The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to provide competitive grant funds authorized by the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Pub. L. 112-34). This Act includes a targeted grants program (section 437(f)) that directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to reserve funds for regional partnership grants (RPGs) to improve the well-being of children affected by substance abuse. These targeted grants will be awarded to regional partnerships that provide, through interagency collaboration and integration of programs and services, activities and services that are designed to increase the well-being of, improve permanency outcomes for, and enhance the safety of children who are in out-of-home placements or are at risk of entering out-of-home placements as a result of a parent's or caretaker's substance abuse.
Applicants are expected to have a collaborative structure in place that is capable of building the region’s capacity to meet a broad range of needs for families involved with both substance abuse treatment and the child welfare system. The State child welfare agency that is responsible for the State plan under titles IV-B or IV-E of the Social Security Act must be included in the regional partnership. If the regional partnership consists of a county that is located in a State that is State-supervised and county-administered, the county child welfare agency satisfies this requirement. In such a partnership, the State agency that is ultimately responsible for State plan compliance under titles IV-B or IV-E is not required to be a partner in the regional partnership but is not precluded from participating as a member. In a State-administered system, a local office of the State child welfare agency can participate in the partnership and satisfy this requirement.
If an Indian Tribe or Tribal consortium enters into a regional partnership, the Indian Tribe may (but is not required to) include the State child welfare agency as a partner in the collaborative agreement. If the partnership is an Indian Tribe or Tribal consortia, it may not enter into a collaborative agreement only with Tribal child welfare agencies or a consortium of such agencies.
Any member of the regional partnership is eligible to be a lead applicant provided that (1) the partner is one of the eligible entities described previously and (2) the member agency or organization has the capacity to sufficiently monitor program activities or services, funding, and reporting requirements described in the FOA. While either the State child welfare agency that is responsible for the State plan under titles IV-B or IV-E of the Social Security Act or an Indian Tribe or Tribal consortium must be a member of a regional partnership, it is NOT necessary that either of these entities serve as the lead agency.
Per the legislative requirements, RPGs are required to select and report on performance indicators and evaluation measures to increase the knowledge that can be gained from the program. In 2012, the Children’s Bureau funded 17 RPGs, which are participating in the RPG national cross-site evaluation. Partnerships will:
- Use specific, well-defined, and evidence-based programs that are also trauma-informed and targeted to the identified population;
- Conduct an evaluation that is sufficiently rigorous to contribute to the evidence base on service delivery and outcomes associated with the project's chosen interventions;
- Participate in the national cross-site evaluation, which includes an implementation and partnership study, an outcomes study, and an impact study.