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Notice

Grants and Cooperative Agreements; Notice of Availability

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau, HHS.

Funding Opportunity Title: Professional Education for Current and Prospective Public Child Welfare Practitioners Leading to the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Degree.

Announcement Type: Competitive Grant-Initial.

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Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2004-ACF-ACYF-CT-0007.

CFDA Number: 93.648.

Due Date for Applications: The due date for receipt of applications is June 18, 2004.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

The purpose of this grant program is to provide professional education opportunities leading to a BSW degree to prospective and current public child welfare agency staff. Traineeships will provide competency-based child welfare training with a particular emphasis on developing the critical knowledge, values, and skills that are necessary to respond to the complex problems confronting children and families in the child welfare system.

Under section 426(a)(1)(C) of the Social Security Act, Federal grants are made available to public or non-profit institutions of higher learning for special projects for training personnel for work in the field of child welfare including traineeships. Individuals who receive traineeships under these grants must meet the requirements of section 429 of the Act, which specifies the conditions under which these traineeships are awarded. Each individual who receives a stipend with such a traineeship will enter into an agreement with the institution under which the recipient agrees:

(A) to participate in training at a public or private non-profit child welfare agency on a regular basis (as determined by the Secretary) for the period of the traineeship;

(B) to be employed, after graduating from the education program, in a public or private non-profit child welfare agency for a period of years equivalent to the period of the traineeship;

(C) to furnish to the institution and the Secretary evidence of compliance with subparagraphs A and B; and

(D) to repay the expenses of the education if there is a failure to comply with the agreement.

The educational institutions must provide evidence of compliance with the provisions of section 429 of the Act, including an assurance that they will:

(A) enter into an agreement with child welfare agencies for on-site training of traineeship recipients;

(B) permit agency staff employed in the field of child welfare services to apply for traineeships if the traineeships furthers their progress toward the completion of degree requirements; and

(C) develop and implement a system that tracks the employment record of these recipients for the 3-year period that begins when students complete their study.

Grantees will be expected to:

(A) Focus on curriculum reform involving the development of specific child welfare courses and the inclusion of competency-based child welfare-oriented course content in the social work curricula;

(B) Increase the numbers of field placements in public child welfare agencies; and

(C) Improve the quality of the supervision of those placements.

Applications must include a letter from appropriate State child welfare agencies, Tribal Organizations, community agencies, academic departments, other disciplines, institutions, etc. committing to coordination with the school/department of social work and indicating intent to participate in the project. This letter of agreement must be signed by the Director of the Child Welfare Agency.

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grant.

Anticipated Total Program Funding: The anticipated total for all awards under this funding announcement in FY2004 is $500,000.

Anticipated Number of Awards: It is anticipated that 5 projects will be funded.

Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: The maximum Federal share is not to exceed $100,000 for the first 12-month budget period. A traineeship must not exceed $10,000 per student per budget year. A minimum of 75 percent of the total project funds must be used for traineeships. An application received that exceeds the upper value of the dollar range specified will be considered “non-responsive” and be returned to the applicant without further review.

Floor of Individual Award Amounts: None.

Average Anticipated Award Amount: $100,000 per budget period.

Project Periods for Awards: The projects will be awarded for a period of 60 months. The initial grant award will be for a 12-month budget period. The award of continuation funding beyond each 12-month budget period will be subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress on the part of the grantee, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the government.

Available Funds Applicants should note that grants to be awarded under this program announcement are subject to the availability of funds. The size of the actual awards will vary. In cases where more applications are approved for funding than ACF can fund with the money available, the Grants Officer shall fund applications in their order of approval until funds run out. In this case, ACF has the option of carrying over the approved applications up to a year for funding consideration in a later competition of the same program. These applications need not be reviewed and scored again if the program's evaluation criteria have not changed. However, they must then be placed in rank order along with other applications in later competitions.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

State controlled institutions of higher education.

Private institutions of higher education.

Other Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must have an accredited social work education program and should have a strong partnership with a public child welfare agency and be prepared to re-design their curriculum to maximize student learning opportunities for work in public child welfare agencies. Previously funded applicants under this funding opportunity will not be precluded from receiving a grant.

