Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Refugee Resettlement
 
Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program
HHS-2012-ACF-ORR-RV-0203
Application Due Date: 08/01/2011

 

Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program
HHS-2012-ACF-ORR-RV-0203
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
Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program
HHS-2012-ACF-ORR-RV-0203
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children & Families
 
Program Office:Office of Refugee Resettlement
Funding Opportunity Title:Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2012-ACF-ORR-RV-0203
CFDA Number: 93.567
Due Date for Applications: 08/01/2011
Executive Summary:

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is soliciting applications for the implementation of the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program.  The Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program is an alternative to public cash assistance providing services to enable ORR-eligible populations (refugees, asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, certain Amerasians from Vietnam, Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking, and Special Immigrant Visa Holders (SIVs)) to become economically self-sufficient within 120 to 180 days of program eligibility.  Services required under this program include, but are not limited to, case management, employment services, maintenance assistance and cash allowance, and administration. Self-sufficiency must be achieved without accessing public cash assistance.  Enrollment is available to all ORR-eligible populations meeting the minimum employability requirements as defined under the description section of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA); however, client enrollment must occur within 31 days of becoming eligible to ensure adequate services are provided and self-sufficiency is achieved and maintained within the period of eligibility.  

The Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program was designed to work in consort with the Refugee and Cuban & Haitian Entrant Reception and Placement (R&P) programs. Congress confirmed this approach to the program in the 1986 Refugee Assistance Extension Act. Therefore, competition for funding under this announcement is open only to those voluntary agencies that already provide R&P services through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Those voluntary agencies are: Chaldean Federation of America, Southfield, MI; Church World Service/Immigration and Refugee Program, New York, NY; Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the U.S.A., New York, NY;  Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc./Refugee Resettlement Program, Arlington, VA; HIAS, Inc. (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)/Refugee and Immigrant Services, New York, NY; International Rescue Committee/Resettlement, New York, NY; Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Fairfax, VA; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Baltimore, MD; U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC; U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Arlington, VA; and World Relief Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals/Refugee & Immigration Programs, Baltimore, MD.

Funding under this announcement is provided through cooperative agreements requiring ORR's substantial involvement in the program's implementation at all levels. Participating voluntary agencies agree to match the ORR grant with cash and in-kind contributions of goods and services from the community. Currently, ORR awards $2 for every $1 raised by the agency up to a maximum of $2,200 in Federal funds per enrolled client.  At least 20 percent of the non-Federal share (the grantee's match) must be met with cash; the balance may be cash, in-kind services, or donated goods. Note that while Federal and match funds are calculated and awarded on a per capita or enrolled client basis, the actual spending of such funds is not per capita based. This is to allow Matching Grant Program service providers flexibility in providing individually tailored services (higher or lower than the per capita rate) necessary for the client to achieve self-sufficiency. 

In June 2010, ORR adopted six guiding principles to serve as a basis for its program design decisions.  Applicants should consult these principles, available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/policy/sl10-09.htm, in designing Matching Grant Programs that provide the essential services described herein.

In the absence of worthy applications, the ORR Director may decide not to make an award if deemed to be in the best interest of the Federal Government.  Funding for future years, under this announcement, is at the Director's discretion and subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the voluntary agency, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Federal Government. 

 

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

This program is authorized by --

(A) Section 412 (c)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1522(c)(1)(A), as amended, which authorizes the Director "to make grants to, and enter into contracts with, public or private nonprofit agencies for projects specifically designed- (i) to assist refugees in obtaining the skills that are necessary for economic self-sufficiency, including projects for job training, employment services, day care, professional refresher training, and other recertification services; (ii) to provide training in English where necessary (regardless of whether the refugees are employed or receiving cash or other assistance); and (iii) to provide where specific needs have been shown and recognized by the Director, health (including mental health) services, social services, education and other services." 

 (B) Refugee Assistance Extension Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99-605, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3449:

 Sec. 7.  Maintaining Funding Level of Matching Grant Program

(a)Maintaining Funding Level - Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement shall not reduce the maximum average Federal contribution level per refugee in the matching grant program and shall not increase the percentage grantee matching requirement under that program below the level, or above the percentage, in effect under the program for grants in fiscal year 1985.

(b) Matching Grant Program - The "matching grant program" referred to in subsection (a) is the voluntary agency program which is known as the matching grant program and is funded under section 412(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

 

 

Description

Applicants will demonstrate their capacity to ensure the following required services through their Matching Grant Program design --

REQUIRED SERVICES THAT VOLUNTARY AGENCIES MUST PROVIDE IN-HOUSE 

 1. Case Management

Objective: To ensure that services (1) are provided in a planned, effective, and timely  manner  to eligible clients; (2) are appropriate to the needs of the clients; and (3) contribute to the client's community orientation, early employment, and self-sufficiency within 120 - 180 days following program eligibility.

Intensive case management will begin immediately upon enrollment and continue through the 180th day for active cases.  From the first client contact, voluntary agency interaction with the client will reinforce his/her motivation and ability to become and remain self-supporting.  In order to support a voluntary agency's ability to provide such services, all Matching Grant Program clients must reside within 100 miles of the approved local voluntary agency's Matching Grant Program provider's service delivery office. 

Each Matching Grant Program case file will document the following processes and/or services: (Note that all documents requiring client signature will be translated into the languages of each Matching Grant Program provider's primary caseloads and interpreted into the language of the client, if necessary, to ensure the client's complete understanding of the program.)

Client Intake and Eligibility; Notification of Pending Enrollment (for Cuban/Haitian entrant, victim of severe forms of trafficking, or asylee clients only); Client Agreement Form;  Enrollment and Self-Sufficiency Budgets;  Self-Sufficiency Plan (an equivalently detailed resettlement plan may be used to meet this requirement); Child Care; Housing; Cash and Material Disbursements; Client Interaction; Service Documentation; Volunteer Provided Services; Training; Self-Sufficiency Status at 120 and 180 days after date of eligibility; Proof of Compliance with U.S. Federal Tax Regulations; Job Upgrades/Professional Recertification; and Case Closure.

 2. Employment Services

Objective: To place clients as quickly as possible into appropriate jobs so that the household unit becomes self-sufficient within 120 - 180 days from Matching Grant Program eligibility.

Employment services are to be provided to employable adult clients beginning upon enrollment in the Matching Grant program and continuing as needed through the 180th day from eligibility.  The level of employment services received by each client should reflect the skills, needs, and barriers determined in the Matching Grant Program Self-Sufficiency Plan. 

