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State Letter #01-07

Grant for Assistance for Treatment of Survivors of Torture plus appendix

Published: March 5, 2001
Types:
State Letter

Discretionary Funds for Assistance for Treatment of Torture Survivors.

AGENCY: Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), ACF, DHHS

ACTION: Request for applications for services to victims of torture including medical, psychological, legal and social services; and research and training for health care providers outside of treatment centers to enable the provision of services to victims of torture.

SUMMARY: The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), announces that competing applications will be accepted for "Treatment and Services for Torture Survivors" grants to provide assistance to victims of torture, including treatment for the physical and psychological effects of torture and social and legal services, and to provide research and training for health care providers outside of treatment centers to provide rehabilitation services.

DATE: The closing date for submission of applications is May 7, 2001. See Part III of this announcement for more information on submitting applications.

ANNOUNCEMENT AVAILABILITY: The program announcement and the application materials are available from Marta Brenden, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) 370 L’Enfant Promenade, SW, Washington DC 20447.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marta Brenden, Refugee Program Specialist, Division of Community Resettlement, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Tel (202) 205-3589, Fax (202) 401-5772, MBrenden@ACF.DHHS.GOV.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This program announcement consists of four parts:

Part I: Background and General Information – background, legislative authority, funding availability, CFDA Number, eligible applicants, project and budget periods, purpose and objectives, allowable activities, and review criteria.

Part II. The Review Process – intergovernmental review, initial ACF screening, and competitive review.

Part III: The Application – application development: application forms, application submission and deadlines, late applications, extension of deadlines, certifications, general instructions for preparing a full project description, and length of applications.

Part IV: Post-award – applicable regulations, treatment of program income and reporting requirements.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13): Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 30 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The following information collections are included in the program announcement: OMB control number 0970-0139, ACF UNIFORM PROJECT DESCRIPTION (UPD) which expires 12/31/2003. 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.

Part I. BACKGROUND AND GENERAL INFORMATION

Background
Torture and torture victims

The psychosocial and health consequences of violence and traumatic stress have emerged as one of the public health problems of our time. Torture constitutes one of the most extreme forms of trauma, with the potential for long-term psychological and physical suffering. The term torture has been defined in different ways by various organizations for multiple purposes.

This program authorized by the "Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998" uses the definition of torture found in 18 U.S.C. 2340 (1) and "includes the use of rape and other forms of sexual violence by a person acting under the color of law upon another person under his custody or physical control." The definition of "torture" at 18 U.S. C. 2340 (1) provides that:

‘torture’ means an act committed by a person under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.

This provision also defines the term "severe mental pain or suffering" as: the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from –

(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

(C) the threat of imminent death; or

(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.

It should be emphasized that, for purposes of this announcement, the experience of torture may include specific characteristics of torture as documented in personal testimony or in clinical, medical, or detention settings. Some specific examples of physical and psychological types of torture are: systemic beating, sexual torture, electrical torture, suffocation, burning, bodily suspension, pharmacological torture, mutilations, dental assaults, deprivation and exhaustion, threats about the use of torture, witnessing the torture of others, humiliation, and isolation.

Estimates of the number of torture survivors have been established primarily by extrapolating from the major populations at risk B refugees and internally displaced persons. In 1997, there were estimated to be more that 13,600,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the world and 20 million internally displaced persons. The estimates of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons who have been tortured vary widely from 5% to 35%. This announcement, which focuses on health, social and legal services for torture survivors, as well as education and training of providers, recognizes that torture may have been an experience of many members of groups residing in the United States, including refugees, asylees, immigrants, other displaced persons, and U.S. citizens. Using data cited above, it has been estimated that there may be more than 400,000 torture survivors in the United States.

Consequences of torture and services for torture survivors

Physical consequences of torture may be extensive and severe. Specific neuropsychological symptoms are often difficult to diagnose because of head injuries and the multiplicity of symptoms. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, substance abuse, and other anxiety disorders are common diagnoses among torture survivors. Therefore, for many severely tortured individuals, access to medical practitioners and sophisticated diagnostic instruments and testing (e.g., neuro-imaging, cognitive functions, etc.), for the purpose of differential diagnosis, is paramount.

A high percentage of torture survivors are in need of social and legal services. Access to legal and immigration services is usually a priority. Social services, such as employment assistance and training, are also extremely important and correlate with successful psychosocial adjustment and well-being. From the national experience with refugees and survivors of wartime violence, it has been demonstrated that early and adequate access to social and legal services may also preclude the need for more specialized psychological treatment services.