Applications that exceed the $100,000 ceiling will be considered non-responsive and will not be eligible for funding under this announcement.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

No matching funds are required for the portion of the budget that pays for traineeships. However, grantees must provide a match to equal at least 25 percent of the total cost of grant activities other than traineeships. The total approved cost of these non-traineeship activities is the sum of the ACYF share and the non-Federal share. The non-Federal share may be met by cash or in-kind contributions, although applicants are encouraged to meet their match requirements through a cash contribution. Therefore, a project requesting $100,000 in Federal funds (with $75,000 for traineeships and $25,000 for non-traineeship activities per budget period) must include a match of at least $8,333 (25 percent of the total cost for the non-traineeship activities). Applicants should provide a letter of commitment verifying the actual amount of the non-Federal share of project costs.

The following example shows how to calculate the required 25 percent match amount for the non-traineeship portion of a $100,000 grant:

$100,000 (Federal share) times .25 (% of Federal share allowable for non-traineeship activities) equals $25,000 Start Printed Page 20933(maximum amount allowable for non-traineeship activities) divided by .75 (100%−25%) equals $33,333 (total non-traineeship activity cost including match) minus $25,000 (Federal share) equals $8,333 (required 25% match)

Because this is a training grant, indirect costs for these projects shall not exceed 8 percent (Grants Administration Manual, HHS Chapter 6-160). Funds from this grant cannot be used to match title IV-E training funds.

The non-federal share may be cash or in-kind contributions, although applicants are encouraged to meet their match requirements through cash contributions. If approved for funding, grantees will be held accountable for the commitment of non-Federal resources and failure to provide the required amount will result in a disallowance of unmatched Federal funds.

3. Other

On June 27, 2003, the Office of Management and Budget published in the Federal Register a new Federal policy applicable to all Federal grant applicants. The policy requires all Federal grant applicants to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. The DUNS number will be required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the government-wide electronic portal (www.Grants.gov). A DUNS number will be required for every application for a new award or renewal/continuation of an award, including applications or plans under formula, entitlement and block grant programs, submitted on or after October 1, 2003.

Please ensure that your organization has a DUNS number. You may acquire a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line on 1-866-705-5711 or you may request a number on-line at http://www.dnb.com.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package

ACYF Operations Center, c/o The Dixon Group, Inc., 118 Q Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-2132, Telephone: (866) 796-1591.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

You may submit your application to us either in electronic or paper format. To submit an application electronically, please use the http://www.Grants.gov apply site. If you use Grants.gov you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it off-line, and then upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov site. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following if you plan to submit your application electronically via Grants.gov.

  • Electronic submission is voluntary.
  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov.
  • To use Grants.gov, you, as the applicant, must have a DUNS Number and register in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). You should allow a minimum of five days to complete the CCR registration.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit a grant application in paper format.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including all information typically included on the SF424 and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Your application must comply with any page limitation requirements described in this program announcement.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. The Administration for Children and Families will retrieve your application from Grants.gov.
  • We may request that you provide original signatures on forms at a later date.
  • You may access the electronic application for this program on http://www.Grants.gov.
  • You must search for the downloadable application package by the CFDA number.

Electronic Address Where Applications Will Be Accepted: Grants.gov.

Address Where Hard Copy Applications Will Be Accepted: ACYF Operations Center, c/o The Dixon Group, Inc., 118 Q Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-2132.

Each application must contain the following items in the order listed:

—Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424). Follow the instructions below and those that accompany the form.

In Item 5 of Form 424, put DUNS number in “Organizational DUNS:” box.

In Item 5 of Form 424, include name, phone number, and, if available, email and fax numbers of the contact person.

In Item 8 of Form 424, check ‘New.’

In Item 10 of Form 424, clearly identify the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) program title and number for the program for which funds are being requested as stated at the end of this funding opportunity announcement.

In Item 11 of Form 424, identify the single funding opportunity the application addresses.

In Item 12 of Form 424, identify the specific geographic area to be served.

In Item 14 of Form 424, identify Congressional districts of both the applicant and project.

—Budget Information Non-Construction Programs (Form 424A) and Budget Justification.

Follow the instructions provided and those in the Uniform Project Description. Note that Federal funds provided to States and services or other resources purchased with Federal funds may not be used to match project grants.

Applicants have the option of omitting from application copies (not originals) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget. The copies may include summary salary information.

