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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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Federal Agency Contact Name: Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau.

Funding Opportunity Title: Field Initiated Training Projects for Effective Child Welfare Practice with Hispanic Children and Families.

Announcement Type: Competitive Grant-Initial.

Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2004-ACF-ACYF-CT-0014.

CFDA Number: 93.648.

Due Date for Applications: The due date for receipt of applications is June 29, 2004.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support the development, implementation and evaluation of innovative child welfare training projects that address the needs Start Printed Page 23785of Hispanic children and families. The Children's Bureau is interested in field initiated projects that will build the capacity of frontline and supervisory staff to achieve positive outcomes for Hispanic children and families in the child welfare system. The projects should be designed to increase the knowledge, skills and abilities of child welfare personnel to provide services in a culturally competent manner and to enable them to respond more effectively to the complex problems confronting Hispanic children and families in the child welfare system. Failure to make service adaptations in addressing the culturally defined needs of Hispanic children and families may result in under-use, overuse, or inappropriate use of child welfare services. This is especially true when language is a barrier and in view of the various subgroups of Hispanic origin populations in the United States (Hernandez & Isaacs, 1998). Topics of interest to the Children's Bureau include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and enhancing child welfare workers' culturally competent practice skills in achieving the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) goals of safety, permanency and well-being for Hispanic children;
  • Increasing the capacity of child welfare personnel to conduct culturally competent assessments throughout the life of a child welfare case, and to promote positive outcomes for Hispanic children and families, including their psychological, physical, educational and social development; and
  • Supporting leadership training for child welfare supervisors in developing, testing, implementing and evaluating collaborative, culturally competent models of service delivery with Hispanic children and families.

It is critical that child welfare services are provided to Hispanic children and families within the context of the Hispanic culture. Therefore, these Child Welfare Training Field Initiated projects are expected to develop training curricula that incorporate knowledge and understanding of Hispanic culture(s) and to promote the use of this knowledge and understanding in order to better serve Hispanic children and families involved with the child welfare system. Indeed there is a growing realization that better outcomes for children and families are intrinsically related to understanding, acknowledging and adapting services to reflect cultural norms (Isaacs & Benjamin, 1991). Culturally competent approaches to service delivery are seen as necessary for: identifying factors that are stressful to families; assessing family strengths; assessing problems of abuse and neglect or other family problems; identifying community resources that can assist Hispanic families; and helping Hispanic children and families with presenting and ongoing problems that require child welfare interventions.

The project tasks must be accomplished in partnership with the State child welfare agency. The training curriculum will be field-tested with the State child welfare agency and evaluated for its effectiveness in developing skills for providing culturally relevant services that are designed to achieve safety, permanency and well-being for Hispanic children.

Background

Title IV B—Section 426 (a)(1)(C) of the Social Security Act as amended authorizes funds for grants to public or non-profit institutions of higher learning to train personnel to work in the field of child welfare. In keeping with the requirements of this Act, the focus of this field-initiated child welfare training project is to provide professional education opportunities to current public child welfare agency frontline workers and supervisory staff in order to better prepare them to meet emerging service delivery needs and challenges in the field of child welfare. If child welfare agencies are to be successful in meeting the challenges of providing appropriate services, in achieving desired child and family outcomes and in carrying out agency missions, they must have a high quality, well educated and trained staff (Terpestra,1992, Siu & Hogan, 1988). This is especially true since public child welfare agencies rely heavily upon training for introducing changes into their service delivery system, for implementing effective intervention strategies in addressing complex client situations and as a major tool for developing and maintaining sound practice (Wehrmann, Shin, & Poertner, 2002). Implementing effective training strategies is also necessary in order for child welfare staff to meet the requirements of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and the Child and Family Services Review requirements.

A Rapidly Growing, Youthful and Concentrated Hispanic Population

According to the Census Bureau, Hispanics became the largest minority in the U.S. in 2002, numbering 38.8 million or 13% of the total population. The Census Bureau projects that by 2050 there will be 103 million Hispanics, which will be 24% of the U.S. population.

