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Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau

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Funding Opportunity Title: Training of Child Welfare Agency Supervisors in the Effective Delivery and Management of Federal Independent Living Service for Youth in Foster Care

Announcement Type: Initial.

Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2005-ACF-ACYF-CW-0009.

CFDA Number: 93.556.

Due Date for Applications: August 5, 2005.

Category of Funding Activity: Social Services and Income Security.

Executive Summary: The Children's Bureau announces the availability of funds and requests applications to develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate a training curriculum for public child welfare agency supervisors. This curriculum will strengthen supervision of staff interventions with older youth who are in foster care and/or in independent living programs. These youth, mostly ages 16 to 21, need assistance in making a successful transition to adulthood, as well as achieving self-sufficiency to avoid long-term dependency on the social welfare system.

These youth often face decisions with regard to personal housing, transportation, employment and education. They need workers who can guide them and who understand these challenges. The target youth also need workers who have a working knowledge of adolescent transition programs. “In the continuing work of the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine and National Resource Center for Youth Services, College of Continuing Education University of Oklahoma, four core principles have emerged as essential in order for adolescent transitional living programs to be successful.” It is the thinking of current experts in the field that programs for youth are more likely to be successful when these four principles are incorporated into the program design regardless of the type of services provided. The principles are:

(1) Positive youth development;

(2) Collaboration;

(3) Cultural competence; and

(4) Permanent connections.

Priority Area 1

I. Funding Opportunity Description

The Children's Bureau announces the availability of funds and requests applications to develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate a training curriculum for public child welfare agency supervisors. This curriculum will strengthen supervision of staffs' interventions with older youth who are in foster care and/or in independent living programs. These youth, mostly age 16 to 21, need assistance in making a successful transition to adulthood, as well as help in avoiding long-term dependency on the social welfare system.

These youth often face decisions with regard to personal housing, transportation, employment and education. They need workers who can guide them and who understand these challenges. The target youth also need workers who have a working knowledge of adolescent transition programs. “In the continuing work of the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine and National Resource Center for Youth Services, College of Continuing Education University of Start Printed Page 35088Oklahoma, four core principles have emerged as essential in order for adolescent transitional living programs to be successful.” It is the thinking of current experts in the field that programs for youth are more likely to be successful when these four principles are incorporated into the program design regardless of the type of services provided. The principles are:

(1) Positive youth development;

(2) Collaboration;

(3) Cultural competence; and

(4) Permanent connections.

For more information on these principles contact the University of Oklahoma, National Resource Center for Youth Services at http://www.nrcys.ou.edu.

Child welfare supervisors must ensure that child welfare workers understand and utilize:

(1) Positive youth development philosophy;

(2) Client assessment;

(3) Age-appropriate intervention planning; and

(4) Implementation and evaluation of individualized Independent Living Program (ILP) training and program activities.

Training based on the curriculum should increase child welfare supervisor's ability to supervise a worker in:

(1) Assessing a youth's readiness for ILP services, support and training;

(2) Identifying culturally competent ILP program services and activities;

(3) Utilizing positive youth development principles for involving youth in decisionmaking, implementation and evaluation of training and program activities;

(4) Identifying areas of stress and its impact on youth in foster care;

(5) Working with youth to help them deal with crisis situations and to assess the results of the intervention;

(6) Working with youth to develop and maintain permanent connections; and

(7) Collaborating with both inter- and intra-agency resource people to achieve positive outcomes for youth transitioning to adulthood.

Background

In December 1999, Congress passed new independent living legislation, the John H. Chaffee Foster Care Independence Program which amended the original Federal Independent Living Program (section 477 of the Social Security Act). The new program provides States with increased funding and flexibility to help youth make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency. Currently all 50 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have an ILP. Services and activities include educational and employment assistance, training in basic living skills (budgeting, housekeeping, food shopping, building and maintaining positive social relationships), counseling, housing, case management and outreach services. The new legislation allows the use of these funds for additional activities including room and board, age-appropriate services to youth younger than 16, post-secondary educational assistance and preventive health activities.

In addition, the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) has had considerable impact on child welfare practice and how the goals of safety, permanency and well-being of youth must be accomplished. Thus, there is a need to refocus attention on practice approaches that give attention, as appropriate, to reunification with the biological parents, adoption, placement, or other alternative approaches to permanency for youth of all ages. For many older foster care youth, even if they can spend time with family members, their chances for a successful transition to adulthood are greatly improved if they learn to count on themselves to address their daily challenges, and if they have the knowledge, skills and experience to do so.

