Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
 
Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System
HHS-2012-ACF-ACYF-CA-0538
Application Due Date: 07/30/2012

 

Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System
HHS-2012-ACF-ACYF-CA-0538
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
Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System
HHS-2012-ACF-ACYF-CA-0538
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | 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:Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2012-ACF-ACYF-CA-0538
CFDA Number: 93.670
Due Date for Applications: 07/30/2012
 

Notice: On January 1, 2012, the Administration for Children and Families implemented required electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for discretionary grant applications. (76 Fed. Reg. 66721-66723, October 27, 2011, New Policies and Procedural Requirements for the Electronic Submission of Discretionary Grant Applications). Please see Section III.3. Disqualification Factors, Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission and Application Submission Options, and Section IV.3. Explanation of Due Dates and Times for information on electronic application submission and the availability of exemptions allowing applicants to submit applications in paper format.

 
Executive Summary:

The Administration for Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Children's Bureau (CB), announces the availability of competitive grant funds authorized by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-320). These targeted 5-year grants are to be awarded to support: 

  • The development or expansion of triage procedures for a subset of families who come to the attention of the child welfare system due to severe housing issues and high service needs;
  • Local implementation of supportive housing services that integrate community services for housing and other critical services for the specified target population;
  • Customized case management services for children and their parents, as well as trauma-informed interventions and evidence-based mental health services through partnerships to access additional services through community-based service providers; and
  • Evaluations that examine the process and implementation outcomes for these grants. 

Grants will further triage efforts outlined in the reauthorization of CAPTA in 2010 through collaborations between child protective services and various community authorities, agencies, and providers, focused on intervention, prevention, and investigation of child maltreatment. Projects under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will serve a subset of families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a factor, in addition to other high service needs, in the imminent placement or placement of the child, or children, in out-of-home care. 

Community-linked services, as specified in CAPTA, will be provided to families through the local implementation of supportive housing services. The demonstration models will build upon and adapt supportive housing services designed to respond to the complex needs of families with child protective services involvement in a multidisciplinary and ongoing manner. Evidence-based, trauma-informed services will be embedded into the service structure in order to improve housing stability and engagement in supportive services. Applications must describe what evidence-based, trauma-informed services they are considering for inclusion or will include in the service array. Expected outcomes are: a reduction in child welfare system contacts, child maltreatment, child removals, and foster care placements; and an increase in housing stability and employment. 

Grantees must demonstrate innovation in responding to reports of child abuse and neglect through a partnership between the child protective services agency, local housing authority, community housing providers, and other critical service providers, as appropriate. Applicants are required to demonstrate partnerships between the public child welfare agency, the local public housing authority or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider. Other collaborative partnerships may include local philanthropic organizations, community social service agencies, family support programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), employment or subsidized employment agencies, developmental disability agencies, substance abuse treatment entities, health care entities, domestic violence prevention entities, mental health service entities, and schools. Applicants must document proposed partnerships through third-party agreements with partners proposed to participate in the project. 

Grantees must demonstrate that they have secured affordable housing or a concrete plan to do so through which services will be provided. Successful proposals must justify the proposed target population and service plan through an analysis of local data. The components of the proposed supportive housing service plans must link to expected outcomes.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

The statutory authority is section 105 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. §5106.

Description

BACKGROUND

Ensuring the Well-Being of Vulnerable Children and Families

ACYF is committed to facilitating healing and recovery, and promoting the social and emotional well-being of children who have experienced maltreatment, exposure to violence, and/or trauma. This FOA and other discretionary spending this fiscal year are designed to ensure that effective interventions are in place to build skills and capacities that contribute to the healthy, positive, and productive functioning of children and youth into adulthood.

Children who have experienced maltreatment, exposure to violence, and/or trauma are impacted along several domains, each of which must be addressed in order to foster social and emotional well-being and promote healthy, positive functioning: 

  • Understanding Experiences: A fundamental aspect of the human experience is the development of a world view through which one's experiences are understood. Whether that perspective is generally positive or negative impacts how experiences are interpreted and integrated. For example, one is more likely to approach a challenge as a surmountable, temporary obstacle if his or her frame includes a sense that "things will turn out alright." On the contrary, negative experiences can color how future experiences are understood. Ongoing experiences of abuse might lead children to believe they deserve to be maltreated and affect their ability to enter into and stay engaged in safe and healthy relationships. Interventions should seek to address how young people frame what has happened to them in the past and their beliefs about the future.
  • Developmental Tasks: People grow physically and psychosocially along a fairly predictable course, encountering normal challenges and establishing competencies as they pass from one developmental stage to another. However, adverse events have a marked effect on the trajectory of normal social and emotional development, delaying the growth of certain capacities, and, in many cases, accelerating the maturation of others. Intervention strategies must be attuned to the developmental impact of negative experiences and address related strengths and deficits to ensure children and youth develop along a healthy trajectory.
  • Coping Strategies: The methods that young people develop to manage challenges both large and small are learned in childhood, honed in adolescence, and practiced in adulthood. Those who have been presented with healthy stressors and opportunities to overcome them with appropriate encouragement and support are more likely to have an array of positive, productive coping strategies available to them as they go through life. For children who grow up in unsafe, unpredictable environments, the coping strategies that may have protected them in that context may not be appropriate for safer, more regulated situations. Interventions should help children and youth transform maladaptive coping methods into healthier, more productive strategies.
  • Protective Factors: A wealth of research has demonstrated that the presence of certain contextual factors (e.g., supportive relatives, involvement in after-school activities) and characteristics (e.g., self-esteem, relationship skills) can moderate the impacts of past and future negative experiences. These protective factors are fundamental to resilience; building them is integral to successful intervention with children, youth, and families.

The skills and capacities in these areas support children and youth as challenges, risks, and opportunities arise.  In particular, each domain impacts the capacity of young people to establish and maintain positive relationships with caring adults and supportive peers. The necessity of these relationships to social and emotional well-being and lifelong success in school, community, and at home cannot be overstated and should be integral to all interventions with vulnerable children and youth. Additionally, building these skills and capacities through the implementation of effective interventions will ready children, youth, and families for positive permanency outcomes.

An important component of promoting social and emotional well-being includes addressing the impact of trauma, which can have a profound effect on the overall functioning of children and youth. ACYF promotes a trauma-informed approach, which involves understanding and responding to the symptoms of chronic interpersonal trauma and traumatic stress across the domains outlined above, as well as the behavioral and mental health sequelae of trauma.

ACYF anticipates a continued focus on social and emotional well-being as a critical component of its overall mission to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children.

Purpose

It is the interest of this FOA and the Children’s Bureau to examine and further efforts of the child protective services system to reduce family separation due to a lack of adequate housing. The opportunity to promote coordination and collaboration to address the intersection of child welfare and supportive housing services is presented in the authorizing legislation. Detailed under section 105 (42 U.S.C. 5106), CAPTA authorizes grants to public and private agencies that demonstrate innovation in responding to reports of child abuse and neglect, including programs of collaborative partnerships between the State child protective services agency, and a myriad of partners to allow for the establishment of a triage system that: 

  1. Accepts, screens, and assesses reports received to determine which such reports require an intensive intervention and which require voluntary referral to another agency, program, or project;
  2. Provides, either directly or through referral, a variety of community-linked services to assist families in preventing child abuse and neglect; and
  3. Provides further investigation and intensive intervention when the child’s safety is in jeopardy.

Partners listed in the legislation include community social service agencies and family support programs, developmental disability agencies, substance abuse treatment entities, health care entities, domestic violence prevention entities, mental health service entities, schools, churches and synagogues, and other community agencies. This FOA will carry out the triage language under CAPTA to serve a subset of families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a factor, in addition to other high service needs, in the imminent placement or placement of the child, or children, in out-of-home care. Community-linked services, as specified in CAPTA, will be provided to families through the local implementation of supportive housing services. Service models will integrate housing and critical community services to achieve the objectives of increasing safety, permanency, well-being, and positive family functioning. 

Housing Instability and Child Protective Service Systems

Numerous studies show that inadequate housing increases the risk of entry into foster care, and delays in reunification of families from foster care with negative effects on children. Recent studies also suggest that recurrent shelter entries and longer stays in the shelter system are related to increased involvement in child welfare[i][i][ii][iii] [iv] [v] [vi]

The cycle linking homelessness and foster care often begins with homeless parents, usually single female-heads-of-households, who have experienced childhood sexual and physical abuse, and adulthood trauma. Homelessness becomes more likely as parents struggle to maintain their families while battling mental illness and substance abuse problems. Ultimately, homelessness, rather than parental substance abuse or mental illness, is the strongest predictor of child out-of-home placement.[vii] Experiences of maltreatment, homelessness, parental substance abuse or mental illness, and removal from parents, all threaten the healthy development and well-being of children. If these experiences can be prevented or their impact mitigated, it is possible to substantially improve outcomes for these children.

Families comprise the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, now accounting for more than one third of the overall group.[viii]The 2010 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) documented a 29 percent increase in sheltered family homelessness nationwide between 2007 and 2010.  Currently, an estimated 168,000 families representing 567,000 persons in families are estimated to use an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program at some point during the year. The 2011 HUD Point-in-Time annual estimates of homelessness reported that of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations on a single night in January, persons in families made up an estimated 37 percent of the homeless population. Additionally, in 16 States, at least one in five homeless families was in an unsheltered location.[ix]

Experiences of maltreatment, homelessness, parental substance abuse or mental illness, and removal from parents, all threaten the healthy development and well-being of children. If these experiences can be prevented or their impact mitigated, it is possible to substantially improve outcomes for these children.

Recurrent shelter entries and longer stays in the shelter system are related to increased involvement in child welfare: 17 percent of children with one episode received child welfare services, compared with 22 percent of those with two episodes and 27 percent of those with three or more episodes. Of children with an average annual length of shelter stay of more than 90 days, 40 percent entered the child welfare system; whereas approximately 10 percent of those with the annual average length of shelter stay of less than 90 days did so.[x]

Household and parent functioning tend to be marked by instability among these homeless families. Homeless mothers demonstrate enduring patterns of conflict, trauma, and victimization, including exposure to domestic violence, community violence, and histories of childhood maltreatment. Two-thirds of homeless mothers report experiencing domestic violence, while one-third report active partner violence.[xi]  Compared to other poor, but housed children, homeless children are more likely to: demonstrate higher anxiety, depression, and behavior problems; have poorer school attendance and achievement; and, have poorer health and more developmental delays. 

As rates of family homelessness climb, overburdened social assistance systems, including child welfare and TANF, are expected to support an influx of families. As many as 71 percent of adults in homeless families have been found to not be working.[xii] Short-term educational and job training programs for homeless parents usually equip them only for low-skill jobs, which differ little from the positions that homeless parents held prior to becoming homeless.[xiii] These types of jobs seldom allow the parents to make qualitative changes in their lives. TANF programs can provide an array of non-recurrent, short-term benefits and services to help families that are homeless.[xiv]

Child welfare systems are challenged in responding to needs of homeless families. Child welfare caseworkers report spending significantly greater amounts of time and providing more service to inadequately housed families compared to other families in their caseload.[xv] Caseworkers also report a dearth of affordable housing. While families may be facing homelessness for the first time, many are caught in a cycle of poverty, mental illness, trauma, and substance abuse. Integrating child welfare, housing, along with other identified critical supportive services based on an assessment of the unique strengths and needs of each family, is critical to promoting positive outcomes for homeless parents and their children.