In the 2000 U.S. Census statistics, the relative youthfulness of the Hispanic population is reflected in the population under age 18 and in its median age. While 25.7 percent of the U.S. population was under age 18 years of age in 2000, 35.0 percent of Hispanics were less than age 18. The median age for Hispanics was 25.9 years while the median age for the entire U.S. population was 35.3 years. Moreover, in 2000, 27.1 million, or 76.8 percent of Hispanics lived in the seven States with Hispanic populations of 1.0 million or more (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Arizona and New Jersey.)

Hispanic Families and the Child Welfare System

The importance of cultural competency in serving diverse ethnic and cultural groups has gained increasing recognition and has become an essential part of the definition of good child welfare practice. This is especially important when working with Hispanic children and families. It is critical that child welfare workers develop and enhance their culturally responsive practice skills in achieving the ASFA goals of safety, permanency and well-being for Hispanic children. Within this context, workers must be able to build collaborative working relationships with families, Hispanic communities, and agencies that provide support services.

Cultural competence requires that child welfare workers explore supports and resources within Hispanic communities, making family preservation and support services the first line of services when safety can be assured. Increasingly, child welfare practice is becoming community-based, requiring collaboration with schools, courts, health and mental health agencies, and faith and community-based organizations, to prevent the incidence or recurrence of child abuse and neglect.

The percent of children entering foster care who were identified as Hispanic has increased slightly in the last few years. In FY 2000 Hispanic children were 15% of all foster care entrants. By FY 2002 Hispanic children comprised 17% of the estimated 302, 000 children entering the foster care system.

The Child and Family Service Reviews look at case files of children in the child welfare system. The reviews found that in the 2002 cases reviewed, 64% of Hispanic children were in foster care and 36% were receiving services in their homes, whereas 53% of white children were in foster care and 47% were receiving services in their homes. Start Printed Page 23786

The Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Outcomes 2000 Annual Report concluded that many of the challenges to attaining positive outcomes for children who come into contact with the child welfare system are external to the system itself. This means that a key focus of training activities must be on supporting greater collaboration among child serving agencies if the multiple problems of children and families in the child welfare system are to be addressed. The capacity of the public child welfare system to improve safety, permanency and well-being outcomes for Hispanic children and families is contingent upon:

  • The system's ability to understand the child, family and community conditions that contribute to the entry of Hispanic children and families into the child welfare system;
  • The culturally competent leadership skills of child welfare supervisors and administrators in developing and maintaining collaborative partnerships with other community child-serving agencies for the purpose of gaining appropriate access to required community-based services for Hispanic children and families in the child welfare system; and
  • The increased capacity of child welfare personnel to conduct culturally competent assessments and to implement successful intervention strategies in serving Hispanic children and families.

This field-initiated child welfare training project provides an opportunity for applicants to contribute to the expansion of effective child welfare services through training approaches specifically designed to improve child welfare outcomes for Hispanic children and families. Projects funded under this initiative should be innovative and should contribute to improving the safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for Hispanic children and families, with special emphasis on culturally competent leadership, collaboration and practice skills.

I. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grant.

Anticipated Total Program Funding: The anticipated total for all awards under this funding opportunity in FY2004 is $800,000.

Anticipated Number of Awards: It is anticipated that 4 projects will be funded.

Ceiling, if any, on Amount of Individual Awards: The grant amount will not exceed $200,000 in the first budget period. An application received that exceeds the upper value of dollar range specified will be considered “non-responsive” and be returned to the applicant without further review.

Floor on Individual Award Amounts: None.

Average Projected Award Amount: $200,000 per budget period.

Project Periods for Awards: The projects will be awarded for a project period of 36 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.

Additional Information on Eligibility: Applicants must have an accredited social work education program or an accredited bachelor or graduate level program leading to a degree relevant to work in child welfare. Applicants should have a strong partnership with a public child welfare agency and should be prepared to re-design their curriculum to maximize student learning opportunities for work in public child welfare agencies. Applicants must have some experience and background in working with Hispanic populations. Preference will be given to applicants that are located in States with a Hispanic population of 1 million or above.

