Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
 
Building Child Welfare Capacity for Continuous Quality Improvement Project
HHS-2013-ACF-ACYF-CO-0580
Application Due Date: 03/18/2013

 

Building Child Welfare Capacity for Continuous Quality Improvement Project
HHS-2013-ACF-ACYF-CO-0580
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
Building Child Welfare Capacity for Continuous Quality Improvement Project
HHS-2013-ACF-ACYF-CO-0580
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
 
Program Office:Administration on Children, Youth and Families - Children's Bureau
Funding Opportunity Title:Building Child Welfare Capacity for Continuous Quality Improvement Project
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2013-ACF-ACYF-CO-0580
CFDA Number: 93.670
Due Date for Applications: 03/18/2013
 

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

 
Executive Summary:

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to fund a cooperative agreement for a national Child Welfare Continuous Quality Improvement Project (Child Welfare CQI Project) that will build the capacity of the child welfare workforce in public child welfare agencies and their partner organizations to perform continuous quality improvement (CQI) activities and processes. The project will build competencies and skills to develop and strengthen CQI systems, including the abilities to identify, collect, communicate, and use data to improve services and to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children, youth, and families.  The project will focus on identifying and managing existing CQI-related resources; designing and delivering remote and group-based learning opportunities that will include training, coaching, and peer learning; and developing and strategically disseminating practical tools and measuring the impact of the dissemination strategies.  The project will partner closely with the Children’s Bureau (CB) and CB-supported centers and projects.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

The statutory authority for this FOA comes from Section 105 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. §5106(a)1).

Description

BACKGROUND 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. Within HHS, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is the agency responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) within ACF administers national programs for children and youth; works with states, tribes, and local communities to develop services that support and strengthen family life; seeks joint ventures with the private sector to enhance the lives of children and their families; and provides information and other assistance to parents. Many of the programs administered by ACYF focus on children from low-income families; abused and neglected children; children and youth in need of foster care, independent living, adoption, or other child welfare services; preschool children; children with disabilities; runaway and homeless youth; and children from Native American and migrant families. 

Administration on Children, Youth and Families' Focus on Improving Well-Being  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Children’s Bureau

Within ACYF, the Children's Bureau (CB) plans, manages, coordinates, and supports child abuse and neglect prevention, and child welfare services programs. CB is the agency within the federal government that is responsible for assisting child welfare systems by promoting continuous improvement in the delivery of child welfare services. CB programs are designed to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of all children, including those in foster care, available for adoption, recently adopted, abused, neglected, dependent, disabled, or homeless, and to prevent the neglect, abuse, and exploitation of children. (For more information about CB's programs, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb.)

The Role of Continuous Quality Improvement in Child Welfare

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) has been described as a proactive approach to solving problems, maintaining quality, and performing continuous evaluation that involves the “dynamic interplay of assessment, feedback and application of information” to improve services (Bickman & Noser, 1999).  CQI is better characterized as a process or an “organizational philosophy” rather than a discrete program or project within an organization, and it relies upon data about both processes and outcomes to inform decision making (Bickman & Noser, 1999).

In the context of child welfare, CQI has been described similarly.  CQI systems in public child welfare agencies are charged with performing “the complete process of identifying, describing, and analyzing strengths and problems and then testing, implementing, learning from, and revising solutions.”  This process is comprehensive and transformative, guiding the way that agencies make decisions and measure progress as they strive to achieve better outcomes for children, youth, and families (Casey Family Programs & NRCOI, 2005). 

In order to develop systems that are able to effectively perform continuous quality improvement, leadership, commitment, partnership, and participation are essential.  CQI “relies on an organizational culture that is proactive and supports continuous learning [and] is firmly grounded in the overall mission, vision, and values of the agency…  [I]t is dependent upon the active inclusion and participation of staff at all levels of the agency, children, youth, families, and stakeholders throughout the process.” (Casey Family Programs & NRCOI, 2005). 

In a recent Information Memorandum, CB provided state child welfare agencies that administer or supervise programs funded under title IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act, as amended, with information intended to encourage the creation and maintenance of continuous quality improvement systems (ACYF-CB-IM-12-07).  Well-designed and well-functioning CQI systems provide child welfare agencies with critical information about their processes, decision making, and service delivery.  They allow agencies to investigate connections between quality, performance, and outcomes in order to produce actionable information for improvement.  CB has identified five essential components that CQI systems require in order to function effectively: a foundational administrative structure that provides strong oversight and ensures consistency, the collection of high-quality qualitative and quantitative data from a variety of sources, regular ongoing case record reviews that support the need for generalizable findings, sound processes for the analysis and dissemination of usable information and results, and well-established mechanism for providing feedback to stakeholders and decision makers and for using results to adjust processes and programs.

Need for CQI-Focused Training & Technical Assistance

Existing federal regulations require states to describe the quality assurance (QA) system the state has in place to "regularly assess the quality of services under the Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) and assure that there will be measures to address identified problems" as part of the CFSP (45 CFR 1357.15(u)). In addition, title IV-E requires agencies to monitor and conduct periodic evaluations of activities conducted under the title IV-E program and to implement standards to ensure that children in foster care are provided quality services that protect the safety and health of such children (sections 471(a)(7) and 471(a)(22) of the Act), respectively. Despite these requirements, states have struggled to meet them.

CB has advised states to maintain and enhance their QA systems using a CQI approach that allows them to monitor processes, measure the quality of services, and assess the effects of the their systems and services on child and family outcomes (ACYF-CB-IM-12-07).  Findings from the second round of the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) revealed that all states struggled to 1) achieve timely permanency, and 2) ensure that children’s and families’ needs were assessed comprehensively and on an ongoing basis to inform the delivery of quality and effective services. Along with assuring safety, these outcomes are central to a child welfare agency’s mission and purpose.  Measures of safety, permanency, and well-being, --as they have been operationalized in CFSR Round 2 and described by CB in its recent guidance regarding the promotion of social and emotional well-being of children and youth (ACYF-CB-IM-12-04), deserve consideration for inclusion in a state’s child welfare CQI system.

Based on existing requirements for QA, recent guidance about CQI, and demonstrated need, CB has determined that additional training and technical assistance resources are necessary to support states in their efforts to perform CQI.  This FOA responds to this need.

Child Welfare Training and Technical Assistance Network

CB provides a broad array of training and technical assistance (T/TA) resources through its grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.  CB-supported T/TA providers include the National Child Welfare Resource Centers (NRCs) that work together to assist states, tribes, localities, and Courts to improve public child welfare systems.  The purpose of these providers is to build the capacity of state and tribal child welfare agencies and family and juvenile courts through the provision of training, technical assistance, research, and consultation on the full array of federal requirements administered by CB.  

CB employs several monitoring tools to ensure conformity with federal child welfare requirements to help states achieve greater safety, permanency, and well-being for children.  While a major function of the CB-supported T/TA is to prepare states for child welfare monitoring and to help them apply the knowledge gained from these reviews, the ultimate purpose of the T/TA is to improve child welfare systems and to support states in achieving sustainable, systemic change that yields better outcomes for children, youth and families.

CB’s T/TA providers hold expertise in multiple aspects of child welfare practice.  They are expected to provide resources and assistance that will support and facilitate positive change, and in some cases comprehensive cross-system reforms, and that will build state or tribal capacity to deliver quality child welfare services and result in more effective and promising practice. CB and its providers utilize a variety of strategies to deliver T/TA to states and tribes. 

In order to meet the requirements of this FOA, the Child Welfare CQI Project will perform activities that complement the services of other CB-supported T/TA providers, including the National Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (www.nrcoi.org) and National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (www.nrccwdt.org).  The Child Welfare CQI Project will also partner with the Child Welfare Information Gateway (CWIG), a national clearinghouse that connects child welfare and other professionals to resources, information, and online tools that cover a wide range of topics related to child welfare, child abuse and neglect, and adoption (www.childwelfare.gov). CWIG supports CB and provides numerous resources, including product development; dissemination/outreach via web, print and electronic formats; websites and databases; and other online learning tools for improving child welfare practice.

PURPOSE

The national project funded under this FOA will build the capacity of the child welfare workforce in public child welfare agencies and their partner organizations to perform CQI activities and processes. The project will build competencies and skills to develop and strengthen CQI systems, including the abilities to identify, collect, communicate, and use data to improve services and achieve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children, youth, and families.  The project will focus on identifying and managing existing CQI-related resources; designing and delivering remote and group-based learning opportunities that will include training, coaching, and peer learning; developing and strategically disseminating practical tools, and evaluating the outcomes of these activities.  The project will partner closely with CB and CB-supported centers and projects.

