Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Refugee Resettlement
 
Wilson/Fish Alternative Program
HHS-2010-ACF-ORR-RW-0051
Application Due Date: 07/19/2010

 

Wilson/Fish Alternative Program
HHS-2010-ACF-ORR-RW-0051
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

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Wilson/Fish Alternative Program
HHS-2010-ACF-ORR-RW-0051
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | Validate & Approve
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children & Families
 
Program Office:Office of Refugee Resettlement
Funding Opportunity Title:Wilson/Fish Alternative Program
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2010-ACF-ORR-RW-0051
CFDA Number:93.583
Due Date for Applications: 07/19/2010
Executive Summary:

 

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) announces that applications will be accepted from public and private non-profit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations, under a discretionary announcement for Wilson/Fish projects that proposes innovative approaches to providing integrated services and assistance to refugees. ORR will consider proposals from: (1) applicants that currently administer a Wilson/Fish program and; (2) new applicants that have not previously administered a Wilson/Fish program that propose to either: (a) establish or maintain a refugee program in a State where the State is not participating in the refugee program or is withdrawing from the refugee program or a portion of the program; or (b) provide an alternative to the existing system of assistance and services to refugees. Applicants must propose to serve at a minimum, all newly arriving refugees in the State or geographic area of the cash assistance type proposed, e.g., all refugees otherwise eligible for refugee cash assistance (RCA) and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (referred to as ``RCA-type'' or ``TANF-type'' refugees). ORR prefers that Wilson/Fish projects are statewide in scope. A new applicant that proposes a non-statewide Wilson/Fish alternative project must provide a justification that includes a statement of support from the State Refugee Coordinator as to why a non-statewide project would be in the best interests of the State's refugees.

Applicants will have the opportunity to raise general questions with ORR regarding the Wilson Fish announcement at the ORR National Consultation which will be held June 7-9 in Washington, DC. The specific time and meeting site will be posted on the ORR web-site under the Wilson Fish program at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/wilson_fish_prg.htm. A recording and transcript of the information session will be posted at the same web-site within 15 business days following the consultation and will be available until the closing date of the announcement.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

 

In October, 1984, Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to provide authority for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement alternative projects for refugees. This provision, known as the Wilson/Fish Amendment, Pub.L. 98-473, 8 U.S.C. 1522(e)(7), provided:

"(7)(A) The Secretary shall develop and implement alternative projects for refugees who have been in the United States less than thirty-six months, under which refugees are provided interim support, medical services, support services, and case management, as needed, in a manner that encourages self-sufficiency, reduces welfare dependency, and fosters greater coordination among the resettlement agencies and service providers...

(B) Refugees covered under such alternative projects shall be precluded from receiving cash or medical assistance under any other paragraph of this subsection or under title XIX or part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act.

(C) "..."

(D) To the extent that the use of such funds is consistent with the purposes of such provisions, funds appropriated under section 414(a) of this Act, part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, or Title XIX of such Act, may be used for the purpose of implementing and evaluating alternative projects under this paragraph."

The Wilson/Fish Program is also referenced in the ORR regulations under the heading Alternative RCA Programs at 45 C.F.R. section 400.69:

"A State that determines that a public/private RCA program or publicly-administered program modeled after its TANF program is not the best approach for the State, may choose instead to establish an alternative approach under the Wilson/Fish program, authorized by INA Section 412(e)(7)."

Description

 

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) announces that applications will be accepted from public and private non-profit organizations including faith-based and community organizations, under this discretionary grant announcement for Wilson/Fish projects that proposes innovative approaches to providing integrated services and assistance to refugees. The term "refugee," used in this notice, is intended to encompass all persons who are eligible to participate in refugee program services, including the Wilson-Fish program. These persons include: refugees, asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, certain Amerasians from Vietnam, special immigrants from Afghanistan and Iraq,  and victims of a severe form of trafficking who receive certification or eligibility letters from ORR.

ORR will consider proposals from existing Wilson/Fish grantees that propose to continue to serve refugees under Wilson/Fish authority and from new applicants that have not previously operated a Wilson/Fish program that propose to either (a) establish or maintain a refugee program in a State where the State is not participating in the refugee program or is withdrawing from the refugee program or a portion of the program; or (b) provide an alternative to the existing system of assistance and services to refugees.

This announcement provides an opportunity for new applicant(s) to continue the provision of refugee program services and assistance, including refugee cash and medical assistance, employment and other social services in a State when the State elects to discontinue participation in the refugee program or is not currently participating in the program. A consortium of voluntary agencies, a lead voluntary agency, or another public or private non-profit agency may apply to administer and provide services and assistance to refugees in the State. If a State withdraws from the refugee program, the Director may invite applications (by ORR Letter), outside of the proposed closing dates, if necessary, to respond to the needs of the State's refugee population. This authority is supported by ORR regulation  (45 C.F.R. section 400.301), which states: "...when a State withdraws from all or part of the refugee program, the Director may authorize a replacement designee or designees to administer the provision of assistance and services, as appropriate, to refugees in that ...".

This announcement also provides new applicants an opportunity to implement projects that provide an alternative to the existing system of assistance and services  to refugees for the purpose of enhancing refugee self-sufficiency. Some examples include: (1) where assistance and services for refugees receiving Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) could be provided in a better coordinated, effective, and efficient manner; (2) where TANF-eligible refugees may not have access to timely, culturally and linguistically compatible services in the provision of employment and training programs; (3) where existing options for delivery of services and assistance to refugees do not present the most effective resettlement in that location, and where resettlement could be made more effective through the implementation of an alternative project; (4) where the continuity of services from the time of arrival until the attainment of self-sufficiency needs to be strengthened; or (5) where it is in the best interest of refugees to receive assistance and services outside the traditional welfare system.

New applicants may propose to transfer and serve in the Wilson/Fish project those clients who have not completed their period of eligibility under the existing RCA program. New applicants must propose an alternative project for refugees in a specific State/local geographic area and cover, at a minimum, all newly arriving refugees in the State or geographic area of the cash assistance type proposed, e.g., all refugees otherwise eligible for RCA and/or TANF (referred to as ``RCA-type'' or ``TANF-type'' refugees).

