Project evaluations are very important. If the applicant does not have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective, comprehensive evaluation of the project, then CB advises that the applicant contract with a third-party evaluator specializing in social science or evaluation, or a university or college, to conduct the evaluation.  In either case, it is important that the evaluator has the necessary independence from the project to assure objectivity. A skilled evaluator can help develop a logic model and assist in designing an evaluation strategy that is rigorous and appropriate given the goals and objectives of the proposed project. Additional assistance may be found in a document titled "Program Manager's Guide to Evaluation."  A copy of this document can be accessed at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/other_resrch/pm_guide_eval/reports/pmguide/pmguide_toc.html

Protection of Human Subjects.   General information about the HHS Protection of Human Subjects regulations can be obtained at http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/. Applicants may also contact the Office of Human Research Protections by email (ohrp@csophs.dhhs.gov) or by phone (240-453-6900).

Organizing the Application. Reviewers will use the specific evaluation criteria in Section V of this funding announcement to review and evaluate each application. The applicant should address each of these specific evaluation criteria in the project description. Applicants should organize their project description in this sequence: (1) Objectives and Need for Assistance; (2) Approach; (3) Evaluation; (4) Organizational Profiles; and (5) Budget and Budget Justification. The applicant must use the same headings as these criteria, so that reviewers can readily find information that directly addresses each of the specific review criteria. 

Electronic Submission

Applicants that submit their application electronically are advised to be sure that they secure and retain their service ticket number for reference whenever they have any interaction with the Grants.gov Contact Center.

Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

Applicants seeking financial assistance under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications.  All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at ACF Funding Opportunities Forms or at the Grants.gov Forms Repository unless specified otherwise.

Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

SF-P/PSL  - Project/Performance Site Location

Submission required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Submission required of all applicants prior to award.

Required for all applications.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If applicable, submission is required prior to award.

If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the applicant shall complete and submit Standard Form (SF)-LLL, "Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying," in accordance with its instructions.   Applicants must furnish an executed copy of the Certification Regarding Lobbying prior to award.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs

SF-424B - Assurances  - Non-Construction Programs

Submission required for all applicants applying for a non-construction project by the application due date.

Required for all applications.


The Pro-Children Act of 2001, 42 U.S.C. 7181 through 7184, imposes restrictions on smoking in facilities where federally funded children's services are provided. HHS grants are subject to these requirements only if they meet the Act's specified coverage.  The Act specifies that smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library services to children under the age of 18.  In addition, smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility or portion of a facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of federally funded health care, day care, or early childhood development, including Head Start services to children under the age of 18.  The statutory prohibition also applies if such facilities are constructed, operated, or maintained with Federal funds.  The statute does not apply to children's services provided in private residences, facilities funded solely by Medicare or Medicaid funds, portions of facilities used for inpatient drug or alcohol treatment, or facilities where WIC coupons are redeemed.  Failure to comply with the provisions of the law may result in the imposition of a civil monetary penalty of up to $1,000 per violation and/or the imposition of an administrative compliance order on the responsible entity.
 
By signing and submitting the application, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Additional information on certifications and assurances may be found in the HHS Grants Policy Statement at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_related.html.

Non-Federal Reviewers

Since ACF will be using non-Federal reviewers in the review process, applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget as well as Social Security Numbers, if otherwise required for individuals. The copies may include summary salary information. If applicants are submitting their application electronically, ACF will omit the same specific salary rate information from copies made for use during the review and selection process.
 
 

D-U-N-S Requirement

All applicants must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) number.   A D-U-N-S number is required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the Government-wide electronic portal, Grants.gov.   A D-U-N-S number is required for every application for a new award or renewal/continuation of an award, including applications or plans under formula, entitlement, and block grant programs.  A D-U-N-S number may be acquired at no cost online at http://www.dnb.com.  To acquire a D-U-N-S number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center:

U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711
Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1)
Monday - Friday 7 AM to 8 PM C.S.T.

The process to request a D-U-N-S® Number by telephone takes between 5 and 10 minutes.
You will need to provide the following information:

  • Legal Name
  • Tradestyle, Doing Business As (DBA), or other name by which your organization is commonly recognized
  • Physical Address, City, State and Zip Code
  • Mailing Address (if separate)
  • Telephone Number
  • Contact Name
  • SIC Code (Line of Business)
  • Number of Employees at your location
  • Headquarters name and address (if there is a reporting relationship to a parent corporate entity)
  • Is this a home-based business?
IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission (contd.)