Tips for Preparing a Competitive Application

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

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

NOTE: See Section IV.2, The Project Description: Approach and Evaluation for additional instructions for applicants.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

Target Participants and Consumers

The Child Welfare CQI Project will increase knowledge and build the skills of administrators, managers, supervisors, and staff in public child welfare agencies and partnering organizations to perform continuous quality improvement activities and processes that will improve child welfare services.  The major categories of activity described in this announcement target two types of “audiences”:

  • Participants in training and technical assistance; and
  • Users or consumers of products and tools.

The target participants for training modules, group-based learning, and tailored technical assistance will be professionals with responsibility for: 1) the development, maintenance, management, and oversight of a jurisdiction’s CQI processes and infrastructure; 2) the collection, analysis, and interpretation of CQI data; and 3) administrative, management, and programmatic decision-making that directly impacts the service delivery and performance of title IV-E child welfare agencies.  At a minimum, the Child Welfare CQI Project must target state child welfare agency CQI and program managers, but the grantee may target additional participants including: training academy directors, county and local administrators, private agency directors, partners from the courts, tribal agency leadership, and other key stakeholders, for example.

Products and tools developed under this cooperative agreement may be intended for general use by a broad child welfare audience or they may be more narrowly targeted to address the specific needs of particular users. For instance, the applicant may propose to design a brief and an assessment tool that can be used by a variety of child welfare agencies or their partners to examine the “readiness” (e.g., attitudes and motivation) of an organization’s workforce to adopt a continuous learning and CQI approach.  In addition, the grantee might also create a product for judges, highlighting and explaining the important role of the courts as participants, contributors, and partners in an agency’s CQI process.  Products must be thoughtfully designed and tailored, when necessary, to ensure that they are relevant and meet the needs of professionals based on their roles and responsibilities.  Products may be developed to address CQI-related needs in state, local, and/or tribal child welfare systems. 

The grantee’s target participants and consumers must align with the needs it has identified and the proposed training and product development activities.  After award of the cooperative agreement, the grantee will review its target participants and consumers with CB and its partners and potentially refine these targets, if necessary.

Collaboration

The Child Welfare CQI Project must partner closely with CB and with several other CB-supported projects to meet the goals of this FOA.  As a participant in a cooperative agreement, the grantee can expect to collaborate with CB in the review of its proposed activities.  In some cases, the grantee and CB will revise and jointly develop key project strategies.  CB must approve project plans and activities prior to implementation.

Responsibility for supporting continuous quality improvement in child welfare systems is not the sole role of any single project or entity.  In addition to its partnership with CB, the grantee will be immediately responsible for collaborating with other projects, including but not limited to, National Child Welfare Resource Centers, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, and the Child Welfare Reviews Project.  These projects and other federal efforts are intended to complement one another and fit into a single, coherent approach to building capacity in child welfare systems for effective continuous quality improvement. 

The Child Welfare CQI Project will be responsible for planning and attending up to three collaborative working meetings in Washington, D.C., during its 17-month project period.  These meetings will serve as critical opportunities for CB, the Child Welfare CQI Project, and other stakeholders to share information, plan strategically, and leverage efforts.  Meeting participants will be identified by CB.

Outreach and Engagement

In order to successfully reach its target audiences and achieve its goals for participation and use of Child Welfare CQI Project tools and resources, the grantee must have clear and deliberate strategies for outreach and engagement.  Because the Child Welfare CQI Project will not have the benefit of prior name recognition and because its time frame for engagement is limited by a 17-month project period, the grantee must implement a thoughtful, immediate, and coordinated plan for communication with the field.

The Child Welfare CQI Project must engage its intended consumers in the development and refinement of its training activities and products.  The project will seek feedback from members of its target audience(s) throughout the project period to better understand CQI needs, inform project activities, review curricula and product-related content, and assess proposed recruitment and dissemination strategies.

Knowledge Management

The Child Welfare CQI Project will identify, review, collect, organize, and manage relevant and useful CQI-related resources and products, making them easily accessible to its target audiences and the public.  The grantee will work closely with CB and its previously identified partners to determine how best to provide access to a repository of resources and information that is easily navigable (and potentially searchable) and meets consumers’ needs.  This activity must not duplicate, but may build upon, previous and existing CB-supported efforts in this area.  The grantee will be guided by the content of CQI resources that have been disseminated by CB, but its search will draw on publications and products from a much broader base of resources from child welfare and other fields.  Resources may include, but are not limited to, articles, reports, papers, briefs, tools, curricula, and instruments from a wide variety of CQI approaches that are/may be relevant to performing CQI in child welfare.  Content may range from general descriptions of the CQI process and characteristics of an operating CQI system to useful tools for guiding choices about designing data collection, assessing and improving data quality, performing analysis, or communicating findings to stakeholders.  Gaps in existing training curricula and resources will be identified, reported to CB and its partners, and used to inform the project’s planned activities.

Training

The primary purpose of the Child Welfare CQI Project is to build the competencies and skills of leaders charged with the overall development and implementation of CQI processes and systems, as well as those professionals with responsibility for the collection, interpretation, and use of CQI data to guide decision making, improve child welfare services, and achieve better outcomes for children, youth, and families.  Drawing on its own knowledge, experience, and expertise, its review of literature and resources, consumer feedback, and collaboration with other partners of CB, the grantee will design and implement a CQI training plan. 

The plan must be designed to build individual competencies and develop key skills that are aligned with those activities that are necessary for individuals to perform critical tasks in continuous quality improvement processes and for systems to properly and effectively function as a whole.  General overviews and frameworks describing CQI processes and systems in “broad strokes” may be helpful, but they will not be sufficient to meet the training requirement of this award.  Training will be expected to generate measurable gains in participants’ knowledge and skills that can be expected to improve performance in a key aspect of CQI (e.g., fostering readiness for CQI, building CQI infrastructure, stakeholder engagement and involvement, administrative data collection, case review, data cleaning, analysis, interpretation, communication, planning for improvement, etc.).  At a minimum, the plan will include two services: a group-based learning program and web accessible training modules.

Group-based Learning Program

The grantee will design and conduct a group-based learning program for individuals or teams representing IV-E child welfare agencies.  The Child Welfare CQI Project will lead cohorts of participants from multiple jurisdictions through a program that builds individual capacity and facilitates the application of what has been learned to the “real world” CQI practice of participants’ agencies.  The program design must include distance learning components, and the grantee’s program will integrate training, coaching, and peer learning in a manner that efficiently deploys resources and effectively increases knowledge, develops skills, and changes attitudes and behavior. 

The group-based learning program must be informed by theory and best practices in adult education, training, and distance learning.  CB expects the program to complement its training with individualized coaching for participants and practice with concrete tools.  The program must be informed by and build on promising and evidence-supported, group-based learning models that have been previously evaluated.  The Child Welfare CQI Project will finalize its plan for group-based learning with CB and its partners.  CQI cohorts are expected to begin by October 1, 2013, and Child Welfare CQI Project must be capable of conducting multiple cohorts concurrently.  The grantee must be able to accommodate participation from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in its program cohorts, though program eligibility and capacity may be further targeted as a result of consultation with CB after the cooperative agreement is awarded.        

Program cohorts may vary in content and be organized by geographic region; professional role in the CQI system; jurisdiction size, type, or administrative structure; current CQI practice, resources, and capacity; or other criteria identified by the grantee.  While program content may be adapted and customized based on participant composition, the Child Welfare CQI Project will attempt to develop and refine a single, replicable program model during the project period. Multiple modes of cohort contact and interaction may be included in the model, but the Child Welfare CQI Project may not provide for travel, lodging, and/or meals for cohort participants. Travel to participants’ jurisdictions by Child Welfare CQI Project staff as a component of the program is permissible.

Distance Learning - Web Accessible Training Modules

The Child Welfare CQI Project will develop curricula and design a series of training sessions that can be easily accessed online and serve the needs of remote participants.  The design of these training modules will be informed by theory and best practices in adult education and training, knowledge transfer, and distance learning, as well as the best available research evidence.  Modules may build upon one another, taking a participant through a series of successive lessons and activities, and/or modules may be independent training sessions that a user can access without needing to follow any particular sequence.  Certificates or records of successful completion should be contingent upon demonstrated understanding and application of the training content.  At a minimum, participants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico must have access to the training modules.  Training module access and use must be free to users, and modules must be easily transferred to the federal government or another entity identified by CB by the end of the project period.