A recent study, using longitudinal data, looked at the impact of supportive housing services on homeless children’s well-being, including the number of children with child protection involvement, the number of child protection reports, and the number of accepted maltreatment reports. One key finding indicated that out-of-home placements decreased by approximately 50 percent over time for families receiving supportive housing, but increased by approximately 50 percent for comparison families.[xvi]

Potential for Cost Savings

It is the interest of the Children’s Bureau to examine innovative approaches to address the needs of families that come to the attention of child welfare system with multi-system involvement and potential for system-level cost savings. Supportive housing programs have been estimated to cost 70 percent less than out-of-home care, and it has been estimated that an average annual cost savings of $36 million per year per State may be possible if sufficient supportive housing were available.[xvii] This suggests that investment in housing stability may be a cost-saving strategy.[xviii]

Families who experience multiple episodes of homelessness and extended periods of homelessness (slightly more than one year) face complex barriers to housing by virtue of having substantial needs (i.e. history of involvement with the child welfare system, mental or behavioral health challenges, substance abuse challenges, etc). Prior studies have indicated that costs associated with the utilization of health, behavioral health, criminal justice, and child welfare services by homeless families decline substantially while a family remains homeless relative to the period prior to the onset of their homeless episode or the period subsequent to the family’s exit from homelessness.[xix] The estimated costs for these families range from $14,000-$21,000 one-year prior to the onset of homelessness; $20,000-$25,000 during the episode of homelessness; and $15,000-$20,000 one-year after their exit from homelessness. The earliest possible identification of at-risk families provides an opportunity to not only begin to work toward improved outcomes, but also to achieve substantial cost savings across public systems.

Collaboration between Child Welfare, Housing, and Community Service Systems

Federal efforts and research to date demonstrate that collaboration and coordination at the systems and practice level are critical in maintaining housing stability among families and promoting child welfare. In 2011 the U.S. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) commissioned a study of local programs that link human services and housing supports to prevent and end family homelessness. The study identified promising practices that facilitated the development, implementation, and sustainability of the programs. Promising practices largely focus on components of collaboration at the system and practice level such as using nontraditional community resources, developing lasting partnerships that lay a solid foundation for future partnerships, and standardizing processes and data-sharing to improve program operations.[xx]

Additionally, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness: Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness sets an agenda for addressing homelessness and stresses governmental collaboration at all levels. The plan encourages using programs targeted to homeless families and mainstream resources to help families achieve housing stability. The plan emphasizes the importance of mainstream housing and employment programs to assist families to achieve and maintain adequate and stable housing.

Federal and Local Supportive Housing Programs

Supportive housing is designed to promote the development of housing and supportive services to assist homeless persons in the transition from the streets and shelters to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.[xxi] Supportive housing models provide both subsidized housing and concrete and therapeutic services to meet the needs of families with complex needs. It includes single or multiple site independent housing paired with a range of supports and services that are community-based. Families receive supports needed to stabilize and remain in their homes. Services provided in supportive housing models vary but generally include physical and mental health, substance abuse, education, employment, and financial management services.

Activities in and lessons learned from established supportive housing programs provide important information about the level of innovation, creativity, and collaboration necessary to adequately serve this population and should be considered by the applicant: 

  • The Federal Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness included new models of collaboration and redefined the role of various property management functions, including selection and training of property managers, daily communication of service teams, role of private landlords as natural supports, and joint problem solving to resolve housing problems. One of the most important lessons learned was the critical integration of property managers and housing specialists as joint members of the project teams.[xxii]
  • Family Unification Program (FUP) provides housing choice vouchers (HCV) Section 8  to families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in either the separation of children from their families or in the prevention of reunification. FUP vouchers played an important role in a recent demonstration project. Families involved with the child welfare system receiving FUP vouchers were found, at one-year follow-up, to demonstrate positive outcomes: 90 percent of families who were initially at risk of out-of-home placement remained intact 12- months later, 85 percent of families remained stably housed over the entire 12-month follow-up.[xxiii]

Examples of Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Collaborations

The State of Connecticut’s child welfare system confronted a housing instability problem and in 1998 the Department of Children and Families with the support of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services broadened referral criteria to its Supportive Housing for Families program to include families facing housing barriers to family unity or reunification. Families received intensive case management, access to scattered-site permanent housing, coordination of mental health and related interventions, housing assistance, and support for building connections in the community. Upon discharge from the program, 73 percent of participants successfully moved into permanent housing, and half were employed or receiving disability benefits at exit.[xxiv]

An initiative in New York City that combined supportive housing and children welfare services is the Keeping Families Together (KFT) pilot project. In 2007, the Corporation for Supportive Housing with support from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched KFT. Between August 2007 and June 2009, 29 families were identified and served in the project. The families all had significant, some intergenerational, histories of child welfare involvement, substance abuse or mental illness, social isolation, interpersonal violence and trauma. Each family had at least one open child welfare case at the start of the pilot. Sixty percent of the 105 children born to KFT families were not living with them: 40 percent were living in foster care and 22 percent had been adopted. After moving into supportive housing, all families received individual case management services from on-site social workers, as well as access to substance abuse treatment, medication management, parenting skills training, and other services as needed. Case managers met with each family at least twice a month to check in and monitor progress.

The initial evaluation of KFT included a process evaluation and an outcome evaluation. The process evaluation focused on partnership and implementation of activities provided to target families. The outcome evaluation examined the progress of participating families in achieving program outcomes, including housing stability, family reunification, health and mental health outcomes, and use of supportive services. The results of the evaluation are limited by a number of factors, most notably the small sample size. Nevertheless, KFT had a successful pilot. Positive findings were demonstrated in the areas of strengthening family functioning, stability, and self-sufficiency. Taken together, the evaluation results and the experiences of  KFT families showed that the supportive housing pilot strengthened vulnerable families with highly complex needs while protecting their children.

Opportunities to Participate in Privately Funded Activities

A consortium of foundations is interested in this work, in alignment with the Federal Government, to improve collaborations across child welfare and housing at a community level as articulated under this FOA. Post award, the consortium of foundations is offering opportunities for successful grantees to access technical assistance and to participate in further knowledge development in this area through additional evaluation, not required under this FOA.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

NOTE: See Section IV. Application and Submission Information/The Project Description for additional instructions for applicants.

This initiative provides an opportunity for public child welfare agencies, local housing authorities, and family homeless or domestic violence shelters to introduce and implement supportive housing services for families who are served by those systems. Grantees are required to demonstrate innovation in responding to reports of child abuse and neglect through a partnership between the child protective services agency, local housing authority, community housing providers, and other critical service providers, as appropriate.

Projects must develop or support a triage system in the child protective service system that accepts, screens, and assesses reports received to determine which such reports require an intensive intervention due to severe housing issues. The triage procedures must include a comprehensive assessment of basic needs based on best practices in child welfare. Applicants should articulate how referrals of families will be received from the child welfare agency, homeless shelters serving families with children, and other relevant agencies that may serve the target population for this initiative.

The demonstration projects will build upon and adapt supportive housing services that provide a variety of community-linked services to focus on and achieve the objectives of increasing children’s safety and well-being, and positive family functioning. Projects will link child welfare, particularly related to services for the caregiver and trauma services for the children, and supportive housing and public housing will reinforce stability to meet the needs of families known to child welfare.

The remainder of this section defines project requirements for grantees in these areas: 

  • Target Population
  • Collaboration
  • Provision of Housing
  • Program Strategies and Activities
  • Planning and Implementation Phases
  • Evaluation
  • Dissemination
  • Project Sustainability Plan

Target population

Funded projects must serve a clearly defined, described, and justified target population(s) based on an analysis of local data. They must appropriately address the characteristics, needs, and experiences of the adults, children, youth, and other family members targeted, and the appropriateness of the proposed work for the target population. The target population must be limited to children, youth, and families known by the child welfare system for whom the lack of adequate housing is a factor, in addition to other high service needs, in the imminent placement or placement of the child, or children, in out-of-home care. Characteristics of appropriate target populations under this FOA include, but are not limited to: 

  • Reports to child protective services related to abuse and neglect;
  • Exposure to prior traumas, including child abuse and domestic violence;
  • Lack of financial resources and receiving or eligibility for public assistance;
  • Children who exhibit severe emotional and/or behavioral problems;
  • Repeated episodes of homelessness over time and/or long stays in shelters; and
  • Parents with serious and chronic substance abuse, mental health, or physical health problems.

Although the characteristics above provide an approximate description of the range of challenges facing homeless families, they nonetheless underscore the fact that not all families will be appropriate target recipients for this pilot project. This points to the need for the collaboration between the project partners to focus on identifying those families who are most in need of and who would derive the most tangible benefit from receiving assistance provided by this pilot project (i.e., those families that present with multiple characteristics).

Families with multiple high-level needs, such as those outlined above, that are not met, typically consume a high rate of financial and programmatic resources from Federal, State, and local sources, in many social service systems. This project is intended to provide those families with a robust array of effective services as soon as they are identified to limit the costs of multiple system involvement.  Projects will be built on collaborative partnerships and supportive services strategies based on the characteristics of the children and their parents targeted for services. Projects will collect and report detailed information about their screening and referral protocols and supportive housing services.

NOTE: See Section IV. Application and Submission Information/The Project Description/Approach for additional instructions for applicants regarding Target Population.

Collaboration

Grantees will use funds under this FOA to support an interdisciplinary team of professionals to work with families on-site in single-site supportive housing settings or make visits to the families’ homes to provide services in a scatter-site housing model, in which housing units are not located in one single location. At the systems level, required partners are the local public child welfare agency, local public housing authority or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider. The staffing of the interdisciplinary teams will be based on the systems-level partnership. Projects must demonstrate a plan to include critical service providers. Partners may include, but are not limited to, the behavioral health agency and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) agency as part of the supportive housing structure. This collaborative will be a hub for negotiating interagency resources and trouble- shooting competing and inconsistent policies that impede families’ progress. 

Project partners will bring experience and success in the following areas: 1) routine consultation and interaction with other agencies; 2) joint accountability and shared outcomes amongst agencies; 3) cross training and staff development; and 4) processes for communication and information sharing. Strategic partnerships will build on collaborative partners’ values and principles, and will have agreements about shared costs and budgets as they conduct collaborative efforts on behalf of children and families.

Other collaborating organizations may include, but are not limited to, Public and/or private housing agency(ies); local philanthropic partners; employment and education programs; substance abuse treatment, health, mental health, and child-serving agencies; family court and criminal justice system.

NOTE: See Section IV. Application and Submission Information/The Project Description/Approach for additional instructions for applicants regarding Collaboration.

Provision of Housing

Funded projects must secure affordable housing for at least 50 families as the platform for which the services will be provided for the target population. The housing resources may come from more than one source, including sources such as public housing authorities, Continuum of Care or other family homeless service providers, faith-based housing organizations, other State or local housing providers, or philanthropic partners.