The Project Description

Part I: The Project Description Overview

The project description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for available assistance.  The project description should be concise and complete.  It should address the activity for which Federal funds are being requested.  Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly.  In preparing the project description, information that is responsive to each of the requested evaluation criteria must be provided.  Awarding offices use this and other information in making their funding recommendations.   It is important, therefore, that this information be included in the application in a manner that is clear and complete.

 

General Expectations and Instructions

ACF is particularly interested in specific project descriptions that focus on outcomes and convey strategies for achieving intended performance. Project descriptions are evaluated on the basis of substance and measurable outcomes, not length. Extensive exhibits are not required. Cross-referencing should be used rather than repetition. Supporting information concerning activities that will not be directly funded by the grant or information that does not directly pertain to an integral part of the grant-funded activity should be placed in an appendix.

 

Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

Applicants that are required to submit a full project description shall prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria. The topics listed in this section provide a broad overview of what the project description should include while the Criteria in Section V.1 identify the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.

 
Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers.

 
Project Summary/Abstract

Provide a summary of the application's project description.  The summary must be clear, accurate, concise, and without reference to other parts of the application.  The abstract must include a brief description of the proposed grant project including the needs to be addressed, the proposed services, and the population group(s) to be served. 

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

  • Project Title
  • Applicant Name
  • Address
  • Contact Phone Numbers (Voice, Fax)
  • E-Mail Address
  • Web Site Address, if applicable

 The project abstract must be single-spaced and limited to one page in length.

 
Objectives And Need For Assistance

Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution.  The need for assistance including the nature and scope of the problem must be demonstrated, and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly and concisely stated; supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included.  Any relevant data based on planning studies or needs assessments should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes.  Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as needed.  In developing the project description, the applicant may volunteer or be requested to provide information on the total range of projects currently being conducted and supported (or to be initiated), some of which may be outside the scope of the program announcement.

 
Approach

Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished.  Account for all functions or activities identified in the application.  Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reason for taking the proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.

Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished.  Data may be organized and presented as project tasks and subtasks with their corresponding timelines during the project period. For example, each project task could be assigned to a row in the first column of a grid. Then, a unit of time could be assigned to each subsequent column, beginning with the first unit (i.e., week, month, quarter) of the project and ending with the last.  Shading, arrows, or other markings could be used across the applicable grid boxes or cells, representing units of time, to indicate the approximate duration and/or frequency of each task and its start and end dates within the project period.

When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.

Provide a list of organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

 
Evaluation

Provide a narrative addressing how the conduct of the project and its results will be evaluated.  In addressing the evaluation of results, state what measures will be used to determine the extent to which the project has achieved its stated objectives and the extent to which the accomplishment of objectives can be attributed to the project.  Discuss the criteria to be used to evaluate results, and explain the methodology that will be used to determine if the needs identified and discussed are being met and if the project results and benefits are being achieved.  With respect to the conduct of the project, define the procedures to be employed to determine whether the project is being conducted in a manner consistent with the work plan presented and discuss the impact of the project's various activities that address the project's effectiveness.

 
 
Logic Model

Applicants are expected to use a model for designing and managing their project. A logic model is a tool that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the linkages among program elements. While there are many versions of the logic model, they generally summarize the logical connections among the needs that are the focus of the project, project goals and objectives, the target population, project inputs (resources), the proposed activities/processes/outputs directed toward the target population, the expected short- and long-term outcomes the initiative is designed to achieve, and the evaluation plan for measuring the extent to which proposed processes and outcomes actually occur.

 
Project Sustainability Plan

Provide a plan for sustainability that details how the proposed project approach will create project self-sufficiency and help to ensure that the impact of the project will continue after Federal assistance has ended.  The applicant may include information on plans to secure additional financial resources.

 
 
Organizational Capacity
  • Organizational charts
 

Provide a biographical sketch or resume for each key person appointed. Resumes should be no more than two pages in length. Job descriptions for each vacant key position should be included as well. As new key staff are appointed, biographical sketches or resumes will also be required.

 
Dissemination Plan

Provide a plan for distributing reports and other project outputs to colleagues and to the public.  Applicants must provide a description of the method, volume, and timing of distribution.

Third-Party Agreements

Provide written and signed agreements between grantees and subgrantees, or subcontractors, or other cooperating entities. These agreements must detail the scope of work to be performed, work schedules, remuneration, and other terms and conditions that structure or define the relationship.
 