Tailored Technical Assistance

In some instances, the Child Welfare CQI Project may determine that in order to achieve the goals of this FOA, it is necessary to provide additional, time-limited, tailored TA to the jurisdictions of some of its group-based learning program participants. Tailored TA may include one or multiple site visits to further assist the jurisdiction with assessment, work planning, coaching, and consultation. Proposed TA must be considered in consultation with CB, coordinated with other T/TA service providers, and approved by the federal Project Officer (FPO) for the project prior to delivery.

Products and Tools

Based on its knowledge of CQI needs, review of CQI-related resources, collaboration, and input from target consumers, the grantee will develop products that provide targeted users with practical information and tools that can assist with the development and maintenance of CQI systems and/or the performance of key CQI activities and functions.  CB encourages creative product designs that respond to the needs, characteristics, and behavior patterns of the project’s target consumers to maximize the potential for their use.  Products may include, but are not limited to: information briefs, tools, guides, and/or presentations. 

During the course of its project, the Child Welfare CQI Project may have opportunities to consult and/or collaborate with state and tribal child welfare systems, other projects, and various national, regional, and community stakeholders to develop additional products related to continuous quality improvement. CB expects the Child Welfare Project to participate to the extent feasible in these activities and to assist with the dissemination of such products to the child welfare field. 

Dissemination

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

The Child Welfare CQI Project will disseminate strategically to its target audiences.  Consistent with requirements that have been detailed earlier in this section of this announcement, the grantee’s plans for outreach and engagement, knowledge management, distance learning, group-based learning, and product development must be guided by a coherent dissemination plan that is based on careful study of the target participants and consumers and a thorough understanding of their needs, characteristics, behaviors, and contexts.   A coherent and well-designed dissemination plan will: 

  • Clearly identify target audiences for each activity and/or product;
  • Study the CQI-related needs (e.g., competencies and skills), characteristics (e.g., professional role, education level), behaviors (e.g., channels and patterns of information consumption), and contexts (e.g., culture, environment) of its target participants and consumers;
  • Review information about previous dissemination approaches and evidence of effectiveness;
  • Design communication and dissemination strategies and set measurable goals (e.g., reach, participation, and use) that are specific to each target audience and activity/product;
  • Engage target participants and consumers in the design, revision, and testing of project content, including curricula and products;
  • Use feedback from target participants and consumers to inform outreach, recruitment, training delivery, knowledge management, and dissemination strategies;
  • Track and evaluate dissemination processes and outcomes; and
  • Use timely evaluation feedback to assess performance and adjust dissemination strategies.

Technology

CB expects for the Child Welfare CQI Project to carefully consider opportunities to use new technologies when making decisions about project activities, curricula and product design, and dissemination strategies.  In addition to making training modules and other products electronically accessible, the grantee will be encouraged to take full advantage of innovations (e.g., websites, social networking, workspace sharing, livecasting, presentation sharing, mobile applications, etc.) that use web- and mobile-based technologies when these approaches are feasible, practical, and appropriate and when they are likely to increase access for target audiences and achieve project objectives.

Evaluation

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

The successful grantee will devote a stated percentage of its grant funds to evaluation activities during the 17-month project period to meet the statutory evaluation requirements of this award. 

Participation in National Evaluation Activities

Because the Child Welfare CQI Project will perform activities under this cooperative agreement that will complement other projects and TA, the project will participate fully in any relevant national evaluation of CB-supported CQI efforts and T/TA.  This may include participation as a member of a focus group, survey or interview respondent, and/or regular data entry into an automated data collection system. 

Evaluation of the Child Welfare CQI Project

The Child Welfare CQI Project will conduct a rigorous, practical, and feasible program evaluation that will document and support the achievement of the purposes of this FOA within the time and resource constraints of the 17-month project.  The evaluation design will answer key questions about project performance and support the development and refinement of a replicable, group-based learning model. The grantee’s evaluation must be both efficient and able to provide timely and useful information. Program evaluation activities must: 

  1. be integrated into the Project’s planning, decision making, and reporting to CB throughout the project period; 
  2. answer key process and outcome questions related to satisfaction, accessibility, usability, participation, reach, use, and acquisition of competencies and skills;
  3. support the Child Welfare CQI Project’s ability to clearly describe and specify key aspects of a single, replicable group-based program model, monitor adherence to the model during program delivery, and assess the model’s ability to effect proximal learning and behavior-related outcomes; and 
  4. calculate the costs of its knowledge management, distance learning, group-based learning, product development, and dissemination activities.

The Child Welfare CQI Project will set clear and measurable objectives and outcomes for its knowledge management, distance learning, group-based learning, and product dissemination activities.  Guided by its logic model, the successful applicant will design an evaluation plan, choose methods, develop instruments, collect data, and perform analyses that will help the project determine the degree to which key objectives and intended outcomes are achieved.  While CB has identified several domains for evaluation, the design and content of the grantee’s planned activities may warrant the inclusion of additional outcomes (e.g., attitudes toward continuous quality improvement, readiness, collaboration and teaming, etc.).

The grantee may choose to partner with an internal or external evaluator for its evaluation.  External evaluators from different types of organizations may be suited to this project, including university professors or university-based teams, independent consultants, or research/consulting firms.  The evaluators, defined as an individual, team, or an organization such as a university or evaluation contractor, must have the staff qualifications and organizational capacity to implement a rigorous evaluation of a project of this type within the project period.

Helpful information on evaluation for program managers may be found in a document titled "Program Manager's Guide to Evaluation," which can be accessed at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/research/project /the-program-managers-guide-to-evaluation

The grantee will describe its evaluation activities and findings as a component of its routine project reporting and submit a final evaluation report at the conclusion of the project.

Start Up

Immediately upon award of the cooperative agreement, the grantee will begin its 17-month project by meeting with CB and engaging in an intensive, 60-day start-up period to build partnerships, refine project plans, and kick-off activities.  During the first 8 weeks of the project, the project leadership will:

  • Establish the collaborative partnerships and processes necessary to guide and support successful project completion;
  • Establish project infrastructure and organization;
  • Revisit and further refine project objectives and set outcomes targets;
  • Develop a comprehensive CQI framework that will guide the development of the training and tool development;
  • Finalize plans and processes for outreach, knowledge management, and dissemination;
  • Revisit and further specify the target participants and consumers;
  • Ensure that the proposed group-based program model, web accessible training modules, and tools are likely to achieve the project objectives and outcomes;
  • Ensure the appropriateness of the proposed group-based program model, web accessible training modules, and tools for the targeted participants and users;
  • Review and revise, if necessary, work plan time tables and milestones; and
  • Review, refine, and finalize plans for evaluation in consultation with CB.

Project Milestones

Within 90 days of award, the Child Welfare CQI project must be fully operational, and an updated work plan (addressing each of the project requirements, including any agreed upon and/or proposed revisions based on the start-up activities described above) must be submitted to CB for review and approval.  In addition, the following milestones must be included in the project work plan:

  • Collaboration activities must be underway within 60 days;
  • Knowledge management activities must have begun within 60 days;
  • Group-based learning cohorts must begin no later than October 1, 2013; and
  • Data collection for the project evaluation must coincide with service delivery (e.g., delivery of the project’s first training sessions) and dissemination activities (e.g., announcement and release/posting of the first products for public use).

Project Closeout

CB shall maintain its irrevocable right to reproduce all curricula, online training modules, products, and tools developed under this cooperative agreement and to make these available to the targeted users for the benefit of the public.  Prior to or within 90 days of the end of the project period, the grantee must transfer all of these resources to CB or its designee.

Additional Project Requirements

The applicant's signature on the application constitutes its assurance that it will comply with the requirements stated in Section IV.2, Required Forms, Assurances and Certifications, Additional CB-Specific Project Requirements”.

Use of Funds

The grantee must adhere to the Funding Restrictions as noted in Section IV.5, Funding Restrictions.

References

Bickman, L. & Noser, K. (1999). Meeting the challenges in the delivery of child and adolescent mental health services in the next millennium: The continuous quality improvement approach. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 8:247-255.

Casey Family Programs and the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement. (May, 2005). Using Continuous Quality Improvement to Improve Child Welfare Practice – A Framework for Implementation.

II. Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Total Funding: $2,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Award Ceiling: $2,000,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $1,000,000 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $2,000,000 Per Budget Period

Length of Project Periods:

17-month project and budget period

Additional Information on Awards:

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

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

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

If multiple organizations are proposed to meet the requirements of this FOA in collaboration, the primary applicant that would be responsible for administering the cooperative agreement, if successful, must be clearly identified. The primary applicant must document strong partnerships with its proposed partners, if applicable.

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

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

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

 

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

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants

Under the funding legislation, eligible applicants are entities including states, Indian tribes or tribal organizations; public or private agencies or organizations (or combinations of such entities).  Eligible applicants may include state, county, city, and township government agencies; Native American tribal governments (federally recognized) and Native American tribal organizations (other than federally recognized tribal governments); public and private institutions of higher education; nonprofits with or without a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; and for profit organizations, including small businesses.

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

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

DUNS Number and System for Award Management Eligibility Requirements (SAM.gov)


All applicants must have a DUNS number (www.dnb.com) and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM, www.sam.gov) and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete, and should a grant be made, throughout the life of the award. Finalize a new, or renew an existing, registration at least two weeks before the application deadline. This action should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your application or receive an award. Maintain documentation (with dates) of your efforts to register or renew at least two weeks before the deadline. See the SAM Quick Guide for Grantees at: https://www.sam.gov/sam/transcript/SAM_Quick_Guide_Grants_Registrations-v1.6.pdf.

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

  • Be registered in the SAM prior to submitting an application or plan;
  • Maintain an active SAM 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 active DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

ACF is prohibited from making an award until an applicant has complied with these requirements.  At the time an award is ready to be made, if the intended recipient has not complied with these requirements, ACF:

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

APPLICATION DISQUALIFICATION FACTORS


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

Award Ceiling Disqualification

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

Application Submission Disqualifications

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

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

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time, which fail the Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at or acknowledged by ACF.

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

The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the
Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. Paper applications received after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.  Paper applications received from applicants that have not received approval of an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. See "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission" in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

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

 

IV. Application and Submission Information
CB Operations Center, c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910


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

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

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

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

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission


For All ACF Applications:

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

Each applicant must designate an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). An AOR is named by the applicant, and is authorized to act for the applicant, to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to the grant application or awards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

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

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

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

Budget Justification

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

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

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


ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED VIA www.Grants.gov:
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

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

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

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

Budget Justification

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

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

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

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

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

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

Accepted Font Styles:
Applicants must use 12-point font in Times New Roman (TNR) or Courier.

Applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section:

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

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

ACF supports the following file formats:

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

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

PAPER APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS:

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

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

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

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

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

Budget Justification

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

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

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

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

Signatures
An original signature of the AOR is required only on the original copy of paper application submissions. A point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified on the SF-424 at item 8f.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.

Format Requirements for Paper Applications

Applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section. 

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

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

Accepted Font Styles:
Applicants must use 12-point font in Times New Roman (TNR) or Courier.

All copies of a mailed or hand-delivered paper application must be submitted in a single package. A separate package must be submitted for application under a single funding opportunity. The package must be clearly labeled for the specific funding opportunity it is addressing.

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

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

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

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

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

The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page with 12-point font. 

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

NOTE:  ADDITIONAL CB-SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALL APPLICATIONS UNDER THIS FOA

Organizing the Application. Applicants must follow the general instructions found earlier in this section labeled, “Application Package Components”. In addition, applicants must adhere to the following instructions for organizing the Project Description and Appendices sections of the Application Package under this FOA.

Organizing the Project Description and Appendices. The applicant must address all requirements listed in Section IV.2 in their project description. Reviewers will use the specific evaluation criteria in Section V.1 Application Review Information of this FOA to review and evaluate each application. Therefore, applicants must organize their Project Description and Appendices in the sequence used in Section V.1 so that reviewers can readily find information that directly addresses each of the specific review criteria.

The Project Description must include the following items in this order.  (The Abstract is a separate document and should be inserted before the Table of Contents):

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

The Appendices must include the following items in this order:

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

Page limits. The Project Description and Appendices combined are limited to a total of 100 pages.

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

Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

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

 
Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration. 

A DUNS number is required of all applicants. To obtain a DUNS number, go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Active registration at the Systems Award Management (SAM) website must be maintained throughout the application and project award period. SAM registration is available at http://www.sam.gov.

A DUNS number and SAM registration are eligibility requirements for all applicants.

See Section III.3. Other for information on obtaining a DUNS number and registration

at http://www.sam.gov.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

and

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

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

Required for all applications.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

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

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

Certification Regarding Lobbying

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

Submission of this Certification is required for all applications.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If applicable, submission of this form is due at the time of application. 

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

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

and

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

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

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



NOTE:  ADDITIONAL CB-SPECIFIC PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

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

  1. Have the project fully functioning as described in applicant’s timeline, within 60 days following the notification of the award;
  2. Participate, if CB chooses, in any national evaluation or a TA contract that relates to this FOA;
  3. Allocate sufficient funds in the budget to support required travel:  (a) within six weeks after the award, the project director, evaluator, and/or other key staff/partners must attend a 1- to 2-day kick-off meeting in Washington, D.C.; (b) within 4 months after the award, the project director, evaluator, and/or other key staff/partners must attend a 1- to 2-day working meeting with CB staff and other project stakeholders in Washington, D.C.; and (c) the project director, evaluator, and/or other key staff/partners will attend two additional 2- to 3-day working meetings in Washington, D.C., during the project period;
  4. Submit all plans for project activities, including, but not limited to, plans for the design, delivery, and dissemination of distance learning modules, the group-based learning program, and all proposed products and tools, to CB for review and approval prior to development and implementation;
  5. Submit all completed curricula, modules, products, tools, publications, and other content to CB for review and approval prior to delivery or dissemination to the public;
  6. Submit all performance indicator data, program, evaluation, and financial reports in a timely manner (see Section VI.3), in the recommended formats (to be provided). CB prefers and will accept the interim and final reports and attachments on disk or electronically using a standard word-processing program; however, projects are required to provide the original and two copies of performance progress and final reports;
  7. Include the following notice in all grantee materials, products, publications, news releases, etc.:  “Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau, Cooperative Agreement #              . The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the funders, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This information is in the public domain. Readers are encouraged to copy and share its content.  Please acknowledge the Child Welfare CQI Project and the publication’s authors when citing this document.”
  8. Ensure conformity of all grantee products, publications, web content, and communications material with applicable accessibility standards described in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 749d); 
  9. Assist CB in exercising its right to secure and distribute grantee products and materials, including copies of journal articles written by grantees about their grant projects;
  10. Use comprehensive and current software that is accessible to and compatible with the CB/ACF computer network, and/or available to ACF staff.  All grantee products, publications, materials, and web content will identify the Child Welfare CQI Project as “a service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services” and include other identifying marks, as directed;
  11. Transfer all curricula, online training modules, products, tools, and other materials developed under this cooperative agreement to CB or its designee within 90 days of the project end date; and
  12. Submit an original and two copies of the final program and evaluation reports and any program products to CB within 90 days of project end date.

Non-Federal Reviewers

Since ACF will be using non-Federal reviewers in the review process, applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget as well as Social Security Numbers, if otherwise required for individuals. The copies may include summary salary information.If applicants are submitting their application electronically, ACF will omit the same specific salary rate information from copies made for use during the review and selection process.
IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission (contd.)

The Project Description

The Project Description Overview

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

General Expectations and Instructions

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

General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

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

Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers.

Project Summary/Abstract

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

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

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

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

Objectives And Need For Assistance

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

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 other approaches. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.

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

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

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

NOTE:  CB-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF ALL APPLICANTS

Target Participants and Consumers

The applicant must propose a project that will increase knowledge and build the skills of administrators, managers, supervisors, and staff in public child welfare agencies and partnering organizations to perform continuous quality improvement activities and processes that will improve child welfare services.  The major categories of activity described in this announcement target two types of “audiences”:

  • Participants in T/TA; and
  • Users or consumers of products and tools.

The target participants for training modules, group-based learning, and tailored technical assistance will be professionals with responsibility for: 1) the development, maintenance, management, and oversight of a jurisdiction’s CQI processes and infrastructure, 2) the collection, analysis, and interpretation of CQI data, and 3) administrative, management, and programmatic decision-making that directly impacts the service delivery and performance of Title IV-E child welfare agencies.  At a minimum, the applicant must target state child welfare agency CQI and program managers, but it may propose additional target participants including: training academy directors, County and local administrators, private agency directors, partners from the courts, tribal agency leadership, and other key stakeholders, for example.