Older youth in foster care need special help and support. As of September 30, 2002 there were an estimated 533,897 children in substitute/foster care. Of these children an estimated 39 percent were identified as being 13 years of age or older (AFCARS—Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System—data as of October 2003). Approximately 20,000 youth age out of the system every year. These young people often have histories of significant abuse, neglect and multiple foster care placements. They often find themselves completely on their own after discharge, with few, if any, financial resources; limited education, training and employment options; no safe place to live; and little or no support from family, friends and community. A focus on the four core principles for these youth is crucial. The permanent connections work to help ground the youth in the community and provide a support system that these traumatized youth often lack. Collaborations help to ensure that a full array of services is available to the youth during and after their transition from care. A focus on positive youth development allows the youth to have the daily living skills needed to function on their own along with the knowledge to maintain their emotional health. Through the provision of culturally competent services, the agencies ensure that youth feel protected and connected in their environment.

Training of child welfare supervisors has predominantly focused on supervising staff to meet generalized permanency needs while focusing on the family as a whole. Most of this work is still done in the context of family-centered services that build on family strengths and meet family needs. There is limited attention given to assessing problem situations from the youth's perspective and preparing a youth for independence and/or transitioning out of foster care. This training would focus on strategies for supervising the child welfare worker in how to identify the specific needs of these youth and develop a plan for achieving goals to meet those needs regardless of other permanency work being done in the family unit.

Specialized skills are essential to work effectively with older youth. Child welfare supervisors need training to understand youth development principles and strategies, to focus on giving young people age-appropriate opportunities to exercise leadership, build skills, and become involved in the decision-making about their future.

In January 2000, DHHS established the Child and Family Service Reviews (CFSR) that have enhanced monitoring of State child welfare programs. Previous approaches had not allowed for states to learn from their mistakes and make improvements accordingly. Meetings with stakeholders during CFSR indicate that foster parents, guardians and other primary care providers need youth development training. In addition, state agency staff need training and technical assistance in assisting youth in developing their case plan, and developing life-long connections that will assist them with permanency. Results of the 2002 reviews indicate that all of the states were found to need improvement in involving the family in case planning, assessing needs and providing services.

In the fall of 2000, the Children's Bureau awarded twelve grants for Independent Living Training for Child Welfare practitioners. One finding of these recently completed projects is that Child Welfare supervisors needed training on youth development to understand the unique developmental and service needs of youth in care in order to support caseworker efforts.

The Children's Bureau recognizes the need to involve young people in decision-making and planning for a life of independence. To accomplish this, Start Printed Page 35089service providers must offer specialized, age-appropriate support for these youth as they transition to adulthood. Training implemented under this program will provide child welfare supervisors with the training and tools needed to assist child welfare workers to help move their older youth through a successful transition to independence and achieving self-sufficiency.

Projects funded under this announcement will be expected to:

1. Have the project fully functioning within 90 days following the notification of the grant award.

2. Participate if the Children's Bureau chooses to do a national evaluation or a technical assistance contract that relates to this funding announcement.

3. Submit all performance indicator data, program and financial reports in a timely manner, in recommended format (to be provided), and submit the final report on disk or electronically using a standard word-processing program.

4. Submit a copy of the final report, the evaluation report, and any program products to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, 330 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20447, within 90 days of project end date. 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.

5. Allocate sufficient funds in the budget to:

(a) Provide for the project director, the evaluator and a child welfare representative to attend an annual 3-day grantees' meeting in Washington, DC.

(b) Provide for the project director, the evaluator and a child walfare representative to attend an early kickoff 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

(c) Provide for 10-15 percent of the proposed budget to project evaluaton.

Legislative Authority

The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program (Section 430, Title IV-B, subpart 2, of the Social Security Act) (42 U.S.C. 629a)

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grant.

Anticipated total priority area funding: $1,000,000.

Anticipated number of awards: 0 to 4.

Average Projected Award Amount: $250,000.

Length of Project Periods: 36 month project with three 12 month budget periods.

Other:

Explanation of other: The grant amount will not exceed $250,000 in the first budget period. 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.

Ceiling of Individual Awards per budget period: $250,000.

Floor on amount of individual awards None.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

State governments

County governments

City or township governments

Special district governments

Independent school districts

Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

State controlled institutions of higher education

Private institutions of higher education

Additional Information on Eligibility

Faith-based and community organizations that meet all other eligibility requirements are eligible to apply.