Budget and Budget Justification

Provide a budget with line-item detail and detailed calculations for each budget object class identified on the Budget Information Form (SF-424A or SF-424C).  Detailed calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated.  If matching is a requirement, include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

 
Provide a narrative budget justification for the first year of the proposed project. The narrative budget justification should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.
 
General

Use the following guidelines for preparing the budget and budget justification.  Both Federal and non-Federal resources (when required) shall be detailed and justified in the budget and budget narrative justification.   "Federal resources" refers only to the ACF grant funds for which you are applying.  "Non-Federal resources" are all other non-ACF Federal and non-Federal resources.  It is suggested that budget amounts and computations be presented in a columnar format:  first column, object class categories; second column, Federal budget; next column(s), non-Federal budget(s); and last column, total budget.  The budget justification should be in a narrative form.

 
Personnel

Description:  Costs of employee salaries and wages.

Justification:  Identify the project director or principal investigator, if known at the time of application.   For each staff person, provide:  the title; time commitment to the project in months; time commitment to the project as a percentage or full-time equivalent; annual salary; grant salary; wage rates; etc.  Do not include the costs of consultants, personnel costs of delegate agencies, or of specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant.

 
Fringe Benefits

Description: Costs of employee fringe benefits unless treated as part of an approved indirect cost rate.

Justification: Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs such as health insurance, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, retirement insurance, taxes, etc.

 
Travel

Description: Costs of project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization.  (This item does not include costs of consultant travel). 

Justification:  For each trip show:  the total number of traveler(s); travel destination; duration of trip; per diem; mileage allowances, if privately owned vehicles will be used to travel out of town; and other transportation costs and subsistence allowances.  If appropriate for this project, travel costs for key staff to attend ACF-sponsored workshops should be detailed in the budget.

 
Equipment

Description:  "Equipment" means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost that equals or exceeds the lesser of:  (a) the capitalization level established by the organization for the financial statement purposes, or (b) $5,000.  (Note:   Acquisition cost means the net invoice unit price of an item of equipment, including the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make it usable for the purpose for which it is acquired. Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in-transit insurance, freight, and installation, shall be included in or excluded from acquisition cost in accordance with the organization's regular written accounting practices.)

Justification:  For each type of equipment requested provide:  a description of the equipment; the cost per unit; the number of units; the total cost; and a plan for use on the project; as well as use and/or disposal of the equipment after the project ends.  An applicant organization that uses its own definition for equipment should provide a copy of its policy, or section of its policy, that includes the equipment definition.

 
Supplies

Description:  Costs of all tangible personal property other than that included under the Equipment category.

Justification:  Specify general categories of supplies and their costs.  Show computations and provide other information that supports the amount requested.

 
Contractual

Description:  Costs of all contracts for services and goods except for those that belong under other categories such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc.  Include thirdparty evaluation contracts, if applicable, and contracts with secondary recipient organizations, including delegate agencies and specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant.

Justification:  Demonstrate that all procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open and free competition. Recipients and subrecipients, other than States that are required to use 45 CFR Part 92 procedures, must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403(11), currently set at $100,000.  Recipients may be required to make pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc. available to ACF.

Note:    Whenever the applicant intends to delegate part of the project to another agency, the applicant must provide a detailed budget and budget narrative for each delegate agency, by agency title, along with the same supporting information referred to in these instructions.

 
Other

Description:  Enter the total of all other costs.  Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to:  local travel; insurance; food; medical and dental costs (noncontractual); professional services costs; space and equipment rentals; printing and publication; computer use; training costs, such as tuition and stipends; staff development costs; and administrative costs.

Justification:  Provide computations, a narrative description and a justification for each cost under this category.

 
Indirect Charges

Description:  Total amount of indirect costs.  This category should be used only when the applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant Federal agency.

Justification:  An applicant that will charge indirect costs to the grant must enclose a copy of the current rate agreement.  If the applicant organization is in the process of initially developing or renegotiating a rate, upon notification that an award will be made, it should immediately develop a tentative indirect cost rate proposal based on its most recently completed fiscal year, in accordance with the cognizant agency's guidelines for establishing indirect cost rates, and submit it to the cognizant agency.  Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposals may also request indirect costs.  When an indirect cost rate is requested, those costs included in the indirect cost pool should not be charged as direct costs to the grant.  Also, if the applicant is requesting a rate that is less than what is allowed under the program, the authorized representative of the applicant organization must submit a signed acknowledgement that the applicant is accepting a lower rate than allowed.

 
Program Income

Description:  The estimated amount of income, if any, expected to be generated from this project.

