CSBG Data T/TA Project Summaries FY 2010
State Exemplary Practices Projects Supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Community Services Block Grant Training and Technical Assistance Program
Supplement to FY 2009 Program:
Strengthening the Capacity and Ability of CSBG Eligible Entities to Address Legal Issues
Supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Office of Community Services
Administration for Children and Families
Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW)
Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc.
178 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111
Telephone: (617) 357-6915
Ms. Anita Lichtblau, Executive Director and General Counsel
Community Action Program Legal Services (CAPLAW) is a non-profit membership corporation. Based in Boston. CAPLAW is managed by a board of directors composed of current and former Community Action Agency (CAA) executive directors from across the country. CAPLAW’s mission is to provide legal education and assistance that enables Community Action Agencies to enhance their capacity to operate legally sound organizations.
Use(s) of Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Program Funds
During this one-year supplement to their existing project, CAPLAW will provide training and technical assistance on legal and attendant financial issues faced by CAAs arising out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 . This award will enhance CAPLAW’s ability to: (1) serve as the lead organization in and implement the Work Plan for a CSBG policy guidance workgroup convened by the Office of Community Services (OCS); and (2) provide legal and financial resources and training to the CSBG network that is specifically targeted at strengthening CAA governance and accountability. CAPLAW will fulfill the first objective by analyzing CSBG policy issues, providing input on those issues to OCS and the States, publicizing and providing training to the CSBG network on any resulting policy guidance issued by OCS, and providing practical tools to assist CAAs in dealing with challenging CSBG compliance issues. CAPLAW will meet the second objective by developing and distributing a series of toolkits on governance and financial management challenges faced by CAAs, offering distance learning opportunities for CAAs on how to address some of these challenges, and providing enhanced consulting services to CAAs on financial management issues.
Community Action Agencies will improve their ability to handle governance and financial management challenges such as: conflicts of interest; whistleblower protection; succession planning; hiring; supervising and evaluating the finance director; selecting and overseeing the auditor; and ensuring that the board understands the organization’s financial position and is able to effectively oversee the organization’s finances. CAPLAW expects this project will result in a more consistent application of CSBG Act requirements and an increased compliance with those requirements at all levels of the CSBG network.