Products and tools proposed by the applicant may be intended for general use by a broad child welfare audience or they may be more narrowly targeted to address the specific needs of particular users. For instance, an applicant may propose to design a brief and an assessment tool that can be used by a variety of child welfare agencies or their partners to examine the “readiness” (e.g., attitudes and motivation) of an organization’s workforce to adopt a continuous learning and CQI approach.  In addition, the applicant might also propose to create a product that is specifically designed for use by judges, highlighting and explaining the important role of the courts as participants, contributors, and partners in an agency’s CQI process.  Proposed products must be thoughtfully planned to ensure that they are relevant and meet the needs of professionals based on their roles and responsibilities.  Products may be proposed to address CQI-related needs in state, local, and/or tribal child welfare systems. 

Based on its understanding and explanation of the challenges, barriers, and needs that stand in the way of successful CQI implementation in child welfare, the applicant must specify its target audience(s) and provide a sound rationale for its selections.  The applicant must offer a justification for its target participants and consumers that aligns with needs identified and the proposed training and product development activities. 

Collaboration

The applicant must demonstrate in its proposal a commitment to partner closely with CB and with several other CB-supported projects to meet the goals of this program announcement. 

In addition to its describing its plans for partnership with CB to jointly review and in some cases revise and develop key project strategies, the applicant must  explain how it intends to collaborate with other projects, including but not limited to, National Child Welfare Resource Centers, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, and the Child Welfare Reviews Project. 

The applicant must demonstrate an understanding of its responsibilities for collaboration and for planning and attending up to three collaborative working meetings in Washington, D.C., during its 17-month project period.  These meetings will serve as critical opportunities for CB, the Child Welfare CQI Project, and other stakeholders to share information, plan strategically, and leverage efforts.  Meeting participants will be identified by CB.

Outreach and Engagement

In order to successfully reach its target audiences and achieve its goals for participation and use of Child Welfare CQI Project tools and resources, the applicant must have clear and deliberate strategies for outreach and engagement.  Because the Child Welfare CQI Project will not have the benefit of prior name recognition and because its time frame for engagement is limited by a 17-month project period, the applicant must propose a thoughtful and coordinated plan for immediate communication with the field.

The applicant must describe how it will engage its intended consumers in the development and refinement of its training activities and products.  The applicant must also explain how it will seek feedback from members of its target audience(s) throughout the project period to better understand CQI needs, inform project activities, review curricula and product-related content, and assess proposed recruitment and dissemination strategies.

Knowledge Management

The applicant must describe how it intends to identify, review, collect, organize, and manage relevant and useful CQI-related resources and products, making them easily accessible to its target audiences and the public.  The proposed activity must not duplicate but may build upon previous and existing CB-supported efforts in this area.  The applicant’s proposal should be informed by the content of CQI resources that have been disseminated by CB, but its proposed search must draw on publications and products from a much broader base of resources from child welfare and other fields.  Resources may include, but are not limited to, articles, reports, papers, briefs, tools, curricula, and instruments from a wide variety of CQI approaches that are/may be relevant to performing CQI in child welfare.  Content may range from general descriptions of the CQI process and characteristics of an operating CQI system to useful tools for guiding choices about designing data collection, assessing and improving data quality, performing analysis, or communicating findings to stakeholders. 

Based on its assessment of need, its knowledge of existing resources, and its familiarity with CQI in other fields, an applicant will propose the preliminary scope of its knowledge management activities, including the areas of discipline and sources for its search, collection, and review.

Training

The primary purpose of the Child Welfare CQI Project is to build the competencies and skills of leaders charged with the overall development and implementation of CQI processes and systems as well as those professionals with responsibility for the collection, interpretation, and use of CQI data to guide decision-making, improve child welfare services, and achieve better outcomes for children, youth, and families.  Drawing on its own knowledge, experience, and expertise, the applicant will propose a preliminary CQI training plan. 

The proposed plan must be capable of building individual competencies and developing key skills that are aligned with those activities that are necessary for individuals to perform critical tasks in continuous quality improvement processes and for systems to properly and effectively function as a whole.  The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed training will generate measurable gains in participants’ knowledge and skills that can be expected to improve performance in a key aspect of CQI (e.g, fostering readiness for CQI, building CQI infrastructure, stakeholder engagement and involvement, administrative data collection, case review, data cleaning, analysis, interpretation, communication, planning for improvement, etc.).  At a minimum, the applicant’s proposed plan must include two services: a group-based learning program and web accessible training modules.

Group-based Learning Program

The applicant must propose a plan for a group-based learning program for individuals or teams representing IV-E child welfare agencies. The applicant must demonstrate that its plan will lead cohorts of participants from multiple jurisdictions through a program that builds individual capacity and facilitates the application of what has been learned to the “real world” CQI practice of participants’ agencies. The proposed program design must include distance learning components, and the applicant must integrate training, coaching, and peer learning in a manner that will efficiently deploy resources and effectively increase knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes and behavior. Applicants are encouraged to be innovative, to consider multiple modes and venues for cohort contact and interaction, and to provide strong rationale for their proposed plans.

The applicant’s plan is expected to be informed by theory and best practices in adult education, training, and distance learning. CB expects the applicant to complement its training with individualized coaching for participants and practice with concrete tools. The applicant’s proposed program should be informed by and build on promising and evidence-supported, group-based learning models that have been previously evaluated. The first CQI cohorts in an applicant’s proposed plan must begin no later than October 1, 2013, and the applicant must demonstrate its ability to conduct multiple cohorts concurrently. The applicant’s plan must also accommodate participation from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in its program cohorts.

The applicant must propose and justify its preliminary plans for cohorts, including: the number of cohorts, group composition, cohort size, process for participant recruitment and selection, program duration, modes of contact, frequency of cohort activity, learning objectives, target competencies and skills, and training methods and content. Cohorts may vary in content and be organized by geographic region; professional role in the CQI system; jurisdiction size, type, or administrative structure; current CQI practice, resources, and capacity; or other criteria identified by the applicant. While program content may be adapted and customized based on participant composition, the applicant must explain how it will develop and refine a single, replicable program model during the project period.

Distance Learning - Web Accessible Training Modules

The applicant must describe its preliminary plans to develop curricula and design a series of training sessions that can be easily accessed online and serve the needs of remote participants.  The proposed design of these training modules must be informed by theory and best practices in adult education and training, knowledge transfer, and distance learning, as well as the best available research evidence.  Proposed modules may build upon one another, taking a participant through a series of successive lessons and activities, and/or modules may be independent training sessions that a user can access without needing to follow any particular sequence.  At a minimum, the applicant’s proposed training modules must be accessible to participants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. 

The applicant must clearly link its plans for web accessible training to its project objectives and the needs of its target users.  The applicant must describe its preliminary plans for the number of modules, training duration, content and design, module format, learning objectives, and target competencies and skills.

Tailored Technical Assistance

Based on its assessment of need, the applicant must provide a preliminary plan describing the conditions under which tailored TA from the Child Welfare CQI project might be warranted and the types of TA that the project would be prepared to provide. Tailored TA may include one or multiple site visits to assist the jurisdiction with assessment, work planning, coaching, and consultation. The applicant must provide an estimate of the quantity of tailored TA that would be available in light of other project activities.

Products and Tools

The applicant must propose a preliminary plan for the products that it intends to develop to provide targeted users with practical information and tools that can assist with the development and maintenance of CQI systems and/or the performance of key CQI activities and functions.  Possible products may include, but are not limited to, information briefs, tools, guides, and/or presentations.  All proposed product development activities must be aligned with the intended users’ needs, context, and behavior. 

Dissemination

The applicant must describe how it will disseminate strategically to its target audiences.  The applicant’s proposed plans for outreach and engagement, knowledge management, distance learning, group-based learning, and product development must be guided by a coherent dissemination plan that is based on careful study of the target participants and consumers and a thorough understanding of their needs, characteristics, behaviors, and contexts.   A coherent and well-designed preliminary dissemination plan will: 

  • Clearly identify target audiences for each activity and/or product;
  • Describe the CQI-related needs (e.g., competencies and skills), characteristics (e.g., professional role, education level), behaviors (e.g., channels and patterns of information consumption), and contexts (e.g., culture, environment) of its target participants and consumers;
  • Consider information about previous dissemination approaches and evidence of effectiveness;
  • Identify and explain communication and dissemination strategies and set measurable goals (e.g., reach, participation, and use) that are specific to each target audience and activity/product;
  • Propose strategies for including target participants and consumers in the design, revision, and testing of project content, including curricula and products; and
  • Describe processes for using feedback from target participants and consumers to inform outreach, recruitment, training delivery, knowledge management, and dissemination strategies.

Technology

The applicant must describe how it would use new technologies in its proposed project activities and explain how it would determine when these approaches are feasible, practical, and appropriate.  The applicant must justify why its proposed use of innovative technology is likely to increase access for target audiences and achieve project objectives.

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.

NOTE:  CB-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF ALL APPLICANTS

The applicant must propose a rigorous, practical, and feasible evaluation design that will answer key questions about project performance and support the development and refinement of a replicable, group-based learning model within the 17-month project period.

The applicant’s proposed program evaluation activities must: 

  1. be integrated into the Project’s planning, decision making, and reporting to CB throughout the project period; 
  2. answer key process and outcome questions related to satisfaction, accessibility, usability, participation, reach, use, and acquisition of competencies and skills; 
  3. support the Child Welfare CQI Project’s ability to clearly describe and specify key aspects of a single, replicable group-based program model, monitor adherence to the model during program delivery, and assess the model’s ability to effect proximal learning and behavior-related outcomes; and 
  4. calculate the costs of its knowledge management, distance learning, group-based learning, product development, and dissemination activities.

The applicant must include a well-organized logic model in its proposal that clearly illustrates the links between the conditions and needs of each proposed target audience, the project activities intended to address these needs, project outputs, short-term outcomes, and long-term outcomes that are most likely to be achieved after the project period has ended.  The applicant must identify clear and measurable objectives and outcomes for its knowledge management, distance learning, group-based learning, and product dissemination activities. 

Guided by its logic model, the applicant must propose an evaluation design and justify how its methods will help the project determine the degree to which key objectives and intended outcomes are achieved.  While CB has identified several domains for evaluation, the design and content of the applicant’s proposed activities may warrant the inclusion of additional outcomes (e.g., attitudes toward continuous quality improvement, readiness, collaboration and teaming, etc.).  The applicant’s evaluation plan must include evaluation activities that will support the development, refinement, and initial testing of the group-based learning program to the extent feasible.  Therefore, CB expects for the applicant’s evaluation plan to employ a mixed methods approach and to include an appropriate comparison group to aid in the assessment of the group-based program’s influence on proximal outcomes. The applicant’s proposal must also include and explain a reasonable approach for conducting a cost analysis.

The applicant must document the staff qualifications and organizational capacity of the proposed evaluator(s) to implement a rigorous evaluation of a project of this type within the project period, including documentation of experience and expertise.

In its proposal, the applicant must state the percentage of its proposed budget that will be devoted to evaluation activities during the 17-month project period.  CB anticipates that more than 10% of the applicant’s budget will be necessary to meet the evaluation requirements.  The applicant’s proposed allocation of funds to evaluation must be sufficient to meet the requirements described in the FOA and to support the particular programmatic and evaluation approaches and activities proposed by the applicant.

Geographic Location

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

Legal Status of Applicant Entity
Proof of Non-Profit Status
Non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status. Proof of 501(c)(3) non-profit status is any one of the following:
  • A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the IRS's most recent list of tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations described in the IRS Code.
  • A copy of a currently valid IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exemption certificate.
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
  • Contact persons and telephone numbers
  • Documentation of experience in the program area
  • Any other pertinent information the applicant deems relevant.

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

Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information

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

Dissemination Plan

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

Third-Party Agreements

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

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

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

Project budget Standard Forms and the budget justification will not count toward page limitations; however, the justification should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages in 12-point TImes New Roman font.

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

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

NOTE:  CB-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF ALL APPLICANTS

The applicant must provide a detailed budget and a narrative budget justification for the full 17-month project period for the proposed project. The narrative budget justification must describe how the categorical costs are derived, and must discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.

The applicant must allocate sufficient funds within the 17-month project period (e.g., 10 percent of the total project budget) to support the evaluation of its project and its participation in any national evaluation of CB-supported CQI efforts, training, and/or technical assistance. Funds for evaluation must appear in the budget, and the applicant must state the percentage of the total budget that will be allocated to evaluation.

Applicants must allocate sufficient funds in the budget to provide for the project director, the evaluator and key staff/partners to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the project Kick-off Meeting to be held within the first six weeks of the project and three additional working meetings over the course of the project period.

 

General

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

Personnel

Description:  Costs of employee salaries and wages.

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

Fringe Benefits

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

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

Travel

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

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

Equipment

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

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

Supplies

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

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

Contractual

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

Justification:  Demonstrate that all procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open and free competition. Recipients and subrecipients, other than States that are required to use 45 C.F.R. Part 92 procedures, must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. § 134, currently set at $100,000.  Recipients may be required to make pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc. available to ACF.

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

Other

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

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

Indirect Charges

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

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

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, the public reporting burden for the Project Description is estimated to average 40 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, which expires 11/30/2012. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

  • Electronic applications must be submitted to www.Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • A DUNS Number and current registration at the Systems of Award Management (SAM) are required.  DUNS and SAM registration are part of the www.Grants.gov registration process.  See “Get Registered” at http://grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
  • ACF will not accept applications via facsimile or email.
  • The electronic application can be downloaded from www.Grants.gov.
  • It is to an applicant's advantage to submit their applications at least 24 hours in advance of the application due date and time in order to correct any failures found during the application validation check.
  • Electronic submission at www.Grants.gov is two-step process:
    • Submission by the due date and time; and
    • Application validation check.
  • Electronically submitted applications will not pass the validation check at Grants.gov if the AOR does not have a current SAM registration and electronic signature credentials. 
  • Read and observe all application submission requirements provided at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp
  • Observe the formatting requirements and page limitations provided in the Section IV.2. Formatting ACF Applications section for electronic applications.
  • Carefully read and observe electronic file naming conventions provided in the application submission instructions at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp.
  • Use only file formats supported by ACF.  See Section IV.2. Formatting ACF Applications.
  • Additional guidance on the submission of electronic applications can be found at http://www.grants.gov/assets/Organization_Steps_Complete_Registration.pdf
  • If applicants encounter any technical difficulties in using www.Grants.gov, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at:1-800-518-4726, or by email at support@grants.gov, to report the problem and obtain assistance. Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Grants.gov Contact Center is closed on Federal holidays.
  • Applicants should retain Grants.gov Contact Center service ticket number(s) as they may be needed for future reference.
  • Applicants that submit their applications electronically should retain a hard copy of their application package.
  • Contact with the Grants.gov Contact Center prior to the listed due date and time does not ensure acceptance of your application.  If difficulties are encountered, the Grants Management Officer listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts will determine whether the submission issues are due to Grants.gov system errors or user error.

Application Validation at www.Grants.gov 

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

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

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

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

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

Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paper Format Application Submission

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications: 03/18/2013

Explanation of Due Dates

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

Electronic Applications

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

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

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

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

Please note:

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

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

Mailed Paper Format Applications

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

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

Hand-Delivered Paper Format Applications

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

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

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

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

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

Extensions and/or Waiving Due Date and Receipt Time Requirements

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


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

Applicants will receive an initial email upon submission of their application to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov Tracking Number. Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time stamp, which serves as the official record of the application's submission. The date and time-stamp must reflect a submission time on, or before, 11:59 p.m., ET, on the application due date. Receipt of this email does not indicate that the application is accepted or that is has passed the validation check.

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

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

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

Acknowledgement from ACF of an electronic application's submission:

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

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

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

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

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

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

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

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

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

Entities that meet the eligibility requirements of this announcement are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory or Commonwealth, etc., does not have a SPOC or has chosen not to participate in the process. Applicants from non-participating jurisdictions need take no action with regard to E.O. 12372. Applications from Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments are not subject to E.O. 12372.
IV.5. Funding Restrictions

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

Submit paper applications to one of the following addresses. See Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Submission By Mail

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

Hand Delivery

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

Electronic Submission

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

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

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated using the criteria described in this section. The corresponding point values indicate the relative importance placed on each review criterion. Points will be allocated based on the extent to which the application proposal addresses each of the criteria listed. Applicants should address these criteria in their application materials, particularly in the project description and budget justification, as they are the basis upon which competing applications will be judged during the objective review. The required elements of the project description and budget justification may be found in Section IV.2 of this announcement.
 
OBJECTIVES AND NEEDS FOR ASSISTANCE Maximum Points: 20

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

  1. The applicant demonstrates a strong understanding of the goals of this FOA and the relationship of relevant federal regulations and child welfare monitoring processes to continuous quality improvement efforts in child welfare; 
  2. The applicant demonstrates a strong conceptual and theoretical understanding of the continuous quality improvement process.  Citing relevant literature, theory, and experience, the applicant identifies and explains key concepts, steps, and activities.  The applicant identifies core competencies and skills necessary to perform CQI effectively and provides a well-reasoned explanation for their critical importance; 
  3. The applicant demonstrates an in-depth understanding of continuous quality improvement in the context of child welfare systems.  The applicant provides a concise but thorough review of key CQI approaches in child welfare, highlighting similarities and significant differences.  The applicant identifies essential components of a well designed child welfare CQI system, including a discussion of necessary activities, organizational capacities, and tasks; 
  4. The applicant offers a sound and convincing assessment of need related to current CQI infrastructure and practice in child welfare.  The applicant provides a clear and well-reasoned explanation for the barriers, challenges, and needs it has identified and makes a strong case for CQI-related training, tools, and TA in Title IV-E jurisdictions.  Citing studies, reports, evaluation findings, and/or other sources, the applicant provides credible evidence for its assessment; 
  5. The applicant specifies its target participants and consumers for service delivery and dissemination and offers a thorough description of the characteristics, roles, responsibilities, and needs of the targeted group(s).  The applicant provides a strong rationale that justifies the selection of these target participants and users based on the applicant’s assessment and explanation of the CQI barriers, challenges, and needs.  The applicant includes a clear explanation of the core competencies and skills that its target audiences require; and 
  6. The applicant clearly states measurable objectives which are realistic, feasible, and achievable during the project period.  The applicant explicitly links each objective to the project goal (described in this FOA) it is expected to help achieve.
APPROACH Maximum Points: 40

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

  1. The applicant describes its commitment to partnering with CB and other CB-supported projects to develop a single, coherent approach to building capacity in child welfare systems for sound continuous quality improvement during the project period.  The applicant understands its responsibilities for collaboration and has a reasonable approach for jointly reviewing, revising, and developing key project strategies with CB and planning working meetings with its partners;
  2. The applicant provides a convincing plan for performing outreach and engaging target participants and consumers in the development and refinement of its training activities and products.  The applicant’s plan is likely to solicit regular and meaningful feedback that will improve the quality, accessibility, and usability of the project’s training modules, group-based learning program, and tools and increase the effectiveness of its dissemination strategies; 
  3. The applicant describes a sensible preliminary plan for collecting and managing relevant CQI-related resources and products from child welfare and other fields.  The applicant describes in detail the areas of discipline and sources for its search and presents a sound process for obtaining resources, determining their utility, and ensuring access.  The applicant sufficiently explains how its plan will avoid unnecessary duplication of effort and why the plan is likely to result in easily accessible and navigable resources that will address the identified needs and be useful to its target audience(s) and the public; 
  4. The applicant clearly describes how its training plan will build the core competencies and skills necessary to effectively perform CQI that the applicant has described in its statement of need.  The applicant’s training methods and approaches are likely to generate measurable gains in participants’ knowledge and skills and changes in attitudes and behavior that can be expected to support the development and implementation of CQI systems and improve the performance of CQI; 
  5. The applicant provides a detailed description of its preliminary plans for a group-based learning program that builds on promising and evidence-supported models (which have been cited) and are likely to meet the CQI needs of participants representing IV-E child welfare agencies. The plan is innovative and can be expected to successfully engage participants despite rules prohibiting the support of participant travel. The applicant’s proposed program will integrate research-informed training, coaching, and peer learning strategies into a single, replicable program model by the end of the project period;
  6. The applicant’s plan for its group-based learning program is coherent and reasonable.  The applicant sufficiently describes and justifies the number of proposed cohorts, group composition, cohort size, process for participant recruitment and selection, program duration, meeting frequency, learning objectives, target competencies and skills, and training methods and content.  The applicant demonstrates the capacity to conduct multiple concurrent cohorts of its group-based learning program and to support the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; 
  7. The applicant provides a convincing preliminary plan for distance learning that will result in the creation of training modules that will be easily accessible and meet the needs of target users.  The applicant specifies its target participants, the number of proposed modules, training duration, content and design, module format, learning objectives, and the competencies and skills that will be targeted by the training.  The applicant provides sound justification for its proposed activities, citing theory, best practices, and research evidence for its training methods.  The applicant gives sufficient detail about how modules will be made available online via the Web; 
  8. The applicant provides a reasonable preliminary plan describing how, when, to whom, and under what conditions tailored  TA from the Child Welfare CQI Project might be provided.   The applicant explains the types of TA that it could provide and makes a strong case that it will be prepared and qualified to offer these services.  The applicant provides a clear and realistic estimate of the quantity of tailored TA can be expected over the project period; 
  9. The applicant identifies its target users and presents a promising plan for product development and dissemination that is likely to result in the creation of practical tools and resources that will both reach and be used by the target consumers.  The applicant specifies the products and tools to be developed and offers a convincing explanation for why they will appropriately respond to the needs, characteristics, and behaviors of its target consumers;   
  10. The applicant presents a sensible, coherent, and strategic dissemination plan.  The applicant’s proposed dissemination activities are based on a thorough understanding of the needs, characteristics, behaviors, and contexts of its target participants and users and are informed by evidence from previous dissemination approaches. The proposal includes a clear plan describing how  feedback from its target audiences will be used to inform its dissemination activities during the project period.  The applicant sets measurable goals for participation, reach, and use, and the plan seems likely to achieve them; 
  11. The applicant offers sound plans for utilizing innovative technologies in its training, TA, and product development and dissemination activities when practical and feasible.  The applicant identifies any technology services to be used and justifies why these are the most appropriate to meet project goals. The applicant’s proposal is likely to increase access to target participants and consumers and achieve project objectives.  The applicant provides a strong rationale for choosing not to use technology in its design and dissemination strategies, if applicable; and
  12. The application provides a clear and reasonable timeline for implementing the proposed project, including completing start-up activities and reaching major milestones and target dates on schedule. The application describes the factors that could speed or hinder project start up, implementation, and dissemination and explains how these factors will be managed.
EVALUATION Maximum Points: 20

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

  1. The applicant includes a comprehensible (easily read), well-organized, and concise logic model that clearly illustrates the links between the conditions and needs of each proposed target audience, the project activities intended to address these needs, project outputs, short-term outcomes, and long-term outcomes that are most likely to be achieved after the project period has ended.  The applicant’s logic model demonstrates a strong theory of change that is well-reasoned and grounded in the best available evidence;
  2. The evaluation plan is strongly guided by the project's logic model.  The applicant proposes clearly stated evaluation questions that will answer key process and outcome questions for each of the project’s major areas of activity, including, but not limited to, knowledge management, group-based learning, web accessible training, technical assistance, product development and dissemination;  
  3. The applicant proposes a clear, convincing, and feasible plan for evaluating the project.  The project's evaluation plan can be expected to answer the evaluation questions with sufficient rigor to provide credible, meaningful, and timely feedback to the project and to CB to report progress, inform decision making, and facilitate adjustments, if necessary.  The applicant proposes a sound plan that will measure process and proximal outcomes, including the achievement of project objectives, satisfaction, accessibility, usability, participation, reach, use, and acquisition of competencies and skills;  
  4. The applicant’s evaluation plan will help the Child Welfare CQI Project to clearly describe and specify key aspects of a single, replicable group-based program model and to assess the model’s effect on proximal learning and behavior-related outcomes.  The evaluation plan uses a mixed methods approach and includes an appropriate comparison group to aid in the assessment of the group-based program’s influence on proximal outcomes.  If feasible, the comparison group and the program group are assigned at random or matched on key characteristics and the sample sizes are sufficient to detect significant differences in effects.  The applicant provides a strong rationale for its design, discussing strengths and limitations and explaining why the proposed plan is the most appropriate, rigorous, and practical based on the goals, objectives, and context of the project;    
  5. The applicant proposes a sound plan for calculating the costs of its knowledge management, distance learning, group-based learning, product development and dissemination activities.  The applicant’s approach will yield accurate and useful data about unit costs (e.g., costs per trained participant, costs per online module developed, etc.); 
  6. The applicant proposes a convincing plan for collecting high-quality data on the process and outcomes described above. The evaluation includes measures of outcomes, in addition to measures of inputs and outputs. The measures are objective and have strong reliability, validity, and internal consistency. There is a sound plan for securing informed consent and implementing an Institutional Review Board (IRB) review, if applicable; and 
  7. The applicant either demonstrates that it has the in-house capacity to conduct an objective and rigorous evaluation of the project or presents a reasonable plan for contracting with a third-party evaluator. The proposed evaluator has sufficient experience with research and/or evaluation, understands the population of interest, and demonstrates the necessary independence from the project to assure objectivity.
ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILES Maximum Points: 15

