Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
 
Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-ACYF-CS-0174
Application Due Date: 07/07/2011

 

Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-ACYF-CS-0174
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
Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-ACYF-CS-0174
ANNOUNCEMENT MODIFICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children & Families
 
Program Office:Administration on Children, Youth and Families - Children's Bureau
Funding Opportunity Title:Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants
Announcement Type:Modification
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2011-ACF-ACYF-CS-0174
CFDA Number: 93.658
Due Date for Applications: 07/07/2011
Executive Summary:

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to solicit proposals for one-time grants to Tribes, tribal organizations, or tribal consortia that are seeking to develop, and within 24 months of grant receipt, to submit to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a plan to implement a title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance, and, at tribal option, guardianship assistance program.  Grant funds under this funding opportunity announcement may be used for the cost of developing a title IV-E plan under section 471 of the Social Security Act (the Act) to carry out a program under section 479B of the Act.  The grant may be used for costs relating to the development of data collection systems, a cost allocation methodology, agency and tribal court procedures necessary to meet the case review system requirements under section 475(5) of the Act, or any other costs attributable to meeting any other requirement necessary for approval of a title IV-E plan.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

The statutory authority is section 476(c)(2)(A)(iii) of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-351).

Description

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-351) added a new section 479B to the Social Security Act (the Act) which allows Indian Tribes the option to apply to the Secretary to receive Federal funding to support the administration of their own foster care, adoption assistance, and guardianship assistance programs under title IV-E of the Act.  The law also amended the Act at section 476(c)(2)(A)(iii) to allow Indian Tribes to receive one-time development grants of up to $300,000 to be used to offset the cost of developing a title IV-E plan to carry out the requirements of the new section 479B of the Act. 

Development grants may be used by the Indian Tribe for any costs attributable to meeting the requirements for approval of a tribally-operated title IV-E plan.  The law cites the following as examples of allowable costs under the development grant: development of a data collection system, development of a cost allocation methodology, and, establishing tribal agency and court procedures necessary to meet the case review requirements in the law (section 476(c)(2)(A)(iii)).

If the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) awards the Indian Tribe a grant, the Indian Tribe must submit a title IV-E plan for direct funding to ACF no later than the end of the 24th month after the grant is awarded and, upon ACF approval of the plan, is expected to implement a title IV-E program.  If the Indian Tribe does not submit a title IV-E plan within that time frame, it must repay the total grant amount.  ACF has the authority to determine that failure to submit a title IV-E plan during the 24-month period was beyond the control of the Indian Tribe and waive the requirement to repay the grant (section 476(c)(2)(B)). Given the statutory requirement to repay the grant if a title IV-E plan is not submitted within 24 months of grant receipt, it is important that a Tribe apply for this grant opportunity only if it has already made the decision to implement a title IV-E program.

Development Grant Program Requirements

In preparing an application for a development grant, Tribes are urged to familiarize themselves with all of the requirements of the title IV-E program and to consider carefully how the development grant funds can be used to address areas in which the Tribe needs to build its capacity in order to submit an approvable title IV-E plan within 24 months and begin to operate successfully a title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance, and at tribal option, guardianship assistance program.  The following Children's Bureau (CB) policy issuances may be useful to applicants in this regard: Information Memorandum (IM) ACYF-CB-IM-08-03 and Program Instructions ACYF-CB-PI-08-05 and ACYF-CB-PI-10-11 found at  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/index.htm#policy.

Applicants are encouraged to assess their current child welfare service programs and to describe in their applications the types of child welfare services provided, the number of children and families being served, and how operating a title IV-E program would change or expand those services.  For example, will the applicant need to expand the types of services it currently offers in order to meet title IV-E requirements? Using available information, what information can the applicant provide about the number and proportion of children in foster care who would be likely to be served under a title IV-E program?  Applicants will also need to describe their current geographic service area, the service area in which the proposed title IV-E program would operate, and the year in which the applicant expects to submit a title IV-E plan. 

Some applicants will have previous experience with the title IV-E program through participation in a State-Tribe IV-E agreement.  Applicants should describe current provisions of any such agreements, the roles of the State and Tribe under such agreements, how those roles are anticipated to change if the Tribe begins operation of its own title IV-E program, and how the experience of participating in that agreement has informed its planned use of the development grant.