All affordable housing provided in conjunction with these services must meet the following requirements: 

  • Families have leases, and rights and responsibilities of tenancy. Tenure in housing is not contingent upon families’ participation in services.
  • Rent is adequately subsidized such that extremely low-income tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their gross monthly income for rent. Any housing source that allows renters to pay a higher percentage than this must be identified and explained in the application.
  • The design, construction, physical integrity, and maintenance of the housing units provide an environment that is safe, sustainable, functional, appropriate for the surrounding community, and conducive to tenants’ stability.

NOTE: See Section IV. Application and Submission Information/The Project Description/Approach for additional instructions for applicants regarding Provision of Housing.

Program Strategies and Activities

Funded projects must provide specific services and activities that meet the intent of the funding. All grant recipients are required to select and report on performance indicators. When that time comes, grantees should carefully consider how their proposed program strategies and activities align with their selection of performance indicators.  Services and activities that grantees are required to develop or integrate into existing triage service delivery systems include: 

1. The establishment of interdisciplinary teams for case management: 

Ensuring the safety, stability, and well-being of vulnerable children and families requires extensive practice knowledge and effective information sharing that is best accomplished through the development of interdisciplinary teams to work with families. The team is a source for information sharing, understanding, consultation, joint practice, and accountability. Interdisciplinary team staffing strategies must reflect the make-up of the systems-level partnership. The primary role of the team will be to: 

  • Establish a trusting relationship with families to promote child well-being and family stability while improving the capacity of caregivers to provide a safe and permanent home for their children.
  • Work with the family to develop an integrated case plan that includes housing needs as well as other services needed by the family.
  • Ensure housing retention and improve housing stability among families as a platform for ongoing engagement and family stability.
  • Work with families to devise and implement a comprehensive, family-based program that focuses on child safety, positive family functioning, and wellness.
  • Build a network of support within the program and among tenants that focuses on trust, well-being, and social/community integration.
  • Advocate on behalf of parents and children to ensure that they understand the requirements of the social services in which they are engaged. Facilitate access to public benefits available to them.  Staff will act as a liaison between parent and service provider when necessary while building the capacity of the caregiver and child to communicate effectively and advocate for them. 

2. Services for parents and children that address family functioning: 

  • Parenting skills training to provide evidenced-based strategies to promote the parenting abilities of parents who are receiving in-home child welfare services, or whose children have been removed with goals of reunification.  Examples include Celebrating Families and Strengthening Families, Nurturing Parent Program, Parents as Teachers, Triple P. 
  • Access to programs to address relational problems, and concerns including such programs as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Familias Unidas, Child Parent Psychotherapy, Functional Family Therapy.
  • Services and interventions to improve family functioning and assist with reunification of families when children have been in out-of-home placements such as Multi-Systemic Family Therapy.
  • Ancillary services for families to provide assistance in securing needed services such as safe and drug-free housing, transportation, and child care. 

3. Services and activities for children and youth that address child well-being and trauma: 

  • Screening and assessment of child well-being.  In infancy and early childhood this would reflect development in four general domains: 1) language development and communication; 2) Intellectual ability and cognitive functions; 3) physical development and motor skills; and 4) socio-emotional functioning. In middle childhood, well-being involves the assessment of socio-emotional functioning and general social competence, academic achievement, peer relationships and social skills, a developing sense of identity, and the nature of social support. In adolescents, emotional health, social adaptation, academic achievement, and preparation for adult roles and responsibilities are evaluated.
  • Evidence-based, developmentally appropriate approaches to promoting child well-being. Approaches would be tailored to the specific needs of the child. 
  • Access to appropriate mental health services for children involved in the child welfare system, including services to address experiences of trauma. These might include evidence-based, trauma-focused interventions (i.e. trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy), psychological first aid and de-escalation, development of coping strategies, relaxation and self-control strategies, encouragement of expression of feelings, services that address relationship concerns, and other approaches.

Planning and Implementation Phases

This FOA allows for a 10-month planning and assessment phase (Phase I). During Phase I, grantees will build on their plan for completing Phase II that was clearly and concisely described in their applications, and their applications description of the preliminary plans and rationale for the installation and implementation of the supportive housing service model (Phase II). Note: see IV.2 Project Description, Approach for instructions for applicants.

Phase I Assessment and Planning Phase (Year 1)

Successful applicants will begin their 5-year cooperative agreements by engaging in intensive assessment and planning activities prior to implementing triage procedures and the supportive housing program. The purpose of this period is to: 

  • Establish collaborative partnerships necessary to guide and support successful program development and implementation, and finalize all partnership agreements;
  • Further define the target population;
  • Ensure the appropriateness of the selected supportive housing program model and trauma-focused service array for targeted children and their families;
  • Implement plan to secure housing and perform readiness assessments of participating supportive housing providers;
  • Ensure the fit of the supportive housing services for the existing service system and service array into which they will be introduced;
  • Identify the existing supportive services and/or the funding streams that will be used to sustain service delivery during and after completion of the project;
  • Assess the capacity and readiness of the child welfare system and its partnering agencies for the implementation of triage procedures and supportive housing services;
  • Based on the results of the comprehensive set of assessments described above, grantees will develop and finalize sound plans for Phase II, including plans to: 1) prepare the child welfare system and housing agencies for implementation; 2) successfully adopt the triage procedures and supportive housing services; 3) rigorously evaluate the processes and outcomes of installation and implementation; 4) sustain the delivery of the supportive housing services using resources from available funding streams; and 5) disseminate lessons and findings to the field over the course of the project.

In order to successfully introduce supportive housing services into the existing service array, grantees must effectively collaborate with key partners and stakeholders. Grantees must also secure commitments, through third-party agreements with any agencies and organizations with whom they must partner to fund and deliver the new services. Partners and stakeholders that are critical to the success of the implementation will be engaged during this first phase of the project. During Phase I, the grantee will further refine the target population and examine the appropriateness of the selected supportive housing services for the parents and their children targeted for services. Based on the literature and a thorough review of its own data, the grantee will justify their proposed target population. The grantee will revisit the available research and evaluation evidence and consult with experts to strengthen its justification for selecting the particular supportive housing service array for the targeted children. 

Grantees will collect data as part of their evaluation activities throughout Phase I, capturing the assessment and planning process, completion of key activities, and the evolving logic of their projects. Grantees will also be assessing how best to answer key evaluation questions, identifying data sources and instruments, collaborating with other grantees, choosing methods and indicators, and seeking necessary Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals. During Phase I, grantees will submit a finalized implementation plan for CB review and approval by June 1, 2013.

Phase II: Implementation Phase (Years 2-5)

Upon completion of the Assessment and Planning Phase, each grantee will have developed a comprehensive implementation plan for implementing triage procedures and the supportive housing services during the 4-year implementation phase. Based on its in-depth assessments, the Phase II implementation plan will clearly articulate the grantee's rationale and provide a roadmap to follow as the grantee transitions resources to implement triage procedure, supportive housing services, customized case management, conduct the local evaluation, and disseminate the project's findings to the field. The implementation plan will serve as a work plan with key activities and milestones.

In years 2 through 5, the grantee will complete each component of its Phase II plan, which must include, at a minimum, the following: 

  • A detailed description of the core components model that is being implemented for the project. Projects should clearly articulate the specific strategies that will be utilized and which fully implements the model.
  • Detailed implementation strategies, timelines, and milestones for roll-out of the supportive housing service program into routine service delivery, including plans for staging the transition from current practice across agencies and service providers; and methods for building practitioner competence in the models; and quality assurance.
  • Complete local implementation of innovative supportive housing services that integrate community services for housing and other critical services for families who come to the attention of child protective services;
  • Implementation of customized case management services for children and their parents and referrals to access additional services through community-based service providers;
  • Implementation of a rigorous local evaluation plan (see the section below on Evaluation);
  • Plans for information dissemination, including fostering and strengthening communication and coordination activities with other Federal grantees and with CB's Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) Network, including CB's National Resource Centers, Implementation Centers, and Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Evaluation

NOTE: See Section IV. Application and Submission Information/The Project Description/Evaluation for additional instructions for applicants.

CB expects that projects funded under this FOA will build the evidence base for innovative interventions that will enhance well-being and improve outcomes for families who are at risk of separation and those who have been separated due to inadequate housing and other serious barriers to stability in the applicants' child welfare systems. Projects are required to engage with an evaluator in rigorous site-specific evaluations in order to improve their processes and services and to demonstrate linkages between proposed interventions and improved outcomes.

Local Evaluation

Funded projects will need systems for collecting, tracking, analyzing, and reporting data on clients/families served and on program activities and services provided, including any electronic systems for collecting this data.  Data collected will support the grantee’s efforts for their own performance management and continuous quality improvement. 

If the grantee does not have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective, comprehensive evaluation of the project, the grantee should contract with a third-party evaluator specializing in social science or evaluation, or a university or college, to conduct the evaluation. A grantee may choose an internal or external evaluator. The local evaluators experience, skills, knowledge, and approach will include: 

  • Understanding of the state and/or local level agencies that will be working together to support implementation of the supportive housing program. Local evaluators should demonstrate experience conducting systems-level research and an understanding of how to measure systems change and collaboration.
  • Experience collecting and analyzing program and system-level data. Local evaluators will collect and analyze program and system-level data (for example, from administrative data sources and from interviews with program staff, partners, and policymakers). 
  • Expertise in evaluation design and methods. Local evaluators will participate in a year-long evaluation planning process and will help to shape the local and cross-site evaluation design. Local evaluators should demonstrate experience designing and conducting longitudinal research that is aligned with research questions and a program logic model/theory of change. Other important experiences to demonstrate include selecting measures, using existing data systems as a source of evaluation information, and collecting data that are reliable and valid.
  • User-friendly, accessible reporting and communication with partners and stakeholders. The local evaluator must be able to communicate with and share information with varied audiences, including home visiting program staff, administrators, government agency staff members, and policymakers.

NOTE: See Section IV. Application and Submission Information/The Project Description/Evaluation for additional instructions for applicants.

Dissemination

Grantees will be expected to work throughout the course of their projects with Federal Project Officers, the CB T/TA Network, and other projects in this grant cluster to: 

  • Finalize individual grant dissemination goals, objectives, and strategic plan;
  • Identify and engage with target audiences for dissemination;
  • Produce detailed procedures, materials, and other products based on the program evaluation and the needs of identified target audiences;
  • Develop and disseminate summarized/synthesized information about the project; and
  • Evaluate their dissemination processes and outcomes.

NOTE: See Section IV. Application and Submission Information/The Project Description/Approach for additional instructions for applicants.

Project Sustainability Plan

ACYF is interested in ensuring that the most effective program strategies, services, and interventions can be sustained.  Therefore, grant progress reports should explain ongoing efforts to assess and gather evidence on the particular strategies and activities initiated under this grant that should and can be sustained after the end of the project period. Funded projects will maintain the involvement of partners on an ongoing basis in the planning and operation of their program, and they will engage in sustainability planning in order to continue the proposed program at the conclusion of Federal funding.

NOTE: See Section IV. Application and Submission Information/The Project Description/Approach for additional instructions for applicants.

 


[i] Cowal, K., Shin, M., Weitzman, BC., Stojanovic, D., and Labay, L. (2002). Mother-child separations among homeless and housed families receiving public assistance in New York City. American Journal of Community Psychology. 30(5):711.

[ii] Rog, D.J., McC DJ; McCombs-Thornton, KL; Gilbert-Mongelli, AM; Brito, MC & Holupka, CS. (1995). Implementation of the homeless families program: 2. Characteristics, strengths, and needs of participant families. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 65(4):514.

[iii] Courtney, ME; McMurtry, SL & Zinn, A. (2004). Housing problems experienced by recipients of child welfare services. Child Welfare. 83(5):393.

[iv] Courtney, ME; McMurtry, SL & Zinn, A. (2004). Housing problems experienced by recipients of child welfare services. Child Welfare. 83(5):393.

[v] Rog, DJ; McCombs-Thornton, KL; Gilbert-Mongelli, AM; Brito, MC & Holupka, CS. (1995). Implementation of the homeless families program: 2. Characteristics, strengths, and needs of participant families. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 65(4):514.

[vi] Park, J.M., Metraux, S., Brodbar, G., Culhane, D.P. (2004). Child Welfare Involvement Among Children in Homeless Families. Child Welfare League of America. Vol. LXXXIII, #5, September/October. 423.

[vii]  Cowal, K; Shin, M; Weitzman, BC; Stojanovic, D & Labay, L. (2002). Mother-child separations among homeless and housed families receiving public assistance in New York City. American Journal of Community Psychology. 30(5):711.

[viii] U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2010). The 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. Washington, DC: Author.

[ix] U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), June 2011, 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR)

[x] Park, J.M., Metraux, S., Brodbar, G., Culhane, D.P. (2004). Child Welfare Involvement Among Children in Homeless Families. Child Welfare League of America. Vol. LXXXIII, #5, September/October. 423.

[xi] Rog, DJ; McCombs-Thornton, KL; Gilbert-Mongelli, AM; Brito, MC & Holupka, CS. (1995). Implementation of the homeless families program: 2. Characteristics, strengths, and needs of participant families. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 65(4):514.

[xii] Burt, M. et al. (1999). Americas Homeless II: Population and Services (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute).

[xiii] Wang, H. (2009). Horizons for Homeless Children: A comprehensive service model for homeless families. Journal of Children and Poverty. 15(1):55-62.

[xiv] HHS/HUD Joint Guidance on Preventing & Ending Homelessness date July 17, 2010.

[xv] Barth, R.P., Wildfire, Jl, & Green, R.L. (2006). Placement into foster care and the interplay of urbanicity, child behavior problems, and poverty. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76, 358-366.

[xvi] Hong, S & Piescher, K.N. (2012) The role of supportive housing in homeless childrens well-being: an investigation of child welfare and educational outcomes. Issue Brief by Minnesota-Linking Information for Kids retrieved on January 27, 2012 from http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/cascw/attributes/PDF/minnlink/Report_No11.pdf

[xvii] Harburger, D.S. & White, R.A. (2004). Reunifying families, cutting costs: Housing-child welfare partnership for permanent supportive housing. Child Welfare, 83, 493-508.

[xviii] Culhane, DP; Park, JM & Metreaux, S. (2011). The patterns and costs of services use among homeless families. Journal of Community Psychology. 39(7):815.

[xix] Culhane, DP; Park, JM & Metreaux, S. (2011). The patterns and costs of services use among homeless families. Journal of Community Psychology. 39(7):815.

[xx] Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Human Services Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (November, 2011) Research Brief: Linking Human Services and Housing Supports to Address Family Homelessness: Promising Practices in the Field.

[xxi] Supportive Housing Desk Guide. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

[xxii]Kresky-Wolff, M., Larson, M.J., OBrien, R.W., & McGraw, S.A. (2010). Supportive Housing Approaches in the Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness (CICH). The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 37:2, 213-225.

[xxiii] Fowler, P.J., Taylor, J.J., Rufa, A.K. (2011). Housing Services for Child Welfare-Involved Families: An Initial Evaluation Using Observational Data. Child Welfare. Vol. 90, No. 2. 107-126.

[xxiv] Farrel, A.F., Britner, P.A., Guzzardo, M., and Goodrich, S. (2010) Supportive housing for families in child welfare: Client characteristics and their outcomes at discharge. Children and Services Review. 32:145-154.

II. Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Total Funding: $5,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 5
Award Ceiling: $1,000,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $500,000 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $1,000,000 Per Budget Period

Length of Project Periods:

60-month project with five 12-month budget periods

Additional Information on Awards:

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

Applications requesting an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period or per project period, as stated in this section, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period. Please see Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors.

Note: For those programs that require matching or cost sharing, grantees will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-Federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications, even if the projected commitment exceeds the required amount of match or cost share. A grantee’s failure to provide the required matching amount will result in the disallowance of Federal funds.

Continuation grant applications will be considered on a non-competitive basis and is subject to the satisfactory progress of the grantee, availability of funds, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Federal Government. Grants will be awarded for one-year budget periods throughout the project.

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

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

  • CB will review and approval of planning stages of the activities before implementation phases may begin;
  • CB and recipient will jointly collaborate in the performance of key programmatic activities (i.e., strategic planning, implementation, information technology enhancements, T/TA, publications or products, and evaluation);
  • CB will closely monitor the requirements stated in this FOA that limit the grantee's discretion with respect to scope of services offered, organizational structure, and management processes; and
  • CB will closely monitor performance. This may, in order to ensure compliance with the intent of this funding, exceed those Federal stewardship responsibilities customary for grant activities.

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

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Applicants are:

  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Small businesses

Additional Information on Eligibility

Eligible applicants are public and private agencies that demonstrate innovation in responding to reports of child abuse and neglect, including programs of collaborative partnerships between the State child protective services agency, community social service agencies and family support programs, law enforcement agencies, developmental disability agencies, substance abuse treatment entities, health care entities, domestic violence prevention entities, mental health service entities, schools, churches and synagogues, and other community agencies, to allow for the establishment of a triage system.

Individuals, foreign entities, and sole proprietorship organizations are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards under this announcement. See Section III.3. Other.

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

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier) and Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirements


DUNS Number Requirement

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

All applicants and subrecipients must have a DUNS number 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., CST

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

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirement

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is 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.

Effective October 1, 2011, HHS required all entities that plan to apply for, and ultimately receive, Federal grant funds from any HHS Agency, or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:

  • Be registered in the CCR prior to submitting an application or 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.

ACF is prohibited from making an award 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, ACF:

  • 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. 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 are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date. 

APPLICATION DISQUALIFICATION FACTORS


Applications from individuals, foreign entities, or sole proprietorship organizations will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Award Ceiling Disqualification

Applications that request an award amount exceeding the Award Ceiling per budget period, or per project period, as stated in Section II. Award Information, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period.

Application Submission Disqualifications

Beginning January 1, 2012, ACF requires electronic submission of applications at www.Grants.gov.  Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption that will allow these applicants to submit an application in paper format. Information on requesting an exemption from electronic application submission is found in Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. Electronic applications submitted to www.Grants.gov after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, as indicated by a dated and time-stamped email from www.Grants.gov, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. That is, applications submitted to www.Grants.gov, on or after 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.


Please Note
: Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time, which fail the Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged. Applications that fail the Grants.gov validation check are not transmitted to ACF though they may have been submitted on time.

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time-stamp email. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps that result in a validated application, which are transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.


The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. Paper applications received after 4:30 p.m., ET
, on the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Paper applications received from applicants that have not requested an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. See "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission" in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

Applications that are disqualified under any of these circumstances will receive written notification by letter or by email.

Read and observe the formatting instructions for application submissions in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

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


Electronic Application Submission:
The electronic application submission package is available at www.Grants.gov.

Applications in Paper Format:
For applicants that have received an exemption to submit applications in paper format, Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at the ACF Funding Opportunities Forms webpage at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html. See Section IV.2.Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission if applicants do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to www.Grants.gov.

Standard Forms that are compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794d): Available at the Grants.gov Forms Repository website and at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms.

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

FORMATTING ACF APPLICATIONS


For All ACF Applications:

Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)
The individual(s), named by the applicant/recipient organization, who is authorized to act for the applicant/recipient and to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to grant applications or awards.

Each applicant must designate an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). An 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.

AOR Authorization is part of the registration process at www.Grants.gov where the AOR will create a short profile and obtain a username and password from the Grants.gov Credential Provider.  AORs will only be authorized for the DUNS number registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR).

Point of Contact
In addition to the AOR, a point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified. The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR. The point of contact must be available to answer any questions pertaining to the application.

Application Checklist
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.

Follow the instructions provided in the formatting section to ensure that your application can be printed efficiently and consistently for the competitive review.   

Observe page limitations.
All applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section. Be sure to print all attachments (components) on paper and count the number of pages before submission. Keep the printed copy as a hard copy of your application for your files.

Application Package Components
Applications must be divided into the sections listed in the table. (The order in which components are submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov or included in a paper application may not be the same as listed in the table.) Page limitations apply to the Project Description document and the Appendices and the following:

  • The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.
  • The Budget Justification should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages and will not count against page limitations.

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and/or OMB-approved Forms

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

Budget Justification

No more than 10 single-spaced pages and will not count against page limitations.

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.


ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED VIA www.Grants.gov:
 

Notice: The Administration for Children and Families has implemented required electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov.  Applicants are now required to submit their applications electronically unless they have requested and received an exemption that will allow submission in paper format.  See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

Electronic applications will only be accepted via www.Grants.gov. ACF will not accept applications submitted via email or via facsimile. Only applications, which pass the Grants.gov validation check, will be acknowledged.

Please read this section carefully before beginning application submission. It is mandatory to follow the instructions provided in this section to ensure that your application can be printed efficiently and consistently for review.

Copies Required
Applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically. Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application package.

NOTE: Applications submitted via www.Grants.gov will undergo a validation check. See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options and Section IV.3. Submission Due Dates and Times, Explanation of Due Dates. The validation check can affect whether the application is accepted for review. Applications that fail the www.Grants.gov validation check will not be transmitted to ACF. If the application fails the validation check and is not resubmitted by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, it will be disqualified.

Signatures
Follow the AOR Authorization and E-Biz POC  instructions provided at www.Grants.gov.

Required OMB-Approved and Standard Forms (SFs)
www.Grants.gov  provides its own protocols for the submission of OMB-approved and Standard Forms (SFs) such as the SF-424 application and budget forms and the SF-P/PSL, Project/Performance Site Location form.  See Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications for required OMB-approved Standard Forms and required assurances and certifications.

Application Package Components
Applications must be divided into the sections listed in the table. It is important that each component is submitted in a separate electronic file. Page limitations apply to the Project Description document and the Appendices and the following:

  • The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.
  • The Budget Justification should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages.

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and/or OMB-approved Forms

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

Budget Justification

No more than 10 single-spaced pages and will not count against page limitations.

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

The required content of the Project Description and any Appendices, and their page limits, are listed later in this section.