Applications that exceed the $200,000 ceiling will be considered non-responsive and will not be eligible for funding under this announcement.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

The grantee must provide at least 25% of the total approved cost of the project. The total approved cost is the sum of the Federal share and the non-Federal share. Therefore, a project requesting $200,000 per budget period must include a match of at least $66,667 per budget period. 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% match amount for a $200,000 grant:

$200,000(Federal share)
divided by.75(100%-25%)
equals$266,667(total project cost including match)
minus200,000(Federal share)
equals66,667(required 25% match)

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.

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.

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 Start Printed Page 23787may 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, (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 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 form 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 www.Grants.gov.
  • You must search for the downloadable application package by the CFDA number.

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

Address Where Hard Copy Applications Will Be Accepted: ACYF Operations Center, c/o The Dixon Group, Inc., ATTN: Children's Bureau, 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 in 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 SPOC 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, evaluator and a state child welfare representative to attend an early kick-off meeting for grantees funded under this priority area, to be held within the first three months of the project (first year only) in Washington, DC; and allocation of sufficient funds in the budget to provide for the project director, evaluator and a state child welfare representative to attend an annual 3-day grantees' meeting in Washington, DC (Attendance at these meetings is a grant requirement.); allocation of 10% of budget for program evaluation.

The Office for Human Research Protections of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides Web site information and policy guidance on the Federal regulations pertaining to protection of human subjects (45 CFR part 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. Start Printed Page 23788Applicable DHHS regulations can be found in 45 CFR Part 74 or Part 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.

—Proof of non-profit status (if applicable).

—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 60 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 titled 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 applicable legislation. 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 do 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 Start Printed Page 23789their 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 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on June 29, 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 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on June 29, 2004. Applications must be mailed to the 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 of 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. Proof of non-profit statusSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
7. Indirect cost rate agreementSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
8. Letters of agreement & MOUsSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
9. Non-Federal share letterSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
Total applicationSee aboveApplication limit 60 pages total including all forms and attachments. Submit one original and two copiesSee application due date.

Additional Forms

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.”

What to submitRequired contentRequired form or formatWhen to submit
Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant ApplicantsPer 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 Start Printed Page 23790Executive 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

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.

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

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

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 p.m. 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 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) 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 relevant 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, Start Printed Page 23791child 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 required 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 Start Printed Page 23792pool 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.

Specific Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be used to review and evaluate each application. The applicant should address each criterion in the project description. The point values (summing up to 100) indicate the maximum numerical weight each criterion will be accorded in the review process.

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 application demonstrates an understanding of the requirements of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and the Child and Family Services Reviews, and the extent to which the proposed project will contribute to meeting those requirements. The extent to which the application demonstrates a clear understanding of child welfare training issues.

(2) The extent to which the application demonstrates a thorough understanding of the need for a curriculum and training program to strengthen child welfare staff ability to provide culturally competent services to Hispanic children and families involved in the child welfare system.

(3) The extent to which the application presents a thorough review of the relevant literature that reflects a clear understanding of the research on best practices and promising approaches as it relates to the proposed project. The extent to which the review of the literature sets a sound context and rationale for the project. The extent to which it provides evidence that the proposed project is innovative and, if successfully implemented and evaluated, likely to contribute to the knowledge base on improving child welfare training and practice in serving Hispanic children and families.

(4) The extent to which the application presents a clear vision for the proposed child welfare training project to be developed and implemented. The extent to which the applicant makes a clear statement of the goals (end products of an effective project) and objectives (measurable steps for reaching these goals) of the proposed project. The extent to which these goals and objectives closely relate to the training needs of public child welfare agency frontline workers and supervisory staff in serving Hispanic children and families.

(5) The extent to which the lessons learned through the proposed project would benefit policy, practice and theory development in addressing the training needs of child welfare staff providing services to Hispanic children and families in the child welfare system.