Federal policy requires that, if necessary, clients accept "entry level" employment (see 45 CFR 400.81(a) for criteria for appropriate employment). Grantees will communicate to employable clients who lack English language competency that they must exert a good faith effort to obtain employment while acquiring English competency to facilitate self-sufficiency and to retain employment. Grantees will work with clients to obtain job upgrades where appropriate and direct clients to information on professional recertification, if requested.

The grantee will make every effort to find employment for all employable members of the case unit when requested or if it is necessary to have more than one wage earner for the case to achieve self-sufficiency.

Each Matching Grant Program local service provider site must have a designated paid staff member who is responsible for providing or overseeing the provision of employment services.  This staff member may receive help from other staff, relatives, co-sponsors, and volunteers in locating employment, but the voluntary agency is ultimately responsible for the full provision and quality of all services. 

Required employment services include Job Development, Job Readiness and Placement Assistance, Post Placement Assistance, and Job Upgrades/Professional Recertification.

3. Core Maintenance Assistance Services 

Objective: To provide support adequate to meet the subsistence needs of the client and to preclude the need to access public cash assistance prior to becoming self-sufficient.

Core Maintenance Assistance Services include the provision of food or food subsidies, suitable housing and utilities, cash allowance, and transportation assistance to active cases. In cases where clients benefit from employment income but are not fully self-sufficient, agencies may choose to partially offset the cost of core maintenance assistance services with said income.  Sufficient financial literacy training should be provided to the client to ensure that clients effectively manage the required maintenance assistance and achieve self-sufficiency. 

Core Maintenance Assistance Services are available to enhance and extend, but not replace or duplicate, services provided under any Reception and Placement Cooperative Agreement.  Food, housing, essential furnishings, and transportation to and from job interviews and job training are usually provided through a cooperative agreement with non-Matching Grant Program funding up to 90 days of the refugee's stay in the United States. In cases where such support is available during the first 30 days or longer of Matching Grant Program eligibility, the cost of these basic needs items or services should not be charged to the Matching Grant Program. It is expected that the two programs, where they coexist, should provide, if necessary, a minimum of 4 consecutive months of maintenance support for the case that has not attained self-sufficiency and has not left the Matching Grant Program.  For Matching Grant Program clients who arrive without the benefit of R&P services, i.e., certain Cuban/Haitian entrants, victims of severe forms of trafficking, and asylees, all such services and in-kind contributions are allocable to the Matching Grant Program.

Food, Housing, Essential Utilities, Transportation: Beginning upon enrollment and continuing through 120 days from the date of Matching Grant Program eligibility or for as long as the case is not self-sufficient and remains in the Matching Grant Program. The voluntary agency may elect to continue housing assistance to clients up to 180 days from Matching Grant Program eligibility regardless of self-sufficiency. Note that R&P funds may cover up to 90 days of housing costs for those cases covered under an R&P cooperative agreement. Case files must clearly document how housing costs are being covered.

Cash Allowance: Beginning upon enrollment and continuing through 120 days of Matching Grant Program eligibility or until income from employment renders the case self-sufficient, the grantee will assure a minimum of $200 cash allowance per month ($50 per week) to each adult client and $40 per month ($10 per week) to each minor client, or the maximum amount that will not affect Medicaid eligibility.  The first cash payments are to be distributed to clients within ten working days following enrollment.  This minimum cash allowance should be used by clients to buy personal items as necessary and not for core maintenance assistance. The grantee may provide some of the weekly allowance in the form of gift cards or vouchers if such form of payment is in the overall best interest of the client and the client concurs. Cash allowance is encouraged, but not required, for those cases not self-sufficient but continued beyond 120 days of Matching Grant Program eligibility.

Note that if enrolled refugees/Amerasians/SIVs are receiving cash benefits through the R&P programs, agencies need only ensure that total cash payments (R&P and Matching Grant Program) are equivalent to the required Matching Grant Program cash allowance. These R&P funded benefits must be documented in the client's Matching Grant Program case file.  All other Cubans/Haitian entrants, asylees, victims of trafficking, or Amerasians are to receive cash payments within ten working days of enrollment.

 4. Administration

Objective: To ensure the achievement of agreed program outcomes through the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic, and Time-bound) delivery of Matching Grant Program services and the adherence to Federal regulations, policies, and guidelines. 

The Matching Grant Program grantee (the national voluntary agency which is the grantee) must maintain qualified staff designated to ensure the following functions:

a.   Provide ongoing technical assistance and training to local Matching Grant Program service providers (affiliates) regarding the Matching Grant Program Guidelines, reporting, and other grant requirements.  Documentation of provision of such training must be included in the grantee's reporting to ORR.  

b. Require participating local Matching Grant Program service providers to consult with their State Refugee Coordinator on an on-going basis as follows:

  • Within 90 days of the initial grant award and each continuation award, a copy of the local Matching Grant Program service plan must be provided to the State Refugee Coordinator and include, at minimum: (1) the number of clients expected to participate in the program during the budget period, (2) the services to be provided, and (3) the name of the program contact person. A copy of this transmittal must be retained at the national and local service provider offices.
  • Participation in all State-convened local task forces and consultations to ensure an accurate assessment of refugee needs and available services. Note: ORR shares trimester progress reports with State Refugee Coordinators for all affiliates in a given State.

c. Require participating local affiliates to coordinate their services, as appropriate, with local welfare offices and other mainstream and refugee service providers in their communities. This includes prompt response to welfare office questions concerning the level and duration of assistance provided to each refugee.

d. Monitor the performance of the grant and sub grant activities and review each program function to ensure that adequate progress is being made towards achieving programmatic goals and that those programs are in compliance with Federal grant regulations.

e. Develop and implement a customized performance improvement plan for those affiliates with 50 or more clients that are under performing, as defined by 120 and 180 day outcomes, 10 percentage points below the Matching Grant Program national trimester average. Such plans are expected to include, if indicated, enhanced monitoring, professional development training of staff, reassignment of personnel, and reallocation of Matching Grant Program client slots. Performance improvement plans are to be summarized in trimester progress reports.

f. Prepare monitoring reports. Any recommendation for corrective action and follow-up on those recommendations shall be filed at the grantee's national office. Monitoring Reports are to be summarized and included in tri-annual performance progress reports.

g. Manage grant finances and account for Federal and matching funds according to Federal grant requirements.

h. Ensure that administrative functions relating to reception and placement activities (e.g., coordination of refugee arrivals into the United States, placement, placement activities, and core services) are allocated appropriately to available cooperative agreements.

i. Submit timely programmatic and financial reports to ORR as detailed in the FOA.