With the exception of the required Standard Forms (SFs), all application materials must be formatted so that they will print out onto 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins.  All pages of the application component, i.e., Project Description, Budget Justification, Appendices, must be sequentially numbered.  Applicants should print all attachments on paper and count the number of pages before submitting the application. Applicants should keep a hard copy of the submitted application package for their files. The font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable.

All elements of the application submission, with the exception of the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, the Budget Justification, required Assurances and Certifications, and proof of legal status/non-profit status, must be in double-spaced format in 12-point font. The Project Summary/Abstract is required to be one single-spaced page in 12-point font.  The Budget Justification may be single-spaced page in 12-point font and should be no more than 10 pages. The font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable.

Applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section:

Carefully observe the file naming conventions required by www.Grants.gov.
Limit file names to 50 characters and do not use special characters (example: &,-,*,%,/,#) including periods (.), blank spaces, and accent marks, within application form fields, and file attachment names. An underscore (_) may be used to separate a file name.

Use only file formats supported by ACF.
It is critical that applicants only submit application components using the supported file formats listed here. Documents in file formats that are not supported by ACF will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

ACF supports the following file formats:

  • Adobe PDF – Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
  • Corel WordPerfect (.wpd)
  • Image Formats (.JPG, .GIF, .TIFF, or .BMP only)

Do not encrypt or password protect the electronic application files!
If ACF cannot access submitted electronic files because they have been encrypted or are password protected, the affected file will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

PAPER APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS:

The following requirements are only applicable to applications submitted in paper format. Applicants must receive an exemption from ACF in order to submit an application in paper format. See Section IV.2.Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission later in this section under Application Submission Options.

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and/or OMB-approved Forms

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

Budget Justification

No more than 10 single-spaced pages and will not count against page limitations.

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

Copies Required
Applicants must provide one original and two copies of all application materials when submitting an application in paper format. 

Signatures
An original signature of the AOR is required only on the original copy of paper application submissions. 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.

Format Requirements for Paper Applications

Applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section. 

All application materials must be submitted on 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins. All pages of the paper application submission must be sequentially numbered.  Application materials must be printed on one side only of each page so that they may be easily reproduced. If two-sided pages are submitted, only the "front" page will be used. 

All elements of the application submission, with the exception of the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, the Budget Justification, required Assurances and Certifications, and proof of legal status/non-profit status, must be in double-spaced format in 12-point font. The Project Summary/Abstract is required to be one single-spaced page in 12-point font.  The Budget Justification may be single-spaced, in 12-point font, and should be no more than 10 pages. The font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable.

All copies of a mailed or hand-delivered paper application must be submitted in a single package. A separate package must be submitted for application under a single 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. Application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes.

Instructions on the order of assembly for paper application submissions are available under this formatting section.

Addresses for Submission of Paper Applications
See Section IV.6. Other Submission Requirements for addresses for paper application submissions.

Page Limitations for Paper Format Application Submissions
Page limitations do not include OMB-approved Standard Forms (SFs), the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, proof of legal status/non-profit status, required Assurances and Certifications, and the Budget Justification, which should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages.

If an application exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the Project Description or the double-spaced page limitation cited for the Appendices, 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.

The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page with 12-point font. Any pages over the one-page limit will be removed.

Page Limitations and Content of The Project Description and Appendices for All Application Formats:

Additional Instructions for Electronic and Paper Applications Under this FOA

Organizing the Application. Applicants must follow the general instructions above in the section labeled Application Package Components. In addition, applicants must adhere to the following instructions for organizing the Project Description and Appendices sections of the Application Package under this FOA. Note that the page limit for the Budget Justification section is expanded under this FOA.

Organizing the Project Description and Appendices. Reviewers will use the specific evaluation criteria in Section V. Application Review Information of this FOA to review and evaluate each application. The applicant should address each of these specific evaluation criteria in the project description. Applicants must organize their Project Description and Appendices in this sequence so that reviewers can readily find information that directly addresses each of the specific review criteria:

The Project Description must include the following items in this order:

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Objectives and Need for Assistance
  3. Approach
  4. Evaluation
  5. Organizational Capacity                                                                           

The Appendices must include the following items in this order:

  1. Logic Model
  2. Third-party agreements
  3. Staff and Position Data (e.g., resumes, job descriptions, organizational charts)
  4. Indirect Cost Rate Letter (if applicable)

Page limits. The Project Description and Appendices combined are limited to a total of 100 pages. Under this FOA, the Budget Justification may be expanded to 20 pages.

Formatting. Charts, budget tables, third-party agreements, staff and position data, supplemental letters, and documents, must be in 10-point font or larger and may be single spaced.

Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

Applicants seeking grant or cooperative agreement awards under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications with the application. 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-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due prior at the time of application.  It may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

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.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Submission is voluntary. Submission may be made with the application by the application due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  Or, it may be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications.  Submission of the survey is voluntary.   Applicants applying electronically may submit the survey along with the application as part of an appendix or as a separate document.  Hard copy submissions should include the survey in a separate envelope.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Submission required of all applicants with the application package.  If it is not submitted with the application package, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Submission of this Certification is required for all applications.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

and

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

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

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

and

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for a non-construction project. Standard Forms must be used.  Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

Required for all applications when applying for a non-construction project. By signing and submitting the SF-424B, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Protection of Human Subjects Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption (Common Rule)

Submission of the required information and forms is due with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. If the information is not available at the time of application, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Form is available at http://www.hhs.gov /ohrp/assurances/forms /index.html.



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

  1. Have the project fully functioning within 90 days following the notification of the award.
  2. Participate if CB chooses to do a cross-site evaluation or a technical assistance contract that relates to this FOA.
  3. Submit all performance indicator data, program, evaluation, and financial reports in a timely manner (see Section VI.3), in the recommended formats (to be provided). CB prefers and will accept the interim and final reports and attachments on disk or electronically using a standard word-processing program; however, projects are required to provide the original and two copies of performance progress and final reports.
  4. Submit an original and two copies of the final program/evaluation report and any program products to CB within 90 days of project end date.
  5. CB reserves the right to secure and distribute grantee products and materials, including copies of journal articles written by grantees about their grant projects.
  6. All grantee materials, products, publications, news releases, etc. will include this notice- Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau, Grant #______ The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the funders, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. This information is in the public domain. Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit ___________ .
  7. Allocate sufficient funds in the budget to support required travel:  
    • Within 3 months after the award, the project director, child welfare liaison (if different from the project director), evaluator and/or other key staff must attend a 2- to 3-day kick-off meeting in Washington, D.C.
    • The project director, the child welfare agency liaison (if different from the project director), housing authority liaison and the evaluator and/or other key staff must attend the annual grantee meeting, usually held in the spring, in Washington, D.C.

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

The Project Description

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.

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 funding opportunity 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 other approaches. 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 outcomes 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.

Target population

Applicants must define, describe, and justify their proposed target population(s) by presenting an analysis of local data. They must justify their proposed work based on characteristics, needs, and experiences of the adults, children, youth and other family members targeted and the appropriateness of the proposed work for the target population.  The target population must be limited to children, youth, and families known by the child welfare system for whom the lack of adequate housing is a factor, in addition to other high service needs, in the imminent placement or placement of the child, or children, in out-of-home care. Characteristics of appropriate target populations under this FOA include, but are not limited to: 

  • Reports to child protective services related to abuse and neglect;
  • Exposure to prior traumas including child abuse and domestic violence;
  • Lack of financial resources and receiving or eligibility for public assistance;
  • Children who exhibit severe emotional and/or behavioral problems;
  • Repeated episodes of homelessness over time and/or long stays in shelters; and
  • Parents with serious and chronic substance abuse, mental health or physical health problems.

Although the characteristics above provide an approximate description of the range of challenges facing homeless families, they nonetheless underscore the fact that not all families will be appropriate target recipients for this pilot project. This points to the need for the collaboration between the project partners to focus on identifying those families who are most in need of and who would derive the most tangible benefit from receiving assistance provided by this pilot project (i.e., those families that present with multiple characteristics).

Families with multiple high-level needs, such as those outlined above, that are not met, typically consume a high rate of financial and programmatic resources from Federal, State, and local source, in many social service systems. This project is intended to provide those families with a robust array of effective services, as soon as they are identified, to limit the costs of multiple system involvement.

The applicant must clearly articulate the number served, who is receiving the services, and how success will be assessed for the children and families served. Selection for funding is contingent upon clear presentation of analysis of local data describing the needs of the child welfare population and their families. There will be an opportunity during the grant’s planning phase to continue to define the target population and to further assess the fit of the chosen supportive housing services.

Applicants must present the following:

  • Data from their child welfare agencies and other sources, as appropriate, that identifies and describes the size, characteristics, and needs of the populations of adults and children/youth to be served;
  • Data from a needs assessment that demonstrates the target area's lack of capacity for, access to, or need to develop or expand triage procedures through collaboration with housing and other critical service providers for children, youth, and other family members to be served in the target population; and
  • Data from applicable sources used to determine inclusion/exclusion criteria of adults, children/youth and families to be served, including how they will be identified and recruited, and an initial projection of the numbers to be served.

Applicants must justify their collaborative partners and supportive services strategy based on the characteristics of the children and their parents targeted for services. Proposals must include descriptions of: 

  • Strategies used to identify children in contact with the child welfare system who are experiencing inadequate housing or homelessness; and
  • The plan for further refining the characteristics of the target population and determining appropriate supportive housing service choices during the planning year.

Collaboration

Applicants must propose a plan to include critical service providers. Partners may include but are not limited to: the behavioral health agency and TANF agency as part of the supportive housing structure. This collaborative will be a hub for negotiating interagency resources and trouble- shooting competing and inconsistent policies that impede families’ progress. 

Applicants are expected to demonstrate experience and success in the following areas: 1) routine consultation and interaction with other agencies; 2) joint accountability and shared outcomes amongst agencies; 3) cross training and staff development; and 4) processes for communication and information sharing.

If the applicant is a required partner (i.e. the public child welfare agency, the local public housing authority or other housing agency, or a community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider), the organization must demonstrate an established partnership with the other two required entities. This documentation should include the following:  

  • Third-party agreements (outlining, for example, services to be provided and level and intensity of resources committed) with the other two primary collaborating organizations which describe in detail the roles and responsibilities of each organization. Simply providing a letter of support from proposed primary partners is not sufficient to meet this requirement of documented agreements with organizations.  These documents must be provided in an attachment to the application to be considered for an award. Third party agreements should address the network of provider organizations engaged in the partnership services and activities, as appropriate.
  • Evidence that the primary collaborating organizations fully understand and are fully committed to the proposed project, and demonstrate a willingness to be fully engaged in the activities that are described in the application;
  • Evidence that the primary collaborating organizations are committed to following through on these commitments, regardless of changes in administration, economic status, or other foreseeable factors.

Third party agreements with other collaborating organizations, which describe in detail the roles and responsibilities of each collaborating organization should also be included. Other collaborating organizations may include, but are not limited to, Public and/or private housing agency(ies); local philanthropic partners; employment and education programs; substance abuse treatment, health, mental health, and child-serving agencies; family court and criminal justice system.