ORR prefers that Wilson/Fish projects are statewide in scope. A new applicant that proposes a non-statewide Wilson/Fish alternative project must provide a justification that includes a statement of support from the State Refugee Coordinator as to why a non-statewide project would be in the best interests of the State's refugees.

Services and assistance under these awards are intended to help refugees attain self-sufficiency within the period of support defined by 45 CFR 400.211. This period is currently eight months from date of arrival (for refugees) or final grant of asylum (for asylees). We expect that funded projects will provide services and assistance to refugees for this period of time, as needed.

ORR encourages prospective applicants to consult with ORR before submitting their Wilson/Fish application.

Program Purpose and Scope

The purpose of the announcement is to enable applicants to implement projects that provide interim financial assistance, social services and case management to refugees in a manner that encourages self-sufficiency, reduces the likelihood of welfare dependency and fosters greater coordination among resettlement agencies and service providers in a community. In addition, the Wilson/Fish program enables refugee assistance programs to exist in every State where refugees are resettled.  An integrated system of assistance and services is an essential characteristic of a Wilson/Fish project.

The advantage of Wilson-Fish refugee resettlement programs is that each site has the flexibility to create a program design that is tailored to the needs, assets, and environment of the community. 

The sites may differ over a number of elements, and these differences contribute to unique program designs.  There are eight main elements of Wilson-Fish programs that allow them to be distinguished from traditional refugee resettlement programs:

  1. They may serve both Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligible clients, or RCA clients only
  2. The Cash Assistance element may be administered and/or delivered by the State or a private entity
  3. Monthly payment levels may differ from State TANF levels
  4. Incentives may be offered for early employment
  5. Refugee Medical Assistance may be administered by the State or a private entity
  6. There are options for Case Management provision, how long refugees are eligible for services, and how those services are structured (WF-CMA can only support case management for those refugees receiving RCA)
  7. How English Language Training is administered
  8. How Employment Services are administered

Funding Availability

ORR will consider requests for funding based on the merits of the proposals. Requests do not have to be limited to the amount being spent for current assistance and services, but such amounts will be one of the measures used in considering the reasonableness of the request.

Once a project is approved by ORR, it will be eligible to receive two types of grants under the Wilson/Fish program. Interim cash assistance, medical assistance (if applicable) and related administrative costs including cash assistance case management  will be provided from funds appropriated under the Transitional Assistance and Medical Services (TAMS) line item. This is the Wilson/Fish Cash and Medical Assistance grant (WF-CMA grant).WF-CMA grants are awarded based on a budget of estimated costs for providing eligible refugees up to 8 months of cash and medical assistance and for allowable administrative costs including RCA case management.  This is a cost reimbursable grant.  Any unobligated balances will be used as an offset to the following year's WF-CMA award. 

Funds for social services under the Wilson/Fish program will be provided separately through the Formula Refugee Social Services (RSS) grant. Social services funding will be based upon each State's arrivals over the prior three fiscal years, adjusted for secondary migration. These allocations are  listed in the Final Social Services Notice.  WF Social Services grants are for services defined in 45 C.F.R. 400.154/155 of the ORR regulations.  Grantees must submit an annual plan of services (45 C.F.R. 400.11) and an annual WF Social Services budget.

ORR is interested in projects that optimize all available resources--from Federal and State governments and the community--to make the resettlement period as beneficial as possible. WF States are expected to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of its refugee population, determine the extent to which WF funding meets these needs, and determine how other resources including ORR discretionary and formula grants can be utilized to effectively supplement the services provided under WF. In particular, WF States should utilize targeted assistance formula and discretionary, refugee school impact, Cuban/ Haitian discretionary and refugee eldery discretionary funding, as well as other ORR discretionary, State and and Federal assistance to meet the unmet needs of hard to serve refugees.

Cost Savings for Enhanced Case Management

ORR will entertain proposals, subject to the availability of appropriated funds, to provide enhanced case-management to address the needs of hard to serve refugees. Specifically, ORR will allow WF agencies to provide this service by utilizing the cost savings generated from RCA clients that receive less than the maximum allowable RCA amount (according to 45 C.F.R. section 400.60) during the 8 month time eligibility period. WF agencies would be allowed to use up to 50 percent of this savings for enhanced case management for hard to serve refugees. This option will only be available to WF sites whose administrative costs (including those associated with the overall management of the program, RCA case management and indirect) as a percentage of their overall WF-CMA budget are below the median percent for the program as a whole which is currently 33 percent.  

 TANF Type Refugees

ORR will entertain proposals, subject to the availability of appropriated funds, to provide interim cash support to refugees who would otherwise be eligible for the TANF program, in addition to those refugees who would otherwise be eligible for the RCA program. Specifically, ORR will consider applications that propose to provide WF-CMA to TANF type refugees in the form of  a differential payment when the State's TANF payment rate is lower than the WF payment rate which is governed according to Public/Private RCA Program (PPP) rates listed at 45 C.F.R. 400.60 of the ORR regulations. The provision of a differential payment to TANF type refugees will enable all newly arrived refugees in the State to receive the same payment level for the first eight months upon arrival to the United States. The following criteria must be met before ORR will consider providing WF-CMA funds to TANF type refugees:

  • The State TANF rate is lower than the ORR WF rate listed at 45 C.F.R. 400.60 and,
  • The State provides the full amount of TANF funding to the eligible refugee and,
  • The State disregards the WF differential payment for the purpose of determining financial eligibility for State TANF and Medicaid (WF agencies could consider offering the differential RCA payment in the form of a direct vendor payment to ensure that this assistance will not negatively impact the refugees' financial eligibility for State/Federal means tested programs)   
  • The State agrees to refer the TANF type refugee to the WF agency for services

TANF type refugees supported by Federal or Separate State Program funds could be subject to TANF participation and work requirements, while refugees supported with Solely State funded programs would not be subject to TANF rules. Medical services for TANF-eligible refugees must be charged to the State Medicaid program if otherwise eligible.

 Allowable Services/Program Requirements

Wilson/Fish programs must generally adhere to the same governing regulations as States unless stated otherwise in the ORR approved WF application. (see footnote 1)

Title 45, Part 400 of the C.F.R. contains information on the purpose of the refugee program, State plans and the award of grants, general administration of the program, identification and documentation of refugees, Refugee Cash Assistance, employability services, Refugee Medical Assistance, Child Welfare Services, Refugee Social Services, Federal funding of the refugee program, waivers and withdrawals, and Targeted Assistance funding. 

