This FOA has been modified. The following header and language in Section VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements has been removed:
Award Term and Condition for Federal Recognition of Same-Sex Spouses/Marriage
"A standard term and condition of award will be included in the final Notice of Award (NOA); all grant recipients will be subject to a term and condition that instructs grantees to recognize any same-sex marriage legally entered into in a U.S. jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage, including one of the states, the District of Columbia or U.S. territory, or in a foreign country so long as that marriage would also be recognized by a U.S. jurisdiction, when applying the terms of the Federal statute(s) governing the award. This applies regardless of whether or not the couple resides in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage. However, this does not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions or similar formal relationships recognized under the law of the jurisdiction of celebration as something other than a marriage. Accordingly, recipients must review and revise, as needed, any policies and procedures which interpret or apply Federal statutory or regulatory references to such terms as “marriage,” “spouse,” “family,” “household member,” or similar references to familial relationship to reflect inclusion of same-sex spouses and marriages. Any similar familial terminology references in HHS statutes, regulations, or policy transmittals will be interpreted to include same-sex spouses and marriages legally entered into as described herein."
The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to test, by awarding 8 discretionary grants, intensive and exhaustive child-focused adoptive parent recruitment strategies for children in foster care. Intensive recruitment strategies have been shown to move foster youth into permanent families at a higher rate than traditional recruitment approaches. These programs will focus on children/youth that are the hardest to place from the child welfare system due to age, disability, or sibling group membership.
Expected Outcomes for each grant site:
- Identification of children/youth in the public child welfare system waiting the longest for an adoptive home due to their age, special needs or sibling group membership;
- Reduction in the amount of time that children/youth wait for an adoptive placement while in the care of the child welfare system;
- Reduction in the number of older adolescents emancipating from the child welfare system without a permanent adoptive family; and
- Integrated models of successful intensive recruitment by child welfare workers in public child welfare systems.
A performance evaluation of the above-stated outcomes for each grant will be conducted by the grantee to determine the impact that the discretionary grant has had on the public child welfare system associated with the grant.
Each grant will be tailored to meet the unique needs of a state’s child welfare population. Children and youth that have been waiting the longest for adoptive homes will be identified. An individual needs assessment of each child/youth identified as one of those that has been waiting the longest will be conducted to include their strengths and challenges as well as service needs that need to be addressed prior to the finalization of an adoption. Each site will develop an intensive recruitment and development process for adoptive parents that will be equipped to meet the individual and specific needs of the children/youth identified for inclusion in this project.
Preparation of the child/youth for adoption will be included in the recruitment process as well as the preparation and development of the prospective adoptive family to assure their capacity to meet the needs of the child/youth.
Adoption is most likely to be successful when the adoptive family is properly educated about the background and needs of the child, has learned appropriate intervention strategies for the mental health, medical, emotional, and behavioral challenges of the child and fully commits to embracing these challenges. Preparation services benefit the adoptive placement by strengthening the caregivers understanding of the unique needs of the child and the need to nurture the relational permanency needed.