If the primary partner organization responsible for administering the cooperative agreement is a non-profit organization, the organization must document a strong partnership with the State or local public child welfare agency(ies) with responsibility for administering the child welfare program(s) in the targeted geographical area, the local public housing authority(ies) or other housing agency in the targeted geographical area(s) having jurisdiction over the targeted population, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider in the targeted geographical area. This documentation should include the following:  

  • Third-party agreements with the relevant local public child welfare, local public housing authority(ies) or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider, as well as other collaborating organizations, which describe in detail the roles and responsibilities of each collaborating organization. Simply providing a letter of support from proposed primary partners is not sufficient to meet this requirement of documented agreements with organizations. Other collaborating organizations may include, but are not limited to, Public and/or private housing agency(ies;, local philanthropic partners; employment and education programs; substance abuse treatment, health, mental health, and child-serving agencies; family court and criminal justice system;
  • Evidence that the primary collaborating organizations, public child welfare agency , public housing authority or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider, fully understand and are fully committed to the proposed project, and demonstrate a willingness to be fully engaged in the activities that are described in the application;
  • Evidence that the primary collaborating organizations, public child welfare agency, public housing authority or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider, are committed to following through on these commitments, regardless of changes in administration, economic status, or other foreseeable factors.
  • Document any other evidence that would demonstrate the full commitment of the relevant local public child welfare, local public housing authority(ies) or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider to making the proposed project a success.  This includes coordination of services to:
    • Share information across systems, with appropriate releases of confidential information; 
    • Ensure consistent data collection across systems; and
    • Monitor outcomes.

Applicants must demonstrate their degree of readiness of supportive housing providers to implement a supportive housing program. For this project, readiness is defined as the extent to which the supportive housing providers and the associated systems are adequately prepared to implement a strategic planning effort that results in a long-term supportive housing program. 

Readiness also includes the assessment of the fit of the program or change effort to the community’s needs.  Organizational and community readiness to undertake such an effort significantly impact the implementation, effectiveness, and overall continuity of the effort. Assessing readiness is vital in determining if the program is likely to have a reasonable chance of success. It is critical in the early planning and decision-making processes of a comprehensive change effort and considered to be a pre-requisite for sustainability.

Applicants must demonstrate that the public agency staff assigned to the system collaborative must have access to their respective agency’s resources and data, and have the authority to utilize these resources for the purposes of implementing the project and sharing information across the partnership, as indicated.

Provision of Housing

Applicants must demonstrate that they have secured or have a concrete plan for securing affordable housing for at least 50 families as the platform for which the services will be provided for the target population. The housing resources may come from more than one source, including sources such as public housing authorities or other housing agency, Continuum of Care or other family homeless service providers, faith-based housing organizations, other State or local housing providers, or philanthropic partners.

Applicants must demonstrate that all affordable housing provided in conjunction with these services must meet the following requirements: 

  • Families have leases and rights and responsibilities of tenancy. Tenure in housing is not contingent upon families’ participation in services.
  • Rent is adequately subsidized such that extremely low-income tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their gross monthly income for rent. Any housing source that allows renters to pay a higher percentage than this must be identified and explained in the application.
  • The design, construction, physical integrity, and maintenance of the housing units provide an environment that is safe, sustainable, functional, appropriate for the surrounding community, and conducive to tenants’ stability.

In the absence of a dedicated subsidy for the program families, applicants shall demonstrate a plan for securing housing resources.

Program Strategies and Activities

Applicants must propose specific services and activities that meet the intent of the funding. All grant recipients are required to select and report on performance indicators. Applicants must  propose a plan to develop or integrate into existing triage service delivery systems services and activities that include:

1. The establishment of interdisciplinary teams for case management:

Ensuring the safety, stability, and well being of vulnerable children and families requires extensive practice knowledge, and effective information sharing that is best accomplished through the development of interdisciplinary teams to work with families. The team is a source for information sharing, understanding, consultation, joint practice, and accountability. Interdisciplinary team staffing strategies must reflect the make-up of the systems-level partnership. Applicants must propose a staffing strategy that clearly documents how the innovation will achieve the goals and meet the needs of families and children. The primary role of the team will be to: 

  • Establish a trusting relationship with families to promote child well-being and family stability while improving the capacity of caregivers to provide a safe and permanent home for their children.
  • Work with the family to develop an integrated case plan that includes housing needs as well as other services needed by the family.
  • Ensure housing retention and improve housing stability among families as a platform for ongoing engagement and family stability.
  • Work with families to devise and implement a comprehensive, family-based program that focuses on child safety, positive family functioning, and wellness.
  • Build a network of support within the program and among tenants that focuses on trust, well-being, and social/community integration.
  •  Advocate on behalf of parents and children to ensure that they understand the requirements of the social services in which they are engaged.  Facilitate access to public benefits available to them.  Staff will act as a liaison between parent and service provider when necessary while building the capacity of the caregiver and child to communicate effectively and advocate for them.

2. Services for parents and children that address family functioning: 

  • Parenting skills training to provide evidenced-based strategies to promote the parenting abilities of parents who are receiving in-home child welfare services, or whose children have been removed with goals of reunification. Examples include Celebrating Families and Strengthening Families, Nurturing Parent Program, Parents as Teachers, Triple P. 
  • Access to programs to address relational problems and concerns, including such programs as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Familias Unidas, Child Parent Psychotherapy, Functional Family Therapy.
  • Services and interventions to improve family functioning and assist with reunification of families when children have been in out-of-home placements such as Multi-Systemic Family Therapy.
  • Ancillary services for families to provide assistance in securing needed services such as safe and drug-free housing, transportation, and child care.

3. Services and activities for children and youth that address child well-being and trauma: 

  • Screening and assessment of child well-being.  In infancy and early childhood this would reflect development in four general domains: 1) language development and communication; 2) intellectual ability and cognitive functions; 3) physical development and motor skills; and 4) socio-emotional functioning. In middle childhood, well-being involves the assessment of socio-emotional functioning and general social competence, academic achievement, peer relationships and social skills, a developing sense of identity and the nature of social support. In adolescents, emotional health, social adaptation, academic achievement, and preparation for adult roles and responsibilities are evaluated.
  • Evidence-based, developmentally appropriate approaches to promoting child well-being. Approaches would be tailored to the specific needs of the child. 
  • Access to appropriate mental health services for children involved in the child welfare system, including services to address experiences of trauma. These might include evidence-based, trauma-focused interventions (i.e. trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy), psychological first aid and de-escalation, development of coping strategies, relaxation and self control strategies, encouragement of expression of feelings, services that address relationship concerns, and other approaches.

Planning and Implementation Phases

Applicants must clearly and concisely describe their preliminary project plans and rationale for the installation and implementation of their proposed supportive housing service model. Applicants must also clearly and concisely describe how they will further assess, build on, and fine tune this proposed plan during Phase I.

Evaluation

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

Local Evaluation

NOTE: See Budget section, below, for requirements regarding budget for evaluation.

Applicants must describe their current systems and procedures for collecting data on clients and services activities.

If the applicant does not have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective, comprehensive evaluation of the project, the applicant must propose a plan to contract with a third-party evaluator specializing in social science or evaluation, or a university or college, to conduct the evaluation. Applicants may propose using an internal or external evaluator. The applicant must demonstrate that the local evaluator they select has the necessary experience, skills, knowledge, and approach, including:

  • Understanding of the State and/or local level agencies that will be working together to support implementation of the supportive housing program. Local evaluators should demonstrate experience conducting systems-level research and an understanding of how to measure systems change and collaboration.
  • Experience collecting and analyzing program and system-level data. Local evaluators will collect and analyze program and system-level data (for example, from administrative data sources and from interviews with program staff, partners, and policymakers). 
  • Expertise in evaluation design and methods. Local evaluators will participate in a year-long evaluation planning process and will help to shape the local and cross-site evaluation design. Local evaluators should demonstrate experience designing and conducting longitudinal research that is aligned with research questions and a program logic model/theory of change. Other important experiences to demonstrate include selecting measures, using existing data systems as a source of evaluation information, and collecting data that are reliable and valid.
  • User-friendly, accessible reporting and communication with partners and stakeholders. The local evaluator must be able to communicate with and share information with varied audiences, including home visiting program staff, administrators, government agency staff members, and policymakers.
Legal Status of Applicant Entity
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.
Logic Model

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

Project Sustainability Plan

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

Organizational Capacity

  • Organizational charts
  • 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.

Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information

If any confidential or sensitive information will be collected during the course of the project, whether from staff (e.g., background investigations) or project participants and/or project beneficiaries, provide a description of the methods that will be used to ensure that confidential and/or sensitive information is properly handled and safeguarded.  Also provide a plan for the disposition of such information at the end of the project period.

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.
 

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

All applicants are required to submit a project budget and budget justification with their application. The project budget is input on the Budget Information Standard Form, either SF-424A or SF-424C. The budget justification is a line-item detail that includes detailed calculations for "object class categories" identified on the Budget Information Standard Form. Calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. If matching or cost sharing is a requirement, applicants must include a detailed listing of any funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance).

Project budget Standard Forms and the budget justification will not count toward page limitations; however, the justification should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages with fonts of no less than 12-points.

Special Note: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Pub.L. 112-74), enacted December 23, 2011, limits the salary amount that may be awarded and charged to ACF grants and cooperative agreements. 
Award funds issued under this announcement may not be used to pay the salary, or any percentage of salary, to an individual at a rate in excess of Executive Level II. The Executive Level II salary of the Federal Executive Pay scale is $179,700 (http://www.opm.gov/oca/12tables/html/ex.asp). This amount reflects an individual’s base salary exclusive of fringe and any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties to the applicant organization.  This salary limitation also applies to subawards/subcontracts under a ACF grant or cooperative agreement.

Provide a narrative budget justification for each 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.

NOTE: Applicants must designate a specific percentage of their budget for evaluation and demonstrate that there are sufficient funds in their project budgets each year to support evaluation, data collection and dissemination activities and related staff time.

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 third-party 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 C.F.R. 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

  • Electronic applications must be submitted to www.Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • A DUNS Number and current registration at the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) are required.  DUNS and CCR registration are part of the www.Grants.gov registration process.  See “Get Registered” at http://grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
  • ACF will not accept applications via facsimile or email.
  • The electronic application can be downloaded from www.Grants.gov.
  • It is to an applicant's advantage to submit their applications at least 24 hours in advance of the application due date and time in order to correct any failures found during the application validation check.
  • Electronic submission at www.Grants.gov is two-step process:
    • Submission by the due date and time; and
    • Application validation check.
  • 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. 
  • Read and observe all application submission requirements provided at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp
  • Observe the formatting requirements and page limitations provided in the Section IV.2. Formatting ACF Applications section for electronic applications.
  • Carefully read and observe electronic file naming conventions provided in the application submission instructions at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp.
  • Use only file formats supported by ACF.  See Section IV.2. Formatting ACF Applications.
  • Additional guidance on the submission of electronic applications can be found at http://www.grants.gov/assets/Organization_Steps_Complete_Registration.pdf
  • If applicants encounter any technical difficulties in using www.Grants.gov, 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.
  • 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 listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts will determine whether the submission issues are due to Grants.gov system errors or user error.