Justification:  Describe the nature, source and anticipated use of program income in the budget or refer to the pages in the application that contain this information.

 
Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub.L. 104-13, the public reporting burden for the Project Description is estimated to average 40 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, which expires 11/30/2012. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

 
IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

  • ACF will not accept applications via facsimile or email.

  • The Funding Opportunity Announcement is found on the Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov where the electronic application can be downloaded for completion.

  •  To apply electronically, applicants must be registered with Grants.gov, Dun and Bradstreet, and the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).

  • Electronically submitted applications must be submitted and time/date stamped by the due date and receipt time described in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times, of this announcement.

  • To submit an application through Grants.gov, the applicant must be an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) for their organization and must have a current registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).

  • Central Contractor Registry (CCR) registration must be updated annually. Electronically submitted applications will not pass the validation check at Grants.gov if the AOR does not have a current CCR registration and electronic signature credentials.

  • Applications rejected by Grants.gov for an unregistered AOR will be disqualified and will not be considered for competition.

  • Additional guidance on the submission of electronic applications can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/registration_checklist.html.

  • If difficulties are encountered in using Grants.gov, applicants must contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at:1-800-518-4726, or by email at support@grants.gov, to report the problem and obtain assistance.

  • Applicants are advised to retain Grants.gov Contact Center service ticket number(s) as they may be needed for future reference.

  • Applicants that submit their applications electronically are encouraged to retain a hard copy of their application.

  • It is to an applicant's advantage to submit their applications 24 hours in advance of the closing date and time.

Contact with the Grants.gov Contact Center prior to the listed due date and time does not ensure acceptance of your application.  If difficulties are encountered, the Grants Management Officer (GMO) will make a determination whether the issues are due to system errors or user error. 


Hard Copy Submission

Applicants that are submitting their application in paper format should submit one original and two copies of the complete application with all attachments. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR), and be unbound. The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.6 of this announcement for address information for hard copy application submissions.


Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times of this announcement.

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications: 08/02/2010
 

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in this section. Applications received after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date will be classified as late and will not be considered in the current competition.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that applications are received by mail, hand-delivery, or submitted electronically well in advance of the application due date and time.

Mailed Applications

Mailed applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., eastern time, at the address provided in Section IV.6 of this announcement on the due date listed in this section.

Hand-Delivered Applications

Applications hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, other representatives of the applicant, or by overnight/express mail couriers must be received on, or before, the due date listed in this section, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., eastern time, Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays). Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.6. of this announcement.

Electronically-Submitted Applications

ACF cannot accommodate transmission of applications by facsimile or email.  Instructions for electronic submission through www.Grants.gov may be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/registration_checklist.html

After the application is submitted electronically via Grants.gov, the applicant will receive three emails.  
The following emails will be sent to the applicant from Grants.gov: 

  1. An automatic acknowledgement from Grants.gov of the application's submission that provides a Grants.gov tracking number.
    The date/time-stamp in this email serves as the official record of your application submission.  The date/time-stamp must reflect a submission time on or before 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the application due date for the application to be considered as meeting the due date and to be considered for competition.

  2. An acknowledgement from Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed or failed a series of checks and validations.
    Applications that fail the validation check at Grants.gov because the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is not currently registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) will be disqualified and will not be considered for competition. 

  3. An additional email from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will be sent to the applicant indicating that the application has been retrieved from Grants.gov and received by ACF.


Late Applications
No appeals will be considered for applications classified as late under the three cited circumstances:

  • Hard-copy applications received after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications are considered late and are disqualified when the date/time-stamp received by email from www.Grants.gov is after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications submitted by an AOR that does not have a current registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) will be rejected by Grants.gov. Although the applicant may have an acceptable dated and time-stamped email from Grants.gov, these applications are considered late and are disqualified and will not be considered for competition.  

Extension/Waiver of Due Date and Receipt Time
ACF may extend an application due date and receipt time when circumstances such as natural disasters occur (floods, hurricanes, etc.); when there are widespread disruptions of mail service; or in other rare cases.  The determination to extend or waive due date and receipt time requirements rests with ACF's Chief Grants Management Officer.

 

Acknowledgement of Received Application

ACF will not provide acknowledgement of receipt of hard copy application packages submitted via mail or courier services.

Applicants who submit their application packages electronically via http://www.Grants.gov will receive two email acknowledgements from that website:

  1. Your application has been submitted and provides a Time/Date Stamp. This is considered the official submission time.
  2. Your application has been validated and provides a Time/Date Stamp. See the previous section on disqualification for failing validation check because of an unregistered Authorized Organization Representative.