(6) The extent to which the proposed project would develop a strong university/child welfare agency partnership to further the goal of improving child welfare related training and technical assistance to frontline workers and supervisors.

Criterion 2. Approach

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

(1) The extent to which there is a sound timeline for effectively implementing the proposed project, including major milestones and target dates. The extent to which the proposed project would complete the development, field testing and revisions of an effective training program in a timely manner and conduct a thorough evaluation of its effectiveness within the 3 year project time frame.

(2) The extent to which the proposed project would enhance child welfare agency capacity to provide coordinated services through knowledge development and enhanced skills and abilities to transfer knowledge into practice. The extent to which specific measurable outcomes will occur as a result of the proposed training of public child welfare staff. The extent to which there will be a strong relationship between the proposed competency-based training and improved outcomes for Hispanic children and families.

(3) The extent to which there will be an effective administrative and organizational interface between the applicant and the appropriate State child welfare agencies, Hispanic Organizations, community agencies, academic departments, other disciplines, institutions, etc. The extent to which there are appropriate letters of commitment from these partner organizations.

(4) The extent to which the application demonstrates a thorough understanding of the challenges of improving the approaches to training within a public child welfare agency that provides services to Hispanic children and families with multiple problems. The extent to which the application demonstrates a thorough understanding of the challenges that the proposed project will have in providing training to support and enhance public child welfare agency staff capabilities for achieving child welfare outcomes for Hispanic children and families. The extent to which the applicant provides a sound plan explaining how the project would successfully overcome these challenges.

(5) The extent to which the proposed project will effectively train child welfare personnel to provide culturally competent services to the Hispanic population.

(6) The extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from child welfare training research and literature. The extent to which the proposed training project is innovative and involves training strategies that build on, or are an alternative to, existing strategies.

(7) The extent to which the project's evaluation plan would measure achievement of project objectives, customer satisfaction, acquisition of competencies, effectiveness of program services and project strategies, the efficiency of the implementation process, and the impact of the project. The extent to which the methods of evaluation would provide performance feedback, support periodic assessment of program progress and provide a sound basis for program adjustments. The extent to which the proposed evaluation plan would be likely to yield useful findings or results about effective strategies, and contribute to and promote evaluation research and evidence-based practices that could be used to guide replication or testing in other settings. The extent to which applicants that do not have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective, comprehensive evaluation of the project present a sound plan for contracting with a third-party evaluator specializing in social science or evaluation, or a university or college to conduct the evaluation.

(8) The extent to which there is a sound plan for documenting project activities and results, including the development of a data collection infrastructure that is sufficient to support a methodologically sound and rigorous evaluation. The extent to which relevant data would be collected. The extent to which there is a sound plan for collecting these data, securing informed consent and implementing an Institutional Review Board (IRB) review, if applicable.

(9) The extent to which there is a sound plan for developing useful products during the proposed project Start Printed Page 23793and a reasonable schedule for developing these products. The extent to which the intended audience (e.g., researchers, policymakers, and practitioners) for product dissemination is comprehensive and appropriate. The extent to which the dissemination plan includes appropriate mechanisms and forums that would effectively convey the information and support successful replication by other interested agencies.

(10) The extent to which there is a sound plan for continuing this project beyond the period of Federal funding.

Criterion 3. Organizational Profiles

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

(1) The extent to which the application evidences sufficient experience and expertise in training public child welfare staff, especially in the area of service delivery involving Hispanic populations; in developing child welfare curricula; in collaboration with child welfare agencies on training initiatives; in culturally competent service delivery; 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 subcontracting with other agencies/organizations) in serving Hispanic populations.

(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 with respect to serving Hispanic populations. The extent to which the author of this proposal will be closely 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, 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 Start Printed Page 23794Grants Management Office 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 programmatic and financial reports, 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 Specialist 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 website: 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 online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants/​spoc.html.

Start Signature

Dated: April 23, 2004.

Joan E. Ohl,

Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 04-9781 Filed 4-29-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4184-01-P