The approval of the Wilson Fish application serves as the State plan for those services included.  The WF announcement lists the specific elements that must be included in the WF application.  Other services that are provided outside the scope of the WF program (usually medical and URM services) must be described as part of the State plan.

Wilson Fish agencies are expected to compile a policy and procedures manual pertaining to the provision assistance and services provided under the Wilson Fish program as listed below.

1.  Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)

Objective:  The objective of cash assistance is to provide adequate financial support to meet the subsistence needs of the refugee for up to eight months upon arrival to the United States.

Eligibility:  Eligibility for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) is determined by program site staff based on 45 C.F.R. sections 400.53, 400.58 and 400.59. Upon ORR approval, clients eligible for TANF may be eligible to receive WF RCA in the form of a differential payment when the State TANF payment rate is lower than the WF rate (see above in regard to funding availability for TANF type refugees).  Clients that are eligible for SSI, OAA, AB, APTD, and AABD programs are not eligible for WF RCA.  An adult child of 18 years or older is treated as a separate case.  (See definition for "splitting cases.")

WF sites must link continued eligibility for the receipt of cash assistance to compliance with the Family Self-Sufficiency Plan developed jointly by the client, the case manager, and the employment specialist.  Compliance is to be monitored by case manager or other staff assigned by the WF Director.  A monthly re-determination of eligibility is required.

Monthly Re-determination:  All sites must have a process for determining continued eligibility for cash assistance on a monthly basis.  Eligibility must be linked to compliance with the Family Self-Sufficiency Plan (FSSP) and to income from employment. Cash assistance payments may be reduced on the basis of income from employment. Case files shall contain a copy of the most recent paycheck and documentation showing compliance with the FSSP. Also, according to 45 C.F.R. section 400.49, WF agencies must maintain procedures for ensuring recovery of over-payments and the correction of underpayments.

Refugee Cash Assistance Payment Levels:  RCA levels are determined by the grantee and approved by ORR in accordance 45 C.F.R. section 400.60. Cash assistance may begin at the date of application.

Incentives and Bonuses:  Income disregards and other incentives may be developed providing that they support the intent that the client move into employment as soon as possible within the parameters of the FSSP.  The incentive is not an entitlement. Incentives may include but are not limited to:  a bonus for becoming employed, a bonus for job retention of 90 days, or an income disregard.

2. Refugee Medical Assistance and Medical Screening

 Objective:  To ensure that refugees not eligible for State Medicaid have access to medical services comparable to those provided by State Medicaid.

  1. In WF States that choose to privatize health and medical services for refugees ineligible for Medicaid, the WF grantee will work with ORR to determine how best to provide these services to eligible populations. Currently privatized RMA assistance is provided at four sites through a private insurer. Agencies shall assist Medicaid eligible refugee families to attain and access State Medicaid and/or SCHIP.
  2. In other WF States where RMA is provided through the State and outside the scope of the WF program, WF agencies shall coordinate with State to ensure that refugees attain and access medical assistance and health screening services provided through the State Medicaid or RMA program.
  3. Also 45 C.F.R. 400.104(a) states that "[i]f a refugee who is receiving medical assistance receives earnings from employment, the earnings shall not affect the refugee's continued medical assistance eligibility." Section 400.104(b) provides that "[i]f a refugee, who is receiving Medicaid and has been residing in the U.S. less than the time-eligibility period for refugee medical assistance, becomes ineligible for Medicaid because of earnings from employment, the refugee must be transferred to refugee medical assistance without an RMA eligibility determination." Section 400.104 (c) further provides that the refugee shall continue to receive medical assistance until he/she reaches the end of his or her time-eligibility period for refugee medical assistance. Finally, section 400.104(d) provides that "in cases where a refugee is covered by employer-provided health insurance, any payment of RMA for that individual must be reduced by the amount of the third party payment."

Although ORR has included the provision of medical assistance as an allowable activity under this announcement, the best medical assistance option available in most circumstances is the existing State-administered program of RMA or Medicaid. The option to provide medical assistance under this announcement is available under two circumstances: (a) where a State chooses to discontinue participation in all areas of the refugee program, including the provision of refugee medical assistance; and (b) in the event that there are significant problems in the provision of medical assistance to refugees in a State and where an alternative private medical assistance plan or provider is available that is able to provide a more appropriate and a timely range of services for refugees at an affordable cost.

In the case where an alternative medical assistance system is approved, refugee participants would not be permitted to receive Medicaid during the period of support provided under the Wilson/Fish project because they would be receiving comparable medical assistance.

 3. Case Management

Objective:  To ensure that services are provided in a planned, effective, and timely manner to eligible clients; are appropriate to the needs of the clients; and contribute to their community integration, early employment and self-sufficiency.  Case Management shall commence immediately upon enrollment and continue through the eight month period.  Services should support and strengthen clients' motivation and capacities to become self-supporting.  From the first client contact, agency interaction with the client shall reinforce his/her motivation and ability to become self-supporting.

A critical aspect of case management services is maintaining a client case file.  A case file shall be maintained which includes:

  1. Intake information (date of eligibility, date of enrollment, date of WF service termination, number and names of members of the case upon arrival; and documentation showing the individual is eligible for services (see 45 C.F.R. 400.43 and ORR State Letters #00-17, #00-22, #01-13 and #02-01 ), alien number, birth date, current address, health status, educational level, native language, literacy and English language level, prior work experience and skills, and social security number when obtained).
  2. A signed and dated Wilson Fish enrollment form and a letter of Client Rights and Responsibilities.  Documents must be translated into the languages of each refugee caseload.
  3. A resettlement plan (also called the Family Self-Sufficiency Plan) detailing steps and projected time frames to be taken by the client, the agency, the family member/s to work toward the earliest possible employment and self-sufficiency for the family, including strategies to remove any barriers to self-sufficiency and a budget detailing the expected costs and the amount of earnings necessary to be self-sufficient.  This plan must be translated in the refugee's own language.
  4. Clear documentation of all services provided to clients based upon the needs and goals identified in the resettlement services plan (or the Family Self-Sufficiency Plan).
  5. If a client is enrolled in a training program, the date, type, intended duration, expected outcomes, and provider of the training program also should be indicated in the case file.
  6. Documentation of regular contact with, and monitoring progress of, members of the case over time with summary notes regarding the purpose and outcomes of that contact. Notes and general documentation should cover all required service areas as prescribed in each Resettlement Plan. All services received as a result of the Family Self-Sufficiency Plan are to be documented in the file, regardless of whether the person providing the services is funded through WF funds.
  7. A statement(s) regarding the status of the case at 240 days after date of initial eligibility, e.g., whether the employable refugees are employed, number of hours per week, at what wage(s), place(s) of employment, employer contact information, whether or not health benefits are available within 180 days of placement, self-sufficiency status, referral to welfare, etc. These status statements should be located in a designated place in all case files, easily found, and not randomly stated within the case notes.
  8. Documentation of the provision of childcare and after school care, if needed.
  9. Cash transactions are to be clearly documented and acknowledgement of receipt initialed by an adult member of the client family. Each file is to have a summary sheet of all cash assistance expenditures allocable to the Wilson Fish program.
  10. Proposed budget for the respective case with actual expenditures to date. Budget for each family unit, translated if necessary, showing a list of proposed expenses and income necessary to cover such expenses. The budget should show income' from WF cash payments during WF service period as well as income from employment. This budget should be a realistic reflection of the household's financial situation during and after the WF service period and should demonstrate self-sufficiency defined as an income level sufficient to preclude eligibility for public assistance.
  11. Documentation of the termination of the case, status at termination and referrals to subsequent programs if needed. Upon completion of WF RCA and/or RMA or at the end of eight months, the client is to be provided a termination letter indicating the self-sufficiency status of the client; a statement of eligibility for additional refugee services for up to five years, referrals to services as appropriate; a reminder to adjust their immigration status to lawful permanent resident (LPR) after one year from date of grant of the immigration status that made the individual eligible for the WF program; and a reminder to complete and submit to USCIS a Form AR-11 Change of Address form if they move, and file a change of address form with the United States Postal Service (USPS).  This letter must be translated in the refugee's own language.
  12. Wilson Fish file documentation must be separate from that of services provided to clients through other programs and the R&P Cooperative Agreement. Separation by sectioning WF from other services in combined files is acceptable. In cases where a refugee case is split among programs, each separate WF case must have a separate section in the file. (See definition for splitting cases)

Per 45 C.F.R. 400.55, all written policies and forms must be available in a refugee's language as they relate to eligibility, duration and amount of cash assistance payments, and participation requirements including penalties for non-cooperation and client rights and responsibilities.  For refugee languages comprising a small proportion of the caseload, alternative methods such as verbal translation must be documented, signed by the client and case manager/interpreter to ensure that policies are effectively communicated to each refugee.

4.  Employment Services

Objective:  To place employable clients as quickly as possible into appropriate jobs enabling the household unit to become self-sufficient prior to the 8 month RCA time eligibility period.  Employable clients are defined as a person who is between the ages of 18 and 64 that is not exempt from receiving employment. Agencies must develop written policies, to be approved by ORR, for determining exemption criteria for employment.    Employment services are to be provided to employable adult clients beginning upon enrollment in the Wilson Fish program and continuing until the client becomes self-sufficient.  The level of employment services received by each client should reflect the skills, needs, and barriers identified in the Resettlement Plan.  Agencies providing WF employment services are to provide these services equally as needed to all clients.

Federal policy requires that, if necessary, clients accept "entry level" employment (see 45 C.F.R. 400.81(a) for criteria for appropriate employment).  Grantees shall communicate to employable clients who lack English language competency that they must exert a good faith effort to obtain employment while acquiring the competency in English to facilitate self-sufficiency and retain employment.  Agencies shall continue to look for suitable work with clients through job upgrades where appropriate.

WF grantees shall attempt to find employment for all employable members of the family unit when requested and/or is necessary to have more than one wage earner employed in order for the family to be economically self-sufficient.

In those relatively rare cases where newly arrived refugees who, because of their past employment, particular skills, or entrepreneurial experience, may be good candidates for self-employment, grantees should assist the client to obtain any applicable business or operator licenses as required, and retain copies in the file.  Grantees should determine self-sufficiency of the self-employed client based on the net income of the client, which is gross income less expenses and applicable local, state and federal taxes, as compared to the basic budgeted living expenses for the case.

Employment services include:

  1. Job development: An ongoing process of networking with employers to develop prospective job openings for WF clients.
  2. Job counseling: Ongoing interaction between the client and the person responsible for job development regarding questions and concerns that clients have about the world of work, job search, the need for early employment, job retention, and the consequences of refusing an appropriate offer of employment.
  3. Direct job placement assistance: Assisting the client to identify and contact prospective places of employment, scheduling appointments for job interviews, preparing clients for interviews, and following up on results of interviews. Each locale must have a staff person who is responsible for providing or overseeing provision of these services to assist clients to become employed. This person may receive assistance from sponsors and volunteers in locating employment, but the grantee is ultimately responsible for full provision of said service.
  4. Follow-up with employer and employed clients: Contacting the employer (if the agency or the agency's volunteer has found the job placement) and contacting the employed clients (regardless of whether the agency or the client has found the job placement) within two weeks after the client has started work to identify any adjustment problems and to assist in the resolution of those problems. Such follow-up activities must occur at a minimum for 90 days upon placement.  
  5. Services that lead to job upgrades for clients with particular skills, vocations, or when necessary in order for the client family to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
  6. Skills re-certification when appropriate. (see 45 C.F.R. 400.81 (b))
  7. Day-care for children for the acceptance and/or retention of employment.

5. English Language Training (ELT)

 Objective:  To provide English Language Training to refugees as part of an overall employability plan as prescribed by the case manager.

  1. Provide or assist clients in enrolling in an English language training class, as needed, according to competency level and previous English language training identified in the resettlement plan. English language training must be concurrent with rather than sequential to employment services. English language training is to be provided without cost to the client.
  2. ELT classes shall be scheduled so as not to inhibit employment search and employment; i.e., evening classes are recommended where possible. Classes should be geared toward early employment and self-sufficiency.
  3. Agencies are required to document (in the case file) attendance and progress of the client when ELT is indicated as an essential part of the Resettlement Plan for employment. 
  4. Grantees shall inform clients that non-participation without good cause in ELT, where ELT is indicated as essential in a resettlement plan for employment, may be considered grounds for sanctioning or termination of cash assistance.
  5. Grantees shall take reasonable measures to ensure that tutoring support services provided by volunteers are coordinated with the English Language Training curriculum and are provided in response to the needs indicated in the resettlement plan. Volunteers should be provided program orientation and ongoing guidance to assist in effective service delivery.