Institutions of higher education that choose to apply must have an accredited social work education program, or other accredited bachelor or graduate level programs leading to a degree relevant to work in child welfare. Government agencies must be child welfare agencies to be eligible to apply.

Collaborative efforts are acceptable, but applications should identify a primary applicant responsible for administering the grant.

2. Cost Sharing/Matching

Cost Sharing/Matching: Yes.

Matching/Cost-Sharing

Grantees must provide at least 25 percent of the total approved cost of the project. The total approved cost of the project is the sum of the ACF 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 cash contributions. Therefore, a project requesting $250,000 in Federal funds (based on an award of $250,000 per budget period) must provide a match of at least $83,333 (25 percent of the total approved project costs). Grantees will be held accountable for commitments of non-Federal resources even if over the amount of the required match. Failure to provide the amount will result in disallowance of Federal funds. Lack of supporting documentation at the time of application will not impact the responsiveness of the application for competitive review.

Cost-sharing will not be used as a preference and/or evaluation criterion in the review of applications.

3. Other Eligibility Information

All applicants must have a Dun & Bradstreet number. 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.

Non-profit organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status.

Proof of non-profit status is any one of the following:

  • A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code.
  • A copy of a currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate.
  • A statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has a non-profit status and that none of the net earning accrue to any private shareholders or individuals.
  • A certified copy of the organization's certificate of Start Printed Page 35090incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status.
  • Any of the items in the subparagraphs immediately above for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.

Disqualification Factors

Applications that exceed the ceiling amount will be considered non-responsive and will not be considered for funding under this announcement.

Any application that fails to satisfy the deadline requirements referenced in Section IV.3 will be considered non-responsive and will not be considered for funding under this announcement.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package

ACYF Operations, The Dixon Group ATTN: Children's Bureau, 118 Q St., NE., Washington, DC 20002-2132, Phone: 866-796-1591, URL: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​grants/​open/​HHS-2005-ACF-ACY-CA-0001.html.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Originals, Copies and Signatures

If submitting your application in paper format, an original and two copies of the complete application are required. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by an authorized representative, have original signatures, and be submitted unbound.

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 here and those in Section V. Application Review Information.

Description—Please see Section V.1. Criteria, for instructions on preparing the project summary/abstract and the full project description.

Proof of non-profit status (if applicable). Please see Section III.3 Other Eligibility for ways to demonstrate non-profit status.

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.

Match. Provide a letter of commitment verifying the actual amount of the non-Federal share of project costs (see Section III.2).

General Content and Form information: The application limit is 75 pages total including all forms and attachments. Pages over this page limit will be removed from the application and will not be reviewed.

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 New Roman or Courier). Pages must be numbered.

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; however, each complete copy must be stapled securely in the upper left corner. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the Federal government for review.

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. Applicants should organize their project description in this sequence: (1) Objectives and Need for Assistance; (2) Approach; (3) Organizational Profiles; (4) Budget and Budget Justification; and should use 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/​opre/​other_​resrch/​pm_​guide_​eval/​reports/​pmguide/​pmguide_​toc.html. Start Printed Page 35091

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.

Project 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. If applicable, applicants must include a completed Form 310, Protection of Human Subjects. For more information about use of human subjects and IRB's you can visit these Web sites: http://www.hhs.gov/​ohrp/​irb/​irb_​chapter2.htm#d2 and http://www.hhs.gov/​ohrp/​humansubjects/​guidance/​ictips.htm.

You may submit your application to us in either 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, but strongly encouraged.
  • 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 electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including all information typically included on the SF 424 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 www.Grants.gov.
  • You must search for the downloadable application package by the CFDA number.

Private, non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms,” “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants,” titled, “Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants,” at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm.

Standard Forms and Certifications

Applicants seeking financial assistance under this announcement must file the Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance; SF-424A, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs; SF-424B, Assurances—Non-Construction Programs. The forms may be reproduced for use in submitting applications. Applicants must sign and return the standard forms with their application.

Applicants must furnish prior to award an executed copy of the Standard Form LLL, Certification Regarding Lobbying, 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, if applicable, with their applications (approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0348-0046). Applicants must sign and return the certification with their application.

Applicants must also understand they will be held accountable for the smoking prohibition included within Pub. L. 103-227, Title XII Environmental Tobacco Smoke (also known as the PRO-KIDS Act of 1994). A copy of the Federal Register notice which implements the smoking prohibition is included with forms. By signing and submitting the application, applicants are providing the certification and need not mail back the certification with the application.

