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  • Optional Narrative Template for AFI PPRs

    Published: June 2, 2017
    NOTE: See the AFI PPR Overview page for additional information. The AFI PPR is set up in OLDC to allow grantees to upload an optional narrative file to field 10 on the Cover Page. Grantees are encouraged to use the optional narrative to explain their AFI PPR data, particularly in cases in which the data may look like it is incorrect, such as a reduction from a prior report in a cumulative field. The OLDC system generates warning messages for situations that are unexpected, so if you get warning messages on your AFI PPR and you confirm that your data is correct, we recommend explaining that data in the narrative. Additionally, grantees may want to use the narrative to: Provide additional details about your AFI grant that will help AFI program staff understand how the project operates, current successes, and current challenges. Share the story of a successful partnership that shows how AFI can leverage the work of other organizations, or of a successful participant that shows the impact AFI can have of for an individual or family. The Office of Community Services (OCS) has created optional templates that grantees can use for the narrative file. These templates (available for download below) follow the structure of the AFI PPR forms and include areas for grantees to input key data, such as grant number.
  • Financial Capability and Head Start

    Published: May 19, 2017
    The following briefs are resources on financial capability topics for Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Assessing Head Start & Early Head Start Families’ Financial Capability This brief outlines strategies and tools Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) can use to gain a deeper understanding of how HS/EHS families are managing their finances to decide which services might help them build financial capability. Financial Coaching in Head Start Programs This brief discusses financial coaching in Head Start settings and presents methods for providing financial coaching as well as training resources for programs interested in building staff capacity to become financial coaches.
  • Financial Capability Integration in Rural Communities

    Published: May 19, 2017
    This brief shares lessons learned about integrating financial capability services into existing programs at four organizations serving rural communities. Financial capability is the capacity—based on knowledge, skills, and access—to manage financial resources effectively. This brief is organized into three sections: selecting financial capability services, deciding who will provide services, and identifying the right points in time to integrate financial capability services.
  • Roles for Intermediary Organizations in Fostering Financial Capability Integration

    Published: May 19, 2017
    This brief shares lessons learned from three local intermediary organizations that have supported nonprofits in their efforts to integrate financial capability services into existing program. Financial capability is the capacity—based on knowledge, skills, and access—to manage financial resources effectively.
  • AFI IM Clarification on Eligibility Determination and Participant Selection

    Published: January 17, 2017
    The purpose of this Information Memorandum (IM) is to provide clarification related to Sections 408 and 409 of the Assets for Independence Act. Please see the attached full Information Memorandum for details.
  • AFI IM Clarification on Qualified Expenses for An Eligible Individual

    Published: January 9, 2017
    The purpose of this Information Memorandum (IM) is to clarify what constitutes qualified expenses for an eligible individual. Please see the attached full Information Memorandum for details.
  • AFI IM Programmatic Reporting Requirements

    Published: December 12, 2016
    AFI grantees are now required to use the new PPR to report data on their AFI project(s).  AFI will no longer collect the SF-PPR form semiannually.  Financial reporting requirements are not affected by the new PPR; grantees must still submit the SF-425 semiannually for each AFI grant. Please see the attached full Information Memorandum for details.
  • AFI Dear Colleague Letter Office of Community Services Restructuring

    Published: September 27, 2016
    To ensure efficient and effective management of OCS programs, the Office of the Director (OD) requested and received approval from the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to restructure OCS Divisions.
  • AFI Dear Colleague Letter New Performance Progress Report Forms Approved

    Published: August 25, 2016
    Dear Colleagues: As previous letters released in May 2015 and April 2016 have described, the Office of Community Services (OCS) sought approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the proposed Assets for Independence (AFI) program-specific Performance Progress Report (PPR). On August 23, 2016, the proposed AFI PPR was approved by OMB without any changes.  AFI grantees are now required to use the new PPR to report data on their AFI project(s) moving forward.  AFI will no longer collect the SF-PPR form semiannually.  Financial reporting requirements are not affected by the new PPR; grantees must still submit the SF-425 semiannually for each AFI grant.
  • AFI 13th Report to Congress FY 2012

    Published: July 1, 2016
    The Office of Community Services provides reports to Congress on the status of AFI Program implementation. The reports are based largely on data submitted annually by each grantee, as required by the program authorizing legislation. This 13th Annual Report presents the status of the Assets for Independence (AFI) program as of the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. It provides a brief overview of the AFI program’s origin and ongoing administration, basic mechanics, and operational characteristics. The Report also identifies key outputs and the critical outcomes
  • AFI 14th Report to Congress FY 2013

    Published: July 1, 2016
    The Office of Community Services provides reports to Congress on the status of AFI Program implementation. The reports are based largely on data submitted annually by each grantee, as required by the program authorizing legislation. This 14th Annual Report presents the status of the Assets for Independence (AFI) program as of the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. It provides a brief overview of the AFI program’s origin and ongoing administration, basic mechanics, and operational characteristics. The Report also identifies key outputs and the critical outcomes
  • AFI 15th Report to Congress FY 2014

    Published: July 1, 2016
    The Office of Community Services (OCS) provides annual reports to Congress on the Assets for Independence (AFI) program, as required by the AFI Act. The 15th Annual AFI Report to Congress presents the status of the AFI program as of the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The report identifies key outputs and the critical outcomes through FY 2014. The full report is available for download below. In addition, a one-page summary infographic that includes key data highlights for FY 2014 is available for download below.
  • AFI Grant Awards FY 2016

    Published: May 12, 2016
    Assets for Independence (AFI) Program 2016 Grant Awards
  • AFI Dear Colleague Letter Update on the Proposed New AFI Program Performance Progress Report

    Published: April 20, 2016
    Dear Colleagues, The Office of Community Services (OCS) is requesting feedback from Assets for Independence (AFI) grantees and stakeholders on proposed AFI program specific Performance Progress Report (PPR) data collection instruments.  On April 8, 2016, a Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) notice for public comment was published in the Federal Register: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/04/08/2016-08090/submis....
  • About Financial Capability Services

    Published: March 29, 2016
    Financial capability is defined as “the capacity, based on knowledge, skills, and access, to manage financial resources effectively.”1 Financial capability is a critical step towards financial security, and many people (regardless of socioeconomic background) may lack one or more factors of the financial capability equation. Some may lack the knowledge (e.g., understanding the terms of their credit card account) or the skills (e.g., calculating the total costs of using credit) needed to manage their financial lives effectively. Others may not have the access to resources necessary for managing their finances well (e.g., high quality but affordable financial services). Challenges in any of these areas will negatively affect financial capability.
  • AFI IM Clarification of the Grandfather Clause at Section 405(g) of the AFI Act

    Published: March 9, 2016
    Clarification of the Grandfather Clause at Section 405(g) of the AFI Act. The AFI program was authorized under the Assets for Independence Act in Title IV of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998, P.L. 105-285 (the AFI Act). The AFI Act includes Sections 401 through 416. (g) GRANDFATHERING OF EXISTING STATEWIDE PROGRAMS.--Any statewide individual asset-building program that is carried out in a manner consistent with the purposes of this title, that is established under State law as of the date of enactment of this Act, and that as of such date is operating with an annual State appropriation of not less than $1,000,000 in non-Federal funds, shall be deemed to meet the eligibility requirements of this subtitle, and the entity carrying out the program shall be deemed to be a qualified entity. The Secretary shall consider funding the statewide program as a demonstration project described in this subtitle. In considering the statewide program for funding, the Secretary shall review an application submitted by the entity carrying out such statewide program under this section, notwithstanding the preference requirements listed in subsection (d). Any program requirements under sections 407 through 411 that are inconsistent with State statutory requirements in effect on the date of enactment of this Act, governing such statewide program, shall not apply to the program.
  • AFI 12th Report to Congress FY 2011

    Published: February 24, 2016
    The Office of Community Services provides reports to Congress on the status of AFI Program implementation. The reports are based largely on data submitted annually by each grantee, as required by the program authorizing legislation.  
  • AFI Dear Colleague Letter Native American Youth Empowerment

    Published: December 14, 2015
    Dear Colleague, In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, and in celebration of the next generation of tribal leaders, we, in the Office of Community Services (OCS), are writing today to ask for your partnership in helping create more opportunities for Native youth engagement, empowerment, education and employment.
  • AFI Dear Colleague Notice on New Branches within AFI

    Published: October 5, 2015
    Dear Colleagues: We are excited to share with you some news from the Office of Community Services (OCS), Division of Community Demonstration Programs (DEMO).  In order to more effectively manage the Assets for Independence (AFI) program, we have created two branches: the Program Operations Branch and the Policy and Partnerships Branch.
  • AFI Tribal Consultation Report

    Published: August 28, 2015
    This report summarizes the Office of Community Services (OCS) effort to consult with Tribal leaders regarding the proposal to implement an Assets For Independence (AFI) program Performance Progress Report (PPR).  A virtual consultation was held on July 6, 2015, and a transcript of that consultation is attached.
  • AFI Dear Colleague Letter Proposed New AFI Program Performance Progress Reporting Forms

    Published: May 26, 2015
    The Office of Community Services (OCS) is requesting feedback from Assets for Independence (AFI) grantees and stakeholders on proposed AFI program specific Performance Progress Report (PPR) data collection instruments. On May 19, a Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) notice for public comment was published in the Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-12096.
  • AFI Dear Colleague Letter Information and Resources Related to Financial Capability

    Published: April 6, 2015
    AFI Dear Colleague Letter Information and Resources Related to Financial Capability
  • AFI Grant Awards FY 2015

    Published: April 2, 2015
    Assets for Independence (AFI) Program 2015 Grant Awards
  • AFI Dear Colleague Letter EITC Awareness Day

    Published: April 1, 2015
    Dear Colleagues, The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the largest IRS public benefits for low-income households. The EITC is a refundable credit for families and individuals that work but earn low wages. It is a powerful work incentive and anti-poverty tool.
  • Building Financial Capability

    Published: March 26, 2015
    Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services (available for download below), is an interactive guide for community-based organizations interested in integrating financial capability services into existing programs (e.g. housing, job training, or Head Start). The interactive tools in the guide walk organizations step-by-step through the process of developing an integration plan, beginning with developing a deeper understanding of clients’ financial circumstances and which financial capability services can help them improve their situations. The guide also includes tools to help organizations determine how best to provide financial capability services—whether through referrals, partnerships, or in-house. The final step in the process is the creation of a logic model that serves as a comprehensive roadmap for implementing the integration plan. Building Financial Capability is a practical resource for organizations providing financial capability services for the first time as well as those that want to improve or expand existing efforts. Since this resource was published, the links to tools in the PDF no longer work. In order to access all the tools, go to https://prosperitynow.org/tools-building-financial-capability-plannin.... To learn more about the guide, view the associated training video series.

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