An acknowledgement email from the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) indicating that the application has been retrieved and received by ACF will be sent to applicants that apply via http://www.Grants.gov

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs (SPOC)

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

This program is not subject to Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," or 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities."  No action is required of applicants under this announcement with regard to E.O. 12372.

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions, are considered unallowable costs under grants awarded under this announcement.

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.
Construction is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this grant award.
Purchase of real property is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this grant award.
IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

Submit applications to one of the following addresses:

Submission By Mail

CB Operations Center
c/o Master Key Consulting
4915 St. Elmo Avenue, Suite 101
Bethesda, MD 20814
 

Hand Delivery

CB Operations Center
c/o Master Key Consulting
4915 St. Elmo Avenue, Suite 101
Bethesda, MD 20814
 

Electronic Submission

See Section IV.2 for application requirements and for guidance when submitting applications electronically via http://www.Grants.gov.


For all submissions, see Section IV.3 for information on due dates and times.

V. Application Review Information
V.1. Criteria
Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated using the criteria described in this section. The corresponding point values indicate the relative importance placed on each review criterion. Points will be allocated based on the extent to which the application proposal addresses each of the criteria listed. Applicants should address these criteria in their application materials, particularly in the project description and budget justification, as they are the basis upon which competing applications will be judged during the objective review. The required elements of the project description and budget justification may be found in Section IV.2 of this announcement.
 

Reviewers will use the specific evaluation criteria in this funding announcement to review and evaluate each application. The applicant should address each of these specific evaluation criteria in the project description. Applicants should organize their project description in this sequence: 1) Budget and Budget Justification; 2) Objectives and Need for Assistance; 3) Approach; 4) Evaluation; and 5) Organizational Profiles. The applicant must use the same headings as these criteria, so that reviewers can readily find information that directly addresses each of the specific review criteria.

BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION Maximum Points: 5

In reviewing the budget and budget justification, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

1.   The costs of the proposed project are reasonable, thoroughly justified, and appropriate in view of the activities to be conducted and expected results and benefits.

2.   The applicant's fiscal controls and accounting procedures would ensure prudent use, proper and timely disbursement, and accurate accounting of funds received under this program announcement. 

3.   The applicant has sound knowledge of accepted budgeting and accounting practices as evidenced by sufficient line item detail to indicate such knowledge.

OBJECTIVES AND NEED FOR ASSISTANCE Maximum Points: 20

In reviewing the objectives and need for assistance, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  1. The application demonstrates an understanding of the goals and objectives of the relevant legislation and this program announcement.
  2. The proposed project will contribute to achieving those legislative goals and objectives and the goals stated in this program announcement. 
  3. The application presents a clear description of the proposed project, including a clear statement of the goals (i.e., the intended end products of an effective project) and objectives (i.e., measurable steps for reaching these goals) of the proposed project.
  4. The application demonstrates a thorough understanding of the need for agencies to develop and implement comprehensive diligent recruitment programs for the target population specified in this program announcement as well as the need for these programs to be effectively linked to the permanency planning process and procedures as a means of improving permanency outcomes. 
  5. The application demonstrates a thorough understanding of the need to assess the characteristics of the target population, including age, race, ethnicity, sibling status, and connection to the community; the service needs of this population and community; and the status of existing services for the target population.
  6. The application demonstrates an understanding of the CFSP requirements related to diligent recruitment of foster and adoptive families.
  7. The proposed project will support and coordinate with its State's CFSR PIP if relevant to areas being addressed in the PIP.
APPROACH Maximum Points: 35