—Certifications/Assurances. Applicants requesting financial assistance for nonconstruction 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 certification regarding lobbying when applying for an award in excess of $100,000. Applicants must sign and return the certification with their applications.

Applicants must disclose lobbying activities on the Standard Form LLL 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 sign and return the disclosure form, if applicable, with their applications.

Applicants must make the appropriate certification regarding environmental tobacco smoke. By signing and submitting the application, the applicant is providing the certification and need not mail back the certification with the applications.

If applicable, applicants must include a completed SPOC certification (Single Point of Contact) with the date of the Start Printed Page 20934SPOC contact entered in line 16, page 1 of the Form 424.

By signing the “Signature of Authorized Representative” on the SF 424, the applicant is providing a certification and need not mail assurances for completing the following grant and cooperative agreement requirements:

Participation in any evaluation or technical assistance effort supported by ACYF;

Submission of all required semi-annual and final Financial Status Reports (SF269) and Program Performance Reports in a timely manner, in hard-copy and electronic formats (preferably MS WORD and PDF) as negotiated with the Federal Project Officer; and allocation of sufficient funds in the budget to provide for the project director and a representative of the State child welfare agency to attend an annual 3-day grantees' meeting in Washington, DC (Attendance at these meetings is a grant requirement.) In addition, new grantees should allocate sufficient funds to provide for the project director and a representative of the State child welfare agency to attend an early kick-off meeting to be held within the first three months of the project (first year only) in Washington, DC (Attendance at this early kick-off meeting is a grant requirement for new grantees, but not for current or previous grantees under this funding opportunity.)

The Office for Human Research Protections of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides website information and policy guidance on the Federal regulations pertaining to protection of human subjects (45 CFR 46), informed consent, informed consent checklists, confidentiality of personal identification information, data collection procedures, and internal review boards: http://ohrp.osophs.dhhs.gov/​polasur.htm.

If applicable, applicants must include a completed Form 310, Protection of Human Subjects.

In implementing their projects, grantees are expected to comply with all applicable administrative regulations regarding extent or types of costs. Applicable DHHS regulations can be found in 45 CFR Part 74 or 92.

—Project Abstract/Summary (one page maximum). Clearly mark this page with the applicant name as shown on item 5 of the Form 424, identify the competitive grant funding opportunity and the title of the proposed project as shown in item 11 and the service area as shown in item 12 of the Form 424. The summary description should not exceed 300 words.

Care should be taken to produce an abstract/summary that accurately and concisely reflects the proposed project. It should describe the objectives of the project, the approach to be used and the results or benefits expected.

—Project Description for Evaluation. Applicants should organize their project description according to the Evaluation Criteria described in this funding opportunity announcement providing information that addresses all the components.

—Indirect cost rate agreement. If claiming indirect costs, provide documentation that applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant Federal agency.

—Letters of agreement and memoranda of understanding. If applicable, include a letter of commitment or Memorandum of Understanding from each partner and/or sub-contractor describing their role, detailing specific tasks to be performed, and expressing commitment to participate if the proposed project is funded.

—Provide a letter of commitment verifying the actual amount of the non-Federal share of project costs.

—The application limit is 45 pages total including all forms and attachments. Submit one original and two copies.

To be considered for funding, each application must be submitted with the Standard Federal Forms (provided at the end of this announcement or through the electronic links provided) and following the guidance provided. The application must be signed by an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency and to assume responsibility for the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the grant award.

To be considered for funding, each applicant must submit one signed original and two additional copies of the application, including all forms and attachments, to the Application Receipt Point specified in the section titles Deadline at the beginning of the announcement. The original copy of the application must have original signatures, signed in black ink.

The application must be typed, double spaced, printed on only one side, with at least 1/2 inch margins on each side and 1 inch at the top and bottom, using standard 12 Point fonts (such as Times Roman or Courier). Pages must be numbered.

Pages over the page limit stated within this funding opportunity announcement will be removed from the application and will not be reviewed. All copies of an application must be submitted in a single package, and a separate package must be submitted for each funding opportunity. The package must be clearly labeled for the specific funding opportunity it is addressing.

Because each application will be duplicated, do not use or include separate covers, binders, clips, tabs, plastic inserts, maps, brochures, or any other items that cannot be processed easily on a photocopy machine with an automatic feed. Do not bind, clip, staple, or fasten in any way separate subsections of the application, including supporting documentation. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the Federal government for review. Each copy must be stapled securely in the upper left corner.

Tips for Preparing a Competitive Application: It is essential that applicants read the entire announcement package carefully before preparing an application and include all of the required application forms and attachments. The application must reflect a thorough understanding of the purpose and objectives of the Children's Bureau Child Welfare Training initiatives. Reviewers expect applicants to understand the goals of the legislation and the Children's Bureau's interest in each topic. A “responsive application” is one that addresses all of the evaluation criteria in ways that demonstrate this understanding. Applications that are considered to be “unresponsive” generally receive very low scores and are rarely funded.

The Children's Bureau's Web site (http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/​programs/​cb) provides a wide range of information and links to other relevant Web sites. Before you begin preparing an application, we suggest that you learn more about the mission and programs of the Children's Bureau by exploring the Web site.

Organizing Your Application: The specific evaluation criteria in Section V of this funding announcement will be used to review and evaluate each application. The applicant should address each of these specific evaluation criteria in the project description. It is strongly recommended that applicants organize their proposals in the same sequence and using the same headings as these criteria, so that reviewers can readily find information that directly addresses each of the specific review criteria.

Project Evaluation Plan: Project evaluations are very important. If you Start Printed Page 20935do not have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective, comprehensive evaluation of the project, then the Children's Bureau advises that you propose contracting with a third-party evaluator specializing in social science or evaluation, or a university or college, to conduct the evaluation. A skilled evaluator can assist you in designing a data collection strategy that is appropriate for the evaluation of your proposed project. Additional assistance may be found in a document titled “Program Manager's Guide to Evaluation.” A copy of this document can be accessed at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​core/​pubs_​reports/​prog_​mgr.html or ordered by contacting the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, 330 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20447; phone (800) 394-3366; fax (703) 385-3206; e-mail nccanch@calib.com.

Logic Model: A logic model is a tool that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the linkages among program elements. While there are many versions of the logic model, they generally summarize the logical connections among the needs that are the focus of the project, project goals and objectives, the target population, project inputs (resources), the proposed activities/processes/outputs directed toward the target population, the expected short- and long-term outcomes the initiative is designed to achieve, and the evaluation plan for measuring the extent to which proposed processes and outcomes actually occur. Information on the development of logic models is available on the Internet at http://www.uwex.edu/​ces/​pdande/​ or http://www.extension.iastate.edu/​cyfar/​capbuilding/​outcome/​outcome_​logicmdir.html.

Use of Human Subjects: If your evaluation plan includes gathering data from or about clients, there are specific procedures which must be followed in order to protect their privacy and ensure the confidentiality of the information about them. Applicants planning to gather such data are asked to describe their plans regarding an Institutional Review Board (IRB) review. For more information about use of human subjects and IRB's you can visit these Web sites: http://ohrp.osophs.dhhs.gov/​irb/​irb_​chapter2.htm#d2 and http://ohrp.osophs.dhhs.gov/​humansubjects/​guidance/​ictips.htm.

3. Submission Dates and Times

The closing date for receipt of applications is 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on June 18, 2004. Mailed applications received after the closing date will be classified as late.

Deadline: Mailed applications shall be considered as meeting an announced deadline if they are received on or before June 18, 2004 at following address: ACYF Operations Center, c/o The Dixon Group, Inc., ATTN: Children's Bureau, 118 Q Street, NE., Washington, DC 20002-2132.

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 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., EST, at ACYF Operations Center, c/o The Dixon Group, Inc., ATTN: Children's Bureau, 118 Q Street, NE., Washington, DC 20002-2132, between Monday and Friday (excluding Federal holidays). This address must appear on the envelope/package containing the application with the note “ATTN: Children's Bureau.” Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.

Late applications: Applications which 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 mails service. Determinations to extend or waive deadline requirements rest with the Chief Grants Management Officer.

Required Forms

What to submitRequired contentRequired form or formatWhen to submit
1. SF424Per required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
2. SF424APer required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
3.a. SF424BPer required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
3.b. Certification regarding lobbyingPer required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
3.c. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL)Per required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
4. Project Summary/AbstractSummary of application requestSee instructions in this funding announcementSee application due date.
5. Project DescriptionResponsiveness to evaluation criteriaSee instructions in this funding announcementSee application due date.
6. Indirect cost rate agreementSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
7. Letters of agreement & MOUsSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
8. Non-Federal share letterSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
Total applicationSee aboveApplication limit 45 pages total including all forms and attachments. Submit one original and two copiesSee application due date.

Private-non-profit organizations may submit with their applications the additional survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms” titled “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants.”

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Additional Forms

What to submitRequired contentRequired form or formatWhen to submit
Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant ApplicationsPer required formMay be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmBy application due date.

4. Intergovernmental Review

State Single Point of Contact (SPOC)

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

As of October 2003, of the most recent SPOC list, the following jurisdictions have elected not to participate in the Executive Order process. Applicants from these jurisdictions or for projects administered by federally-recognized Indian Tribes need take no action in regard to E.O. 12372: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Palau, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Although the jurisdictions listed above no longer participate in the process, entities which have met the eligibility requirements of the program are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory, Commonwealth, etc. does not have a SPOC. All remaining jurisdictions participate in the Executive Order process and have established SPOCs. Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOCs as soon as possible to alert them of the prospective applications and receive 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. The applicant must submit all required materials, if any, to the SPOC and indicate the date of this submittal (or the date of contact 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 differentiate clearly 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, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447.

The official list, including addresses, of the jurisdictions elected to participate in E.O. 12372 can be found on the following URL: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants/​spoc.html.

5. Funding Restrictions

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.

Construction is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this solicitation.

Because this is a training grant, indirect costs for these projects shall not exceed 8 percent. Funds from this grant cannot be used to match title IV-E training funds.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Submission by Mail: An applicant must provide an original application with all attachments, signed by an authorized representative and two copies. The application must be received at the address below by 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on or before the closing date. Applications should be mailed to: ACYF Operations Center, c/o The Dixon Group, Inc., ATTN: Children's Bureau, 118 Q Street, NE., Washington, DC 20002-2132.

For Hand Delivery: Applicant must provide an original application with all attachments, signed by an authorized representative and two copies. The application must be received at the address below by 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time on or before the closing date. Applications that are hand delivered will be accepted between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications may be delivered to: ACYF Operations Center, c/o The Dixon Group, Inc., ATTN: Children's Bureau 118 Q Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-2132. It is strongly recommended that applicants obtain documentation that the application was hand delivered on or before the closing date. Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.

Electronic Submission: Please see Section IV. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission, for guidelines and requirements when submitting applications electronically.

V. Application Review Information

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13)

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 40 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed and reviewing the collection information. The project description is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139 which expires 3/31/2004. 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.

Instruction

Introduction

Applicants required to submit a full project description shall prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions and the specified evaluation criteria. The instructions give a broad overview of what your project description should include while the evaluation criteria expands and clarifies more program-specific information that is needed.

1. Criteria

General Instruction for Preparing Full Project Description

Objectives and Need for Assistance

Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution. The need for assistance must be demonstrated and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly stated; supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included. Any Start Printed Page 20937relevant data based on planning studies should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes. Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as needed. In developing the project description, the applicant may volunteer or be requested to provide information on the total range of projects currently being conducted and supported (or to be initiated), some of which may be outside the scope of the program announcement.

Approach

Outline a plan of action which describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished. Account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Cite factors which might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reason for taking the proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.

Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished. When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.

If any data is to be collected, maintained, and/or disseminated, clearance may be required from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This clearance pertains to any “collection of information that is conducted or sponsored by ACF.”

List organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Organizational Profiles

Provide information on the applicant organization(s) and cooperating partners such as organizational charts, financial statements, audit reports or statements from CPAs/Licensed Public Accountants, Employer Identification Numbers, names of bond carriers, contact persons and telephone numbers, child care licenses and other documentation of professional accreditation, information on compliance with Federal/State/local government standards, documentation of experience in the program area, and other pertinent information. Any non-profit organization submitting an application must submit proof of its non-profit status in its application at the time of submission.

The non-profit agency can accomplish this by providing a copy of the applicant's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, or by providing a copy of the currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate, or by providing a copy of the articles of incorporation bearing the seal of the State in which the corporation or association is domiciled.