J. Obtain prior approval from ORR before making any significant changes in (1) the number of clients enrolled in the Matching Grant Program at any given service provider site (defined as a 10 percent change, up or down, involving 20 or more enrollees), and (2) the addition or elimination of any sites from the Matching Grant Program.

k. Work with local Matching Grant Program service providers to develop policies in the context of U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) requirements to ensure that clients meet the eligibility requirements for SNAP. ORR recognizes that weekly cash payments may make certain refugee cases ineligible for SNAP and Medicaid. Local Matching Grant Program service providers may give some of the weekly allowance in the form of vouchers if such a form of payment is in the overall best interest of the client and he/she concurs.

l. Maintain procedures for sanctioning clients who fail to comply with the Matching Grant Program Agreement, Self-Sufficiency Plan, and/or directives involving attendance at counseling, training sessions, or English classes. Sanctioning is also recommended for clients who refuse to be interviewed for or accept an appropriate job offer. See Section I. Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Specific Definitions, Exceptions, and Procedures for additional information on sanctioning.

REQUIRED SERVICES THAT AGENCIES MUST PROVIDE IN-HOUSE OR THROUGH REFERRAL

Grantees shall provide the services listed below, as necessary, directly through the Matching Grant Program or through documented referral to other programs under other funding sources.  Grantees are encouraged to assist in the development of programs appropriate to their Matching Grant Program clients.

1. English Language Training (ELT)

When ELT is indicated as an essential part of the Self-Sufficiency Plan for employment, the voluntary agency will assist clients in enrolling in an ELT program at an appropriate competency level.

2. Health and Medical Services

The voluntary agency will ensure that clients have access to necessary health and medical services including health screenings. Associated costs are normally covered under other Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA), Medicaid, and R&P Cooperative Agreements. For clients such as asylees who do not receive such services under another Cooperative Agreement, associated costs are allocable to the Matching Grant program.

3. Employment Training or Recertification

The voluntary agency will provide, or assist clients to enroll in, short-term job training, customized skills training, or job recertification courses, if indicated in the Self-Sufficiency plan. Such training is allowed as a Matching Grant Program activity only if it is expected to lead to self-sufficiency within the first 120 to 180 days of Matching Grant Program eligibility. Such costs as tuition, books, and related support services are allowable and allocable to the Matching Grant program when not otherwise provided through other programs. 

In cases where recertification is not possible within the period of eligibility, the voluntary agency will make reasonable efforts to assist the client in finding information regarding recertification in his/her professional field.

4. Social Adjustment Services

The voluntary agency will provide, or assist clients in obtaining, social adjustment services when necessary. These services may include, but are not limited to, behavioral health counseling and interpretation.

 5. Support Services

When reasonable and necessary, the voluntary agency will provide, or assist clients in obtaining additional employment support services that remove barriers to self-sufficiency.  Such services might include child care.

VOLUNTARY AGENCIES MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM SPECIFIC DEFINITIONS, EXCEPTIONS, AND PROCEDURES  

a. Employable

This measure is defined as an eligible Matching Grant Program client between the ages of 18 and 64 who is determined by the case and the Matching Grant Program voluntary agency to be (1) a needed and able wage earner for the case to achieve self-sufficiency, or (2) an additional wage earner who desires gainful employment.  

 b. Employed

This measure is a person who was determined and reported to be employable in the Matching Grant Program Self-Sufficiency Plan and who is now legally employed in the United States.  Only one job placement (full-time or part-time) should be counted per client; full-time and part-time placements should be indicated separately.  Full-time employment is defined as 35 hours or more per week; part-time employment is defined as fewer than 35 hours per week.  Note that two part-time positions totaling at least 35 hours may be counted as one full-time job placement.  In the Matching Grant Program, this measure is taken first at the 120th day after Matching Grant Program eligibility.

 c. Housing as a Matching Expenditure

When relatives of a Matching Grant Program client provide housing in their own residence during the match period, this housing cannot be counted as a matching expenditure; however, if the cost for a relative's residence (including utilities) increases as a direct result of housing a Matching Grant Program client, then only the amount of the increase may be counted as an in-kind match expenditure. Agencies are required to obtain appropriate documentation (i.e., utility bills, or an appropriately dated letter from a landlord documenting the increase and/or a history of utility bills) to verify that an increase in the cost for the relative's housing has taken place as a result of the addition of the Matching Grant client to the housing unit.

 d. Sanctioning

A local Matching Grant Program service provider may impose limited sanctions in an attempt to gain compliance of a client who (1) fails to comply with an agreed-upon Self-Sufficiency Plan and/or agency directive involving attendance at counseling, employment training, or English language classes; or (2) refuses to be interviewed for or accept an appropriate job offer.  Sanctioning procedures must be outlined in the Matching Grant Program Agreement (and its translation) form signed by the client at enrollment.  Such sanctioning includes the reduction or temporary withholding of maintenance assistance or other services. If the client continues to fail to comply, the agency, after due process as outlined below, may drop the client from the Matching Grant Program. 

In situations where sanctions are applied, the client must receive written notice detailing the reasons for sanctioning and providing a reasonable opportunity for appeal prior to termination of any benefits.  An agency may not require a sanctioned client to return cash or rent apportioned prior to the termination of said benefits. (See Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970);  45 CFR 400.54 and 400.82

 e. Self-Sufficiency

Economic self-sufficiency means earning a total family income at a level that enables the case unit to support itself without receipt of a cash assistance grant.  Note that a minimum of one case member must be employed; benefits without cash payments such as SNAP, Medicaid, and RMA are allowable and do not affect the recipient's self-sufficiency status.

Program Guidelines          

Applicants must adhere to the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program Guidelines for Fiscal Year 2012, which are posted on the ORR website at  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/match_grant_prg.htm

 

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Total Funding: $65,309,200
Expected Number of Awards: 11
Award Ceiling: $26,400,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $110,000 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $6,500,000 Per Budget Period

Length of Project Periods:

36-month project with three 12-month budget periods

Additional Information on Awards:

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

Applicants should provide a budget for the first 12 month-month budget period only. Continuation award amounts for subsequent budget periods are based in part on performance outcomes during the previous budget period. These include 120 day and 180 day self-sufficiency outcomes of enrolled clients.   Voluntary agency management of the program, particularly as pertains to timely and accurate reporting to ORR, will also be taken into consideration in determining continuation awards. 