6.  Translation and Interpretation Services

Objective:  ORR funded programs are required to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to clients as required by Title VI (Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination) and as required by 45 C.F.R. sections 400.55 and 400.156. 

To ensure compliance in this area, WF sites shall periodically review client needs and adjust staffing and translation of documents accordingly.  Sites shall also maintain a list of individuals in the community who are available to supplement languages spoken by program staff.

All WF sites must also translate the following types of documents into primary client languages:

  1. Documents that need client signature
  2. Documents that explain program services
  3. Documents that explain client rights and responsibilities
  4. Documents that explain key elements of the Wilson Fish program
  5. Documents that provide notice in change of benefits or opportunity for hearings (CFR 400.23 and 400.54)

7. Administration

Objective: To ensure planned, coordinated, timely, and appropriate delivery of services and adherence to Federal regulations, policies, and guidelines.

WF grantees shall:

  1. Plan and coordinate program services with state and local community service providers (public and private) by holding quarterly meetings and by regular communication.
  2. Provide technical assistance and training to sub-grantees (as indicated) to ensure understanding and compliance.
  3. Monitor the performance of the grant and sub-grant activities and review each program function to assure that adequate progress is being made toward achieving programmatic goals and compliance with Federal grant regulations.
  4. Prepare monitoring reports which shall include any corrective actions recommended.  Follow-up on those recommendations shall be filed at the grantee's office. Reports and other documentation related to monitoring activities are to be made available to ORR upon request.
  5. Manage grant finances and account for federal funds according to Federal grant requirements.
  6. Submit timely programmatic and financial reports as detailed in the Program Announcement from ORR.
  7. Obtain prior approval from ORR before making any significant changes in the design of the program or if the numbers of enrollment are higher than originally planned.
  8. Maintain procedures for sanctioning clients that fail to comply with an agreed-upon WF self-sufficiency plan, resettlement plan and/or directive involving attendance at counseling, training sessions, or English classes or who refuses to be interviewed for or accept an appropriate job offer. (See below on Sanctioning)
  9. Ensure that written policies on the provision of RCA including policies regarding eligibility standards, duration and amounts of cash assistance payments, requirements for participation in services, penalties for non-cooperation, client rights and responsibilities, and the process of sanctioning are available in the language of the primary caseloads and can be verbally translated for other caseloads. (45 C.F.R. 400.55)

8. Coordination

The Wilson Fish grantee is either a State or a State replacement (private non-profit entity) and is therefore responsible for the coordination of all refugee resettlement services in the State/geographic area covered by WF.  The Director of the WF program is usually the State Refugee Coordinator.  In cases where the WF grant is awarded to a private agency but where the State is a participant in the refugee program (e.g. oversight of RMA only), the State is responsible for overall coordination of refugee resettlement and the State appoints a State Refugee Coordinator unless the State specifically requests to relinquish its role of State Refugee Coordinator. In this case, the role of State Refugee Coordinator will be assigned to the private WF agency.  ORR regulations (45 C.F.R. 400.5) specifically requires that the State or its designated replacement shall convene no less than quarterly meetings of representatives of all agencies that serve refugees, all local social service agencies, representatives of State and local governments to plan and coordinate services placement prior to resettlement.

WF grantees shall require that sub-grantees which participate in the program coordinate, as appropriate, with local welfare offices. This includes prompt response to welfare office questions concerning the level and duration of assistance provided to each refugee.

 9. Sanctioning and Fair Hearing Process

WF grantees may sanction a client who fails to comply with an agreed-upon resettlement plan and/or agency directive involving attendance at meetings with case managers, training sessions, or English classes or who refuses to be interviewed for or accept an appropriate job offer.

In situations where sanctions are to be applied, procedures must be in place to ensure that clients receive adequate written notice detailing the reasons for the intended action and presenting an opportunity for an adequate hearing before termination of benefits. All clients must be given due process before sanctioning takes place. ORR regulation  45 C.F.R. 400.54 requires written notice be provided to the refugee at least 10 days before the date in which RCA will be reduced, terminated or suspended. Benefits may not be terminated prior to a final administration action, but are subject to recovery by the agency if the action is sustained.

Such sanctioning may include the cessation of cash assistance and all services provided through the WF program. Sanctioning procedures must be presented to clients at the time of enrollment, and must be translated if necessary. Should a sanction be applied, ORR regulation 45 C.F.R. 400.82 requires "3 payment months sanction for the first failure and 6 payment months for any subsequent such failure."

ORR regulation 45 C.F.R. sections 400.23 and 400.54 require that a State or local agency responsible for RCA must provide an oral hearing to contest adverse determinations. Hearings must be conducted by an impartial official of the State or local agency not directly involved in the initial determination.

Definition of Terms

Interim Financial Support: Financial assistance that meets the basic needs of eligible refugees in accordance with 45 C.F.R. section 400.60. The greater part of this assistance is expected to be provided in the form of cash payments to refugees, but may also include income disregards (income which is not counted in determining payment levels and  financial eligibility for cash assistance) and incentive bonuses for early employment.

Self-Sufficiency: Economic self-sufficiency means earning a total family income at a level that enables a family unit to support itself without receipt of a cash assistance grant. Cases and individuals receiving Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc. without cash payments, are considered self-sufficient.

Employed: This measure is defined as a person who was determined and reported to be employable in the Resettlement Plan and who is legally employed in the United States. Only one job placement (full-time or part-time) should be counted per client; full-time and part-time placements should be indicated separately. Full-time employment is defined as 35 hours or more per week; part-time employment is defined as fewer than 35 hours per week. 

Entered Employment w/Health Benefits Available: This measure indicates the number and percent of full-time placements that offer health benefits at any point within six months of job placement. This is not a measure of the number of refugees who elect to enroll in health benefits, but rather how many jobs offer this option. Health benefits are considered available even if coverage is only available to the refugee and not extended to the employee's family members. Benefits are considered available without regard to whether the employee must contribute to the premium.