In preparing development grant proposals, applicants are encouraged to consider current capacity in key areas of agency infrastructure or inter-agency coordination needed to operate a title IV-E program and whether changes or improvements will be needed before an approvable title IV-E plan can be submitted.  In their proposals, applicants should make clear whether and how development grant funds will be used to address areas, such as:

  • Data collection systems;
  • Cost allocation methodology development;
  • Financial controls and financial management processes;
  • Case planning and case review systems;
  • Foster Care licensing and standards for tribal foster homes and child care facilities;
  • Quality assurance systems;
  • Courts;
  • Training of child welfare staff, prospective foster and adoptive parents, and other stakeholders (e.g., attorneys, Court-Appointed Special Advocates [CASA's], and court staff); and
  • Coordination with other related tribal or State agencies (e.g., child support enforcement, schools, Medicaid, family assistance).

In considering approaches to data collection, applicants are encouraged to review IM ACYF-CB-IM-09-02, which addresses automation requirements and options for Tribes operating a title IV-E program pursuant to section 479B of the Act; and ACYF-CB-PI-09-11, which provides guidance on Advance Planning Document regulations that govern the types of information technology and services that are eligible for Federal financial participation under title IV-E, as well as procedures which need to be followed in order to receive such funding.  (See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/index.htm#policy.)

Applicants are free to identify additional areas they wish to address through the development grant, on the condition that they provide a justification for how such use of grant funds would contribute to the applicant's ability to develop and submit an approvable title IV-E plan.  Applicants are also encouraged to provide a timeline for addressing each area identified for use of development grant funds.

Overall, applicants' proposals should demonstrate that they have assessed their own current child welfare program and capacities; have a clear understanding of the title IV-E program and the steps that will need to be taken to prepare to operate directly a title IV-E program; have a well-thought-out plan for using development grant funds to address identified areas needing to be strengthened; and that successful completion of the activities proposed to be completed under the grant will lead to the applicant's being able to submit an approvable title IV-E plan within 24 months of grant receipt.

Applicants should submit a line-item budget (not to exceed a total of $300,000) and a budget justification explaining how grant funds would be spent over a period of up to 24 months from issuance.  The budget justification should be in a narrative form. Applicants should budget for travel for a minimum of three staff, but not more than five, to attend two grantees meetings over the course of the budget period.  These 2-day meetings may be held in Washington, DC. Grantees are leaders and expected to participate in peer-to-peer sharing of implementation activities.

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Estimated Total Funding: $1,500,000
Expected Number of Awards: 5
Award Ceiling: $300,000 Per Project Period
Award Floor: $0 Per Project Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $300,000 Per Project Period

Length of Project Periods:

Other

One 24-month project period with one 24-month budget period.

Additional Information on Awards:

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

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

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants

The only eligible applicants are Indian Tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal consortia.  The terms "Indian Tribe" and "tribal organization" have the meanings given those terms in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C. § 450b.  See Sec. 479B(a) and Sec. 476(c)(2)(A)(iii).

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

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

Disqualification Factors

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

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at the ACF Funding Opportunities Forms webpage.  Standard Forms are also available at the Grants.gov Forms Repository website.

CB Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (866) 796-1591
Email: cb@luxcg.com

Federal Relay Service:

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

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Copies Required: 

If applying in hard copy
, applicants are required to submit one original and two copies of all application materials.  If applying electronically via www.Grants.gov, applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically.  Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application materials.

Signatures: 

The original signature of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is required only on the original copy of hard copy application submissions.  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 item 8f.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.

Formatting Requirements:

All application materials for both hard copy (mailed or hand delivered) and electronic submissions must be submitted on 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins.  All pages of the application submission (hard and electronic copies) must be sequentially numbered.  Project Descriptions, narratives, summaries, etc., must be in double-spaced format in 12-point font.  Hard copy application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes.  Hard copy application copies (original and two copies) must not be bound, they may be clipped or rubber-banded together.  

If an application exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the application narrative or the double-spaced page limitation cited for the appendices and resumes, the extra pages will be removed and will not be reviewed. In addition, if an application narrative is single-spaced and/or one-and-a-half spaced (in whole or in part) the total number of these lines will be doubled. This adjustment may result in an increased total number of pages, which will be removed so that the application conforms to the cited double-spaced page limitation. Page limitations do not include the required Standard Forms.