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

 

  • ORR will consult annually with grantees to assess program implementation;
  • ORR will provide annual Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program guidelines and reporting requirements to grantees -- these guidelines and reporting requirements may be modified in response to changes to the refugee resettlement program, eligible populations, program performance, and the access to new reporting technologies (Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program Guidelines for Fiscal Year 2012 are posted on the ORR website at  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/match_grant_prg.htm);
  • ORR prior approval is needed for significant changes to the allocation of Matching Grant Program funding and services throughout each voluntary agency's service provider network;
  • ORR prior approval is needed for any permanent change of key personnel at the national level;
  • ORR will closely monitor the implementation, compliance, and results of services performed under the cooperative agreement. This may include affiliate site visits and requests to access voluntary agencies' Matching Grant Program databases or any other print or electronic documentation associated with the implementation of the Matching Grant Program;
  • ORR may require the formulation and implementation of a performance improvement plan if a cooperative agreement holder is under-performing at the national or selected service provider site level. Under-performance is defined as trimester 120 and 180 day outcomes 10 percent below the national average for service providers with enrollments of 50 or more Matching Grant Program clients.

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

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants

The Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program was designed to work in concert with the Refugee and Cuban & Haitian Entrant Reception and Placement (R&P) programs. Congress confirmed this approach to the program in the 1986 Refugee Assistance Extension Act. Therefore, competition for funding under this announcement is open only to those voluntary agencies that already provide R&P services through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Eligible applicants are: Chaldean Federation of America, Southfield, MI; Church World Service/Immigration and Refugee Program, New York, NY; Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the U.S.A., New York, NY;  Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc./Refugee Resettlement Program, Arlington, VA; HIAS, Inc. (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)/Refugee and Immigrant Services, New York, NY; International Rescue Committee/Resettlement, New York, NY; Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Fairfax ,VA; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Baltimore, MD; U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC; U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Arlington, VA; and World Relief Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals/Refugee & Immigration Programs, Baltimore, MD.

 

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

 
III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: Yes
Grantees are required to meet a non-Federal share of the project cost, in accordance with Section 412 (c) (1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1522 (c) (1)(A)) and Section 7 (a) and (b) of the Refugee Assistance Extension Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-605) (8 U.S.C. 1522 note).

Grantees must provide at least 33 percent of the total approved cost of the project for each budget period. The total approved cost of the project is the sum of the ACF (Federal) share and the non-Federal share.   At least 20 percent of the non-Federal share (the grantee's match) must be met with cash; the balance may be cash, in-kind services, or donated goods.  For example, in order to meet the match requirements, a project requesting $200,000 in ACF (Federal) funds must provide a non-Federal share of the approved total project cost of at least $100,000, which is 33 percent of total approved project cost of $300,000.  At least $20,000 of the $100,000 match must be in cash.  Grantees will be held accountable for commitments of non-Federal resources even if they exceed the amount of the required match. Failure to provide the required amount will result in the disallowance of Federal funds. A lack of supporting documentation at the time of application submission will not exclude the application from competitive review.

Grantees may count in-kind contributions provided directly to a particular Matching Grant Program client up to and including the 180th day from Matching Grant Program eligibility as long as that client is in the program at the time of the contribution. 

 1. Cash Match and 'In-Kind' Match

The minimum 20 percent Cash Match may be from private or corporate donations, or any other non-Federal source.  The grant application must identify both the source(s) and the proposed use(s) for the Cash Match.  Contributions of goods and services can be considered "cash" if the item was paid for. The flow of these donations does not necessarily have to go physically from the donor (i.e., voluntary agency) to the recipient (i.e., client). If the voluntary agency, or the sponsor, pays for the item with non-Federal funds and gives it directly to the client or the client benefits directly from it, it may be considered a cash donation.  A receipt reflecting the purchase of items going directly to clients must be included in the client's case file.

Third party in-kind contributions are defined as the value of non-cash contributions directly benefiting a grant-supported program that are provided by non-Federal third parties without charge to the recipient, the sub-recipient, or a cost-type contractor under the grant or sub-award.  For Matching Grant Program purposes in-kind contributions, or match, may be in the form of volunteer services; loaned equipment or space; or donated land, buildings, equipment, or supplies that directly benefit and are specifically identifiable to the Matching Grant Program.  All goods and services must be allowable, reasonable, of good quality, and allocable to the Matching Grant Program, whether paid for by Federal funds, by the voluntary agency match, or through in-kind contributions.  To be allowable, in-kind donations must be costs that could have been paid with Federal grant funds had they not been donated to the program.  As a result, donations of items or services outside the scope of the grant (such as school tuition for children, trips to the park, movies, and other entertainment) cannot be counted as in-kind match for the purpose of the Matching Grant Program.  In determining the admissibility of in-kind contributions as match, voluntary agencies should determine whether such goods or services would have been purchased using Federal funds if they had not been contributed.

 In-kind Match may be donated to clients served through the Matching Grant Program as well as to the program itself.  Voluntary agencies should strive for an equitable distribution of donated goods and services to each Matching Grant Program client. 

Valuation of  'In-Kind' Match (see also the HHS Grants Policy Statement)

a. Donated Supplies, Equipment, Space, or Land

Donated supplies may include such items as expendable property, office supplies (unless treated as an indirect cost), laboratory supplies, household furniture and supplies, or workshop and classroom supplies. The value assigned to donated supplies must be reasonable and cannot exceed the fair market value of the supplies at the time of donation.

The value of donated equipment cannot exceed the fair market value of equipment of the same age and condition at the time of donation. The value of loaned equipment cannot exceed its fair rental rate. If any part of the donated property was acquired with Federal funds, only the non-Federal share of the property may be counted as matching or cost sharing.   If a third party donates equipment, buildings, or land and title passes to a grantee or local site service provider, the market value at the time of donation of the donated equipment or buildings and the fair rental rate of the donated land may be counted as matching or cost sharing only if purchase of the equipment or rental of the land would be allowable as a direct cost.

The value of donated space cannot exceed the fair rental rate of comparable space as established by an independent appraisal of comparable space and facilities in a privately-owned building in the same locality.

ORR may require that the market value of land or buildings or the fair rental value of land or of space in a building be established by an independent property appraiser or by a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) representative. 

 b. Volunteer Services

Rates for donated services used to satisfy a matching or cost-sharing requirement must be consistent with those paid for similar work in the organization. In those instances in which the required skills are not found in the agency, rates must be consistent with those paid for similar work in the labor market in which the voluntary agency would compete for the kind of services involved. When an employer other than the voluntary agency furnishes the services of an employee, the services must be valued at the employee's regular rate of pay. Only the amount representing an amount consistent with the function performed are allowable, e.g., if a doctor serves as a receptionist, only the amount that would be allowable for a receptionist is allowable as a contribution to the grant. Fringe benefits consistent with those that would be paid by the employing organization that are reasonable, allowable, and allocable may be included in the valuation.

2. Supporting Documentation

Per the HHS Grants Policy Statement, the basis for determining the valuation of personal services, materials, equipment, buildings, and land must be verifiable from the records of the recipient, subrecipient, or contractor under the grant (Cooperative Agreement). Volunteer services to an agency, where feasible, should be supported by the same level of documentation used by the agency for its own employees, including time and attendance records.

 

3. Costs that are Unallowable under the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program

a. All allocable costs incurred and services provided in accordance with any other Cooperative Agreement may not be charged to the Matching Grant Program or counted as a matching contribution. Such costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Fees above the Medicaid/RMA reimbursement level may not be counted as a matching contribution, if reimbursement is claimed.

2. Staff costs for time spent on services (including the allocable portion of overhead and facilities costs) provided for under the R&P Cooperative Agreement may not be charged to the Matching Grant Program. These costs include staff and volunteer time spent on housing-related matters, medical orientation and referral for initial health screening, assistance in obtaining a social security card, initial intake and development of a Self-Sufficiency Plan, greeting refugees at the airport, and household goods and furniture during the first month. These costs also include casework staff costs associated with the requirements of the R&P Cooperative Agreement. Where such services are provided to clients without benefit of R&P services, such costs are allocable to the Matching Grant program.

3. Costs for refugee baggage transfers or shipments are not allowable under this grant.

4. Initial health screening referrals and orientation, as required in the R&P Cooperative Agreement, are not considered a Matching Grant Program activity and thus expenses for such activities are not allowable. Such costs, however, are allowable for certain Cuban and Haitian entrants, victims of severe forms of trafficking, and asylees who do not receive such services under the R&P Cooperative Agreement.

5. Community orientation, as described in the R&P Cooperative Agreement, is not part of the Matching Grant Program social adjustment services, except for certain Cuban and Haitian entrants, victims of severe forms of trafficking, and asylees who do not receive such services under the R&P Cooperative Agreement.

6. When relatives of Matching Grant Program clients provide housing in their own residence during the match period, this housing cannot be counted as a matching expenditure.

 

Non-Federal resources will be evaluated under criteria found in Section V.1. of this announcement.
 
III.3. Other

Eligible Client Population:

To be eligible to receive assistance through the Matching Grant Program, clients must provide documentary proof of one of the following statuses as a condition of eligibility. Henceforth, all eligible individuals will be referred to as "clients" unless the context indicates otherwise.

  1. Refugees or asylees;
  2. Cuban and Haitian entrants;
  3. Certain Amerasians from Vietnam;
  4. Victims of Severe Form of Human Trafficking;
  5. Special Immigrant Visa Holders (SIVs).

For more details on these eligible client populations, including statutory and regulatory authorities, visit the ORR website.

Enrollment Criteria: 

Enrollment in the Matching Grant program must occur within 31 days of the individual's date of eligibility. The date of eligibility for Matching Grant Services is counted from the date of arrival into the country for refugees and Amerasians; the date a Cuban/Haitian becomes an entrant (A Cuban or Haitian becomes a Cuban/Haitian entrant on the date he/she is (1) granted parole, (2) placed in removal proceedings, or (3) has a pending application for asylum (whichever is first). See also ORR State Letter #10-03); the date of the final grant of asylum for asylees; the date of the certification or eligibility letter for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking; and the date an SIV arrives in the U.S. or the date of adjustment of status if applying for Special Immigrant Status within the U.S.

At least one member of the case unit must be deemed 'employable' for the case to be enrolled in the Matching Grant Program, and all other members must be otherwise Matching Grant Program eligible. 

Ineligible Client Populations:

The following individuals are not eligible for the Matching Grant Program:

  • Elderly or disabled individuals who are expected to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) within 9 months after arrival;
  • Individuals who are already economically self-sufficient. Economic self-sufficiency means earning a total family income at a level that enables a family unit to support itself without receipt of a cash assistance grant (45 CFR 400.2);
  • Individuals receiving other forms of cash assistance or supplementary income such as Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or SSI, or participating in ORR-funded Wilson/Fish Alternative Program, Public Private Partnerships, or Unaccompanied Refugee Minors programs.

Disqualification Factors

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

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

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

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

Applications received from entities other than those organizations listed as eligible applicants in Section III.1. Eligible Applicants of this announcement will be considered non-responsive and will be disqualified.  They will not be reviewed or considered for funding under this announcement.  Applications disqualified for this reason will not be returned.

 

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

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

Thomas Giossi
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
901 D Street, SW.
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (202) 401-5720
Fax: (202) 401-0981
Email: Thomas.Giossi@acf.hhs.gov
URL: www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr

Federal Relay Service:

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

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Copies Required: 

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

Signatures: 

The original signature of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is required only on the original copy of hard copy application submissions.  The AOR is named by the applicant, and is authorized to act for the applicant, to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to the grant application or awards.  A point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified on the SF-424 at item 8f.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.

Formatting Requirements:

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

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

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

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

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

Applicants may not use colored, over-sized, or folded materials.  Applicants may not include organizational brochures or other promotional materials, slides, films, clip, etc. 

Each application must include a national project description, budget and budget justification, followed by two appendices as outlined below.  The national project description narrative content must be organized by categories as listed under Review Criteria found in Section V.1. of this announcement and limited to 25 pages (excluding Standard Forms and the budget and budget justification). 

Appendices:

  • Appendix One -  Local Service Provider Site Project Designs for each proposed Matching Grant Program service provider site, including a description of the site's service capacity, its rationale and strategy for Matching Grant Program client enrollments and the provision of required Matching Grant Program services, grievance procedures,  third-party agreements, and budget and budget narrative.  For purposes of the Matching Grant Program, ORR defines a service provider site as each physical location where Matching Grant Program clients are enrolled and served. Appendix One should be organized alphabetically by State, then by city.    

Applicants must use the Local Site Project Design template, which may be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/match_grant_prg.htm under Forms.

Local Service Provider Site Project Design narrative content should be limited to three pages for each service provider site excluding local service provider site budgets and third-party agreements.  Third-party agreements should be included in the application by applicants who deliver services through third parties.  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. 