The torture rehabilitation and treatment center movement, which was established in Denmark in the 1970's, and adopted in the US, Canada, France and other countries, has led to the growth of specialized torture survivor treatment centers in select parts of the nation. Although the treatment center movement has created opportunities for treatment and training in specific urban areas, many torture survivors do not have access to these highly specialized programs. Medical, social and legal services for torture survivors are needed in areas and in settings and institutions wherever torture survivors will seek assistance. Thus there is also a national need for more broad-based training of medical and mental health practitioners in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of torture survivors.

Torture survivors, now in the United States, should be provided with the rehabilitation services which would enable them to become productive community members. The Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998 provides for services for the treatment of the psychological and physical effects of torture, social and legal services for torture survivors, and research and training for health care providers.

Legislative Authority

In October 1998, Congress enacted the "Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998," Pub. Law 105-320 (22 U.S.C. 2152 note). Sec. 5 (a) of the law provides:

ASSISTANCE FOR TREATMENT OF TORTURE VICTIMS – The Secretary of Health and Human Services may provide grants to programs in the United States to cover the cost of the following services:

(1) Services for the rehabilitation of victims of torture, including treatment of the physical and psychological effects of torture.

(2) Social and legal services for victims of torture.

(3) Research and training for health care providers outside of treatment centers, or programs for the purpose of enabling such providers to provide the services described in paragraph (1).

In November 1999, Congress enacted the "Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act of 1999," Pub. Law 106-87 (22 U.S. C. 2151 note).

Funding Availability

Congress appropriated $10,000,000 for carrying out section 5 of the "Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998" for the second year of implementation of FY 2001 "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001," as enacted into law by section 1 (a)(1) of Public Law 106-554. ORR anticipates that this increase in funding will permit the award of 4 B 6 new grants during FY 2001 at a total amount of approximately $2,000,000. The Director will award the new awards as well as the continuation awards subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the FY 2000 awards, and a determination that the awards are in the best interest of the Government.

The ORR Director reserves the right to award less, or more, than the funds described, in the absence of worthy applications, or under such other circumstances as may be deemed to be in the best interest of the government. It is important to make torture treatment available to the greatest number of victims of torture and for that reason, the ORR Director reserves the right to award applications that will cover the largest number of geographic areas.

Applications for subsequent year continuation grants funded under these awards will be entertained on a non-competitive basis, subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the grantee, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Government.

CFDA Number: 93.604

Eligible Applicants
Eligible applicants are public or private organizations and institutions.

Project and Budget Periods

This announcement invites applications for project periods up to three years. Awards, on a competitive basis, will be for a one-year budget period although project periods may be for three years. Applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the one-year budget period but within the three-year project period, will be entertained in subsequent years on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the grantee and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Government.

Purpose and Objectives

Through this announcement, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) intends to fund grant applications for 4 – 6 organizations to provide assistance to victims of torture during.

The purpose of the torture treatment program is to provide services to persons who have experienced torture. It is also to conduct research and training for health care providers outside of treatment centers so that these providers may also provide rehabilitative services to victims of torture.

The persons who have been tortured may have one of several immigration statuses: they may be legally admitted as refugees or asylees, while others may be seeking asylum. Still other persons may be U.S. citizens. The services funded under this announcement should respond to the diversity of populations to be targeted in the project area whether they are immigrants, asylum seekers, asylees, refugees admitted under the U.S. refugee program, or citizens of the United States.

However, not all torture survivors have the same medical, psychological, social, or legal needs. It is encouraged that, within the clinical, social and legal service domains, proposals are encouraged that will address a broad menu of services for any of the torture victims in the project’s specified geographic area. The applications may include several organizations in collaborative relationships in order to have all the services necessary for the clients. Partnerships are encouraged among organizations in order to reach all the torture victims in that area and to provide a comprehensive program of services. For example, an organization that currently provides legal advice to detained asylum seekers, who are torture survivors, might collaborate with a social service or treatment center organization to pool resources and expand their range of services for their clients.

Allowable Activities

Applicants may propose one or more of the following activities listed in the legislation: (1) services for the rehabilitation of victims of torture, including treatment of the physical and psychological effects of torture; (2) social and legal services for victims of torture; (3) research and training for health care providers outside of treatment centers. For example, applications may propose programs in treatment centers to provide medical, psychological, social and legal services. Applications may also propose programs for the purpose of enabling health care providers outside the treatment centers to provide medical, psychological, social and legal services. Applications should provide the rationale for activities describing how these activities meet the needs of the victims of torture to be served in the geographic area to be served.