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

  1. The applicant provides strong evidence that its organization (alone or in partnership with other organizations) possesses the necessary experience, technical expertise, infrastructure, and capacity to successfully perform the major requirements of this project, such as knowledge management, training, product design, and strategic dissemination.  This includes the capacity and expertise to design professional training curricula; host, deliver, and eventually transfer online training modules; and develop, organize, and deliver an evidence-informed group-based learning program.  In addition to citing prior projects, publications, awards, letters of support, and other evidence, the applicant provides sufficient description of its organizational credentials to convincingly demonstrate that it is fully capable of producing high-quality, effective services and products, and meeting the purpose and objectives of this FOA.  Each partnering organization (including subcontractors) possesses the organizational capability to fulfill its assigned functions effectively and demonstrates the strength of its commitment to its role and the success of the project with a signed letter of commitment or memorandum of understanding, if applicable; 
  2. The proposed project director and key project staff demonstrate sufficient relevant knowledge, experience, and skills (e.g., resumes, curricula vitae) to effectively institute and manage a project of this size, scope, and complexity. The role, responsibilities, and time commitments of each proposed project staff position, including consultants, subcontractors, and/or partners, is clearly defined (e.g., job description) and appropriate to the successful implementation of the proposed project; 
  3. Key project staff or consultants demonstrate sufficient interdisciplinary knowledge, experience, and expertise (e.g., resumes, curricula vitae) in four principal areas: 1) adult education and training, 2) knowledge management and transfer, 3) continuous quality improvement, and 4) public child welfare to effectively assess needs, organize information, design high-quality curricula and products, deliver distance and group-based learning opportunities, provide tailored consultation, and communicate and disseminate information.  The expertise of the proposed staff is likely to ensure the success of the project; and 
  4. There is a sound management plan for achieving the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks and ensuring quality. The plan clearly defines the role and responsibilities of the lead agency. The plan clearly describes the effective management and coordination of activities carried out by any partners, subcontractors, and consultants (if applicable).
BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION Maximum Points: 5

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

  1. The applicant’s proposed budget meets the requirements described in this FOA.  The proposal includes a stated percentage of the budget that will be allocated to evaluation activities as well as estimates for mandatory travel by project leadership to Washington, D.C. for meetings with federal staff;
  2. The applicant’s project is feasible based upon its line item budget and budget narrative.  The resources allocated to each proposed activity are sufficient to meet the applicant’s objectives.  The costs of the proposed project are reasonable and appropriate, in view of the activities to be conducted and expected results; and 
  3. The applicant's fiscal controls and accounting procedures would ensure prudent use, proper and timely disbursement and accurate accounting of funds received under this FOA.
V.2. & V.3. Review and Selection Process
V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.  No grant award will be made to an applicant or sub-recipient that does not have active  registration at www.sam.gov.
 
Initial ACF Screening

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

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

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

Objective Review and Results

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

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

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

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

Approved but Unfunded Applications

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

 
V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Applications will be reviewed during the Spring 2013. Funded projects will have a start date no later than May 1, 2013.

VI. Award Administration Information
VI.1. Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Notice of Award (NoA) that sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-Federal share to be provided (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The NoA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail or email. Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter signed by the cognizant Program Office head. Any other correspondence that announces to a Principal Investigator, or a Project Director, that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance. 

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

 
VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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

Prohibition Against Profit

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

Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations

Grantees are also subject to the requirements of 45 CFR § 87.1(c), Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which says, "Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from the [Health and Human Services] Department under any Department program may not engage in inherently religious activities such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, as part of the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from the Department."  Therefore, organizations must take steps to completely separate the presentation of any program with religious content from the presentation of the Federally funded program by time or location in such a way that it is clear that the two programs are separate and distinct. If separating the two programs by time but presenting them in the same location, one program must completely end before the other program begins.

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

Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, Understanding the Regulations Related to the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative" are available at http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/about/regulations/. Additional information, resources, and tools for faith-based organizations is available through The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships website at http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/index.html and at the Capacity BuildingToolkits for Faith-based and Community Organizations.

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

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

Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. §§ 8101-8106) requires that all organizations receiving grants from any Federal agency agree to maintain a drug-free workplace. By signing the application, the Authorizing Official agrees that the grantee will provide a drug-free workplace and will comply with the requirement to notify ACF if an employee is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute. Failure to comply with these requirements may be cause for debarment. Government wide requirements for Drug-Free Workplace for Financial Assistance are found in 2 CFR part 182; HHS implementing regulations are set forth in 2 CFR § 382.400. All recipients of ACF grant funds must comply with the requirements in Subpart B - Requirements for Recipients Other Than Individuals, 2 CFR § 382.225. The rule is available at Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace.

Debarment and Suspension

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

Pro-Children Act

The Pro-Children Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. §§ 7181 through 7184, imposes restrictions on smoking in facilities where federally funded children's services are provided. HHS grants are subject to these requirements only if they meet the Act's specified coverage.  The Act specifies that smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library services to children under the age of 18.  In addition, smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility or portion of a facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of federally funded health care, day care, or early childhood development, including Head Start services to children under the age of 18.  The statutory prohibition also applies if such facilities are constructed, operated, or maintained with Federal funds.  The statute does not apply to children's services provided in private residences, facilities funded solely by Medicare or Medicaid funds, portions of facilities used for inpatient drug or alcohol treatment, or facilities where WIC coupons are redeemed.  Failure to comply with the provisions of the law may result in the imposition of a civil monetary penalty of up to $1,000 per violation and/or the imposition of an administrative compliance order on the responsible entity.

HHS Grants Policy Statement

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

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Applications funded by federal grant programs are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, and are frequently requested under the FOIA.  In accordance with the FOIA requirement to proactively disclose frequently requested materials at 5 U.S.C.  § 552(a)(2)(D), and as part of on-going efforts to promote openness in government programs, ACF will post some of the top-ranked applications funded under this FOA in its online FOIA Reading Room at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/e-reading-room. As required under the FOIA, each of the top-ranked applications will receive appropriate redaction of specific information to protect personal privacy and competitively sensitive commercial information. Applications chosen for posting to the FOIA Reading Room will be placed on the internet website without further notice to the applicants.

 

VI.3. Reporting

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

Performance Progress Reports (PPR)

Notice of Award documents will inform grantees of the appropriate performance progress report form or format to use.  Grantees should consult their Notice of 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.  For awards that implement the use of the SF-PPR, that form may be found under "Reporting" at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms.

Federal Financial Reports (FFR)

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

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

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

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

For budget periods ending in the months of:

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

January 01 through March 31

April 30

April 01 through June 30

July 30

July 01 through September 30

October 30

October 01 through December 31

January 30


Fillable versions of the SF-425 form in Adobe PDF and MS-Excel formats, along with instructions, are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms, www.forms.gov, and on at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms. 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.

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Brian Deakins
Administration for Children and Families
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
Children's Bureau
Portals Building
1250 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 205-8769
Fax: (202) 205-8221
Email: brian.deakins@acf.hhs.gov
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

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

Federal Relay Service:

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

VIII. Other Information

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 - GRANTS homepage  https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants.

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

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

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

All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available on the ACF Grants-Forms page at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms.

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

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

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

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

Application Checklist

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

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration. 

Referenced in Section III.3. Other in the announcement. To obtain a DUNS number, go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. To register at SAM, go to http://www.sam.gov.

A DUNS number and registration at SAM.gov are required for all applicants. Active registration at SAM must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

and

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

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. Found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants-forms and at the Grants.gov Forms Repository at http://www.grants.gov/ agencies/ aforms_repository_information.jsp.

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

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

and

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. Found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms.

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

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. Found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms

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

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. Found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms.

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

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

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

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

The survey is referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement. The survey may be found at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms.

The survey will not count in the page limitations.

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

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

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

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description of the announcement.  The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.

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

The Project Description

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

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

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

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

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

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity

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

Logic Model

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.  

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

Third-Party Agreements

Referenced in Section IV.2. 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.

Appendices