For local service provider site budgets, include the following:  

  1. A line-item budget.  The line-item budget must indicate the amount of local administrative costs, case management, employment services, cash allowance, maintenance assistance (food and housing), transportation, and "other" (e.g. non-required, but allowable services), for each local service provider.  The line-item budget must include a line-item breakdown between the Federal and non-Federal resources that will be used to serve eligible program clients. 
  2. A narrative explanation.  The budget narrative must include the total number of staff positions funded, salary, time allocated, costs for each position funded, and direct and indirect administrative costs. Also include the number of refugees projected to be resettled through the local service provider during the grant period and the number of clients expected to be served through the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program.
  3. Describe policies and procedures that govern the local service provider's in-kind match services (e.g., guidelines and required documentation concerning services provided by volunteers, training and supervision provided to volunteers, procedures for determining the value of in-kind contributions, and the average local rate for volunteer staff time and how this was determined), and how that match is tracked and reflected in Matching Grant Program services and client files. 
  • Appendix Two -  Matching Grant Program Standardized Forms and Data Collection Methodology

Applicants must include a copy of all standard forms used to administer the Matching Grant Program.

Applicants must include a description of their Matching Grant Program data collection methodology.

 

Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

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

 
Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier)

Required of all applicants. Required of all applicants.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Required of all applicants. Required of all applicants.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

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

Submission required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

Certification of Filing and Payment of Federal Taxes, if applicable

Submission of a certification is required prior to award for grantees receiving more than $5,000,000 in Federal funding for the first budget year of a multi-year project; or for grantees receiving more than $5,000,000 in Federal funding for a one-year (12 months) project period; or for grantees receiving more than $5,000,000 in Federal funding for a multiyear project
 to be fully funded.

Applicants are advised of the following requirement contained in Section 523 of the "Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008," (P.L. 110-161, Division G).  This requirement remains in effect:

Sec. 523.  

None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies in writing to the agency awarding the contract or grant that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, the contractor or grantee has filed all Federal tax returns required during the three years preceding the certification, has not been convicted of a criminal offense under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and has not, more than 90 days prior to certification, been notified of any unpaid Federal tax assessment for which the liability remains unsatisfied, unless the assessment is the subject of an installment agreement or offer in compromise that has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service and is not in default, or the assessment is the subject of a non-frivolous administrative or judicial proceeding. [Emphasis Added] 

Accordingly, if applicants request more than $5 million in Federal funds for the first budget year of a multiyear project to be funded in FY 2010, or as a multiyear project to be fully funded in FY 2010, the applicant will be required to submit a certification complying with the requirements, prior to receiving an award. 

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Submission required of all applicants prior to award.

Required for all applications.

Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Certification

Submission required for all applicants.

Required for all applications.

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

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

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

Required for all applications when applying for a non-construction project .


Additional Assurances and Certifications


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

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

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

By signing and submitting the application, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

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

Non-Federal Reviewers

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

DUNS Number and CCR Registration Requirements


DUNS Number Requirement

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

U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711
Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1)
Monday - Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., c.s.t.

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

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Definitions:

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

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

Entity:
Means all of the following:

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

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

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

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

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

The Project Description

Part I: The Project Description Overview

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

General Expectations and Instructions

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

Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

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

Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers.

Project Summary/Abstract

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

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

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

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

Outcomes Expected

Identify the outcomes to be derived from the project.

Approach

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

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

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

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

The applicant should describe its organizational structure and how the applicant headquarters is organized to manage the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program.  The applicant should describe the network that will provide Matching Grant Program services, including the number of local service provider sites; the overall management of this structure and coordination that occurs among all stakeholders; and its relationships with local service provider sites. Describe any recent or anticipated changes in headquarters management, operations, or policies, and explanation of how the grantee will ensure the required level of services to all enrolled clients. Describe the process used to compile the local service provider site project designs and to ensure the information in the designs accurately reflects the commitment of the local sites to fulfill the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program requirements for all enrolled clients.

List all existing local service provider sites, as well as, proposed new sites and sites that are planned for closure in FY 2012.  Applicants planning to close existing sites must provide a plan for completion of services to active clients as an additional attachment.

Applicants must identify how headquarters staff assess and monitor local capacity and perform oversight of their local service provider sites' delivery of services. Applicants must describe monitoring practices and procedures. Applicants must provide a description of how they intend to respond to enrolled client complaints and problems identified during applicant, or ORR, monitoring.

Provide a brief description of network training events related to the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program planned for FY 2012, including the purpose of each training, the desired outcome(s), and mechanisms for ensuring appropriate staff receive the training.

Include a brief description of applicant fraud prevention strategies and activities.

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.

Geographic Location

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

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.

Organizational Capacity

  • Organizational charts
  • Board of Directors
  • Financial statements adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Audit reports or statements from Certified Public Accountants/Licensed Public Accountants
  • Contact persons and telephone numbers
  • Information on compliance with Federal/State/local government standards
  • 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.
Letters Of Support

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

Budget and Budget Justification

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

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

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

Personnel

Description:  Costs of employee salaries and wages.

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

Fringe Benefits

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

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

Travel

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

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

Equipment

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

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

Supplies

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

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

Contractual

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

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

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

Other

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

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

Indirect Charges

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

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

Program Income

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

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

Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Description:  Amounts of non-Federal resources that will be used to support the project as identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

Justification:  If an applicant is relying on match from a third party, then a firm commitment of these resources (letter or other documentation) is required with the application.   Detailed budget information must be provided for every funding source identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520, the public reporting burden for the Project Description is estimated to average 40 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, which expires 11/30/2012. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

  • ACF will not accept applications via facsimile or email.
  • The Funding Opportunity Announcement is found on the Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov where the electronic application can be downloaded for completion.
  • To apply electronically, applicants and sub-recipients must be registered with Grants.gov, Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS Number), and the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). 
  • All pages of the application package must be sequentially numbered.
  • Electronically submitted applications must be received and time/date stamped by the due date and receipt time described in this announcement in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.
  • To submit an application through Grants.gov, the applicant must be the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) for their organization and must have current registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
  • Central Contractor Registry (CCR) registration must be updated annually.  As of October 1, 2010, all applicants, and sub-recipients are required to have CCR registration in order to apply for Federal grants and cooperative agreements.
      
  • Electronically submitted applications will not pass the validation check at Grants.gov if the AOR does not have a current CCR registration and electronic signature credentials. 
  • Electronically submitted applications will not pass the validation check at Grants.gov if the AOR does not have a current CCR registration and electronic signature credentials. 
  • Applications rejected by Grants.gov for an unregistered AOR will be disqualified and will not be considered for competition.
  • Additional guidance on the submission of electronic applications can be found at the Grants.gov Registration Checklist.
  • If difficulties are encountered in using Grants.gov, applicants must contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at:1-800-518-4726, or by email at support@grants.gov, to report the problem and obtain assistance. Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Grants.gov Contact Center is closed on Federal holidays.
  • Applicants should retain Grants.gov Contact Center service ticket number(s) as they may be needed for future reference.
  • Applicants that submit their applications electronically should retain a hard copy of their application package.
  • It is to an applicant's advantage to submit their applications at least 24 hours in advance of the closing date and time.
  • Applicants should not wait until the due date for applications to begin submission of their application.

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


Hard Copy Submission

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

Applications submitted in hard copy must show a DUNS Number.  A DUNS Number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.  A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://www.dnb.com.  To acquire a DUNS number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center:U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711; Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1).  Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., c.s.t.

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

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

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


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

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications: 08/01/2011

Explanation of Due Dates

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

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

Mailed Applications

Mailed applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date, listed in the Overview and in this section, at the address provided in Section IV.6 of this announcement.  Applications received after the stated due date and time will be designated as late and will disqualified from competition.

Hand-Delivered Applications


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

Electronically-Submitted Applications

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

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

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

  1. Acknowledgement of the application's submission to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov tracking number.  Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time-stamp, which serves as the official record of application submission. The date and time-stamp must reflect a submission time on, or before, 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the application due date for the application to be considered as meeting the due date.  Applications received at Grants.gov after the due date and time will be disqualified.

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

Late Applications

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

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

Extension/Waiver of Due Date and Receipt Time

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

Acknowledgement of Received Application

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

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

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

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

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

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

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

Submit applications to one of the following addresses:

Submission By Mail

Ben Sharp
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
Division of Discretionary Grants
370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW
Washington, DC 20447

Hand Delivery

Ben Sharp
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
Division of Discretionary Grants
ACF Mailroom, 2nd Floor (near loading dock)
901 D Street SW.
Washington, DC 20447

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 develop their applications according to the order of the criteria presented.  The criteria 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. 

 
APPROACH Maximum Points: 20

Applications will be evaluated to the extent that they demonstrate the following: 

  1. The institutional organization and the overall management of this structure. The administrative relationship between the national office and the participating local affiliates, including the financial relationship, reporting mechanisms and data collection activities.
  2. The national strategy for the distribution of Matching Grant Program enrollment slots and encouraging enrollment of clients into the program.  This should include and reference: local service provider performance, proposed outcomes, eligible populations, and case type and composition.
  3. A plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how all required and proposed work will be accomplished.  All required in-house and external functions or services identified in this FOA are included along with a description of any unusual features such as design or technological innovations or extraordinary social and community involvement.
  4. Strategies for ensuring refugees will not access public cash assistance benefits during their Matching Grant Program service period.
  5. Sanctioning procedures for Matching Grant Program clients not in compliance with their enrollment agreement. 
  6. A process for coordinating Matching Grant Program services with the State-administered program services and other social services programs such as SNAP and Medicaid.
  7. Policies concerning language assistance for Limited English Proficient persons in accordance with ORR State Letter #00-18 and #05-20. 
  8. Policies by the voluntary agency to coordinate and differentiate charges for services funded by the R&P Cooperative Agreement, by alternative projects such as public-private partnerships (PPP), or by Wilson/Fish Alternative Program from those provided through the Matching Grant Program.
  9. Policies and procedures that govern voluntary agency in-kind match services. 
  10. Guidelines concerning the use of volunteers, including allowable services, background checks, training and supervision, and the average local rate for volunteer staff time and how this was determined.   

 

OUTCOMES EXPECTED Maximum Points: 25

Successful applications will demonstrate the following:

  1. The applicant's objectives and its proposed local service provider sites' objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Time-bound) in contributing to the overall goal of the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program to assist eligible populations in achieving self-sufficiency through employment within 120 - 180 days of program eligibility.
  2. The plans to address under-performing local service provider sites and set SMART objectives for continuous improvement are proactive and reasonable.
  3. A national strategy that maximizes successful self-sufficiency outcomes through local program design.
EVALUATION Maximum Points: 20

Applications will be evaluated to the extent that they demonstrate the following:

  1. Processes and staffing to ensure timely oversight of local service provider sites' performance and compliance. 
  2. Processes for ensuring the valuation of the in-kind match are in accordance with 45 CFR 74.23.
  3. Processes for auditing, tracking, and reporting the match at the national level.
  4. The provision of ongoing and urgent technical assistance and support to local service provider sites and their Matching Grant Program staff.
  5. Strategies for addressing under-performing local service provider sites.
  6. Strategies for ensuring the accurate timely reporting of required indicators and self-sufficiency outcomes to ORR.
  7. Strategies for preventing and addressing fraud at client and local service provider levels.


 

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILES Maximum Points: 25

When scoring this criterion, reviewers will consider community characteristics, the local service provider sites' qualifications (including prior Matching Grant Program performance, if applicable), the number and characteristics of matching Grant Program clients to be served and the full-time equivalent staff/client ratio. 

Applications will be evaluated to the extent that they demonstrate the following: 

  1. Satisfactory national management of the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program.  Staff positions allocated to the grant, the percent of time allocated to the grant, and the position job descriptions are included.
  2. Key national staff members who are qualified to manage the Matching Grant Program and fulfill the monitoring and technical assistance requirements of the program.  
  3. A strong awareness of the activities and characteristics of its participating local service provider sites.
  4. Local service provider site descriptions that are adequate and reflect a qualified, well-designed and coordinated local Matching Grant Program.
  5. Local service provider sites' staffing patterns and the offered program services meet the Matching Grant Program goal to assist eligible populations in achieving self-sufficiency through employment within 120 - 180 days of program eligibility.
  6. Other key individuals, organizations, cooperating entities, and consultants who will work on the matching Grant Program are listed along with a short description of their qualifications and the nature of their effort or contribution. Third-party agreements are included as appropriate.

 

BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION Maximum Points: 10

Applications will be evaluated to the extent that they demonstrate the following: 

  1. The budget and narrative justification are reasonable, clearly presented, and cost-effective in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.
  2. Local Service Provider Site budgets are reasonable, clearly presented, and cost-effective in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.
  3. Methodologies for estimating the number of Matching Grant Program clients and the amount of matching funds (cash and in-kind) are reasonable.
  4. Methods for acquiring matching funds (cash and in-kind) are reasonable.
  5. Systems for determining the value of in-kind contributions are clear, reasonable, and appropriate.
  6. Systems for tracking and reporting matching funds (cash and in-kind) are clear, reasonable, and appropriate.
  7. Methods for distributing and tracking funds at the local service provider site level are reasonable. 

 

 

V.2. & V.3. Review and Selection Process
V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.  No grant award will be made to an applicant or sub-recipient that does not have active CCR registration (www.ccr.gov or 1-866-606-8220).
 
Initial ACF Screening

Each application will be screened to determine whether it was received by the closing date and time and whether the requested amount exceeds the award ceiling.  Applications that are designated as late according to Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times, or those with requests that exceed the award ceiling, stated in Section II. Award Information, will receive a screen-out letter noting that the application was deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.  For those applications that have been deemed disqualified under the initial ACF screening, notice will be given of such determination by postal mail.

Objective Review and Results

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

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

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

ACF may refuse funding for projects with what it regards as unreasonably high start-up costs for facilities or equipment, or for projects with unreasonably high operating costs.
Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-Federal reviewers in the review process.

Approved but Unfunded Applications

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

 
V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Announcement of awards and the disposition of applications will be provided to applicants at a later date.
VI. Award Administration Information
VI.1. Award Notices

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

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

 
VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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

Prohibition Against Profit

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

Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations

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

A faith-based organization receiving HHS funds retains its independence from Federal, State, and local governments, and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs. For example, a faith-based organization may use space in its facilities to provide secular programs or services funded with Federal funds without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols. In addition, a faith-based organization that receives Federal funds retains its authority over its internal governance, and it may retain religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on a religious basis, and include religious references in its organization's mission statements and other governing documents in accordance with all program requirements, statutes, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of HHS funded activities. 

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

The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.

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

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

HHS Grants Policy Statement

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

 
Other Administrative and National Policy Requirements

 

ORR will post annual Matching Grant Program Guidelines to its website. These guidelines may be modified in response to changes to the refugee resettlement program, eligible populations, and program-wide performance. Fiscal Year 2012 guidelines are currently available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/match_grant_prg.htm

 

VI.3. Reporting

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

Performance Progress Reports (PPR)

ACF grantees are required to submit the SF-PPR Cover Page. ACF Programs that utilize reporting forms or formats in addition to, or instead of, the SF-PPR have listed the reporting requirements later in this section.

Grant award documents will inform grantees of the appropriate performance progress report form or format to use.  Grantees should consult their award documents to determine the appropriate performance progress report format required under their award.  Performance progress reports are due 30 days after the end of the reporting period.

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

Federal Financial Reports (FFR)

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

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

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

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

For budget periods ending in the months of:

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

January 01 through March 31

April 30

April 01 through June 30

July 30

July 01 through September 30

October 30

October 01 through December 31

January 30


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


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

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

 
Program Progress Reports: Tri-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.

   

 Annual Performance Progress Report:

A narrative report covering the annual budget period will be due November 15 of each project year.  This report shall contain a compilation of the aggregate data points presented in the Tri-Annual reports, a brief description of program accomplishments and situations which affected program performance over the year, and the number of Matching Grant Program clients enrolled in the year by ethnicity. 

 

Tri-Annual Program Progress Reports:

Tri-Annual Program Progress Reports cover the 4-month periods ending January 31, May 31, and September 30, and are due 30 days after the end of each reporting period.  Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program grantees will include descriptions of (1) all monitoring visits conducted, (2) technical assistance provided to local service provider sites, (3) active long distance employment sites, and (4) the following aggregate data points covering all individuals with active enrollment at any point during the period covered by the report (ORR will provide a suggested spreadsheet template and instructions to assist with this requirement):

New Enrollees --

  • Number of newly enrolled cases and individuals
  • Number of newly enrolled individuals by eligible immigration status

Status of Enrollees Reaching 120 Days from Date of Matching Grant Program Eligibility (report for both 'cases' and 'individuals') --

  • Number reaching 120th day
  • Number economically self-sufficient and remaining in the program 
  • Number not self-sufficient, but remaining in the program
  • Number dropped by the voluntary agency at 120 days (Time Expired)
  • Number who dropped out prior to 120 days by accessing public cash assistance
  • Number who dropped out prior to 120 days due to out-migration
  • Number who dropped out prior to 120 days for any other reasons

Status of Employable Individuals at 120 Days from Date of Matching Grant Program Eligibility --

  • Number of employable adults
  • Number of employable adults employed full-time and their average hourly wage
  • Number of employable adults employed part-time and their average hourly wage
  • Number of employable adults employed full-time with access to health benefits

Status of Enrollees Reaching 180 Days from Date of Matching Grant Program Eligibility (report for both 'cases' and 'individuals') --

  • Number reaching 180th day
  • Number listed previously as economically self-sufficient at 120 days and still self-sufficient at 180 days
  • Number listed previously as not economically self-sufficient at 120 days and remaining in the program that has subsequently become self-sufficient by the 180th day
  • Total number of clients reaching 180th day who are self-sufficient
VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Thomas Giossi
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement
901 D Street SW.
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (202) 401-5720
Fax: (202) 401-0981
Email: Thomas.Giossi@acf.hhs.gov
URL: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Ben Sharp
Administration for Children and Families
Division of Discretionary Grants
370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, 6th Floor East
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (202) 401-5513
Fax: (202) 401-5548
Email: acfogme-grants@acf.hhs.gov
URL: http://intranet.acf.hhs.gov/newoa/ogm/ogmindex.html
 

Federal Relay Service:

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

VIII. Other Information

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

Reference Websites


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

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

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

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

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

United States Code (U.S.C) http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.

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.

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) on the internet  www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr.

Approval of Information Collections

Application and reporting requirements specific to the Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program are in the review and approval process as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520.  The public reporting burden for the information collections are estimated to average 2.10 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information.  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.

 

 

Application Checklist

 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier)

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

Required in application submission.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

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

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

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

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

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants/grants_resources.html and at the Grants.gov Forms Repository at http://www.grants.gov/ agencies/ aforms_repository_information.jsp.

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

Table of Contents

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

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

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

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

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

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

Project Summary/Abstract

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

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

Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.

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

Budget and Budget Justification

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

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

Third-Party Agreements

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

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

Letters of Support

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

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

Certification Regarding Lobbying

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

Submission is due prior to award.

Logic Model

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

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

Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Certification

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http://
www.acf.hhs.gov
/programs/ofs/grants/maintain.htm

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

Certification of Filing and Payment of Federal Taxes, if applicable

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

Submission is due by the time of award.

Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Budget and Budget Justification."

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

Appendices