This section also may include instructions on the order of assembly for hard copy (mailed or hand delivered) application submissions.  Acceptable formats for applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are MS-Word and Excel, Word Perfect, Adobe PDF, Jpeg and Gif.

Later in this section of the announcement, specific information on page limitations is provided.  Information on required Standard Forms and other forms, certifications and assurances, D-U-N-S Numbers and Central Contractor Registration (CCR) requirements, the project description, budget and budget justification requirements, and methods of application submission are also found later in this section (Section IV.2.).

A checklist of required application elements is available for applicants' use in Section VIII. Additional Information.

 

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

Application for Federal Assistance.  Standard Forms (SF): SF424, SF-424A and SF-424-B. Follow the instructions that accompany the forms and those in Section IV.2, Application Review Information.

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

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

Project Summary/Abstract (one page maximum, single spaced).  See Section IV.2, Project Description.  Clearly mark this page with the applicant name as shown on SF-424, identify the program announcement and the title of the proposed project as shown on SF-424, and the service area as shown on SF-424.  The summary description should not exceed 300 words.  Care should be taken to produce a summary/abstract that accurately and concisely reflects the proposed project.

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

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

Indirect Charges.  If claiming indirect costs, provide documentation that the applicant currently has an indirect cost-rate approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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

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

Page Limit.  The length of the application package, excluding required Standard Forms, may be less than but must not exceed 75 pages.  This includes, but is not limited to, table of contents, project summary, project description, Gantt chart, budget/budget justification, supplemental documentation, proof of non-profit status, summaries of sub-grants and contracts, letters of agreement, MOUs, resumes, CVs and any other pages included in the application package.  All pages of the application package must be sequentially numbered, beginning with page one.  All pages of each application, excluding required Standard Forms, will be counted to determine total length.  All pages exceeding the 75-page limit will be removed and will not be considered in the reviewing process.  A cover letter and general letters of support are not required.  Applicants are reminded that if a cover letter and general letters of support are submitted, they will count towards the 75-page limit.

Each applicant must organize its application in the order listed in this section and number all application pages. Pages will be counted in the order they are submitted in hard copy and numbered when received electronically. All pages that exceed the page limit will be removed and will not be reviewed.

General Content and Form Information.  To be considered for funding, each application must be submitted with the SFs and must follow the guidance provided.  The application must be signed by an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency and to assume responsibility for the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the award.

The project description must be typed and double-spaced on a single side of 8.5 x 11 inch plain white paper with at least 1-inch margins on all sides, using black print with 12-point size Times New Roman font.

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

Applicants that deviate from these format and page limit requirements will have pages removed from their applications.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

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

 
Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(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.

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier)

Required of all applicants.

Required of all applicants.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Required of all applicants.

Required of all applicants.


Additional Assurances and Certifications

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.

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. 701 et seq., requires that all organizations receiving grants from any Federal agency agree to maintain a drug-free workplace. The recipient must notify the awarding office if an employee of the recipient is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute. Failure to comply with these requirements may be cause for debarment. HHS implementing regulations are set forth in 45 C.F.R. part 82, "Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)."

The Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.  

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/notices.html#policy.

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.

DUNS Number and CCR Registration Requirements


DUNS Number Requirement

All applicants and sub-recipients must have a DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) at the time of application in order to be considered for a grant or cooperative agreement.  A DUNS number is required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the Government-wide electronic portal, www.Grants.gov.   A DUNS 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 DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  To acquire a DUNS 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 a.m. to 8 p.m., c.s.t.

The process to request a D-U-N-S® Number by telephone takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirement

Effective October 1, 2010, HHS requires all entities that plan to apply for and ultimately receive Federal grant funds from any HHS Operating/Staff Division (OPDIV) or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:

  • Be registered in the CCR prior to submitting an application of plan;
  • Maintain an active CCR registration with current information at all times during which it has an active award or an application or plan under consideration by an OPDIV; and
  • Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

An award cannot be made until an applicant has complied with these requirements.  At the time an award is ready to be made, if the intended recipient has not complied with these requirements, the OPDIV:

  • May determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award; and
  • May use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

Additionally, all first-tier subaward recipients (i.e., direct subrecipient) must have a DUNS number at the time the subaward is made

CCR registration may be made online at www.ccr.gov or by phone at 1-866-606-8220.