Applicants must make the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination. By signing and submitting the applications, applicants are providing the certification and need not mail back the certification form. Complete the standard forms and the associated certifications and assurances based on the instructions on the forms. The forms and certifications may be found at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm.

Those organizations required to provide proof of non-profit status, please refer to Section III.3.

Please see Section V.1, for instructions on preparing the full project description.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Explanation of Due Dates: The closing time and date for receipt of applications is 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone) on the date noted above. Mailed or hand carried applications received after 4:30 p.m. on 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 the deadline time and date at the ACYF Operations Center, c/o The Dixon Group, Inc., ATTN: Children's Bureau, 118 Q Street NE., Washington, DC 20002-2132. Applicants are responsible for mailing applications well in advance, when using all mail services, to ensure that the applications are received on or before the deadline time and date.

Applications hand carried by applicants, applicant couriers, other representatives of the applicant, or by overnight/express mail couriers 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 p.m., e.s.t., at the 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). Start Printed Page 35092This address must appear on the envelope/package containing the application with the note. 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. Any application received after 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date will not be considered for competition. Applicants using express/overnight mail services should allow two working days prior to the deadline date for receipt of applications. (Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed).

Extension of deadlines: ACF may extend application deadlines when circumstances such as acts of God (floods, hurricanes, etc.) occur, or when there are widespread disruptions of mail service, or in other rare cases. A determination to extend or waive deadline requirements rests with the Chief Grants Management Officer.

Required Documents

What to submitRequired contentRequired form or formatWhen to submit
Project AbstractSee Section IV and VFormat described in Section IV and VBy application due date.
Project NarrativeSee Section IV and VFormat described in Section IV and VBy application due date.
SF424See Section IVFormat described in Section IVBy application due date.
SF424ASee Section IVFormat described in Section IVBy application due date.
SF424BSee Section IVFormat described in Section IVBy application due date.
Assurances and CertificationsSee Section IVFormat described in Section IVBy Time of Award.
Proof of Non-profit status, if applicableSee Section III and IVFormat described in Section IIIBy Time of Award.
Indirect Cost rate Agreement, if applicableSee Section IVFormat described in IVBy Time of Award.
Letters of commitment from partner organizations, if applicableSee Section IVFormat described in IVBy Time of Award.
Non-Federal Commitment LetterSee Section III.2See Section III.2By Time of Award.

Additional Forms: Private, nonprofit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms” titled “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants” at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm.

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/​forms.htmWith application.

4. Intergovernmental Review

State Single Point of Contact (SPOC)

This program is covered under Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” and 45 CFR Part 100, “Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services 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 1, 2004, the following jurisdictions have elected to participate in the Executive Order process: Arkansas, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, American Samoa, Guam, North Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. As these jurisdictions have elected to participate in the Executive Order process, they have established SPOCs. Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of prospective applications and receive instructions. Applicants 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 clearly differentiate between mere advisory comments and those official State process recommendations which may trigger the “accommodate or explain” rule.

When comments are submitted directly to ACF, they should be addressed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 4th floor, Washington, DC 20447.

Although the remaining jurisdictions have chosen not to participate in the process, entities that meet 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. Therefore, applicants from these jurisdictions, or for projects administered by federally-recognized Indian Tribes, need take no action in regard to E.O. 12372.

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. Start Printed Page 35093

5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

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.

Because this is a training grant, indirect costs used 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 Application must provide an original application with all attachments, signed by an authorized representative and two copies. Please see Section IV.3 for an explanation of due dates. Applications should be mailed to: ACYF Operations Center, The Dixon Group, 118 Q St. NE., Washington, DC 20002-2132, Attention: Children's Bureau.

Hand Delivery: An Applicant must provide an original application with all attachments signed by an authorized representative and two copies. Please see Section IV.3 for an explanation of due dates. Applications should be delivered to: ACYF Operations Center, The Dixon Group, 118 Q St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-2132, Attention: Children's Bureau.

Electronic Submission: http://www.grants.gov 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 4/30/2007.

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.

The following are instructions and guidelines on how to prepare the “Project Summary/Abstract” and “Full Project Description” sections of the application. Under the evaluation criteria section, note that each criterion is preceded by the generic evaluation requirement under the ACF Uniform Project Description (UPD).