Application Validation at www.Grants.gov 

After an applicant submits an application; Grants.gov generates a submission receipt via email and also sets the application status to "Received." This receipt verifies the application has been successfully delivered to the Grants.gov system.

Next, Grants.gov verifies the submission is valid by ensuring it does not contain viruses, the funding opportunity announcement is still open, and that the applicant login and applicant DUNS number match. If the submission is valid, Grants.gov generates a submission validation receipt via email and sets the application status to "Validated."

If the application is not validated, the application status is set to "Rejected." The system sends a rejection email notification to the applicant and the applicant must re-submit the application package. See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Each time an application is submitted, or re-submitted, via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time stamp. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps, which result in a validated application and are transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.

Applicants will be provided with an acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time  that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged.

Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission

ACF recognizes that some applicants may have limited or no Internet access, and/or limited computer capacity, which may prohibit them from uploading large files to the Internet at www.Grants.gov. To accommodate such applicants, ACF offers an exemption from required electronic submission. The exemption will allow applicants to submit hard copy, paper applications by hand-delivery, applicant courier, overnight/express mail couriers, or by other representatives of the applicant. 

To receive an exemption from required electronic application submission, applicants must submit a written request to ACF stating that the applicant qualifies for the exemption for one of two reasons:

  • Lack of Internet access or Internet connection, or
  • Limited computer capacity that prevents the uploading of large documents (files) to the Internet at www.Grants.gov.  

Applicants may request and receive the exemption from required electronic application submission by either:

  • Submitting an email request to electronicappexemption@acf.hhs.gov, or
  • Sending a written request to the Office of Grants Management Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts in this announcement.

An exemption is applicable to all applications submitted by the applicant organization during the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) in which it is received. Applicants need only request an exemption once in a FFY. Applicants will need to request a new exemption from required electronic submission for any succeeding FFY.

Please Note: electronicappexemption@acf.hhs.gov may be used only to request an exemption from required application submission. All other inquiries must be directed to the appropriate Agency Contact listed in Section VII. of this announcement. Queries submitted to this email address that make requests for any reason other than a request for an exemption will not be acknowledged or answered.

Exemption requests by email to electronicappexemption@acf.hhs.gov and by postal mail must include:

  • Funding Opportunity Announcement Title,
  • Funding Opportunity Number (FON),
  • The listed Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number,
  • Name of Applicant Organization and DUNS Number,
  • AOR name and contact information,
  • Name and contact information of person to be contacted on matters involving the application, and
  • The reason for which the applicant is requesting an exemption from electronic application submission. The reason must be either the lack of Internet access or connection, or lack of computer capacity that prevents uploading large documents (files) to the Internet. 

Exemption requests must be received by ACF no later than two weeks before the application due date, that is, 14 calendar days prior to the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. If the fourteenth calendar day falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the due date for receipt of an exemption request will move to the next Federal business day that follows the weekend or Federal holiday.

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.

Paper Format Application Submission

An exemption is now required for the submission of paper applications. See "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission."

Applicants with exemptions that submit their applications in paper 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 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 paper format application submissions.

Applications submitted in paper format 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., CST.

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).  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 on application due dates. Applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date. 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 in this announcement.

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications: 07/30/2012

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview section and in this section.  See Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors.

Electronic Applications

The deadline for submission of electronic applications via www.Grants.gov is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date. Electronic applications submitted at 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically via www.Grants.gov unless they received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission. 

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by email or facsimile.

Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov are available at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp.

Please note:

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time that fail the Grants.gov validation check will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged. Applications that fail the Grants.gov validation check will not be transmitted to ACF though they may have been submitted on time.

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time-stamp. Only those applications with date and time-stamps that result in a validated application, which is transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged. 

Mailed Paper Format Applications

The deadline for mailed paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date. Mailed paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Hand-Delivered Paper Format Applications

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

Hand-delivered paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Hand-delivered paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

No appeals will be considered for applications classified as late under the following circumstances: 

  • Applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are considered late when they are dated and time-stamped after the deadline of 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • Paper format applications received by mail or hand-delivery after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
  • Paper format applications received from applicant organizations that were not approved for an exemption from required electronic application submission under the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Submission will be disqualified.

Extensions and/or Waiving Due Date and Receipt Time Requirements

ACF may extend an application due date and receipt time when circumstances make it impossible for applicants to submit their applications on time. These events include natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.), or when there are widespread disruptions of electrical service, or mail service, or in other rare cases. The determination to extend or waive due date and/or receipt time requirements rests with the Grants Management Officer listed as the Office of Grants Management Contact in Section VII. Agency Contacts.


Acknowledgement from
www.Grants.gov of an electronic application's submission:

Applicants will receive an initial email upon submission of their application 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 the application's submission. The date and time-stamp must reflect a submission time on, or before, 11:59 p.m., ET, on the application due date. Receipt of this email does not indicate that the application is accepted or that is has passed the validation check.

Each time an application is submitted, or resubmitted, via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time-stamp. Only those applications with on-time date and time-stamps that result in a validated application, which is transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.

Applicants will be provided with an acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged.

See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Acknowledgement from ACF of an electronic application's submission:

Applicants will be sent additional email(s) from ACF acknowledging that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF. Receipt of these emails is not an indication that the application is accepted for competition.

Acknowledgement from ACF of a paper format (hard copy) application's submission:

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

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

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

This program is covered under Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities." Under the Executive Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/.
Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of their prospective applications and to receive instructions on their jurisdiction's procedures. Applicants must submit all required application materials to the SPOC and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application due date to comment on proposed new awards.

SPOC comments may be submitted directly to ACF to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 6th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447.

Entities that meet the eligibility requirements of this announcement are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory or Commonwealth, etc., does not have a SPOC or has chosen not to participate in the process. Applicants from non-participating jurisdictions need take no action with regard to E.O. 12372. Applications from Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments are not subject 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 or cooperative agreements awarded under this funding opportunity 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 paper applications to one of the following addresses. See Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

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 demonstrates an understanding of the goals and objectives of the relevant legislation and this FOA.
  2. The proposed project will contribute to achieving those legislative goals and objectives and the goals stated in this FOA. 
  3. The application presents a clear description of the proposed project, including a clear statement of the goals (i.e., the intended end products of an effective project) and objectives (i.e., measurable steps for reaching these goals) of the proposed project.
  4. The application demonstrates a thorough understanding of the need for agencies to develop and implement supportive housing programs for the target population specified in this FOA as well as the need for these programs to be effectively linked to family stability as a means of improving safety, permanency and well-being outcomes. 
  5. The application demonstrates a thorough understanding of the need to assess the characteristics of the target population, including age, race, ethnicity, sibling status, and connection to the community; the service needs of this population and community; and the status of existing services for the target population.
Areas of Emphasis Maximum Points: 10

In reviewing the areas of emphasis, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  1. The proposed project is likely to enhance child welfare agency capacity to serve families with severe housing needs. The proposed project will increase capacity to improve triage processes, practices, and well-being outcomes for the target population.
  2. The proposed services would involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of service delivery. There are letters of commitment or memoranda of understanding from organizations, agencies, and consultants that will be partners, subcontractors, or collaborators in the proposed project. Such partners can include local philanthropic organizations, community social service agencies, family support programs, TANF, employment or subsidized employment agencies, developmental disability agencies, substance abuse treatment entities, health care entities, domestic violence prevention entities, mental health service entities, and schools. These documents describe the role of the agency, organization, or consultant and detail specific tasks to be performed.
  3. Evidence-based, trauma-informed services are embedded into the service structure as a means to improve housing stability and engagement in supportive services.
  4. A sound plan to identify eligible families through homeless or domestic violence shelters and through the public child welfare agency.
Approach Maximum Points: 35

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

1. The application provides a reasonable timeline for implementing the proposed project, including major milestones and target dates. The application describes the factors that could speed or hinder project implementation and explains how these factors would be managed.

2. A well-defined logic model guides the proposed project. The logic model demonstrates strong links between proposed inputs and activities and intended short- and long-term outcomes. Expected outcomes are: a reduction in child welfare system contacts; reduction in child maltreatment, child removals, and foster care placements; and an increase in housing stability and employment. 

3. The application clearly defines the geographic and demographic characteristics of the agency's service population and the target population to be affected by the implementation of this cooperative agreement. The proposed target population meets the requirements described in this FOA.

4. The proposed project will provide for the development and implementation of a comprehensive multi-faceted triage system linked to supportive housing plan that impacts the target population for this FOA. The applicant outlines the proposed strategies used to identify children in contact with the child welfare system that are experiencing inadequate housing or homelessness.

5. The State, county or tribal child welfare agency is the lead agency or a key partner and will take an active role in the project throughout the entire length of the project. 

6. The applicant demonstrates that affordable housing has been secured for at least 50 families or includes a concrete plan for securing affordable housing for at least 50 families as the platform for which the services will be provided. 

7. The approach addresses each of the planning period and implementation period requirements listed in this FOA. There is a detailed description of the activities the program proposes to implement during the planning period and during the implementation period.

8. If the applicant is the public child welfare agency, the local public housing authority or other housing agency, or a community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider, the entity provides letters of commitment or formal contractual agreements including Memoranda of Understanding/Memoranda of Agreement (MOUs/MOAs) with the other two primary collaborating organizations. MOUs address the network of provider organizations engaged in the partnership services and activities, as appropriate and consistent with the proposed collaboration articulated in the application. The MOU should include the following:

  • Evidence that the primary collaborating organizations fully understand and are fully committed to the proposed project, and demonstrate a willingness to be fully engaged in the activities that are described in the application;
  • Evidence that the primary collaborating organizations are committed to following through on these commitments, regardless of changes in administration, economic status, or other foreseeable factors.

9.  The applicant documents a strong partnership between the State or local public child welfare agency(ies) with responsibility for administering the child welfare program(s) in the targeted geographical area, the local public housing authority(ies) or other housing agency in the targeted geographical area(s) having jurisdiction over the targeted population, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider in the targeted geographical area. This documentation includes the following:

  • Letter(s) of commitment or MOU(s) from the relevant local public child welfare, local public housing authority(ies) or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider in the targeted geographical area, as well as other collaborating organizations, which describe in detail the roles and responsibilities of each collaborating organization;
  • Evidence that the primary collaborating organizations, public child welfare agency, public housing authority or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider, fully understand and are fully committed to the proposed project, and demonstrate a willingness to be fully engaged in the activities that are described in the application;
  • Evidence that the primary collaborating organizations, public child welfare agency, public housing authority or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider, are committed to following through on these commitments, regardless of changes in administration, economic status, or other foreseeable factors.

10. The applicant provides additional evidence that demonstrates the full commitment of the relevant local public child welfare, local public housing authority(ies) or other housing agency, and at least one community family homeless or domestic violence shelter provider, to making the proposed project a success. This includes coordination of services toshare information across systems, with appropriate releases of confidential information; and ensure consistent data collection across systems.