There is the possibility of heavy traffic at the CCR website at application due dates.  Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date.  CCR registration must be updated annually.  CCR registration must be active and maintained with current information at all times during which an organization has an active award or an application under consideration.


Definitions:

Central Contractor Registration (CCR): 
The Federal registrant database and repository into which an entity must provide information required for the conduct of business as a recipient.  CCR, managed by the General Services Administration, collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency financial assistance missions.

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number: 
The nine-digit, or thirteen-digit (DUNS + 4), number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.

Entity:
Means all of the following:

  • A Governmental organization, which is a State, local government, or Indian tribe;
  • A foreign public entity:
  • A domestic or foreign for-profit organization; and
  • A Federal agency, but only as a subrecipient under an award or subaward to a non-Federal entity.

Subaward:  This term means a legal instrument to provide support for the performance of any portion of the substantive project or program for which you received this award and that the recipient awards to an eligible subrecipient.

  • This term does not include the procurement of property and services needed to carry out the project or program (for further explanation, see Sec. --.210 of the attachment to OMB Circular A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations").
  • A subaward may be provided through any legal agreement, including an agreement that the grantee or a subrecipient consider to be a contract.

First Tier Subrecipient:  An entity that receives a subaward from a prime grantee and is accountable to the prime for the use of the Federal funds provided by the subaward.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission (contd.)

The Project Description

Part I: The Project Description Overview

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

General Expectations and Instructions

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

Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

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

Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers.

Project Summary/Abstract

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

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

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

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

Objectives And Need For Assistance

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

Approach

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

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

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

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

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.

Organizational Capacity

  • Organizational charts
  • 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.

Dissemination Plan

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

Third-Party Agreements

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

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

Provide a narrative budget justification for the proposed project that is being fully funded (the budget period and project period are the same). 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.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520, 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 and sub-recipients must be registered with Grants.gov, Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS Number), and the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). 
  • All pages of the application package must be sequentially numbered.
  • Electronically submitted applications must be received and time/date stamped by the due date and receipt time described in this announcement in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.
  • To submit an application through Grants.gov, the applicant must be the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) for their organization and must have current registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
  • Central Contractor Registry (CCR) registration must be updated annually.  As of October 1, 2010, all applicants, and sub-recipients are required to have CCR registration in order to apply for Federal grants and cooperative agreements.
      
  • 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. 
  • 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 the Grants.gov Registration Checklist.
  • 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. Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Grants.gov Contact Center is closed on Federal holidays.
  • Applicants should retain Grants.gov Contact Center service ticket number(s) as they may be needed for future reference.
  • Applicants that submit their applications electronically should retain a hard copy of their application package.
  • It is to an applicant's advantage to submit their applications at least 24 hours in advance of the closing date and time.
  • Applicants should not wait until the due date for applications to begin submission of their application.

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, ACF's Grants Management Officer (GMO) will make a determination whether the issues are due to Grants.gov system errors or user error. 


Hard Copy Submission

Applicants that are submitting their applications in hard copy format, by mail or delivery, must 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.

Applications submitted in hard copy must show a DUNS Number.  A DUNS Number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.  A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://www.dnb.com.  To acquire a DUNS 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 through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., c.s.t.

As of October 1, 2010, all applicants for Federal grants and cooperative agreements, including those that apply in paper format, are required to have Central Contractor Registration.  CCR registration is also required for organizations that will receive subawards under Federal grants and cooperative agreements.  CCR registration may be made online at www.ccr.gov or by phone at 1-866-606-8220.

CCR registration must be updated annually from the date of the initial registration.  CCR registration is required to be active throughout the period of award.  Lack of CCR registration will prevent ACF from making an award to a recommended applicant.

There is the possibility of heavy traffic at the CCR website at application due dates.  Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date.  CCR registration must be updated annually.  CCR registration must be active and maintained with current information at all times during which an organization has an active award or an application under consideration.


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: 07/07/2011

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview and 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, on the due date, listed in the Overview and in this section, at the address provided in Section IV.6 of this announcement.  Applications received after the stated due date and time will be designated as late and will disqualified from competition.

Hand-Delivered Applications


Applications that are 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 the Overview and 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. Applications received after the stated due date and time will be designated as late and will disqualified from competition.

Electronically-Submitted Applications

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by facsimile or email.  Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov may be found at the Grants.gov Registration Checklist

Electronically-submitted applications must be received and validated at www.Grants.gov by 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date.

Upon submission and receipt of an application via www.Grants.gov, the applicant will receive three emails:

  1. Acknowledgement of the application's submission to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov tracking number.  Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time-stamp, which serves as the official record of application submission. The date and 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.  Applications received at Grants.gov after the due date and time will be disqualified.

  2. Acknowledgement from Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications received on the due date that fail the validation check on, or after, 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date because the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is not registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) will be determined to be late and will not be considered for the review. Applications that do not pass the validation check at Grants.gov after the due date and time will be disqualified.
       
  3. An additional email from ACF will be sent to the applicant indicating that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF.

Late Applications

No appeals will be considered for applications classified as late under the following 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 and 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.  

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 the 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.

Upon submission of an application electronically via http://www.Grants.gov, the applicant will receive three emails:

  1. Acknowledgement of the application's submission to Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov tracking number. The email will also provide a date and time-stamp, which serves as the official record of application submission.
  2. Your application has been validated and provides a Time/Date Stamp. See the previous section on failing the validation check because of an unregistered Authorized Organization Representative (AOR).
  3. An email will be sent to the applicant from ACF indicating that the application has been retrieved from Grants.gov by ACF.

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

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

This program is not subject to Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," or 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities." No action is required of applicants under this announcement with regard to E.O. 12372.
IV.5. Funding Restrictions

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

Submit applications to one of the following addresses:

Submission By Mail

CB Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Hand Delivery

CB Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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.
 
Objectives and Need for Assistance Maximum Points: 20

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

  1. The application clearly demonstrates an understanding of the requirements of the title IV-E program and this funding opportunity announcement, and makes clear how the proposed project will enable the applicant to meet those requirements.
  2. The application provides a brief description of the child welfare services program currently operated by the Tribe, including the types of services provided (e.g., child protective services, in-home services, foster care services, adoption services, etc.), and scope of the existing program.
  3. The application presents a clear vision of the how the title IV-E program will benefit children and families involved in the Tribe's child welfare program and provides estimates of the number of children likely to benefit from title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance, and/or guardianship assistance payments.
  4. The application includes a clear statement of the goals (end results of an effective project) and objectives (measurable steps for reaching these goals) for the proposed title IV-E plan development grant.  These goals and objectives will effectively lead to the development or refinement of systems, policies and procedures that must be in place in order for the Tribe to submit an approvable title IV-E plan.
  5. The application clearly demonstrates that the applicant has a thorough understanding of the areas it must address (e.g., data collection systems, case review systems, etc.) in order to be prepared to submit a title IV-E plan and implement a title IV-E program.  The applicant addresses its current capacity in each of these areas and makes clear why it proposes to use grant funds to address these areas.
  6. The application provides evidence that the proposed project, if successfully implemented, would likely lead to the submission of an approvable title IV-E plan and contribute to the knowledge base on building Tribal capacity to implement a title IV-E program.  The applicant provides the date by which the Tribe expects to submit a title IV-E plan to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).
  7. The population or geographic service area or areas in which the Tribe proposes to operate the title IV-E program is identified and adequately described, including, if applicable, the State boundaries in which the service areas are contained or overlap.
Approach Maximum Points: 50

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

  1. The application clearly identifies and describes the areas (such as case planning and review systems, data collection systems, cost allocation methodologies, quality assurance systems, courts, etc.) it intends to address through the grant.
  2. For each area the applicant proposes to use grant funds, the application describes a clear plan to meet the applicant's goals, including major tasks to be achieved and proposed timelines for completing these tasks.
  3. The timeline for implementing the proposed project, including major milestones and target dates, is comprehensive and reasonable.  The proposed project would lead to the applicant being able to develop and submit an approvable IV-E plan within 2 years of grant award.
  4. The application addresses any existing title IV-E agreements with States or agreements the Tribe is in the process of negotiating with a State.  If applicable, the proposal provides a brief description of what is covered by those title IV-E agreements and which services and title IV-E procedures are currently performed by the State and which by the Tribe.  The applicant indicates whether these agreements are intended to remain in effect while a Tribe operates its own title IV-E plan directly, or whether such agreements will be re-negotiated (modified), or terminated.
  5. The application describes the roles and responsibilities of any collaborating agencies in carrying out activities under the grant, and includes letters of commitment.
  6. The application demonstrates that the applicant has a thorough understanding of the challenges in carrying out proposed grant activities and in developing an approvable title IV-E plan within 2 years.  The applicant provides a sound plan for overcoming these challenges.
  7. The proposed project is likely to lead to the successful development of an approvable title IV-E plan and would enhance the capacity of the applicant to provide child welfare services to the target population.
  8. The specific activities to be conducted under the proposed project are appropriate and are described in detail.
Organizational Profiles Maximum Points: 20

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

  1. The applicant organization and its staff have sufficient experience to successfully complete the proposed project.  The applicant's history and relationship with the targeted community would assist in the effective implementation of the proposed project.  The applicant has experience in developing collaborative working agreements with other relevant agencies.  The applicant organization's capabilities and experience relative to this project, including experience with administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of similar projects, would enable them to implement the proposed project effectively.
  2. If the applicant represents a consortium of partner agencies, their background and experience would support the planning and implementation of the proposed project.  There are letters of commitment from each partner authorizing the applicant to apply on behalf of the consortium and agreeing to participate if the proposal is funded.
  3. The proposed project director and key project staff possess sufficient relevant knowledge, experience and capabilities to implement and manage a project of this size, scope, and complexity effectively.  The role, responsibilities, and time commitments of each proposed project staff position, including consultants, subcontractors and/or partners, are clearly defined and appropriate to the successful implementation of the proposed project.
  4. There is a sound management plan for achieving the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks and ensuring quality.  The plan clearly defines the role and responsibilities of the lead agency.  The plan clearly describes the effective management and coordination of activities carried out by any partners, subcontractors, and consultants (if appropriate).  There would be a mutually beneficial relationship between the proposed project and other work planned, anticipated or underway with Federal assistance by the applicant.
Budget and Budget Justification Maximum Points: 10

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

  1. The applicant provides a line-item budget (not to exceed a total of $300,000).  There is a budget justification (in narrative form) explaining how grant funds would be spent over a period of up to 24 months from issuance.
  2. The costs of the proposed project are reasonable and programmatically justified, in view of the targeted population and community, the activities to be conducted, and the expected results and benefits.
  3. The applicant's fiscal controls and accounting procedures would ensure prudent use, proper and timely disbursement, and accurate accounting of funds received under this program announcement. 
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.  No grant award will be made to an applicant or sub-recipient that does not have active CCR registration (www.ccr.gov or 1-866-606-8220).
 
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 receive a screen-out letter noting that the application was deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.  For those applications that have been deemed disqualified under the initial ACF screening, notice will be given of such determination by postal mail.

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.  They are one element in the decision-making process.

ACF may elect not to 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 preferences to fund organizations serving emerging, unserved, or under-served populations, including those populations located in pockets of poverty.  ACF will also consider the geographic distribution of Federal funds in its award decisions.

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

Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications recommended for approval that were not funded under the competition because of the lack of available funds, may be held over by ACF and re-considered in a subsequent review cycle if a future competition under the program area is planned.  These applications will be held over for a period of up to one year and will be re-competed for funding with all other competing applications in the next available review cycle.  For those applications that have been deemed as approved but unfunded, notice will be given of such determination by postal mail.

 
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.

Other correspondence announcing to a Principal Investigator or Project Director that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance.  Costs incurred before receipt of  a FAA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to extent considered allowable as approved pre-award costs.

 
VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the uniform administrative requirements and cost principles of 45 C.F.R. Part 74 (Awards And Subawards To Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Nonprofit Organizations, And Commercial Organizations) or 45 C.F.R. Part 92 (Grants And Cooperative Agreements To State, Local, And Tribal Governments).  The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr.

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.

Prohibition Against Profit

Grantees are subject to the limitations set forth in 45 C.F.R. Part 74, Subpart E-Special Provisions for Awards to Commercial Organizations (45 C.F.R.  Part 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." 

Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations

Grantees are also subject to the requirements of 45 C.F.R. Part 87.1(c), Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which says, "Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from the Department under any Department program may not engage in inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization as part of the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from the Department."  Therefore, organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under this program.  

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. 

Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, and additional information on "Understanding the Regulations Related to the Faith-Based and Community Initiative" are available at http://www.hhs.gov/fbci/regulations/index.html.

The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr.