Splitting Cases: A refugee household that has arrived together through the R&P program and has been designated one case number can be split prior to enrollment into the WF program, provided that the household composition is in accordance with the regulations of each respective state. Splitting prior to enrollment would primarily be done

  • if the case has adult parent/s and children over 18
  • particular members of the case are ineligible for WF RCA (ex. someone on SSI),
  • if the members of the case would be living in separate households or
  • if members of the household would be served under different programs

If an office splits a case, case file documentation and outcome data should reflect the separation with an explanation of the rationale for the split. In cases where a refugee case is split for RCA purposes, each separate RCA case must have a separate section in the case file.

 


[1]The sections of the Code from which privatized Wilson Fish programs are exempt are described under 45 C.F.R. 400.301 (c) and include: 45 C.F.R. 400.5(d), 400.7, 400.51(b)(2)(i), 400.58(c), 400.94(a), 400.94(b), 400.94(c), and subpart L (unless authorized by the Director as the replacement designee for TAG programs). 

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Total Funding: $32,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 13
Award Ceiling: $20,000,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $500,000 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $2,400,000 Per Budget Period

Length of Project Periods:

48-month project with four 12-month budget periods

 

Project periods will be awarded for up to 48 months with four 12 month budget periods.  

The closing date for continuation applications is June 30, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  If a State withdraws from the refugee assistance program during this new project period, the ORR Director, has the authority under 45 CFR 400.301 of the ORR regulations to authorize a replacement designee to administer the provision of assistance and services in the State as appropriate, to refugees in the State. 

Additional Information on Awards:

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

Budget should only be provided for the first 12-month budget period.

Award amounts are based on the projected costs of providing assistance to eligible refugees which is based on the number of refugee arrivals to the State/geographic area. Since, arrivals/recipients will vary from year to year, awards for non-competing continuations will also vary from year to year.

The award floor of $500,000 listed above is an estimate based on amounts to current WF grantees. ORR may award less than this amount if this figure is supported by the estimated number clients to receive assistance. 

 

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

 

Under the cooperative agreement, the grantee will be expected to submit for Federal review and approval the:

(1)    design of the service delivery model and amendments to the model

(2)    proposed number of RCA and RMA (if applicable) recipients and any changes to the number when they are expected to be higher than originally planned

(3)    policy manual and proposed amendments to manual

(4)    staffing component and grantee is to promptly notify ORR of any changes regarding top level staff

(5)    tri-annual performance and quarterly expenditure reports

(6)    schedule for monitoring sub-grantees (if applicable) with respect to location, dates and topics

(7)    reports following site visits

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

 

According to Section 412 (e) of the INA [Cash Assistance and Medical Assistance to Refugees], "The (ORR) Director is authorized to provide assistance, reimbursement to States, and grants to, and contracts with, public or private nonprofit agencies..."

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

Faith-based and community organizations that meet eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
See "Legal Status of Applicant Entity" in Section IV.2 for documentation required to support eligibility.
 
III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: No
III.3. Other

 

ORR Refugee Eligibility

In addition to persons who meet all requirements of 45 C.F.R. 400.43, "Requirements for documentation of refugee status", eligibility for refugee program services and assistance also includes: (1) Asylees admitted under section 208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (2) Cuban and Haitian entrants under section 501 of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 (P. L. 96-422); (3) certain Amerasians from Vietnam who are admitted to the U.S. as immigrants under section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Program Appropriations Act, 1988, as included in the FY 1988 Continuing Resolution (Pub. L. 100-202); (4) certain Amerasians from Vietnam, including U.S. citizens, under title II of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Acts, 1989 (P. L. 100-461), 1990 (P. L. 101-167), and 1991 (P. L. 101-513); (5) victims of a severe form of trafficking as required by section 107(b)(1)(A) of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 as amended (P. L. No. 106 - 386) (22 U.S.C. § 7105(b)(1)(A). For details about these statuses, see ORR State Letter #00-17 and ORR State Letters #01-13 as modified by ORR State Letter #02-01, and ORR State Letter #04-12 on the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr; and (6) Special Immigrants (SIV) from Afghanistan and Iraq admitted under Section 525 of Title V of Division G of Public Law 110-161, "The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008" Sec. 1244 of Subtitle C of Title XII of Public Law 110-181, "The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008," "Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009," Public Law 110-329, at Section 101 of Division A, Section 602 of Pub. L. No. 111-08, the "Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009," Section 8120 of Pub. L. No. 111-118, "Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010" (Dec. 19, 2009; 123 Stat. 3409). For asylees, time-eligibility for ORR assistance and services begins from the date asylum is granted (see ORR State Letter 00-12). The term "refugee" is used in this notice to encompass all such eligible persons unless the specific context indicates otherwise.

 Beneficiary Eligibility

Consistent with section 412(e)(7)(B) of the INA, refugees in projects funded under this announcement will be precluded from receiving cash assistance under the TANF program during the period of support provided under the Wilson/Fish project. However, TANF clients may be eligible to receive a WF differential payment in those WF States where the TANF payment rate is lower than WF rate listed under 45 CFR section 400.60 of the ORR regulations. If alternative medical assistance is included, participants will be precluded from receiving Medicaid during the period of support provided under the Wilson/Fish project.

Other Criteria

Because a Wilson/Fish project will have a potential impact on a State's or locality's budgetary needs for cash assistance and/or medical assistance, as well as social services, a new non-State applicant must coordinate its activities with the State Refugee Coordinator and other resettlement agencies in the development and implementation of an alternative project to the existing system of services and assistance.  State applicants should also coordinate their proposed activities with other participants in refugee resettlement such as voluntary resettlement agencies, mutual assistance associations, and community and faith-based organizations, if applicable. 

ORR will only fund up to one Wilson/Fish project within a particular State/local geographic area.

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.

 
Carl Rubenstein
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
370 L'Enfant Promenade S.W., 8th Floor West
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (202) 205-5933
Email: crubenstein@acf.hhs.gov
 

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.

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(s)

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-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.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, if applicable

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 the 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.


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.

 
Outcomes Expected

Identify the outcomes to be derived from the project.

 

For example, all applicants will be required to establish proposed performance goals for each of the six ORR performance outcome measures for the upcoming Federal fiscal year. Proposed performance goals must be included in the application for each performance measure. The six ORR performance measures are: entered employments, cash assistance reductions due to employment, cash assistance terminations due to employment, 90-day employment retentions, average wage at placement, and entered employments with available health benefits. Also a self-sufficiency goal must be established which projects when clients will achieve self sufficiency based on earning a total family income at a level that enables a family unit to support itself without receipt of a cash assistance grant. Identify other benefits refugees will realize as a result of the Wilson/Fish project, including enhanced acculturation and other social adjustment measures. Describe how and what data will be collected and how this data will be used to analyze project results. Describe the plan and schedule for project monitoring.

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.

 

ORR is specifically interested in a detailed plan outlining how services and assistance will be provided to the target population under the Wilson/Fish program. Applicants should explain how the services and assistance are provided and not simply list them. The plan should include the following information:

  • Management plan describing the organization structure, program staffing and program oversight including oversight of sub-grantees; sub-grantee information should include: name, location, number of clients to be served by type of service, funding amount and source (WF-CMA, WF-RSS) [WF-RSS information will be provided as part of the WF formula Refugee Social Services budget which will be due at a later date]  
  • Demographic information both projected and from the prior fiscal year pertaining to the number or arrivals by legal status (refugee, asylee, SIV, trafficking victim, entrant and secondary migrant), ethnicity, family composition and assistance type for other programs (TANF, SSI, MG)
  • Number of projected and prior year recipients of RCA, RMA (if applicable) and social services; recipient information should include the number of carryover clients from prior year as well as those enrolled in the current fiscal year 
  • A client loading chart showing the anticipated arrival of clients over the budget period and the projected interim assistance (and medical assistance, if applicable) needed on a monthly basis throughout the year to assist those refugees.
  • RCA policies and procedures which include: financial eligibility and treatment of resources, categorical eligibility (singles, married couples, families), payment levels, client incentives, sanctioning policy, correction of over-payments and underpayments, exemption criteria for employment 
  • RMA/Medical Screening policies and procedures and services provided if funded under WF; If provided outside of the WF program, outline the process for referral and coordination with the administering State agency 
  • Social services provided under program including employment, case management, skills training, ELT, orientation, recertification, translation and interpretation, child care, transportation
  • Policies and procedures regarding compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and as required by 45 CFR 400.55 and 400.156 of the ORR regulations 
  • Coordination with other Volags, State agencies and MAA's
Geographic Location

Describe the precise location of the project and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project. Maps or other graphic aids may be attached.

 
Legal Status of Applicant Entity

Applicants must provide the following documentation of their legal status:

 

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Non-profit organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status.  Proof of non-profit status is any one of the following:

  • A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the IRS's most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code.
  • A copy of a currently valid IRS tax-exemption certificate.
  • A statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals.
  • A certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status.
  • Any of the items in the subparagraphs immediately above for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.

When applying electronically, proof of non-profit status may be submitted as an attachment; however, proof of non-profit status must be submitted prior to award.

 
 
Organizational Capacity
  • Organizational charts
  • Audit reports or statements from Certified Public Accountants/Licensed Public Accountants
  • Contact persons and telephone numbers
  • Documentation of experience in the program area
  • Any other pertinent information the applicant deems relevant.
 

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.

 

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.
 
Letters Of Support

Provide statements from community, public, and commercial leaders that support the project proposed for funding.   All submissions should be included in the application package or by the application deadline.

 
 
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: 07/19/2010
 

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

Ben Sharp
Office of Grants Management (OGM)
Division of Discretionary Grants (DDG)
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW
Aerospace Building, 6th Floor East
Washington, DC 20447
 

Hand Delivery

Ben Sharp
Office of Grants Management (OGM)
Division of Discretionary Grants (DDG)
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
901 D Street, SW, Aerospace Building
ACF Mailroom - 2nd Floor (near loading dock)
Washington, DC 20024
 

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.
 

Wilson/Fish projects from different States do not compete against each other. Competition occurs when more than one applicant proposes a project within the same State/geographic area. ORR will only fund up to one WF project within a particular State/geographic area.   

OBJECTIVES AND NEED FOR ASSISTANCE Maximum Points: 15

 

The improvements proposed to be implemented by the project are based on a thorough review and description of the current resettlement system in the geographic area to be covered, in terms of the services and assistance available; the ability of refugees to access culturally and linguistically appropriate services; the employment outcomes achieved (types of jobs currently available and length of time after arrival required to obtain these jobs); and the post-employment services available. The application will be evaluated on the extent to which it clearly describes:

a. (for new applicants proposing an alternative to the existing system of assistance and services to refugees) the deficiencies of the existing system and the improvements to be made by the alternative strategy, stated in terms of the population to be served, assistance and services to be provided, and outcomes to be achieved.

b. the target population (arrival numbers, ethnicity, legal status, and other characteristics such as age, family composition, ability to speak English, and labor skills); and the targeted populations by the anticipated category of ORR assistance (RCA, RMA) and other public assistance (TANF, Medicaid, SSI) for which the population may otherwise be eligible.

c. the planning and preparation for the project, including the primary participants involved in planning for this project and those institutions and organizations consulted, such as the State, refugee mutual assistance associations, local community and faith-based agencies, national voluntary organizations, and other agencies that serve refugees.

APPROACH Maximum Points: 50

 

The proposed project design is clear, logical, complete and reasonable in terms of (a) the proposed strategies related to the target population, the geographic area to be covered, the adequacy of the system, the policies and administration of interim cash support; (b) the likelihood that the relationship between the interim support and services described will result in a program that delivers quality resettlement; and (c) the adequacy of the cash assistance policies and procedures for appeals and fair hearings. The application has included adequate evidence of consultation with other relevant agencies and actors, e.g., the State Coordinator, voluntary agencies in a non-State application and the voluntary agencies and refugee service providers in a State application. The application will be evaluated on the extent to which it addresses the following:

a. the proposed management plan indicating who has fiscal and programmatic responsibility for the overall project and for individual components. Applicant identifies the organizational structure and includes a staffing pattern and key position descriptions. Sources and allocation of funds for administration and staffing should be detailed and clearly shown for each position and activity.

b. the proposed services and how they will be provided, e.g., employment and case management services.