In reviewing the approach, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  1. The application provides a reasonable timeline for implementing the proposed project, including major milestones and target dates. The application describes the factors that could speed or hinder project implementation and explains how these factors would be managed.
  2. A well-defined logic model guides the proposed project. The logic model demonstrates strong links between proposed inputs and activities and intended short- and long-term outcomes.
  3. The application clearly defines the geographic and demographic characteristics of the agency's service population and the target population to be affected by the implementation of this cooperative agreement. The proposed target population meets the requirements described in this program announcement.
  4. The proposed project will provide for the development and implementation of a comprehensive multi-faceted diligent recruitment plan that reflects the population of children in care.
  5. The State or County agency is the lead agency and will take an active role in the project throughout the entire length of the project. 
  6. The recruitment plan is integrated with other agency programs, including the foster care case planning and permanency planning processes to facilitate active concurrent planning activities. 
  7. The approach addresses each of the planning period and implementation period requirements listed in this program announcement. There is a detailed description of the activities the program proposes to implement during the planning period and during the implementation period.
  8. The proposed project is likely to enhance child welfare agency capacity to provide a range of placement resources for children in care. The proposed project will increase capacity to improve processes, practices, and permanency outcomes for children in care.
  9. The proposed services would involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of service delivery. If collaboration is proposed, there are letters of commitment or memoranda of understanding from organizations, agencies, and consultants that will be partners, subcontractors, or collaborators in the proposed project. These documents describe the role of the agency, organization, or consultant and detail specific tasks to be performed.
  10. The project would be culturally responsive to the target population.
  11. The design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from the research and literature on known effective practices and builds on current theory, research, evaluation data and best practices. The project is innovative and would contribute to increased knowledge or understanding of the problems and issues addressed by this program announcement. The project is likely to yield findings or results about effective strategies and contribute to and promote evaluation research and evidence-based practices that may be used to guide replication or testing in other settings.
  12. The proposed project would develop into a model site for other jurisdictions to look to in developing the ability to implement comprehensive, multi-faceted diligent recruitment plans as an ongoing part of agency functions. The project would develop products and provide information on strategies used and the outcomes achieved that would support evidence-based improvements of practices in the field. The schedule for developing these products is appropriate in scope and budget.
  13. The intended audience (e.g., researchers, policymakers, practitioners) for product dissemination is appropriate to the goals of the proposed project. The project's products would be useful to the identified audiences; the plan for disseminating information is appropriate; and the mechanisms and forums that would be used to convey the information and support replication by other interested agencies are appropriate. The proposed dissemination plan is appropriate in scope and budget.
  14. The proposed project would be integrated into the grantee's ongoing practices with the goal of continuous data-informed diligent recruitment of placement resources who reflect the characteristics of the children in care.
  15. There is a sound plan for continuing this project beyond the period of Federal funding under this program announcement.
EVALUATION Maximum Points: 20

In reviewing the evaluation plan, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  1. The applicant proposes a clear and convincing plan for evaluating the project and satisfies the requirements for the evaluation published in this program announcement. The methods of evaluation are feasible, comprehensive, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and context of the project. The evaluation plan is strongly guided by the project's logic model. The project's evaluation plan would rigorously measure achievement of project objectives, customer satisfaction, acquisition of competencies, effectiveness of program services and project strategies, the efficiency of the implementation processes, changes in recruitment and retention practices, and the impact of the project on the permanency outcomes for children and youth.
  2. The evaluation plan outlines an appropriate sampling plan that ensures sample sizes sufficient to detect significant effects. The target sample represents the intended recipients of the services to the greatest extent possible given the project's structure and resources.
  3. The evaluation plan includes an appropriate comparison group for determining the influence of the project activities on outcomes. If a comparison group is not proposed, the applicant provides a reasonable explanation for not using a comparison group and offers another, equally rigorous approach to evaluating the influence of the program on outcomes. This comparison group and the program/treatment group are assigned at random or matched on key characteristics. If not assigned at random or matched on key characteristics, the applicant provides a reasonable explanation of how it will identify and address any pre-existing differences between the comparison group and the program/treatment group.
  4. The applicant proposes a sound plan for collecting high-quality data on the services provided, the costs of these services, the outcomes of these services, and their cost effectiveness. The methods of evaluation include the use of strong measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the program as identified in the project logic model. The evaluation includes measures of outcomes, in addition to measures of inputs and outputs. The measures are objective and have strong reliability, validity, and internal consistency. There is a sound plan for securing informed consent and implementing an IRB review, if applicable.
  5. The project's evaluation plan uses process, practice, and outcome performance indicators from the CFSR On Site Review Instrument (OSRI) or similar indicators from their State's quality assurance system, as described in this program announcement. The proposed evaluation plan would be likely to yield data that can be compared to and contrasted with regional, State, and national level CFSR data. The proposed evaluation plan would measure the effects of the proposed implementation of the proposed project on safety, permanency, and well-being. In addition to measuring OSRI items, the proposed evaluation plan will also measure other outcomes of value to the child welfare field.
  6. The applicant either demonstrates that they have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective and rigorous evaluation of the project or presents a sound plan for contracting with a third-party evaluator. The proposed evaluator has sufficient experience with research and/or evaluation, understands the population of interest, and demonstrates the necessary independence from the project to assure objectivity.
  7. The application provides an appropriate, feasible, and realistic plan for using evaluation findings to produce ongoing documentation of project activities and results. The evaluation plan includes performance feedback and periodic assessment of program progress that can be used to modify the program, as necessary, and serve as a basis for program adjustments.

 

 

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILES Maximum Points: 20

In reviewing the organizational profiles, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  1. The applicant's organization and any partnering organizations collectively have relevant experience and expertise with administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of child welfare, foster care, or adoption programs. Each participating organization (including partners and/or subcontractors) possesses the organizational capability to fulfill its assigned roles and functions effectively.
  2. The proposed project director and key project staff demonstrate sufficient relevant knowledge, experience, and capabilities (e.g., resume) to effectively institute and manage a project of this size, scope, and complexity. The role, responsibilities and time commitments of each proposed project staff position, including consultants, subcontractors and/or partners, is clearly defined (e.g., job description) and appropriate to the successful implementation of the proposed project.
  3. There is a sound management plan for achieving the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks and ensuring quality. The plan clearly defines the role and responsibilities of the lead agency. The plan clearly describes the effective management and coordination of activities carried out by any partners, subcontractors, and consultants (if applicable).
  4. There would be a mutually beneficial relationship between the proposed project and other work planned, anticipated, or underway with Federal assistance by the applicant.
V.2. & V.3. Review and Selection Process
V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.
 
Initial ACF Screening

Each application will be screened to determine whether it was received by the closing date and time and whether the requested amount exceeds the award ceiling.  Applications that are designated as late according to Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times or those with requests that exceed the award ceiling, stated in Section II. Award Information will be returned to the applicant with a notation that they were deemed non-responsive and will not be reviewed.

Objective Review and Results

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in Section V.1 of this announcement.  Each panel is made up of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels are composed of three reviewers and one chairperson.

Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding and are one element of the decision-making process.

ACF may elect to not fund applicants with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project. Applications may be funded in whole or in part.  Successful applicants may be funded at an amount lower than that requested.  ACF reserves the right to consider a preference to fund organizations serving emerging, unserved, or under-served populations, including those located in pockets of poverty, and to consider the geographic distribution of Federal funds in its funding decisions.

A panel of at least three reviewers will use the evaluation criteria described in this announcement to evaluate each application. The reviewers will determine the strengths and weaknesses of each application, provide comments about the strengths and weaknesses, and give each application a numerical score.

The results of the competitive review are a primary factor in making funding decisions. In addition, Federal staff conducts administrative reviews of the applications and, in light of the results of the competitive review, will recommend applications for funding to the ACYF Commissioner. ACYF may also solicit and consider comments from ACF Regional Office staff in making funding decisions. ACYF may elect not to fund any applicants having known management, fiscal, reporting, programmatic, or other problems that make it unlikely that they would be able to provide effective services or effectively complete the proposed activity. With the results of the peer review and the information from Federal staff, the Commissioner of ACYF makes the final funding decisions.

Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-Federal reviewers in the review process.
 


Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications that are approved but unfunded may be held over for funding in the next funding cycle, pending the availability of funds, for a period not to exceed one year.

 
V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Announcement of awards and the disposition of applications will be provided to applicants at a later date.

Applications will be reviewed during the Summer 2010. Grant awards will have a start date no later than September 30, 2010.

 

VI. Award Administration Information
VI.1. Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Financial Assistance Award (FAA) document that sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-Federal share to be provided (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The FAA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail.  Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter, signed by the Program Office head.

 
VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the uniform administrative requirements and cost principles of 45 CFR Part 74 (Awards And Subawards To Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Nonprofit Organizations, And Commercial Organizations), or 45 CFR Part 92 (Grants And Cooperative Agreements To State, Local, And Tribal Governments).

An application funded with the release of Federal funds through a grant award, does not constitute, or imply, compliance with Federal regulations.  Funded organizations are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with all applicable Federal regulations.

Grantees are subject to the limitations set forth in 45 CFR Part 74, Subpart E-Special Provisions for Awards to Commercial Organizations (45 CFR §74.81_Prohibition against profit), which states that, "... no HHS funds may be paid as profit to any recipient even if the recipient is a commercial organization.  Profit is any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs."

Grantees are also subject to the requirements of 45 CFR Part 87, Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations: "Direct Federal grants, sub-award funds, or contracts under this ACF program shall not be used to support inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization. Therefore, organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under this program.  Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, can be found at the HHS web site at: http://www.hhs.gov/fbci/waisgate21.pdf.