Award Term and Condition under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

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

HHS Grants Policy Statement

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

VI.3. Reporting

Grantees under this announcement will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. The frequency of required reporting is listed later in this section.  Final reports may be submitted in hard copy to the Grants Management Office Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this announcement.  Instructions on submission of reports electronically will be provided with award documents.

Performance Progress Reports (PPR)

ACF grantees are required to submit the SF-PPR Cover Page. ACF Programs that utilize reporting forms or formats in addition to, or instead of, the 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.  Grantees should consult their award documents to determine the appropriate performance progress report format required under their award.  Performance progress reports are due 30 days after the end of the reporting period.

Final program performance reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  The SF-PPR may be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html

Federal Financial Reports (FFR)

As of February 1, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began the transition from use of the SF-269, Financial Status Report (Short Form or Long Form) to the use of the SF-425 Federal Financial Report for expenditure reporting. SF-269s will no longer be accepted for expenditure reports due after that date. If an SF-269 is submitted, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will return it and require the recipient to complete the SF-425.

The transition strategy is allowing individual HHS Operating Divisions to select--from a limited number of options--the approach that best fits their programs and business process. This transition does not affect completion or submission of the cash reporting to the HHS Division of Payment Management's Payment Management System (PMS). The primary features of this transition for recipients are that OPDIVs that previously required electronic submission of the SF-269 will receive the SF-425 expenditure reports electronically and, until further notice, OPDIVs that have been receiving expenditure reports in hard copy will continue to do so.

All expenditure reports will be due on one of the standard due dates by which cash reporting is required to be submitted to PMS OR at the end of a calendar quarter as determined by the Operating Division. As a result, a recipient that receives awards from more than one OPDIV may be subject to more than one approach, but will not be required to change its current means of submission or be subjected to more than eight standard due dates.

Beginning with budget periods which end from January 1 - March 31, 2011, and for all budget periods thereafter, all affected ACF grantees will be required to submit an SF-425 report as frequently as is required in the terms and conditions of their award using due dates for reports to PMS.
 

For budget periods ending in the months of:

The FFR (SF-425) is due to ACF on:

January 01 through March 31

April 30

April 01 through June 30

July 30

July 01 through September 30

October 30

October 01 through December 31

January 30


Fillable versions of the SF-425 form in Adobe PDF and MS-Excel formats, along with instructions, are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms, www.forms.gov, and on the ACF Funding Opportunity website Forms page.


Further instructions will be provided, as necessary, with award terms and conditions that will address specific reporting periods and due dates on an award-by-award basis.   Additional information on frequency of reporting is available on the ACF Funding Opportunities web site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/msg_sf425.html.

For planning purposes, reporting periods for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

 





 
Program Progress Reports: Semi-Annually
Financial Reports: Semi-Annually

Awards issued as a result of this funding opportunity may be subject to the Transparency Act subaward and executive compensation reporting requirements of 2 C.F.R. Part 170.  See ACF's Award Term for Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirement implementing this requirement and additional award applicability information.

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Eileen West
Administration for Children and Families
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
Children's Bureau Headquarters
Portals Building
1250 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 205-8438
Email: Eileen.West@ACF.hhs.gov
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Ben Sharp
Grants Management Officer
Division of Discretionary Grants
CB Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (866) 796-1591
Email: cb@luxcg.com
 

Federal Relay Service:

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

VIII. Other Information

NOTICE:  ACF intends to implement all electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for applications for discretionary awards in FY 2012.  For applicants without Internet access, or those without the computer capacity to upload large documents, ACF will offer a waiver procedure. In 2011, ACF will post a Federal Register notice soliciting public comment on the intended move to all electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for applicants for discretionary awards.

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 - ACF Funding Opportunities homepage  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (C.F.D.A.) https://www.cfda.gov/.

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys.  

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

All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available on the ACF Forms page at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.

Grants.gov Forms Repository webpage at http://www.grants.gov/agencies/aforms_repository_information.jsp.

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.

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

Application Checklist

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

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.  Go to www.ccr.gov to register.

Required for all applicants. CCR registration must be active by time of award.

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier)

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.  Go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform to obtain DUNS Number.

Required in application submission.

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://www.grants.gov/ agencies/ aforms_repository_information.jsp.

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

Table of Contents

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

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

Project Summary/Abstract

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

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

Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.

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

Budget and Budget Justification

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

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

Third-Party Agreements

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

If available, submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.  If not available at the time of application submission, due by the 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 is due prior to award.

Appendices