Review Criteria

1. Objectives and Need for Assistance. The application clearly demonstrates experience with and knowledge of victims of torture and an assessment of their presence in the proposed geographic area of service. There is a clear description of the process by which the client has access to treatment and to the other allowable services. Where research and training activities are proposed, applicant clearly demonstrates interest and willingness of service providers outside the treatment centers to attend training. (15 points)

2. Approach. The application provides a clear and feasible strategy for assisting torture survivors that demonstrates knowledge of the clients, experience in serving these clients, and community resources and has planned with other collaborative organizations to assist the clients in an effective and efficient manner. The service plan and collaborative relationships are reasonable, substantiated with appropriate documents, have a likelihood of success and provide a feasible strategy to work with the torture survivor in becoming a productive member of the community. Where research and training activities are proposed, applicant provides a plan for research and training demonstrating interest in the service providers to attend the training activities. (25 points)

3. Organization Profiles. The application demonstrates the organization’s capacity to provide assistance appropriate to torture survivors (and, if appropriate to the activities in the approach, the service providers to be trained) that includes: a.) agency mission and organizational chart; b.) resumes of project staff demonstrating linguistic and cultural access for clients; c.) history of experience with torture survivors, such as experience as a treatment center or an organization that provides social and legal services to survivors of torture; d.) management plan for the project contains systems of client records, program records, and financial management; and e.) timeline for implementation of project activities. (25 points)

4. Results or Expected Benefits. The outcomes and benefits of the assistance and training are clearly explained and are reasonable. There are clear and understandable outcome measures for the services, and a reasonable plan for reporting the outcomes to ORR. (25 points)

5. Budget and Budget Justification. The budget is reasonable and clearly justified. The methodologies for estimating the number of client/patients to be served are reasonable. The plan for program income generated by fees, including, Medicaid, Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA), and private health coverage for client fees for treatment, when available, is appropriate, reasonable and viable. (10 points)

Part II. THE REVIEW PROCESS

Intergovernmental Review

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

PLEASE NOTE: All States and Territories except Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa and Palau have elected to participate in the Executive Order process and have established Single Points of Contact (SPOCs). Applicants from these twenty-eight jurisdictions need take no action regarding E.O. 12372. Applicants for projects to be administered by Federally-recognized Indian Tribes are also exempt from the requirements of E.O. 12372. Otherwise, applicants should contact their SPOCs as soon as possible to alert them of the prospective applications and receive any necessary instructions. Applicants must submit any required material to the SPOCs as soon as possible so that the program office can obtain and review SPOC comments as part of the award process. It is imperative that the applicant submit all required materials, if any, to the SPOC and indicate the date of this submittal (or indicate "not applicable" if no submittal is required) on the Standard Form 424, item 16a.

Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application deadline to comment on proposed new or competing continuation awards.

SPOCs are encouraged to eliminate the submission of routine endorsements as official recommendations.

Additionally, SPOCs are requested to clearly differentiate between mere advisory comments and those official State process recommendations which may trigger the "accommodate or explain" rule.

When comments are submitted directly to ACF, they should be addressed to: Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, OCSE Office of Grants Management, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., 4th floor East, Washington, D.C. 20447.

Initial ACF Screening

Each application submitted under this program announcement will undergo a pre-review to determine that (1) the application was received by the closing date and submitted in accordance with the instructions in this announcement and (2) the applicant is eligible for funding.

Competitive Review and Evaluation Criteria

The applications that pass the initial ACF screening will be evaluated and rated by an independent review panel on the basis of evaluation criteria specified in Part I. The evaluation criteria are designed to assess the quality of a proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success. The evaluation criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. Points are awarded only to applications that are responsive to the evaluation criteria within the context of this program announcement.

Part III. APPLICATION

Application Development

In order to be considered for a grant under this program announcement, an application must be submitted on the forms supplied and in the manner prescribed by ACF. Application materials including forms and instructions are available from the contact named under the "Announcement Availability" section in the preamble of this announcement. Selected elements of the ACF Uniform Project Description (UPD) relevant to this program announcement are attached as Appendix A.

Application Forms

Applicants for financial assistance under this announcement must file the Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance; SF 424A, Budget Information B Non-construction Programs; SF 424B, Assurances B Non-Construction Programs. The forms may be reproduced for use in submitting applications. Application materials including forms and instructions are also available from the Contact named in the "Announcement Availability" section of this announcement.

Application Submission and Deadlines

An application with an original signature and two clearly identified copies is required.

The closing date for submission of applications is May 7, 2001. Mailed applications postmarked after the closing date will be classified as late.