A faith-based organization receiving HHS funds retains its independence from Federal, State, and local governments, and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs. For example, a faith-based organization may use space in its facilities to provide secular programs or services funded with Federal funds without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols. In addition, a faith-based organization that receives Federal funds retains its authority over its internal governance, and it may retain religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on a religious basis, and include religious references in its organization's mission statements and other governing documents in accordance with all program requirements, statutes, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of HHS funded activities."  Additional information on "Understanding the Regulations Related to the Faith-Based and Community Initiative" can be found at: http://www.hhs.gov/fbci/regulations/index.html.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/CFR/.

Award Term and Condition for Trafficking in Persons

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the requirements of Section 106 (g) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (22 U.S.C. 7104).  For the full text of the award term, go to http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/award_term.html.  If you are unable to access this link, please contact the Grants Management Contact identified in Section VII. Agency Contacts of  this announcement to obtain a copy of the Term.

HHS Grants Policy Statement

The HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) is the Department of Health and Human Services' single policy guide for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements.  ACF grant awards are subject to the requirements of the HHS GPS, which covers basic grants processes, standard terms and conditions, and points of contact, as well as important agency-specific requirements.  Appendices to the HHS GPS include a glossary of terms and a list of standard abbreviations for ease of reference.  The general terms and conditions in the HHS GPS will apply as indicated unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary that are specified in the Financial Assistance Award (FAA). The HHS GPS is available at  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_related.html

VI.3. Reporting

Grantees under this announcement will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. The frequency of required reporting is listed later in this section.

In FY 2009, most ACF grantees began using a standard form for required performance progress reporting (PPR). Use of the new standard form, the ACF-OGM SF-PPR, began for new awards and continuation awards made by ACF in FY 2009.  At a minimum, grantees are required to submit the ACF-OGM SF-PPR, which consists of the ACF-OGM SF-PPR Cover Page and the Program Indicators-Attachment B. ACF Programs that utilize reporting forms or formats in addition to, or instead of, the ACF-OGM SF-PPR have listed the reporting requirements later in this section.

Grant award documents will inform grantees of the appropriate performance progress report form or format to use beginning in FY 2009.  Grantees should consult their award documents to determine the appropriate performance progress report format required under their award.

Grantees will continue to use the Financial Status Report (FSR) SF-269 (long form) for required financial reporting.

Performance progress and financial reports are due 30 days after the end of the reporting period. Final program performance and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  Final reports may be submitted in hard copy to the Grants Management Office Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this announcement.

The SF-269 (long form) and the ACF-OGM-SF-PPR may be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.

 
Program Progress Reports: Semi-Annually
Financial Reports: Semi-Annually
 
VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Heidi Staples
Administration for Children and Families
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
Children's Bureau Headquarters
Portals Building
1250 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 8151
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 205-7243
Email: Heidi.Staples@ACF.hhs.gov
 
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Ben Sharp
Grants Management Officer
Division of Discretionary Grants
CB Operations Center
c/o Master Key Consulting
4915 St. Elmo Avenue, Suite 101
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (866) 796-1591
Email: cb@luxcg.com
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

VIII. Other Information

Reference Websites

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Internet  http://www.hhs.gov/

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on the Internet http://www.acf.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families - Funding Opportunities homepage  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) https://www.cfda.gov/.

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html  

United States Code (U.S.C) http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/

Sign up to receive notification of ACF Funding Opportunities at www. Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov/applicants/email_subscription.jsp

Checklist

All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available on the ACF Forms page at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html and on the Grants.gov Forms Repository webpage at  http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/FormLinks?family=15.

Versions of other Standard Forms (SFs) are available on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Grants Management Forms web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms/.

For information regarding accessibility issues, visit the Grants.gov Accessibility Compliance Page at http://www07.grants.gov/aboutgrants/accessibility_compliance.jsp.

Applicants may use the checklist below as a guide when preparing your application package.
 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

SF-P/PSL  - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Referenced in Section IV.2  and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants/grants_resources.html and at the Grants.gov Forms Repository at   http:// apply07.grants.gov /apply/FormLinks?family=15.

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs

SF-424B - Assurances  - Non-Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2 and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2 of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2 of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2 of the announcement.

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2 of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Referenced in Section IV.2 of the announcement and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html

Submission due by date of award.

Logic Model

Referenced in Section IV.2 of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, if applicable

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in Section IV.2 and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission of this form is required if any funds have been paid, or will be paid, to any person for influencing, or attempting to influence, an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan.

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Signature
Date: 05/28/2010
_________________________________________________
  Bryan Samuels
  Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families
  Administration for Children and Families
 
▲ Top of Page