Budget and Budget Justification

Provide line item detail and detailed calculations for each budget object class identified on the Budget Information form. Detailed calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. The detailed budget must also include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 15 of the SF-424.

Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocability of the proposed costs.

Personnel

Description: Costs of employee salaries and wages.

Justification: Identify the project director or principal investigator, if known. For each staff person, provide the title, time commitment to the project (in months), time commitment to the project (as a percentage or full-time equivalent), annual salary, grant salary, wage rates, etc. Do not include the costs of consultants or personnel costs of delegate agencies or of specific project(s) or businesses to be financed by the applicant.

Fringe Benefits

Description: Costs of employee fringe benefits unless treated as part of an approved indirect cost rate.

Justification: Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs such as health insurance, FICA, retirement insurance, taxes, etc.

Travel

Description: Costs of project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization (does not include costs of consultant travel).

Justification: For each trip, show the total number of traveler(s), travel destination, duration of trip, per diem, mileage allowances, if privately owned vehicles will be used, and other transportation costs and subsistence allowances. Travel costs for key staff to attend ACF-sponsored workshops should be detailed in the budget.

Equipment

Description: “Equipment” means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of (a) the capitalization level established by the organization for the financial statement purposes, or (b) $5,000. (Note: Acquisition cost means the net invoice unit price of an item of equipment, including the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make it usable for the purpose for which it is acquired. Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in-transit insurance, freight, and installation shall be included in or excluded from acquisition cost in accordance with the organization's regular written accounting practices.)

Justification: For each type of equipment requested, provide a description of the equipment, the cost per unit, the number of units, the total cost, and a plan for use on the project, as well as use or disposal of the equipment after the project ends. An applicant organization that uses its own definition for equipment should provide a copy of its policy or section of its policy which includes the equipment definition.

Supplies

Description: Costs of all tangible personal property other than that included under the Equipment category.

Justification: Specify general categories of supplies and their costs. Show computations and provide other information which supports the amount requested.

Contractual

Description: Costs of all contracts for services and goods except for those which belong under other categories such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc. Third-party evaluation contracts (if applicable) and contracts with secondary recipient organizations, including delegate agencies and specific project(s) or businesses to be financed by the applicant, should be included under this category.

Justification: All procurement transactions shall be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open and free competition. Recipients and subrecipients, other than States that are Start Printed Page 20938required to use Part 92 procedures, must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceed the simplified acquisition threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403(11). Recipients might be required to make available to ACF pre-award review and procurement documents, such as request for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc.

Note:

Whenever the applicant intends to delegate part of the project to another agency, the applicant must provide a detailed budget and budget narrative for each delegate agency, by agency title, along with the required supporting information referred to in these instructions.

Other

Enter the total of all other costs. Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to insurance, food, medical and dental costs (noncontractual), professional services costs, space and equipment rentals, printing and publication, computer use, training costs, such as tuition and stipends, staff development costs, and administrative costs.

Justification: Provide computations, a narrative description and a justification for each cost under this category.

Indirect Charges

Description: Total amount of indirect costs. This category should be used only when the applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant Federal agency.

Justification: An applicant that will charge indirect costs to the grant must enclose a copy of the current rate agreement. If the applicant organization is in the process of initially developing or renegotiating a rate, it should immediately upon notification that an award will be made, develop a tentative indirect cost rate proposal based on its most recently completed fiscal year in accordance with the principles set forth in the cognizant agency's guidelines for establishing indirect cost rates, and submit it to the cognizant agency. Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposals may also request indirect costs. It should be noted that when an indirect cost rate is requested, those costs included in the indirect cost pool should not also be charged as direct costs to the grant. Also, if the applicant is requesting a rate which is less than what is allowed under the program, the authorized representative of the applicant organization must submit a signed acknowledgement that the applicant is accepting a lower rate than allowed.

Criterion 1. Objectives and Need for Assistance

In reviewing the objectives and need for assistance, the following factors will be considered: (20 points)

(1) The extent to which the proposed project's goals and objectives will meet the training needs of public child welfare agency staff.

(2) The extent to which this project would enhance social work education's ability to prepare students effectively for public child welfare agency practice, encourage their entry into the child welfare profession and increase the number of workers with BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) degrees.