c. the proposed system for providing cash support, including: (i) The income standards for cash assistance eligibility; (ii) payment levels to be used to provide cash assistance to eligible refugees; (iii) assurance that the payment levels established are not lower than the State TANF amount; (iv) a detailed description of how benefit payments will be structured, including the employment incentives and/or income disregards to be used, if any; (v) a description of how refugees residing within the project area will have appropriate access to cash assistance and services; (vi) a description of the eligibility criteria; (vii) a description of provisions for sanctions for non-cooperation as required by section 412(e)(2) of the INA; (viii) a description of the constitutionally required due process procedures to be used to ensure appropriate protections and due process for refugees, such as notice of adverse action and the right to mediation (in the case of a failure to accept employability services), a predetermination hearing, and an appeal to an independent entity; and (ix) a description of the procedures to be used to safeguard the disclosure of information on refugee clients.

d. the proposed system for providing alternative medical assistance and medical screening, if applicable, including: (a) The type and range of services to be made available (e.g., physician, inpatient, prescription, surgical, emergency, dental); (b) a comparison of the system and range of medical services proposed to the currently available RMA and/or Medicaid system and services; (c) the type of provider proposed and history of the proposed provider, especially in providing services to low-income and ethnically diverse communities; (d) a description of how refugees, especially those who do not speak English or who have limited English skills, will have equal, easy, and timely access to medical assistance; (e) variables that will affect the cost of this assistance. Include a comparison of current costs with proposed costs.

e. assurances that the written policies of the alternative project will be made available to refugee clients, including agency eligibility standards, duration and amount of cash assistance payments and medical assistance (if applicable), the requirements for participation in services, the penalties for non-cooperation, and client rights and responsibilities to ensure that refugees understand what they are eligible for, what is expected of them, and what protections are available to them. Assurance that agency policy materials will be made available to refugee clients in English and in their own language. 

f. how all activities of the project will be coordinated among resettlement agencies and service providers in the community, and how refugees will have access to other programs in the community, such as the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), child care services and other support programs for working families and individuals.

OUTCOMES EXPECTED Maximum Points: 10

 

The outcomes proposed are reasonable, and the methodology for collecting outcome and other data are clearly described and adequate. The application establishes proposed performance goals using the six Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) measures currently in use in the refugee resettlement program. The six ORR performance measures are: the number of employable refugees in the caseload, the number of entered employments, the number of cash assistance reductions due to employment, the number of cash assistance terminations due to employment, the average hourly wage at entered employment, the number of 90-day employment retentions and the number of entered employments with health benefits available. A self-sufficiency goal must be established which projects when clients will achieve self sufficiency based on earning a total family income at a level that enables a family unit to support itself without receipt of a cash assistance grant. The application identifies other benefits refugees will realize as a result of the Wilson/Fish project, including enhanced acculturation and other social adjustment measures.

ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY Maximum Points: 10

 

The application must demonstrate that the organization as described has the capacity and resources for effective administration and management of the project, project staff are qualified and have the necessary expertise to manage the project and to deliver bilingual and bicultural services and assistance to refugees in the manner described. The application must describe a system for monitoring and reporting that is attainable and adequate considering the organizational capacity and resources described.

BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION Maximum Points: 15

 

The budget is clear, logical, complete and reasonable in relation to the expected activities and outcomes. The data provided to justify the budget are consistently and logically presented in terms of the population to be served. The line-item budget narrative is understandable and adequately justifies the costs proposed including assumptions about the length of time clients are expected to need that assistance. If RCA for TANF type clients is proposed, the budget clearly delineates these costs. If medical assistance is proposed, the underlying assumptions used in developing the budget, such as the system for co-payments, deductibles, premium amounts, prescription costs are clearly presented. Identification of administrative costs pertaining to RCA case management are clearly separated from those costs projected as part of the overall role of coordinating the refugee  program in the State/local geographic area.

 

 

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.

 

Competitive Review and Evaluation Criteria

Applications that pass the initial screening will be evaluated and rated by an independent review panel on the basis of specific evaluation criteria. The evaluation criteria were designed to assess the quality of a proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success. The evaluation criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. Points are awarded only to applications that are responsive to the evaluation criteria within the context of this program announcement.

Review panel scores will weigh heavily in funding decisions, but will not be the only factors considered.  Applications generally will be considered in order of the average scores assigned by the review panel.  Because other important factors are taken into consideration, highly ranked applications are not guaranteed funding.  These other considerations include the timely and proper completion by the applicant of projects funded with ORR funds granted in the last five (5) years; comments of reviewers and government officials; ORR staff evaluation and input; amount and duration of the grant requested and the proposed project's consistency with ORR goals and policy; administrative costs associated with any sub-grantees; geographic distribution of applications; previous program performance of applicants; compliance with grant terms under previous HHS grants; audit reports; investigative reports; and applicant's progress in resolving any final audit disallowance on previous ORR or other Federal agency grants.

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.
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

Other Administrative and National Policy Requirements

 

ORR Regulations

ORR regulations may be found at 45 C.F.R. 400, where applicable.

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: Tri-Annually
Financial Reports: Quarterly
 

Wilson/Fish grantees are required to submit performance and expenditure reports in accordance with their approved cooperative agreement. Wilson/Fish program activity and progress achieved toward meeting performance outcome goals are to be reported tri-annually on the ORR-6, the "Tri-annual Performance Report." (performance and expenditure report forms can be found on the ORR website at: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/orr/policy/report_forms_instructions.htm)

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Carl Rubenstein
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Division of Community Resettlement
Aerospace - 8th Floor West
901 D St SW
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (202) 205-5933
Email: carl.rubenstein@acf.hhs.gov
 
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Ben Sharp
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
Division of Discretionary Grants
370 L'Enfant Promenade
Aerospace Building - 6th Floor East
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (202) 401-5513
Fax: (202) 401-5548
Email: ACFOGME-Grants@acf.hhs.gov
 

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.

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.

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 Description

Referenced in Section IV.2 of the announcement.

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.

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.

Letters of Support

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

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

Third-Party Agreements

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

If available, submission is due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3. or by time of award.

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.

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.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2 of the announcement under "Legal Status of Applicant Entity" in the "Project Description."

Submission due by date of award.

Signature
Date: 05/17/2010
_________________________________________________
  Mr. Eskinder Negash
  Director
  Office of Refugee Resettlement
 
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