1. Criteria

General Instructions

ACF is particularly interested in specific project descriptions that focus on outcomes and convey strategies for achieving intended performance. Project descriptions are evaluated on the basis of substance and measurable outcomes, not length. Extensive exhibits are not required. Cross-referencing should be used rather than repetition. Supporting information concerning activities that will not be directly funded by the grant or information that does not directly pertain to an integral part of the grant funded activity should be placed in an appendix. Pages should be numbered and a table of contents should be included for easy reference.

Introduction

Applicants required to submit a full project description shall prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria. The text options give a broad overview of what your project description should include while the evaluation criteria identifies the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.

Project/Summary Abstract

Provide a summary of the project description (a page or less) with reference to the funding request.

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 that 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 that 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. If the applicant is a non-profit organization, submit proof of non-profit status in its application. The non-profit agency can accomplish this by providing: (a) A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code; (b) a copy of a currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate, (c) a statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has a non-profit status and Start Printed Page 35094that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals; (d) a certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status, (e) any of the items immediately above for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.

Budget and Budget Justification

Provide a budget with 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. 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.

General

Use the following guidelines for preparing the budget and budget justification. Both Federal and non-Federal resources shall be detailed and justified in the budget and narrative justification. “Federal resources” refers only to the ACF grant for which you are applying. “Non Federal resources” are all other Federal and non-Federal resources. It is suggested that budget amounts and computations be presented in a columnar format: first column, object class categories; second column, Federal budget; next column(s), non-Federal budget(s), and last column, total budget. The budget justification should be a narrative.

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 that belong under other categories such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc. Include 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. Justification: Demonstrate that all procurement transactions will 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) (currently set at $100,000).

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, upon notification that an award will be made, it should immediately develop a tentative indirect cost rate proposal based on its most recently completed fiscal year, in accordance with the cognizant agency's guidelines for establishing indirect cost rates, and Start Printed Page 35095submit it to the cognizant agency. Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposals may also request indirect costs. 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.

Evaluation Criteria

The following evaluation criteria appear in weighted descending order. The corresponding score values indicate the relative importance that ACF places on each evaluation criterion; however, applicants need not develop their applications precisely according to the order presented. Application components may be organized such that a reviewer will be able to follow a seamless and logical flow of information (e.g. from a broad overview of the project to more detailed information about how it will be conducted).

In considering how applicants will carry out the responsibilities addressed under this announcement, competing applications for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated against the following criteria:

Approach 50 Points

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

(1) The extent to which there is a reasonable timeline for effectively implementing the proposed project, including major milestones and target dates. The extent to which the project will complete the development, field testing and revisions of the 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 application proposes development of appropriate materials and provides for effective training under the proposed project.

(3) The extent to which the application demonstrates a thorough knowledge and understanding of the issues related to interventions with older youth and differences and similarities between youth-centered and family-centered practice. The extent to which the application demonstrates a thorough understanding of these issues in terms of the Adoption and Safe Families Act goals of safety, permanency and well-being of older youth and the results of the Child and Family Service Reviews.

(4) The extent to which the application evidences a thorough knowledge and understanding of the challenges of providing and improving training for supervisors within a public child welfare agency. The extent to which the proposed project would successfully overcome these challenges.

(5) The extent to which past and/or current collaboration between the applicant and the public (State/local and Tribal) agencies in training of child welfare staff would strengthen this project. The extent to which this project will be strengthened by building on existing partnerships with such agencies. The extent to which the applicant includes interagency agreements and commitments from the participating entities. The extent to which there are strong links between the proposed project, and the State's Child and Family Service Review Program Improvement Plan.

(6) The extent to which the proposed approach to developing a curriculum is soundly based on an appropriate conceptual framework, research and practice experience. The extent to which this curriculum would build on, expand and strengthen the existing curriculum approaches/models that emphasize youth-focused services.

(7) The extent to which the application evidences a thorough knowledge and understanding of the four core principles (youth development, cultural competence, collaboration, and permanent connections) and the challenges attendant to incorporating these principles within child welfare practices.

(8) The extent to which the curriculum development and training of supervisors will be culturally responsive to the diverse child welfare population.

(9) The extent to which appropriate criteria would be utilized for selection and recruitment of trainees. The extent to which there are specific, sound, strategies for recruiting minority and Tribal agency trainees.

(10) The extent to which there is a sound plan for evaluating the training curriculum. The extent to which there is a sound plan for field-testing the effectiveness of the competency-based curriculum and modifying the curriculum, if necessary. The extent to which the applicant clearly identifies and justifies the location of the project and the State/local child welfare agencies where the proposed curriculum will be field-tested. The extent to which the evaluation will examine outcomes identified in this announcement.

(11) The extent to which there is a sound plan for dissemination of the curriculum and project evaluation findings. The extent to which the applicant's dissemination plan will contribute to the purposes described in this announcement. The extent to which the dissemination plan clearly describes what will be disseminated, to whom, how extensive these efforts will be, and includes plans for evaluating dissemination efforts.

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

Organizational Profiles 20 Points

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 developing training curricula and providing training to child welfare agency staff in the area of youth-focused services; in collaboration with child welfare agencies and other appropriate entities; 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).

(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.

(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 defines the role and responsibilities of the lead agency. The extent to which the plan clearly describes the effective management and coordination of activities carried out by any partners, subcontractors and Start Printed Page 35096consultants (if applicable). 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.

Objectives and Need for Assistance 20 Points

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

(1) The extent to which the application demonstrates a thorough understanding of the need for a specific curriculum and training to strengthen child welfare supervisors' capacity to prepare and guide staff in their work with older youth involved in the child welfare system.

(2) The extent to which the application demonstrates a thorough knowledge and understanding of the issues faced by older youth involved in the child welfare system and appropriate intervention approaches for working with these youth.

(3) The extent to which the proposed project's goals (end products of an effective project) and objectives (measurable steps for reaching these goals) clearly and appropriately relate to the training needs of public child welfare agency frontline workers and supervisory staff.

(4) The extent to which the proposed project would produce significant results and benefits by developing, field testing, delivering, evaluating and disseminating a youth-focused training curriculum for supervisors.

(5) The extent to which an appropriate group of trainees and a reasonable number of trainees will be trained over the life of the project.

(6) The extent to which the lessons learned from the project will clearly and significantly benefit policy, practice and theory development in addressing older youth's transition needs, issues and crises.

Budget and Budget Justification 10 Points

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 clearly identified, justified and 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

Since ACF will be using non-Federal reviewers in the review process, applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) of specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget.

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.

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.

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 un-served or inadequately served clients or service areas and programs addressing diverse ethnic populations.

Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications that are approved but unfunded may be held over for funding in the next funding cycle, pending the availability of funds, for a period not to exceed one year.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Applications will be reviewed in the summer of 2005. Grant awards will have a start date no later than September 30, 2005.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

The successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Financial Assistance Award document which sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-Federal share to be provided, and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The Financial Assistance Award will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified in writing.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Direct Federal grants, sub-award funds, or contracts under this program shall not be used to support inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization. Therefore, organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under this Program. Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-based Organizations, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, can be found at either 45 CFR 87.1 or the HHS Web site at http://www.os.dhhs.gov/​fbci/​waisgate21.pdf.

Grantees are subject to the requirements in 45 CFR Part 74 (non-governmental) or 45 CFR Part 92 (governmental) organizations.

3. Reporting Requirements

Program Progress Reports: Semi-Annually.

Financial Reports: Semi-Annually.

Grantees will be required to submit program progress reports and financial reports (SF269) throughout the project period. Program progress and financial reports are due 30 days after the reporting period. In addition, final programmatic and financial reports are Start Printed Page 35097due 90 days after the close of the project period.

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact: Pam Johnson, 330 C St., SW., Washington, DC 20447, Phone: 202-205-8086, E-mail: pjohnson@acf.hhs.gov.

Grants Management Office Contact: Peter Thompson, Grants Officer, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau, 330 C Street, SW., Room 2070, Washington, DC 20447, Phone: 202-401-4608, E-mail: pathompson@acf.hhs.gov.

VIII. Other Information

Notice: Beginning with FY 2006, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will no longer publish grant announcements in the Federal Register. Beginning October 1, 2005 applicants will be able to find a synopsis of all ACF grant opportunities and apply electronically for opportunities via: www.Grants.gov. Applicants will also be able to find the complete text of all ACF grant announcements on the ACF Web site located at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​grants/​index.html.

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

For general questions regarding this announcement please contact: ACYF Operations Center, The Dixon Group ATTN: Children's Bureau, 118 Q Street, NE., Washington DC 20002-2132, Telephone: 866-796-1591.

Applicants will not be sent acknowledgements of received applications.

Start Signature

Dated: June 8, 2005.

Susan Orr,

Acting Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 05-11920 Filed 6-15-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4184-01-P