(3) The extent to which the application demonstrates a clear understanding of the characteristics of the proposed student populations and their particular training needs.

(4) The extent to which the proposed project would produce significant results and benefits. The extent to which these results and benefits are clearly linked to the proposed project's stated objectives.

(5) The extent to which the application describes specific, measurable outcomes that are expected as a result of the proposed training of current and prospective public child welfare agency staff in this project.

(6) The extent to which lessons that would be learned from the proposed project would improve child welfare practice.

Criterion 2. Approach

In reviewing the approach, the following factors will be considered: (50 points)

(1) The extent to which the application evidences a thorough understanding of the challenges related to providing training that supports and enhances public/Tribal child welfare agency staff capabilities to achieve child welfare outcomes.

(2) The extent to which the application includes a clear plan for the development and implementation of a BSW level child welfare curriculum in field placements. The extent to which this curriculum effectively addresses the training needs of the public child welfare agency staff.

(3) The extent to which the types of field experiences, including supervision, would help students receiving traineeships to develop the competencies necessary to work in public/Tribal child welfare agencies.

(4) The extent to which the proposed curriculum would build on, expand and strengthen existing curriculum approaches/models. The extent to which any necessary changes would be made to the existing curriculum for the inclusion of competency-based, child welfare-oriented, course content designed to enable graduates to function in public child welfare agencies.

(5) The extent to which this project would be strengthened through coordination with and building on past and/or current collaboration and existing partnerships between the applicant and public child welfare agencies.

(6) The extent to which there will be an effective administrative and organizational interface between the applicant and the appropriate State child welfare agencies, Tribal Organizations, community agencies, academic departments, other disciplines, institutions, etc. The extent to which the letters of commitment from these partner organizations meet the criteria described in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description.

(7) The extent to which the application explains who the trainees would be; how many are expected to be trained over the life of the project; what the process would be for selection and recruitment of trainees; and the specific strategies which would be implemented for recruiting minority trainees.

(8) The extent to which the project evaluation would measure the achievement of project objectives and the project's general impact on competency-based curriculum development, student acquisition of competencies and effectiveness of program services.

(9) The extent to which there is a strong plan for dissemination of the curriculum and project evaluation findings.

Criterion 3. Organizational Profiles

In reviewing the organizational profiles, the following factors will be considered: (20 points)

(1) The extent to which the application demonstrates that the applicant has sufficient experience and expertise in training public child welfare staff; in developing child welfare curricula; in collaboration with child welfare agencies on training initiatives; and in administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of similar projects. The extent to which each participating organization (including partners and/or subcontractors) possesses the organizational capability to fulfill their assigned roles and functions effectively (if the application involves partnering and/or Start Printed Page 20939subcontracting with other agencies/organizations).

(2) The extent to which the proposed project director and key project staff possess sufficient relevant knowledge, experience and capabilities to implement and manage a project of this size, scope and complexity effectively (e.g. resume). The extent to which the role, responsibilities and time commitments of each proposed project staff position, including consultants, subcontractors and/or partners, are clearly defined and appropriate to the successful implementation of the proposed project. The extent to which the author of this proposal will be involved throughout the implementation of the proposed project.

(3) The extent to which there is a sound management plan for achieving the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines and milestones for accomplishing project tasks and ensuring quality. The extent to which the plan clearly describes the effective management and coordination of activities carried out by any partners, subcontractors and consultants (if appropriate). The extent to which there would be a mutually beneficial relationship between the proposed project and other work planned, anticipated or underway with Federal assistance by the applicant.

Criterion 4. Budget and Budget Justification

In reviewing the budget and budget justification, the following factors will be considered: (10 points)

(1) The extent to which the costs of the proposed project are reasonable, in view of the activities to be conducted and expected results and benefits.

(2) The extent to which the applicant's fiscal controls and accounting procedures would ensure prudent use, proper and timely disbursement and accurate accounting of funds received under this program announcement.

2. Review and Selection Process

When the Operations Center receives your application it will be screened to confirm that your application was received by the deadline. Federal staff will verify that you are an eligible applicant and that the application contains all the essential elements. Applications received from ineligible organizations and applications received after the deadline will be withdrawn from further consideration.

A panel of at least three reviewers (primarily experts from outside the Federal government) will use the evaluation criteria described in this announcement to evaluate each application. The reviewers will determine the strengths and weaknesses of each application, provide comments about the strengths and weaknesses and give each application a numerical score.

All applications will be reviewed and evaluated using four major criteria: (1) objectives and need for assistance, (2) approach, (3) organizational profiles, and (4) budget and budget justification. Each criterion has been assigned a point value. The point values (summing up to 100) indicate the maximum numerical weight each criterion may be given in the review and evaluation process.

Reviewers also are evaluating the project products and materials that you propose. They will be interested in your plans for sustaining your project without Federal funds if the evaluation findings are supportive. Reviewers will be looking to see that the total budget you propose and the way you have apportioned that budget are appropriate and reasonable for the project you have described. Remember that the reviewers only have the information that you give them—it needs to be clear, complete, and concise.

The results of the competitive review are a primary factor in making funding decisions. In addition, Federal staff conducts administrative reviews of the applications and, in light of the results of the competitive review, will recommend applications for funding to the ACYF Commissioner. ACYF reserves the option of discussing applications with other funding sources when this is in the best interest of the Federal government. ACYF may also solicit and consider comments from ACF Regional Office staff in making funding decisions. ACYF may take into consideration the involvement (financial and/or programmatic) of the private sector, national, or State or community foundations; a favorable balance between Federal and non-Federal funds for the proposed project; or the potential for high benefit from low Federal investment. ACYF may elect not to fund any applicants having known management, fiscal, reporting, programmatic, or other problems which make it unlikely that they would be able to provide effective services or effectively complete the proposed activity.

With the results of the peer review and the information from Federal staff, the Commissioner of ACYF makes the final funding decisions. The Commissioner may give special consideration to applications proposing services of special interest to the Government and to achieve geographic distributions of grant awards. Applications of special interest may include, but are not limited to, applications focusing on unserved or inadequately served clients or service areas; and programs addressing diverse ethnic populations.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates: Applications will be reviewed during the Summer 2004. Grant awards will have a start date no later than September 30, 2004.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

Successful applicants will receive a Financial Assistance Award which will set forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant or cooperative agreement, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-Federal share to be provided, if applicable, and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The Grants Management Officer signs and issues the award notice.

The Commissioner will notify organizations in writing when their applications will not be funded. Every effort will be made to notify all unsuccessful applicants as soon as possible after final decisions are made.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

45 CFR Part 74 and 45 CFR Part 92

Faith-based organizations that receive funding may not use Federal financial assistance, including funds, to meet any cost-sharing requirements or to support inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or prayer.

3. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Programmatic Reports and Financial Reports are required semi-annually with final reports due 90 days after the project end date. All required reports will be submitted in a timely manner, in recommended formats (to be provided), and the final report will also be submitted on disk or electronically using a standard word-processing program.

Within 90 days of project end date, the applicant will submit a copy of the final report, the evaluation report, and any program products to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect, 330 C Street, SW, Washington, DC 20447. This is in addition to the standard requirement that the final program and evaluation report must also be submitted to the Grants Management Start Printed Page 20940Specialist and the Federal Project Officer.

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Marva Benjamin, 330 C St. SW., Washington, DC 20447, 202-205-8405, mbenjamin@acf.hhs.gov.

Grants Management Office Contact

William Wilson, 330 C St SW., Washington, DC 20447, 202-205-8913, wwilson@acf.hhs.gov.

General

The Dixon Group, ACYF Operations Center, 118 Q Street, NE., Washington, DC 20002-2132, Telephone: (866) 796-1591.

VIII. Other Information

Additional information about this program and its purpose can be located on the following Web sites: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​cb/​.

Copies of the following Forms, Assurances, and Certifications are available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htm.

Standard Form 424: Application for Federal Assistance

Standard Form 424A: Budget Information

Standard Form 424B: Assurances—Non-Construction Programs

Form LLL: Disclosure of Lobbying

Certification Regarding Environmental Tobacco Smoke

Standard Form 310: Protection of Human Subjects

The State Single Point of Contact SPOC listing is available on line at http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants/​spoc.html.

Start Signature

Dated: April 9, 2004.

Frank Fuentes,

Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 04-8781 Filed 4-16-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4184-01-P