11. The project would be culturally responsive to the target population.

12. The design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from the research and literature on known effective practices and builds on current theory, research, evaluation data, and best practices. The project is innovative and would contribute to increased knowledge or understanding of the problems and issues addressed by this FOA. The project is likely to yield findings or results about effective strategies and contribute to and promote evaluation research and evidence-based practices that may be used to guide replication or testing in other settings.

13. The proposed project would develop into a model site for other jurisdictions to look to in developing the ability to implement comprehensive, multi-faceted triage and supportive housing plans as an ongoing part of agency functions. The project would develop products and provide information on strategies used and the outcomes achieved that would support evidence-based improvements of practices in the field. The schedule for developing these products is appropriate in scope and budget.

14. The intended audience (e.g., researchers, policymakers, practitioners) for product dissemination is appropriate to the goals of the proposed project. The project's products would be useful to the identified audiences; the plan for disseminating information is appropriate; and the mechanisms and forums that would be used to convey the information and support replication by other interested agencies are appropriate. The proposed dissemination plan is appropriate in scope and budget.

15. The proposed project would be integrated into the grantee's ongoing practices with the goal of continuous data-informed service provision that will improve outcome for the target population.

16. There is a sound plan for continuing this project beyond the period of Federal funding under this FOA.

Evaluation Maximum Points: 10

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

  1. The applicant proposes a clear and convincing plan for evaluating the project and satisfies the requirements for the evaluation published in this FOA. The methods of evaluation are feasible, comprehensive, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and context of the project. The evaluation plan is strongly guided by the project's logic model. The project's evaluation plan would rigorously measure achievement of project objectives, customer satisfaction, acquisition of competencies, effectiveness of program services and project strategies, the efficiency of the implementation processes, changes in child welfare practices, and the impact of the project on the safety, permanency and well-being outcomes for the target population.
  2. The evaluation plan outlines an appropriate sampling plan that ensures sample sizes sufficient to detect significant effects. The target sample represents the intended recipients of the services to the greatest extent possible given the project's structure and resources.
  3. The evaluation plan includes an appropriate control or comparison group for determining the influence of the project activities on outcomes. If a comparison group is not proposed, the applicant provides a reasonable explanation for not using a comparison group and offers another, equally rigorous approach to evaluating the influence of the program on outcomes. This comparison group and the program/treatment group are assigned at random or matched on key characteristics. If not assigned at random or matched on key characteristics, the applicant provides a reasonable explanation of how it will identify and address any pre-existing differences between the comparison group and the program/treatment group.
  4. The applicant proposes a sound plan for collecting high-quality data on the services provided, the costs of these services, the outcomes of these services. The methods of evaluation include the use of strong measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the program as identified in the project logic model. The evaluation includes measures of outcomes, in addition to measures of inputs and outputs. The measures are objective and have strong reliability, validity, and internal consistency. There is a sound plan for securing informed consent and implementing an IRB review, if applicable.
  5. The applicant either demonstrates that they have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective and rigorous evaluation of the project or presents a sound plan for contracting with a third-party evaluator. The proposed evaluator has sufficient experience with research and/or evaluation, understands the population of interest, and demonstrates the necessary independence from the project to assure objectivity.
  6. The application provides an appropriate, feasible, and realistic plan for using evaluation findings to produce ongoing documentation of project activities and results. The evaluation plan includes performance feedback and periodic assessment of program progress that can be used to modify the program, as necessary, and serve as a basis for program adjustments.
Organizational Capacity Maximum Points: 20

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

  1. The applicant's organization and any partnering organizations collectively have relevant experience and expertise with administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of proposed systems-level partnership and supportive housing services. Each participating organization (including partners and/or subcontractors) possesses the organizational capability to fulfill its assigned roles and functions effectively.
  2. The proposed project director and key project staff demonstrate sufficient relevant knowledge, experience, and capabilities (e.g., resume) to effectively institute and manage a project of this size, scope, and complexity. The role, responsibilities and time commitments of each proposed project staff position, including consultants, subcontractors and/or partners, is clearly defined (e.g., job description) and appropriate to the successful implementation of the proposed project.
  3. There is a sound management plan for achieving the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks and ensuring quality. The plan clearly defines the role and responsibilities of the lead agency. The plan clearly describes the effective management and coordination of activities carried out by any partners, subcontractors, and consultants (if applicable).
  4. There would be a mutually beneficial relationship between the proposed project and other work planned, anticipated, or underway with Federal assistance by the applicant.
Budget and Budget Justification Maximum Points: 5

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

  1. There is a detailed narrative budget justification for each year of the project. The costs of the proposed project are reasonable, in view of the activities to be conducted and expected results and benefits.
  2. The applicant's fiscal controls and accounting procedures would ensure prudent use, proper and timely disbursement and accurate accounting of funds received under this FOA.
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 that does not have an active CCR registration (www.ccr.gov or 1-866-606-8220).
 
Initial ACF Screening

Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets one of the following disqualification criteria as described in Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors

  • Applications that are designated as late according to Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times,
  • Applications that are submitted in paper format without prior approval of an exemption from required electronic submission (Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission), or
  • Applications with requests that exceed the award ceiling stated in Section II. Award Information

For those applications that have been disqualified under the initial ACF screening, notice will be provided by postal mail or by email. See Section IV.3. Explanation of Due Dates for information on Grants.gov's and ACF's acknowledgment of received applications.

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. Criteria of this announcement. Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include 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 reconsidered 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 Notice of Award (NoA) 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 NoA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail or email. Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter signed by the cognizant Program Office head. Any other correspondence that announces to a Principal Investigator, or a Project Director, that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance. 

Project costs that are incurred prior to the receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to the extent that they are considered allowable as approved pre-award costs. Information on allowable pre-award costs and the time period under which they may be incurred is available in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

 
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.gpo.gov.

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 [Health and Human Services] 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 completely separate the presentation of any program with religious content from the presentation of the Federally funded program by time or location in such a way that it is clear that the two programs are separate and distinct. If separating the two programs by time but presenting them in the same location, one program must completely end before the other program begins.

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, Understanding the Regulations Related to the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative" are available at http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/about/regulations/. Additional information, resources, and tools for faith-based organizations is available through The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships website at http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/index.html and at the Administration for Children & Families: Toolkit for Faith-based and Community Organizations.

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.

Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. § 8102 et seq.) requires that all organizations receiving grants from any Federal agency agree to maintain a drug-free workplace. By signing the application, the Authorizing Official agrees that the grantee will provide a drug-free workplace and will comply with the requirement to notify ACF if an employee is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute. Failure to comply with these requirements may be cause for debarment. Government wide requirements for Drug-Free Workplace for Financial Assistance are found in 2 C.F.R. part 182; HHS implementing regulations are set forth in 2 C.F.R. part 382.400. All recipients of ACF grant funds must comply with the requirements in Subpart B - Requirements for Recipients Other Than Individuals, 2 C.F.R. part 382.225. The rule is available at Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace.

Debarment and Suspension

HHS regulations published in 2 CFR part 376 implement the governmentwide debarment and suspension system guidance (2 CFR part 180) for HHS' non-procurement programs and activities. "Non-procurement transactions" include, among other things, grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, and loans. ACF implements the HHS Debarment and Suspension regulations as a term and condition of award. Grantees may decide the method and frequency by which this determination is made and may check the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) located at https://www.epls.gov/, although checking the EPLS is not required. More information is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.

Pro-Children Act

The Pro-Children Act of 2001, 20 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.

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 Notice of Award (NoA). The HHS GPS is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_related.html

VI.3. Reporting

Grantees under this funding opportunity 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 Program Offices 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, 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 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 website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/msg_sf425.html.

For planning purposes, ACF 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.

SF-428 Tangible Property Report and SF-429 Real Property Status Report


As of April 1, 2012, the Administration for Children and Families will begin requiring the use of the SF-428 (Tangible Personal Property Form) as well as the SF-429 (Real Property Status Report).


The SF-428 is a standard form to be used by awarding agencies to collect information related to tangible personal property (equipment and supplies) when required by a Federal financial assistance award. The form consists of the cover sheet (SF-428) and three attachments to be used as required: Annual Report; Final (Award Closeout) Report and a Disposition Request/Report. A Supplemental Sheet, SF-428S, may be used to provide detailed individual item information.


The SF-429 is a standard report to be used by recipients of Federal financial assistance to report real property status (Attachment A) or to request agency instructions on real property (Attachments B, C) that was/will be provided as Government Furnished Property (GFP) or acquired (i.e., purchased or constructed) in whole or in part under a Federal financial assistance award (i.e., grant, cooperative agreement, etc.). This includes real property that was improved using Federal funds and real property that was donated to a Federal project in the form of a match or cost share donation. This report is to be used for awards that establish a Federal Interest on real property.


Beginning with budget periods ending September 30, 2012 and for all budget periods thereafter, all ACF grantees will be required to submit (as applicable) an SF-428 and SF-429 report as frequently as is required in the terms and conditions of their award.


The forms are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms.

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Dori Sneddon
Children's Bureau
Portals Building
1250 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 205-8024
Email: dori.sneddon@acf.hhs.gov
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

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

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 - 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.  

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

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

"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.

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due prior at the time of application.  It may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications.  Applicants applying electronically, may submit this survey along with the application as part of the appendix or as a separate document. Applicants submitting in paper, please place the completed survey in an envelope labeled "Applicant Survey." Seal the envelope and include it along with the application package.

The survey is referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement. The survey may be found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

The survey will not count in the page limitations.

Submission is voluntary. Submission may be made with the application by the application due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  Or, it may be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Protection of Human Subjects Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption (Common Rule)

Referenced in Section IV.2. Forms, Assurances, and Certifications of the announcement.  Additional information and necessary forms are available at http://www.hhs.gov /ohrp/assurances/forms /index.html.  This information may be submitted in the appendices to the application and will not count in the limitations listed in Section VI.2. Formatting Requirements.

Submission of the required information and forms is due with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. If the information is not available at the time of application, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

and

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. Submission Dates and Times.

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

and

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

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

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

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 with the application package. If it is not submitted with the application package, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.  This is an element of the Project Description and will usually be counted in page limitations listed in Section IV.2. Formatting Requirements.

Submission is due as part of the Project Description by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description of the announcement.  It is an element of the Project Description and will be counted in page limitations that are stated in Section IV.2. Formatting Requirements.

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

Logic Model

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description of the announcement.  It is an element of the Project Description and will be counted in page limitations that are stated in Section IV.2. Formatting Requirements.

Submission is due with the application package by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.  This is the title for the project narrative that describes the applicant's plan for the project.

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

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification of the announcement.

Submission of the Project Budget is required on the appropriate Standard Form (424A or 424C).  The Budget Justification is a separate document that may be no longer than 10 pages and is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description of the announcement under "Legal Status of Applicant Entity."  Proof of non-profit status may be submitted as part of appendices to the application package.  It is not considered as part of the project narrative/plan.

Proof of non-profit status should be submitted with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  If it is not available at the time of application submission, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

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.

Project Sustainability Plan

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description of the announcement.  It is an element of the Project Description and will be counted in page limitations that are stated in Section IV.2. Formatting Requirements.

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

Appendices