Mailed applications shall be considered as meeting an announced deadline if they are either received on or before the deadline date or sent on or before the deadline date and received by ACF in time for the independent review to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Attention: Ms. Daphne Weeden.

Applicants must ensure that a legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark or a legibly dated, machine produced postmark of a commercial mail service is affixed to the envelope/package containing the application(s). To be acceptable as proof of timely mailing, a postmark from a commercial mail service must include the logo/emblem of the commercial mail service company and must reflect the date the package was received by the commercial mail service company from the applicant. Private Metered postmarks shall not be acceptable as proof of timely mailing. (Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.)

Applications hand-carried by applicants, applicant couriers, or by other representatives of the applicant shall be considered as meeting an announced deadline if they are received on or before the deadline date, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., EST, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, 6th Floor, Aerospace Building, 901 D Street, SW, Washington, DC 20447 between Monday and Friday (excluding Federal holidays). The address must appear on the envelope/package containing the application with the note "Attention: Ms. Daphne Weeden." (Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.)

ACF cannot accommodate transmission of applications by fax or through other electronic media. Therefore, applications transmitted to ACF electronically will not be accepted regardless of date or time of submission and time of receipt.

Late applications

Applications that do not meet the criteria above are considered late applications. ACF shall notify each late applicant that its application will not be considered in the current competition.

Extension of deadlines

ACF may extend application deadlines when circumstances such as acts of God (floods, hurricanes, etc.) occur, or when there are widespread disruptions of mail service. Determinations to extend or waive deadline requirements rest with the Chief Grants Management Officer.

For Further Information on Application Deadlines Contact: Ms. Daphne Weeden, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement, 370 L’Enfant Promenade SW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20447, Telephone: (202) 401-4577.

Certifications, Assurances, And Disclosure Required For Non Construction Programs

Applicants requesting financial assistance for non-construction projects must file the Standard Form 424B, "Assurances: Non-Construction Programs." Applicants must sign and return the Standard Form 424B with their applications.

Applicants must provide a signed certification regarding lobbying with their applications, when applying for an award in excess of $100,000. Applicants who have used non-Federal funds for lobbying activities in connection with receiving assistance under this announcement shall complete a disclosure form to report lobbying.

Applicants must make the appropriate certification of their compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. By signing and submitting the application, the applicant is providing the certification and need not mail back the certification with the applications.

Applicants must make the appropriate certification that they are not presently debarred, suspended or otherwise ineligible for an award. By signing and submitting the application, the applicant is providing the certification and need not mail back the certification with the applications.

General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

The project description provides a major means by which an application is evaluated and ranked to compete with other applications for available assistance. The project description should be concise and complete and should address the activity for which Federal funds are being requested. Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly. Applicants are encouraged to provide information on their organizational structure, staff, related experience, and other information considered relevant. Awarding offices use this and other information to determine whether the applicant has the capability and resources necessary to carry out the proposed project. It is important, therefore, that this information be included in the application. However, in the narrative the applicant must distinguish between resources directly related to the proposed project from those that will not be used in support of the specific project for which funds are requested. Please refer to the UPD sections in appendix A.

Length of Applications

Each application narrative portion should not exceed 25 double-spaced pages in a 12-pitch font. Attachments and appendices should not exceed 25 pages and should be used only to provide supporting documentation such as maps, administration charts, position descriptions, resumes, and letters of intent for partnership agreements. Please do not include books or video tapes as they are not easily reproduced and are therefore, inaccessible to the reviewers. Each page should be numbered sequentially, including the attachments or appendices.

Part IV. Post-award B Applicable Regulations and Reporting Requirements

Applicable Regulations

Applicable DHHS regulations can be found in 45 CFR Part 74 or Part 92.

Treatment of Program Income

Program income from activities funded under this program may be retained by the recipient and added to the funds committed to the project and used to further program objectives.

Reporting Requirements

Grantees are required to file the Financial status Report (SF-269) and Program Performance Reports on a semi-annual basis. Funds issued under these awards must be accounted for and reported upon separately from all other grant activities. ORR does not expect the proposed components/projects to include evaluation activities, however, it does expect grantees to maintain adequate records to track and report on project outcomes. The official receipt point for all reports and correspondence is the ORR Grants Officer. An original and one copy of each report shall be submitted within 30 days of the end of each reporting period directly to the Grants Officer. The mailing address is: Ms. Daphne Weeden, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement, 370 L’Enfant Promenade SW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20447. A final Financial and Program Report shall be due 90 days after the budget expiration date or termination of grant support.

Date: _____________________________

Carmel Clay-Thompson
Acting Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement