Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Family Assistance
 
Community-Centered Healthy Marriage and Relationship Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-OFA-FM-0193
Application Due Date: 07/28/2011

 

Community-Centered Healthy Marriage and Relationship Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-OFA-FM-0193
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview
Executive Summary
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
  2. Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - (if applicable)
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
  1. Address to Request Application Package
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. Funding Restrictions
  6. Other Submission Requirements
Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting
Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
Section VIII. Other Information
Community-Centered Healthy Marriage and Relationship Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-OFA-FM-0193
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children & Families
 
Program Office:Office of Family Assistance
Funding Opportunity Title:Community-Centered Healthy Marriage and Relationship Grants
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2011-ACF-OFA-FM-0193
CFDA Number: 93.086
Due Date for Applications: 07/28/2011
Executive Summary:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Family Assistance (OFA) is announcing the solicitation of applications for the competitive award of grants for demonstration projects that support "healthy marriage promotion" activities as authorized by the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-291).

Grants awarded under this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will fund demonstration grants to support programs that offer a broad array services designed to promote healthy marriage.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide comprehensive services in addressing family needs, including both services designed to improved marriage and relationship skills as well as job and career advancement activities to promote economic stability and self-sufficiency as part of an overall strategy to promote healthy marriage.

While grants will provide for 1 year of funding based on currently available funds, ACF intends to continue successful agreements-through non-competitive continuation applications-that remain in the best interest of the Federal Government for a 3-year period if subsequent funding is appropriated.

This is one of four FOAs: two for Healthy Marriage/Relationship Promotion, including a National Resource Center for Strategies to Promote Healthy Marriage, and two for the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood program.  They are listed below.  Applicants may only submit one application per FOA. See Section III.3., Other, Disqualification Factors, for additional information.

The Healthy Marriage FOAs are:

  • Community-Centered Healthy Marriage and Relationship Grants (HHS-2011-ACF-OFA-FM-0193; and
  • National Resource Center for Strategies to Promote Healthy Marriage (HHS-2011-ACF-OFA-FH-0207).

The Responsible Fatherhood FOAs are:

  • Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood Grants (HHS-2011-ACF-OFA-FK-0194);  and
  • Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Project (HHS-2011-ACF-OFA-FO-0196).   
I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

The statutory authority for this program is the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111-291).

Description

BACKGROUND

On December 8, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which, among other things, authorizes $75,000,000 for eight specified Healthy Marriage Promotion Activities:

(I) Public advertising campaigns on the value of marriage and the skills needed to increase marital stability and health.

(II) Education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting.

(III) Marriage education, marriage skills, and relationship skills programs that may include parenting skills, financial management, conflict resolution, and job and career advancement.

(IV) Pre-marital education and marriage skills training for engaged couples and for couples or individuals interested in marriage.

(V) Marriage enhancement and marriage skills training programs for married couples.

(VI) Divorce reduction programs that teach relationship skills.

(VII) Marriage mentoring programs which use married couples as role models and mentors in at-risk communities.

(VIII) Programs to reduce the disincentives to marriage in means-tested aid programs, if offered in conjunction with any activity described in this subparagraph.

For purposes of this FOA, the Healthy Marriage Allowable Activities will be abbreviated to "AA (I) through AA (VIII)."  See Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description, Approach for more information. 

PROGRAM PURPOSE AND SCOPE

Grants awarded under this FOA will support programs that offer a broad array of services designed to promote healthy marriage at the community level. This FOA strongly encourages initiatives that combine marriage and relationship education efforts with a robust effort to address participation barriers and the economic stability needs of their participants, including intensive employment services for participants who demonstrate economic need or a lack of labor force attachment.  ACF encourages applicants to obtain or utilize other funding sources to support comprehensive services, including those that cannot be funded with this grant. 

For purposes of this FOA, ACF is interested in funding applicants that directly, or through the affiliates or project partners with which they are collaborating have a physical presence in a community, city, or county where services are provided. For purposes of this FOA, ACF defines physical presence as a demonstrated ability to provide direct monitoring and oversight of the service provision, staff and facilitator training, and programmatic, legal and regulatory compliance in the geographic area or areas an applicant proposes to serve.

Applicants may propose a wide range of models in implementing projects that meet the program purpose. When integrating the key activities, ACF encourages applicants to use program models with previous success in serving their proposed target populations, especially those with strong program evaluations showing positive impacts on participants. Programs should include sound recruitment and referral strategies that take steps to alleviate inconveniences or barriers to accessibility for targeted populations within the designated community. Applicants are encouraged to implement a thorough intake/enrollment process to assess how and if their program can meet the participant's needs. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that program services are tailored for the specific population and offer strong linkages to related support services within the targeted community.

For more information on program components specific to this FOA, please reference Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description.

ACF is interested in funding a diverse group of organizations with expertise at various capacity levels. For example, this might include a national organization that proposes to implement a comprehensive program, including robust employment services, in multiple sites across the country; smaller faith-based and community organizations who propose to focus on a single location and propose to provide comprehensive services that also include robust employment services; or smaller entities that will serve fewer individuals and whose program will include fewer activities. These examples are not exhaustive and applicants may submit proposals that are best suited to their capacity and level of expertise.

FUNDING RANGES

ACF is interested in funding a diverse group of organizations with expertise at various capacity levels. For example, this might include an organization that proposes to implement a comprehensive program, including robust employment services, in multiple sites across the country; smaller faith or community based organizations who propose to focus on a single location and propose to provide comprehensive services that also include robust employment services; or smaller entities that will serve fewer individuals and whose program will include fewer activities. These examples are not exhaustive and applicants may submit proposals that are best suited to their capacity and level of expertise.

Applicants are encouraged to review and use the following funding ranges to determine the program scale and scope of activities that will be most appropriate for their application. ACF intends to award approximately half of the funding available under this FOA to applicants in Funding Range A and half to applicants in Funding Range B.

RANGE A: $800,000 to $2,500,000

This range is for applications proposing to serve a large number of participants, in a single site or in multiple sites, and to provide a comprehensive set of services to promote healthy marriage, with bonus points (4 points) for entities that will integrate relationship and marriage education services with job and career advancement services (under Allowable Activity III). See Section V.I. Criteria, Bonus Points.  Given the size of these awards, the expectation is that these programs will include multiple components. ACF anticipates funding 17 grants within this range.

RANGE B: $300,000 to $799,999
This range will fund projects that either serve fewer individuals, provide a less comprehensive approach, or both as compared to Range A projects. As in Range A, there are bonus points (4 points) for projects that integrate career and job advancement (under Allowable Activity III) with other allowable activities. See Section V.I. Criteria, Bonus Points. ACF anticipates funding 58 grants within this range.

All applicants may choose either funding range, and are only limited in terms of the award floor and ceiling described in Section II, Award Information of this FOA. See also, Section III.3 Disqualification Factors.

POPULATIONS OF INTEREST

While participant eligibility is not limited to these populations, ACF has a particular interest in services targeting the following:

  • Families receiving TANF or families that are eligible for TANF assistance;
  • Families that previously received TANF assistance;
  • Other low-income families and individuals, including refugees and other immigrants;
  • Low-income at-risk individuals, including high school dropouts; non-custodial and other single parents; individuals with disabilities; and veterans.

PROGRAM COLLABORATION: A COMMUNITY-CENTERED APPROACH

ACF believes that strong partnerships in the community are critical to maximizing the effectiveness of a program through leveraging resources, building community support, and increasing access to eligible target population(s).

Some examples of potential partnering agencies/systems include, but are not limited to: State, tribal, or local TANF agencies; local Chambers of Commerce and their affiliated Chambers; the child support agency; the public workforce investment system, including local Workforce Investment Boards and their One-Stop Career Centers; child welfare agencies and organizations; domestic violence organizations; and non-profit organizations including faith-based and community organizations, which have direct access to the targeted populations (e.g., refugee resettlement programs).

ACF is interested in strong partnerships that demonstrate more than a referral-only partnership.  Evidence of partnership can be demonstrated by a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the applicant and the partner agency. The MOU should describe the role(s) and responsibilities of each entity, and identify the resources that each will be responsible for bringing to the program. A third-party agreement from the applicant and the partner agency can be submitted in lieu of an MOU if an MOU has not been entered into by the time the application is submitted. A third-party agreement should provide a timeline for completion of an MOU.

OVERSIGHT

Programs must include adequate oversight over grant activities and partner(s). Maintaining oversight of all elements of the program (e.g., staff, partner(s), curriculum, and evaluation) is critical in designing effective programs in the community.

In designing and managing programs, applicants need to consider how they will ensure that grant activities and partner(s) will adhere to applicable Federal and programmatic regulations. ACF believes that the following practices are critical to ensuring compliance with applicable Federal regulations:

  • Identifying staff that will be responsible for maintaining oversight of program activities, staff, and partner(s).
  • Having clearly written procedures and policies that govern internal and external activities and partner(s) related to the grant, including developing forms to be used in conducting program visits and observations (e.g., program classes, facilities, etc.) to ensure fidelity to program activities and incorporating fiscal controls.
  • Having clearly written procedures and policies that oversee internal and external facilitators. This may include guidance on how facilitators are recruited, selected, trained, retained, and policies that address any non-compliance issues.
  • Having an adequate records system that relates financial data to performance data, provides records that identify the source and application of funds for ACF-sponsored activities, demonstrates effective control over and accountability for funds, compares outlays with budget amounts, and provides accounting records supported by source documentation. These requirements are mandated by applicable regulations at 45 CFR § 74.21(b)(2)-(3) and (b)(6)-(7).
  • Having program performance measures to obtain participant feedback on facilitators and program activities. Collecting program enrollment, participation, and related information in a data management system to monitor staff and facilitator performance and ongoing program operations compared to goals and established benchmarks.

PLANNING PERIOD

Successful applicants will be given up to 120 days for intensive and comprehensive planning. Planning activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Finalizing MOUs or Third-Party Agreements (if applicable);
  • Procurement; and
  • Hiring and training staff.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

Program Access

In providing services to eligible persons, applicants may not discriminate on the basis of the potential participant's race, gender, age, disability, or religion. Applicants cannot, on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, or religion, discriminate in determining eligibility, benefits, or services provided, or applicable rules. The projects and activities assisted under these awards must be available to mothers and expectant mothers who are able to benefit from the activities on the same basis as fathers and expectant fathers.

Voluntary Participation

Grantees are expected to ensure that participation in the program is voluntary and should provide a plan on how they will inform potential participants that their involvement is voluntary.  See Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description, Voluntary Participation. 

Domestic Violence

Grantees are expected to consult with experts in domestic violence or relevant community domestic violence coalitions in developing the programs and activities.  See Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description, Domestic Violence. 

Preference

As authorized by Section 811(1)(4)(E) of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111-291) preference will be given to those applicants that were awarded any prior Healthy Marriage funds from OFA between 2005 and 2010 under the agency's previous authority in Section 403(a) of the Social Security Act, and that demonstrate their ability to have successfully carried out that program.  See Section V.2. Review and Selection Process, Preference for more information.

Bonus Points

Bonus points also will be awarded during application review to applicants that include: (1) partnerships with child support agencies (signed MOU or third-party agreement required); and/or (2) comprehensive services designed to foster Job and Career Advancement including, but not limited to, the following: job development, job training, soft- and hard-skills training, subsidized employment, and work experience. See Section V.1. Criteria, Bonus Points, for more information.

Use of Funds

Funds awarded under this FOA may be used only for costs associated with the eight allowable Healthy Marriage activities listed in Sections I. and IV.2. Funds may also be used to support administrative costs associated with the listed allowable activities.  Each applicant must provide a written statement of its commitment to comply with this requirement. See Section IV.5. for a list of funding restrictions and the requirement for an Allowable Activities Commitment Statement.  ACF encourages applicants to obtain or utilize other funding sources to support other comprehensive services when the cost of the services is not be allowable under this FOA.

Non-Supplanting

Applicants that are current recipients of Federal, State, or local financial assistance are required to demonstrate how they will ensure that any award of Federal funds under this FOA will not supplant other Federal, State, or local funds, which otherwise have been made available.

Federal Evaluation

As a condition of acceptance of an award under this FOA, all grantees are required to participate fully in ACF-sponsored evaluations and adhere to all evaluation protocols established by ACF to be carried out by its designee contractors. Acceptance of a grant award constitutes agreement to cooperate with and administer all evaluation procedures as required, including randomly assigning enrollees into a treatment group (which can receive funded services) or a control group (which cannot receive the services) if the grantee is selected for an impact evaluation. Participation in any Federal evaluation can be expected to require grantees to 1) support and comply with special data collection requirements; 2) provide administrative data (e.g., on program participants and their participation or service receipt); 3) facilitate and support on-site meetings and observations with and by Federal evaluation contractor staff, including interviews with program and partner agency managers/staff ; 4) facilitate and support interviews or meetings with program participants; and 5) facilitate and support case file reviews, among other activities. Grantees are responsible for ensuring that partnering organizations comply with this condition of award.

ACF is investing resources in multiple Federal evaluations to document successes and challenges and lessons from healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood grant programs that will be of interest and value to program operators and policymakers. Given ACF's investment in these evaluations, grantees may not use grant funds to support independent evaluations.

Apart from evaluation, grantees are encouraged to use grant funds (and other resources) to support data collection and data management necessary for performance documentation to inform and guide program improvements, document program progress, and comply with grant reporting requirements.

Entrance Conference and Annual Peer Meetings

Successful applicants are expected to attend the entrance conference and an annual peer meeting in Washington, DC The entrance conference will be held approximately 90 days from the date of grant award. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR), Project Director, and person responsible for tracking and documenting progress toward project milestones and outcomes must attend this conference. The Project Director and the person responsible for tracking and documenting progress toward project milestones and outcomes must attend the annual peer meetings. Grantees are expected to allocate sufficient funding in their proposed program budget to cover travel, transportation, and per diem expenses for each of the initial and annual 3-day meetings in the event they receive a grant award. Additional funds for travel expenses will not be available once grants are awarded. See Section IV.2. Budget and Budget Justification for more information. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The following are some additional resources that may be useful to applicants and grantees as they design and implement their programs. Applicants and grantees are not required to utilize these resources.

Online Work Readiness Assessment

ACF recognizes that client assessment policies and practices can be an effective strategy to assessing clients in areas related to employability, work-related needs, and support issues. States have developed various approaches to assessing the needs of low-income individuals. The standardization of assessments is an effective approach to assessing the work readiness capabilities of TANF recipients. OFA is offering a free, online web-based tool designed to assess the readiness of low-income and underserved populations as they seek employment.

The Online Work Readiness Assessment (OWRA) is a comprehensive, interactive online assessment tool designed to assist TANF agency staff in making informed decisions about an individual's employability, work readiness, and identify "risk" characteristics resulting in referrals to local service providers. The tool identifies strengths and limitations to employment, develops a self-sufficiency plan that connects to educational and training needs, and offers links to other tools that map career goals that could help individuals on a progressive career ladder. OWRA can aid the customer as well as the case worker in providing a detailed format to guide employment planning for individuals. OFA will provide the entire source code and user guide that support implementation of this tool. While the OWRA website indicates that this tool was designed for use by States, counties, and tribes, these materials will also be made available to all interested organizations. Downloadable files can be found at http://peerta.acf.hhs.gov/tanftc/index.cfm/download-the-owra-tool/. The use of this tool is voluntary. If applicants choose to use this tool, they will be responsible for costs associated with support, deployment, hosting, and maintenance of the OWRA tool.

Responsible Fatherhood Research Evidence Review

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/strengthen/proven_promising/index.html

ACF contracted with an outside organization to conduct a review of research evidence/studies on fatherhood programs, with a focus on programs serving low-income fathers. A catalogue will identify programs that have been studied and the extent to which there is strong evidence that programs led to effects on a range of outcomes such as father involvement, parenting and co-parenting, couple relationship, financial support, employment, and adult and child well-being. The review also includes descriptive studies of fatherhood programs that examine program implementation and processes and summarizes lessons reported by the study author

Applicants are encouraged to explore the resources available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/.

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Estimated Total Funding: $57,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 40
Award Ceiling: $2,500,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $300,000 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $1,400,000 Per Budget Period

Length of Project Periods:

36-month project with three 12-month budget periods

Additional Information on Awards:

Awards made under this announcement are subject to the availability of Federal funds.

Non-competitive continuation grants will be offered for years 2 and 3 of the project period.  However, funding levels for years 2 and 3 of the project will be equal to that awarded for the first year of the project.  Continuation funding will be subject to the availability of funds satisfactory progress and a determination that continued funding is in the best interest of the government. 

Applicants are encouraged to review and use the following funding ranges to determine the program scale and scope of activities that will be most appropriate for their application. ACF intends to award approximately half of the funding available under this FOA to applicants in Funding Range A and half to applicants in Funding Range B.

RANGE A: $800,000 to $2,500,000

This range is for applications proposing to serve a large number of participants, in a single site or in multiple sites, and to provide a comprehensive set of services to promote healthy marriage, with bonus points (4 points) for entities that will integrate relationship and marriage education services with job and career advancement services (under Allowable Activity III). See Section V.I. Criteria, Bonus Points. Given the size of these awards, the expectation is that these programs will include multiple components. ACF anticipates funding 17 grants within this range.

RANGE B: $300,000 to $799,999

This range will fund projects that either serve fewer individuals, provide a less comprehensive approach, or both as compared to Range A projects. As in Range A, there are bonus points (4 points) for projects that integrate career and job advancement (under Allowable Activity III) with other allowable activities. See Section V.I. Criteria, Bonus Points. ACF anticipates funding 58 grants within this range. 

All applicants may choose either funding range, and are only limited in terms of the award floor and ceiling described in Section II, Award Information of this FOA. See also, Section III.3 Disqualification Factors.

 

 

Please see Section IV.5 Funding Restrictions for any limitations on the use of grant funds awarded under this announcement.

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants
  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Native American tribal governments (federally recognized)
  • Public housing authorities, Indian housing authorities
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Non-profits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Non-profits without 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Small businesses

Individuals, foreign entities, and sole proprietorship organizations are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
See "Legal Status of Applicant Entity" in Section IV.2 for documentation required to support eligibility.
 
III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: No
 
III.3. Other

Disqualification Factors

Applications with requests that exceed the ceiling on the amount of individual awards as stated in Section II. Award Information, will be deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.

Applications that fail to satisfy the due date and time deadline requirements stated in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times, will be deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement. 

See Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times for disqualification information specific to electronically-submitted applications:

  • Electronically-submitted applications that do not receive a date/time-stamp email indicating application submission on or before 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date, will be disqualified and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications that fail the checks and validations at www.Grants.gov because the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) does not have a current registration at the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) at the time of application submission will be disqualified and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.

Applications with requests that fall below the funding floor on the amount of the individual awards, as stated in Section II. Award Information, will be deemed non-responsive and will not be reviewed.

Applicants may only submit one application under this FOA. Submitting more than one application under this FOA will result in the removal of the extra application(s) from review. In considering which applications to remove from review, ACF will use date-and time-stamp indicia on both electronic and hardcopy submissions and will remove the application with the later date or time.

 

 

 

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at the ACF Funding Opportunities Forms webpage.  Standard Forms are also available at the Grants.gov Forms Repository website.

Office of Family Assistance
OFA Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road
Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 866.796.1591
Email: OFA@luxcg.com

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Copies Required: 

If applying in hard copy
, applicants are required to submit one original and two copies of all application materials.  If applying electronically via www.Grants.gov, applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically.  Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application materials.

Signatures: 

The original signature of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is required only on the original copy of hard copy application submissions.  The AOR is named by the applicant, and is authorized to act for the applicant, to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to the grant application or awards.  A point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified on the SF-424 at item 8f.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.

Formatting Requirements:

All application materials for both hard copy (mailed or hand delivered) and electronic submissions must be submitted on 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins.  All pages of the application submission (hard and electronic copies) must be sequentially numbered.  Project Descriptions, narratives, summaries, etc., must be in double-spaced format in 12-point font.  Hard copy application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes.  Hard copy application copies (original and two copies) must not be bound, they may be clipped or rubber-banded together.  

If an application exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the application narrative or the double-spaced page limitation cited for the appendices and resumes, the extra pages will be removed and will not be reviewed. In addition, if an application narrative is single-spaced and/or one-and-a-half spaced (in whole or in part) the total number of these lines will be doubled. This adjustment may result in an increased total number of pages, which will be removed so that the application conforms to the cited double-spaced page limitation. Page limitations do not include the required Standard Forms.

This section also may include instructions on the order of assembly for hard copy (mailed or hand delivered) application submissions.  Acceptable formats for applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are MS-Word and Excel, Word Perfect, Adobe PDF, Jpeg and Gif.

Later in this section of the announcement, specific information on page limitations is provided.  Information on required Standard Forms and other forms, certifications and assurances, D-U-N-S Numbers and Central Contractor Registration (CCR) requirements, the project description, budget and budget justification requirements, and methods of application submission are also found later in this section (Section IV.2.).

A checklist of required application elements is available for applicants' use in Section VIII. Additional Information.

The application limit is 40 pages total. This limitation does not include required Standard Forms.  Pages must be numbered beginning with page number 1, and a table of contents should be included for easy reference.

Mailed or delivered, hard copy applications: 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 ACF 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.

 

Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

Applicants seeking financial assistance under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications.  All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at ACF Funding Opportunities Forms or at the Grants.gov Forms Repository unless specified otherwise.

 
Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier)

Required for all applicants.

Required for all applicants.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Submission required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

Submission required for all applicants when applying for a non-construction project by the application due date.

Required for all applications when applying for a non-construction project .

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Submission is voluntary. Submission may be made with the application or prior to award.

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications.  Submission of the survey is voluntary.   Applicants applying electronically may submit the survey along with the application.  Hard copy submissions should include the survey in a separate envelope.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Submission required of all applicants prior to award.

Required for all applications.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Required for all applicants. CCR registration must be active by time of award.

Required for all applicants. CCR registration must be active by time of award.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, if applicable

If applicable, submission is due prior to award.

If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the applicant shall complete and submit the SF-LLL, "Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying," in accordance with its instructions. Applicants must furnish an executed copy of the Certification Regarding Lobbying prior to award.


Additional Assurances and Certifications


The Pro-Children Act of 2001, 42 U.S.C. 7181 through 7184, imposes restrictions on smoking in facilities where federally funded children's services are provided. HHS grants are subject to these requirements only if they meet the Act's specified coverage.  The Act specifies that smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library services to children under the age of 18.  In addition, smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility or portion of a facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of federally funded health care, day care, or early childhood development, including Head Start services to children under the age of 18.  The statutory prohibition also applies if such facilities are constructed, operated, or maintained with Federal funds.  The statute does not apply to children's services provided in private residences, facilities funded solely by Medicare or Medicaid funds, portions of facilities used for inpatient drug or alcohol treatment, or facilities where WIC coupons are redeemed.  Failure to comply with the provisions of the law may result in the imposition of a civil monetary penalty of up to $1,000 per violation and/or the imposition of an administrative compliance order on the responsible entity.

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. 701 et seq., requires that all organizations receiving grants from any Federal agency agree to maintain a drug-free workplace. The recipient must notify the awarding office if an employee of the recipient is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute. Failure to comply with these requirements may be cause for debarment. HHS implementing regulations are set forth in 45 C.F.R. part 82, "Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)."

The Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.  

By signing and submitting the application, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Additional information on certifications and assurances may be found in the HHS Grants Policy Statement at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/notices.html#policy.

Non-Federal Reviewers

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) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget as well as Social Security Numbers, if otherwise required for individuals. The copies may include summary salary information.If applicants are submitting their application electronically, ACF will omit the same specific salary rate information from copies made for use during the review and selection process.

DUNS Number and CCR Registration Requirements


DUNS Number Requirement

All applicants and sub-recipients must have a DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) at the time of application in order to be considered for a grant or cooperative agreement.  A DUNS number is required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the Government-wide electronic portal, www.Grants.gov.   A DUNS number is 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.  A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  To acquire a DUNS number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center:

U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711
Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1)
Monday - Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., c.s.t.

The process to request a D-U-N-S® Number by telephone takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirement

Effective October 1, 2010, HHS requires all entities that plan to apply for and ultimately receive Federal grant funds from any HHS Operating/Staff Division (OPDIV) or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:

  • Be registered in the CCR prior to submitting an application of plan;
  • Maintain an active CCR registration with current information at all times during which it has an active award or an application or plan under consideration by an OPDIV; and
  • Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

An award cannot be made until an applicant has complied with these requirements.  At the time an award is ready to be made, if the intended recipient has not complied with these requirements, the OPDIV:

  • May determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award; and
  • May use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

Additionally, all first-tier subaward recipients (i.e., direct subrecipient) must have a DUNS number at the time the subaward is made

CCR registration may be made online at www.ccr.gov or by phone at 1-866-606-8220.

There is the possibility of heavy traffic at the CCR website at application due dates.  Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date.  CCR registration must be updated annually.  CCR registration must be active and maintained with current information at all times during which an organization has an active award or an application under consideration.


Definitions:

Central Contractor Registration (CCR): 
The Federal registrant database and repository into which an entity must provide information required for the conduct of business as a recipient.  CCR, managed by the General Services Administration, collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency financial assistance missions.

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number: 
The nine-digit, or thirteen-digit (DUNS + 4), number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.

Entity:
Means all of the following:

  • A Governmental organization, which is a State, local government, or Indian tribe;
  • A foreign public entity:
  • A domestic or foreign for-profit organization; and
  • A Federal agency, but only as a subrecipient under an award or subaward to a non-Federal entity.

Subaward:  This term means a legal instrument to provide support for the performance of any portion of the substantive project or program for which you received this award and that the recipient awards to an eligible subrecipient.

  • This term does not include the procurement of property and services needed to carry out the project or program (for further explanation, see Sec. --.210 of the attachment to OMB Circular A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations").
  • A subaward may be provided through any legal agreement, including an agreement that the grantee or a subrecipient consider to be a contract.

First Tier Subrecipient:  An entity that receives a subaward from a prime grantee and is accountable to the prime for the use of the Federal funds provided by the subaward.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission (contd.)

The Project Description

Part I: The Project Description Overview

The project description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for available assistance.  The project description should be concise and complete.  It should address the activity for which Federal funds are being requested.  Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly.  In preparing the project description, information that is responsive to each of the requested evaluation criteria must be provided.  Awarding offices use this and other information in making their funding recommendations.   It is important, therefore, that this information be included in the application in a manner that is clear and complete.

General Expectations and 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.

Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

Applicants that are 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 topics listed in this section provide a broad overview of what the project description should include while the Criteria in Section V.1. identify the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.

Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers.

Project Summary/Abstract

Provide a summary of the application's project description.  The summary must be clear, accurate, concise, and without reference to other parts of the application.  The abstract must include a brief description of the proposed grant project including the needs to be addressed, the proposed services, and the population group(s) to be served. 

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

  • Project Title
  • Applicant Name
  • Address
  • Contact Phone Numbers (Voice, Fax)
  • E-Mail Address
  • Web Site Address, if applicable

 The project abstract must be single-spaced and limited to one page in length.

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 including the nature and scope of the problem must be demonstrated, and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly and concisely 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 or needs assessments 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.

Outcomes Expected

Identify the outcomes to be derived from the project.

Documenting Performance

While grant funds may not be used for independent project evaluation, they may be used to support the data collection and analysis for performance-based reporting to OFA.  OFA intends to develop uniform data elements and reporting guidelines within the first year of the grant period.  The applicant must affirm willingness to document and report performance using uniform measures to be provided by OFA. 

The applicant should provide information about approaches and systems and processes that will support grant activity and performance documentation, tracking, and reporting.  In addition, the qualifications and responsibilities of staff who will oversee data collection, analyses, and reporting should be present.  Successful applicants awarded a grant under this FOA must submit interim reports, on a semi-annual basis, on activities carried out under the project and include information on performance and achievements in accordance with guidelines to be provided by OFA within the first year of the grant period.  Additional information about reporting requirements may be found in Section VI.3 Reporting.

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.  Data may be organized and presented as project tasks and subtasks with their corresponding timelines during the project period. For example, each project task could be assigned to a row in the first column of a grid. Then, a unit of time could be assigned to each subsequent column, beginning with the first unit (i.e., week, month, quarter) of the project and ending with the last.  Shading, arrows, or other markings could be used across the applicable grid boxes or cells, representing units of time, to indicate the approximate duration and/or frequency of each task and its start and end dates within the project period.

When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.

Provide a list of 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.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

Allowable Activities (AA)

Applicants must choose among the eight Allowable Activities (AA) in providing healthy marriage and relationship services in their designated communities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to choose more than one AA to ensure that they are able to meet a wide array of service delivery needs of their target population.

Applicants must clearly identify within their application which AAs they choose to implement and be specific in describing their program design and activities for each AA. Each AA must be described separately and not in conjunction with other AAs.

A description of the eight Allowable Activities is as follows:

AA (I) Public advertising campaigns on the value of marriage and the skills needed to increase marital stability and health.

An applicant including this activity must also include at least one additional AA to implement and maintain throughout the project period. The rationale for including public advertising must be based in research from a community needs assessment. The public advertising campaign must have a clear connection to program outreach (recruitment, retention, etc.) and the provision of comprehensive, direct services. Public advertising may not be general in nature, e.g., the promotion of healthy marriage and relationship skills absent its connection to a program that is actually providing direct services.

AA (II) Education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting.

Applicants must demonstrate an established partnership(s) with the schools through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or third-party agreement, in order to effectively implement the program to their high school students. may present other options to present classes to youth of high school age, but primary service delivery must be through local, public, or private high schools.

AA (III) Marriage education, marriage skills, and relationship skills programs that may include parenting skills, financial management, conflict resolution, and job and career advancement.

Activities under AA (III) must include marriage and relationship skills activities, and these activities may be offered in conjunction with parenting skills, financial management, conflict resolution, and/or job and career advancement.  ACF encourages applicants to provide these services to participants who are high-school aged or older, since this is the population most capable of benefiting from these services. Marriage and relationship skills must be a clear focus of this AA; applicants cannot design their program to include only the other components (parenting skills, financial management, conflict resolution, and job and career advancement).  For more information on Job and Career Advancement and requirements on subsidized employment, see Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description, Option: Job and Career Advancement.

AA (IV) Pre-marital education and marriage skills training for engaged couples and for couples or individuals interested in marriage.

Applicants must offer marriage and relationship skills training only to engaged couples and to couples or to single individuals interested in marriage or healthy relationships.

AA (V) Marriage enhancement and marriage skills training programs for married couples.

Applicants are encouraged to include recruitment and retention practices that will be implemented to serve both spouses in a marriage.

AA (VI) Divorce reduction programs that teach relationship skills.

Under this activity, services must target married couples that are considered distressed. Applicants must integrate into their programs specific curriculum and program supports tailored for the needs of this population. Applicants may be creative in this service delivery approach (e.g. offering one-on-one sessions to distressed couples, including assessments as part of intake procedure).

AA (VII) Marriage mentoring programs which use married couples as role models and mentors in at-risk communities.

Applicants must incorporate another AA in conjunction with AA VII. The additional AAs may be (III), (IV), (V), or (VI) and must be implemented and maintained throughout the duration of the project period. Applicants must describe how they will ensure oversight of mentors that are providing mentoring services to couples.

AA (VIII) Programs to reduce the disincentives to marriage in means-tested aid programs, if offered in conjunction with any activity described in this subparagraph.

ACF is particularly interested in applications from either a State agency responsible for one or more of the programs, or through an MOU or third-party agreement, demonstrate a strong partnership with their local or State offices that oversee means-tested programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and veterans' pensions. Applicants must implement another AA in conjunction with AA (VIII).

Evidence of Effectiveness

Applicants are encouraged to state in their application where appropriate what curriculum they will use for skills-based healthy marriage, or responsible parenting education, and the comprehensive economic stability services. Further, applicants are encouraged to justify their choice based on the target population that they propose to serve. Applicants are not required to meet a minimum of curriculum hours, but should demonstrate how the number of hours identified will effectively accomplish program goals. Applicants may be creative in designing the service delivery approach.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to describe the extent to which the proposed approaches (for each program component) are based on some evidence of effectiveness. For example, the proposed approach may incorporate specific curriculum or core curriculum content that has been shown to be effective in positively affecting outcomes of interest to applicant (e.g., employment success, parent-child interactions, quality of the relationship between parents) for some population groups. The applicants should describe any proposed adaptations from the original evidence and the applicant's rationale for the adaptations (e.g., practice exercises framed in life experiences of lower-income individuals and families; activities tailored to address low education levels; added content on complex family relationships; relevant for different ethnic/racial population; employment services tailored to individuals with greater barriers to employment or revised based on high in demand industries in the community, etc.).

Marriage and Relationship Education

Among AAs (II)-(VIII), applicants must include skills-based interventions specifically designed to improve relationships and marriages and form and sustain healthy relationships and marriages to achieve measurable long-term satisfaction and stability. ACF strongly encourages that the curriculum be tested and supported in research-based or evidence-informed principles and reflect the needs of the designated target population. The curriculum may focus on areas such as: 

  • Communication skills;
  • Awareness of the components of healthy relationships;
  • Empathy and emotional understanding;
  • Conflict resolution, management and problem-solving skills;
  • Knowledge of the benefits of marriage;
  • Affection and intimacy;
  • Expression and discussion of negotiation skills;
  • Self-esteem building and assertiveness;
  • Financial management;
  • Stress and anger management;
  • Parenting skills;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Child maltreatment.

OPTION: Job and Career Advancement

Applicants that choose to incorporate job and career advancement activities as part of their program must select AA (III), under which job and career advancement activities may be provided as part of a program of marriage education, marriage skills, and/or relationship skills.  Job and career advancement activities are those activities related to economic self-sufficiency.  ACF is particularly interested in programs that will offer opportunities that enhance the employability skills of low-income participants and help them to secure job opportunities. Approaches may include, but are not limited to:

  • Career counseling/development;
  • Assessments of skills levels, aptitudes, abilities, and competencies; 
  • Education and training, including, but not limited to, basic skills, English language instruction, vocation education, and job training; 
  • Job search, job placement, and job retention services; 
  • Pre-employment or soft-skills development;
  • Subsidized employment/transitional jobs.

Funds may be used for supports that facilitate employment, such as start-up work expenses (e.g., uniform costs).

Applicants may provide employment services themselves or in collaboration with other entities. Applicants must explain how participating individuals' employment service needs will be assessed and how they will be matched to appropriate and effective services. Applicants should justify their proposed approach with evidence of effectiveness with the target population.

Applicants have the option to include subsidized employment as an activity under "job and career advancement."  Applicants that choose to include a subsidized employment component in their program are encouraged to describe how the program will impart marketable job skills that will assist the individual in obtaining a permanent unsubsidized employment.  Grant funds may be used to provide employment subsidies for eligible participants who are enrolled in a healthy marriage and relationship skills program and who are receiving other appropriate services in the program.  Applicants that choose to include subsidized employment in their programs are encouraged to describe the programmatic and financial obligations that the applicant and the employers will be expected to fulfill.  This should include the extent to which each will be responsible for training, supervision, wages, employer taxes, and benefits.  It should also include information on how these responsibilities may change over time. 

Wages for eligible participants must be at or above the State or Federal minimum wage.

In designing their programs and structuring their budgets, applicants should be mindful that they may only use grant funds to operate a program with job and career advancement activities when the activities are part of an overall program involving marriage education, marriage skills, and/or relationship skills. Applicants proposing these activities must demonstrate that their program design reflects a strong emphasis on marriage education, marriage skills, and/or relationship skills

Case Management

Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide a detailed plan of case management services, including how the program will link participants to needed supports and services available in the community. Applicants proposing to provide job and career advancement services are encouraged to incorporate an employment plan as part of their case planning.

PROGRAM SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a plan for providing supportive services. Supportive services - including, but not limited to, transportation assistance and child care - can help lower barriers to participation and improve program recruitment, retention, and outcomes. Funds may be used for the discrete costs of ancillary supportive services when such services are necessary to enable individuals to participate effectively and consistently, or to address barriers to employment, and allowable under the applicable OMB cost principles. See, 45 CFR 74.27(a) and 92.22.(a) - (b) for applicable OMB Cost Principles. When supportive services are otherwise available (such as child care assistance), applicants are encouraged to assist program participants to utilize those existing resources. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with public and private social service agencies to maximize the availability and robustness of supportive services.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REQUIREMENT

The safety and well-being of all participants enrolled in healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood activities, and their partners, spouses, children, and other family members, is a high priority for ACF. Applicants must identify in their applications the domestic violence experts with whom they have initially consulted regarding program design, content, outreach, outcomes, and target population, among other issues. In addition, applicants must include evidence of consultation with one or more experts on domestic violence prevention, or with domestic violence coalitions in the community, to assist in developing an appropriate domestic violence protocol tailored to the program prior to program implementation.

In order to have a comprehensive response to the safety and needs of domestic violence victims and their children, applicants are encouraged to build and provide evidence of collaborative partnerships with domestic violence service providers.  Applicants are encouraged to describe where appropriate how proposed program activities will ensure a comprehensive response to disclosures of domestic violence, safety planning, and referrals to appropriate assistance both before and after the screening process, and build the capacity of program staff and partners to address domestic violence, including a training plan focused on:

  • Approaches to domestic violence screening and assessment taking into consideration that programs, particularly those that that lack the organizational expertise, are not intended as interventions to address domestic violence;
  • How domestic violence impacts their program and program participants (such as victims of domestic violence who are seeking to leave abusive relationships;
  • Impact of domestic violence on children and youth);
  • Safety planning and referrals for crisis intervention and other community-based domestic violence services;
  • Safely engaging persons with a history of violent behavior; 
  • Ensuring that the program will respect the wishes of partners who do not wish to engage in relationships with individuals seeking program participation or who have concerns about the risk of child maltreatment if engagement is encouraged between a program participant and a child; and 
  • Strategies for effective and consistent implementation of domestic violence protocols and collaboration with service providers.

Promising models for applicants to consider include cross-agency referrals, a screening tool during intake process that focuses on the safety and support of domestic violence victims, incorporating curriculum modules that focus on healthy relationships and recognizing domestic violence, regular staff training on domestic violence, training on reporting of child abuse, and integrating a domestic violence staff provider on site.

ACF is also deeply committed to the prevention of child maltreatment. Applicants are strongly encouraged to describe:

  • Steps they will take to prevent child maltreatment among program participants;
  • How staff will be trained on preventing and detecting potential child maltreatment and how cases of suspected maltreatment will be handled, including a description of now the applicant will address the co-occurrence of child maltreatment and domestic violence; and 
  • The expertise they have in the organization or the partnerships they will form to meet the goal of preventing and detecting child maltreatment among program participants.

VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION

Applicants must describe how they will ensure that participation in the program is voluntary and how they will inform potential participants that their involvement is voluntary.

 

 

Geographic Location

Describe the precise location of the project and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project. Maps or other graphic aids may be attached.

Legal Status of Applicant Entity
Proof of Non-Profit Status
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 IRS's 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 non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals.
  • A certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation 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.
When applying electronically, proof of non-profit status may be submitted as an attachment; however, proof of non-profit status must be submitted prior to award.
Logic Model

Applicants are expected to use a model for designing and managing their project. A logic model is a one-page diagram that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the links among program elements. While there are many versions of logic models, for the purposes of this announcement the logic model should summarize the connections between the:

  • Goals of the project (e.g., objectives, reasons for proposing the interventions, if applicable);
  • Assumptions (e.g., beliefs about how the program will work and its supporting resources. Assumptions should be based on research, best practices, and experience);
  • Inputs (e.g., organizational profile, collaborative partners, key staff, budget);
  • Activities (e.g., approach, listing key intervention, if applicable);
  • Outputs (i.e., the direct products or deliverables of program activities); and
  • Outcomes (i.e., the results of a program, typically describing a change in people or systems).

Project Sustainability Plan

Provide a plan for sustainability that details how the proposed project approach will create project self-sufficiency and help to ensure that the impact of the project will continue after Federal assistance has ended.  The applicant may include information on plans to secure additional financial resources.

Organizational Capacity

  • Organizational charts
  • Financial statements adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Audit reports or statements from Certified Public Accountants/Licensed Public Accountants
  • Documentation of experience in the program area
  • Personnel policies
  • Any other pertinent information the applicant deems relevant.

Provide a biographical sketch or resume for each key person appointed. Resumes should be no more than two pages in length. Job descriptions for each vacant key position should be included as well. As new key staff are appointed, biographical sketches or resumes will also be required.

Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information

If any confidential or sensitive information will be collected during the course of the project, whether from staff (e.g., background investigations) or project participants and/or project beneficiaries, provide a description of the methods that will be used to ensure that confidential and/or sensitive information is properly handled and safeguarded.  Also provide a plan for the disposition of such information at the end of the project period.

Dissemination Plan

Provide a plan for distributing reports and other project outputs to colleagues and to the public.  Applicants must provide a description of the method, volume, and timing of distribution.

Third-Party Agreements

Provide written and signed agreements between grantees and subgrantees, or subcontractors, or other cooperating entities. These agreements must detail the scope of work to be performed, work schedules, remuneration, and other terms and conditions that structure or define the relationship.
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 (SF-424A or SF-424C).  Detailed calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated.  If matching is a requirement, include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

Provide a narrative budget justification for the first year of the proposed project. The narrative budget justification should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.

Applicants are encouraged to review and use the following funding ranges to determine the program scale and scope of activities that will be most appropriate for their application. ACF intends to award approximately half of the funding available under this FOA to applicants in Funding Range A and half to applicants in Funding Range B.

RANGE A: $800,000 to $2,500,000

This range is for applications proposing to serve a large number of participants, in a single site or in multiple sites, and to provide a comprehensive set of services to promote healthy marriage, with bonus points (4 points) for entities that will integrate relationship and marriage education services with job and career advancement services (under Allowable Activity III). See Section V.I. Criteria, Bonus Points.  Given the size of these awards, the expectation is that these programs will include multiple components. ACF anticipates funding 17 grants within this range.

RANGE B: $300,000 to $799,999

This range will fund projects that either serve fewer individuals, provide a less comprehensive approach, or both as compared to Range A projects. As in Range A, there are bonus points (4 points) for projects that integrate career and job advancement (under Allowable Activity III) with other allowable activities. See Section V.I. Criteria, Bonus Points. ACF anticipates funding 58 grants within this range. All applicants may choose either funding range, and are only limited in terms of the award floor and ceiling described in Section II, Award Information of this FOA. See also, Section III.3 Disqualification Factors.

Applicants must allocate sufficient funding in their proposed program budget to cover travel, transportation, and per diem expenses for each of the initial and annual 3 day meetings in the event they receive a grant award. Additional funds for travel expenses will not be available once grants are awarded.

Any program income anticipated by applicants may not include any prohibited costs listed under Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

General

Use the following guidelines for preparing the budget and budget justification.  Both Federal and non-Federal resources (when required) shall be detailed and justified in the budget and budget narrative justification.   "Federal resources" refers only to the ACF grant funds for which you are applying.  "Non-Federal resources" are all other non-ACF 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 in a narrative form.

Personnel

Description:  Costs of employee salaries and wages.

Justification:  Identify the project director or principal investigator, if known at the time of application.   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, personnel costs of delegate agencies, or of specific project(s) and/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, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, retirement insurance, taxes, etc.

Travel

Description: Costs of project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization.  (This item 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 to travel out of town; and other transportation costs and subsistence allowances.  If appropriate for this project, 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 that 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 and/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, that 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 that 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 thirdparty evaluation contracts, if applicable, and contracts with secondary recipient organizations, including delegate agencies and specific project(s) and/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 45 CFR Part 92 procedures, must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403(11), currently set at $100,000.  Recipients may be required to make pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc. available to ACF.

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 same supporting information referred to in these instructions.

Other

Description:  Enter the total of all other costs.  Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to:  local travel; 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 submit 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 be charged as direct costs to the grant.  Also, if the applicant is requesting a rate that 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.

Program Income

Description:  The estimated amount of income, if any, expected to be generated from this project.

Justification:  Describe the nature, source and anticipated use of program income in the budget or refer to the pages in the application that contain this information.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520, the public reporting burden for the Project Description 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 information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, which expires 11/30/2012. 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.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

  • ACF will not accept applications via facsimile or email.
  • The Funding Opportunity Announcement is found on the Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov where the electronic application can be downloaded for completion.
  • To apply electronically, applicants and sub-recipients must be registered with Grants.gov, Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS Number), and the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). 
  • All pages of the application package must be sequentially numbered.
  • Electronically submitted applications must be received and time/date stamped by the due date and receipt time described in this announcement in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.
  • To submit an application through Grants.gov, the applicant must be the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) for their organization and must have current registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
  • Central Contractor Registry (CCR) registration must be updated annually.  As of October 1, 2010, all applicants, and sub-recipients are required to have CCR registration in order to apply for Federal grants and cooperative agreements.
      
  • Electronically submitted applications will not pass the validation check at Grants.gov if the AOR does not have a current CCR registration and electronic signature credentials. 
  • Electronically submitted applications will not pass the validation check at Grants.gov if the AOR does not have a current CCR registration and electronic signature credentials. 
  • Applications rejected by Grants.gov for an unregistered AOR will be disqualified and will not be considered for competition.
  • Additional guidance on the submission of electronic applications can be found at the Grants.gov Registration Checklist.
  • If difficulties are encountered in using Grants.gov, applicants must contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at:1-800-518-4726, or by email at support@grants.gov, to report the problem and obtain assistance. Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Grants.gov Contact Center is closed on Federal holidays.
  • Applicants should retain Grants.gov Contact Center service ticket number(s) as they may be needed for future reference.
  • Applicants that submit their applications electronically should retain a hard copy of their application package.
  • It is to an applicant's advantage to submit their applications at least 24 hours in advance of the closing date and time.
  • Applicants should not wait until the due date for applications to begin submission of their application.

Contact with the Grants.gov Contact Center prior to the listed due date and time does not ensure acceptance of your application.  If difficulties are encountered, ACF's Grants Management Officer (GMO) will make a determination whether the issues are due to Grants.gov system errors or user error. 


Hard Copy Submission

Applicants that are submitting their applications in hard copy format, by mail or delivery, must submit one original and two copies of the complete application with all attachments. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR), and be unbound.  The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.6 of this announcement for address information for hard copy application submissions.

Applications submitted in hard copy must show a DUNS Number.  A DUNS Number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.  A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://www.dnb.com.  To acquire a DUNS number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center:U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711; Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1).  Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., c.s.t.

As of October 1, 2010, all applicants for Federal grants and cooperative agreements, including those that apply in paper format, are required to have Central Contractor Registration.  CCR registration is also required for organizations that will receive subawards under Federal grants and cooperative agreements.  CCR registration may be made online at www.ccr.gov or by phone at 1-866-606-8220.

CCR registration must be updated annually from the date of the initial registration.  CCR registration is required to be active throughout the period of award.  Lack of CCR registration will prevent ACF from making an award to a recommended applicant.

There is the possibility of heavy traffic at the CCR website at application due dates.  Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date.  CCR registration must be updated annually.  CCR registration must be active and maintained with current information at all times during which an organization has an active award or an application under consideration.


Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times of this announcement.

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications: 07/28/2011

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview and in this section.  Applications received after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date will be classified as late and will not be considered in the current competition.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that applications are received by mail, hand-delivery, or submitted electronically well in advance of the application due date and time.

Mailed Applications

Mailed applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date, listed in the Overview and in this section, at the address provided in Section IV.6 of this announcement.  Applications received after the stated due date and time will be designated as late and will disqualified from competition.

Hand-Delivered Applications


Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, other representatives of the applicant, or by overnight/express mail couriers must be received on, or before, the due date listed in the Overview and in this section, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., eastern time, Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays).  Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.6. of this announcement. Applications received after the stated due date and time will be designated as late and will disqualified from competition.

Electronically-Submitted Applications

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by facsimile or email.  Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov may be found at the Grants.gov Registration Checklist

Electronically-submitted applications must be received and validated at www.Grants.gov by 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date.

Upon submission and receipt of an application via www.Grants.gov, the applicant will receive three emails:

  1. Acknowledgement of the application's submission to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov tracking number.  Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time-stamp, which serves as the official record of application submission. The date and time-stamp must reflect a submission time on, or before, 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the application due date for the application to be considered as meeting the due date.  Applications received at Grants.gov after the due date and time will be disqualified.

  2. Acknowledgement from Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications received on the due date that fail the validation check on, or after, 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date because the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is not registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) will be determined to be late and will not be considered for the review. Applications that do not pass the validation check at Grants.gov after the due date and time will be disqualified.
       
  3. An additional email from ACF will be sent to the applicant indicating that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF.

Late Applications

No appeals will be considered for applications classified as late under the following circumstances:

  • Hard-copy applications received after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications are considered late, and are disqualified, when the date and time-stamp received by email from www.Grants.gov is after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications submitted by an AOR that does not have a current registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) will be rejected by Grants.gov. Although the applicant may have an acceptable dated and time-stamped email from Grants.gov, these applications are considered late and are disqualified.  

Extension/Waiver of Due Date and Receipt Time

ACF may extend an application due date and receipt time when circumstances such as natural disasters occur (floods, hurricanes, etc.); when there are widespread disruptions of mail service; or in other rare cases.  The determination to extend or waive the due date and receipt time requirements rests with ACF's Chief Grants Management Officer.

Acknowledgement of Received Application

ACF will not provide acknowledgement of receipt of hard copy application packages submitted via mail or courier services.

Upon submission of an application electronically via http://www.Grants.gov, the applicant will receive three emails:

  1. Acknowledgement of the application's submission to Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov tracking number. The email will also provide a date and time-stamp, which serves as the official record of application submission.
  2. Your application has been validated and provides a Time/Date Stamp. See the previous section on failing the validation check because of an unregistered Authorized Organization Representative (AOR).
  3. An email will be sent to the applicant from ACF indicating that the application has been retrieved from Grants.gov by ACF.

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs (SPOC)

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

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 Executive Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/.
Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of their prospective applications and to receive instructions on their jurisdiction's procedures. Applicants must submit all required application materials to the SPOC and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application due date to comment on proposed new awards.

SPOC comments may be submitted directly to ACF to: 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., 6th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447.

Entities that meet the eligibility requirements of this announcement are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory or Commonwealth, etc., does not have a SPOC or has chosen not to participate in the process. Applicants from non-participating jurisdictions need take no action with regard to E.O. 12372. Applications from Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments are not subject to E.O. 12372.
IV.5. Funding Restrictions

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions, are considered unallowable costs under grants awarded under this announcement.

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.
Construction is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this grant award.
Purchase of real property is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this grant award.

Unallowable Activities
Applicants must include a written statement that specifically includes:

  • A commitment to not to use funds for any purposes other than the activities specified in the authorizing legislation and this FOA;
  • A commitment to not use funds for any unallowable activity. Applicants must consider in their use of funds if a cost is reasonable, allocable, and program-related (http://rates.psc.gov/fms/dca/orgmenu.html);
  • A commitment to not use funds for unauthorized activities, including, but not limited to, an Abstinence Education program;
  • A commitment to not use funds for non-program related capacity-building, or for train-the-trainer programs; and
  • A commitment to not include fee-for-service for activities under this FOA

See Section VIII. Checklist.

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

Submit applications to one of the following addresses:

Submission By Mail

Office of Family Assistance
OFA Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road
Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Hand Delivery

Office of Family Assistance
OFA Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road (Building Entrance on Second Ave.)
Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Electronic Submission

See Section IV.2 for application requirements and for guidance when submitting applications electronically via http://www.Grants.gov.


For all submissions, see Section IV.3 for information on due dates and times.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated using the criteria described in this section. The corresponding point values indicate the relative importance placed on each review criterion. Points will be allocated based on the extent to which the application proposal addresses each of the criteria listed. Applicants should address these criteria in their application materials, particularly in the project description and budget justification, as they are the basis upon which competing applications will be judged during the objective review. The required elements of the project description and budget justification may be found in Section IV.2 of this announcement.

The number of bulleted statements under each review criterion does not necessarily reflect an equal distribution of points among corresponding point values. The entire application will be reviewed and evaluated. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the strengths and weaknesses of the application's correlation to healthy marriage promotion and relationship skills in this FOA. 

Each application will be scored according to the following criteria and point system.

 
PROJECT APPROACH AND WORK PLAN Maximum Points: 40

40 points for the extent to which the applicant's plan addresses the bullet points as they relate to Healthy Marriage promotion and relationship skills, particularly Section I., Funding Opportunity Description, and Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description.

29 points for the extent to which:

  • Is consistent with the stated purposes of this FOA, and is consistent with the allowable activities under the statute and the FOA.
  • Includes information on the need for services designed to promote healthy marriage and relationships in the target service area and for the target population and articulates how the proposed program will meet these needs. 
  • Includes specific objectives that, if achieved, would represent a meaningful improvement for participating individuals and their families.
  • Includes clear and measurable objectives.
  • Includes a detailed description of how the proposed service strategy will be implemented, including:
    • how participants will be recruited and retained and how the particular needs of the target population will be taken into consideration;
    • how the program will meet the program access and voluntary participation requirements;
    • what types of screening and assessments the program will conduct (including any screening and assessment tools the program will utilize) and for what purposes these screenings and assessments are done; 
    • which allowable activities will be included in the program as a whole;
    • how a program will determine which program components are offered or provided to each individual potential participant;
    • the support services that will be provided, the circumstances under which they will be provided, and the justification for the approach taken.
  • Includes a discussion of the barriers to participation the target population may encounter and how these will be addressed, including cultural appropriateness
  • Identifies healthy marriage and relationship curricula and/or other strategies it plans to utilize under each allowable activity for which the applicant is seeking funding and provides a clearly articulated, justified, and well-documented rationale for selecting those curricula and materials. 
  • Includes a reasonable rationale and/or research base for the program models being proposed.
  • Includes a logic model that provides an overview of the program and clearly links program elements to intended outcomes. 
  • Includes a one-year work plan and timetable that includes approximate dates for all components of the project. Includes a proposed work plan and timetable for Years 2 and 3, contingent upon the availability of funds.
  • Includes detailed information about collaborations, partnerships, and MOUs with organizations and stakeholders that the applicant indicates will be responsible for aspects of the program, will serve as sources of participant recruitment, or will provide services to program participants on a referral basis.

For applicants proposing to provide job and career advancement services, the extent to which the applicant's plan:

  • Presents a feasible strategy to provide high-quality job and career advancement services directly, or in partnership with other entities, that is based on a sound logic model that clearly links program elements to intended outcomes.
  • Explains how job and career advancement program components are suited to the target population and integrated into the overall program.
  • Provides a program design and budget that ensures that job and career services are only provided as part of an overall program involving marriage education, marriage skills, and/or relationship skills

7 points for the extent to which:

  • The applicant has a well thought out, feasible strategy for preventing and addressing domestic violence and child maltreatment.
  • The applicant provides evidence of initial consultation with domestic violence and child maltreatment experts to assist in the development of appropriate protocols tailored to the program.
  • The applicant demonstrates that they have or will have collaborative partnerships with providers of domestic violence and child maltreatment services, including evidence of a collaborative partnership with domestic violence experts for safety planning, making service referrals, connections to appropriate assistance and increasing protections for individuals/ families impacted by domestic violence that are related to outcomes and performance measures. 
  • The applicant has a plan to ensure a comprehensive response to disclosures of domestic violence and child maltreatment.

2 points for the extent to which:

  • The applicant has a well thought out, feasible, and robust strategy for providing effective case management to program participants.

2 points for the extent to which:

  • The applicant has a well thought out, feasible, and robust strategy for providing support services, helping participants utilize services available in the community, and providing referrals for support services.

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY AND EXPERIENCE Maximum Points: 25

20 points for the extent to which the applicant's plan addresses the bullet points as they relate to Healthy Marriage promotion and relationship skills, particularly Section I., Funding Opportunity Description, and Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description.

  • Demonstrates the organizational capacity necessary to oversee Federal grants through a description of the organization's fiscal controls, an explanation of the organization's governance structure.
  • Includes a clear description of its financial management experience and provides evidence of an adequate records system that will allow for effective control over and accountability for funds.
  • Demonstrates its current capability to organize and operate the proposed project effectively and efficiently. 
  • Includes an organizational chart that demonstrates the relationship between all positions (including consultants and/or sub-contracts) to be funded through this grant. 
  • Clearly describes the organization's relevant experience and previous accomplishments in relevant areas including improving relationships and/or promoting healthy marriages through specific services and activities, addressing domestic violence and child maltreatment, and implementing high-quality and effective job and career advancement programs (for those applicants seeking to include these services in their programs).
  • Describes the experience and previous accomplishments of program partners in relevant areas.
  • Demonstrates a clear plan for how they will instruct and train program staff and partners to address domestic violence and child maltreatment.

5 points for the extent to which:

  • The applicant provides a thorough description of how the program design incorporates a community-centered approach to serve the target population. The applicant demonstrates deep knowledge and broad experience working in the community(ies) that will be served by the program.

 

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND STAFFING Maximum Points: 15

15 points for the extent to which the applicant's plan addresses the bullet points as they relate to Healthy Marriage promotion and relationship skills, particularly Section I., Funding Opportunity Description, and Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description.

  • The applicant's project management approach clearly describes the intended leadership structure and lines of accountability, and identifies a dedicated project director.
  • Proposed senior staff have documented experience with project management and decision-making processes. 
  • The application identifies each key staff, including those responsible for direct project oversight, management, implementation, and performance assessments of the proposed project. The application notes if any positions are vacant, includes job descriptions for vacant positions, and proposes a reasonable and clear approach to filling them. 
  • The proposed staffing plan demonstrates a sound relationship between the expertise required for key positions and the educational and professional qualifications of the proposed staff, and includes resumes of key staff and consultants which correspond to the organizational chart. 
  • Indicates an understanding of activities that are not allowable under this grant, such as using funds for abstinence education programs, non-programmatic capacity building, and training-the-trainer programs.

 

PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT AND ASSESSMENT Maximum Points: 5

5 points for the extent to which the applicant's plan addresses the bullet points as they relate to Healthy Marriage promotion and relationship skills, particularly Section I., Funding Opportunity Description, and Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description.

  • The applicant affirms willingness to document and report performance using uniform measures to be provided by OFA.
  • The application provides information about systems and processes that will support performance documentation, tracking and reporting. 
  • The application affirms willingness to participate in all aspects of any Federally-sponsored evaluation as a condition of acceptance of funding, as detailed in the FOA.

 

BUDGET Maximum Points: 15

15 points for the extent to which the applicant's plan addresses the bullet points as they relate to Healthy Marriage promotion and relationship skills, particularly Section I., Funding Opportunity Description, and Section IV.2., Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description.

  • The application includes budget and line item justifications for all operating expenses that are consistent with the proposed project objectives and activities. The narrative budget justification clearly states how each line item will be utilized.
  • The applicant's budget is reasonable, feasible, and proportioned to the project scale and funding amount requested (e.g., Range A or B). See Section I, Description, Program Purpose and Scope, Funding Ranges of this FOA.
  • Applicants have provided information about how the funds will be allocated among the program components proposed. 
  • The costs of the project are reasonable, allocable and program-related, and are commensurate with the types and range of activities and services to be conducted, the number of participants to be served, and the expected goals and objectives. (Reasonable and allocable costs: http://rates.psc.gov/fms/dca/orgmenu.html.)
  • The applicant demonstrates that the budget includes funds for all required items, including travel to attend the entrance conference and annual meeting in Washington, DC 
  • The applicant demonstrates an understanding of the non-supplantation provisions of the FOA and includes a written commitment to comply with the provision.

 

BONUS POINTS Maximum Points: 6

4 points
The applicant proposes to provide comprehensive services under the grant including job and career advancement services.

2 points
The applicant clearly describes a detailed, reasonable and feasible plan to partner with the local child support agency. The applicant's Memorandum of Understanding(s) (MOU) or third-party agreement with the child support agency clearly meets the requirements outlined in Section IV.2, Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description, Program Components, of the FOA.

 

 

V.2. & V.3. Review and Selection Process
V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.  No grant award will be made to an applicant or sub-recipient that does not have active CCR registration (www.ccr.gov or 1-866-606-8220).
 
Initial ACF Screening

Each application will be screened to determine whether it was received by the closing date and time and whether the requested amount exceeds the award ceiling.  Applications that are designated as late according to Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times, or those with requests that exceed the award ceiling, stated in Section II. Award Information, will receive a screen-out letter noting that the application was deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.  For those applications that have been deemed disqualified under the initial ACF screening, notice will be given of such determination by postal mail.

Objective Review and Results

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in Section V.1 of this announcement.  Each panel is made up of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels are composed of three reviewers and one chairperson.

Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding.  They are one element in the decision-making process.

ACF may elect not to fund applicants with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project.  Applications may be funded in whole or in part.  Successful applicants may be funded at an amount lower than that requested.  ACF reserves the right to consider preferences to fund organizations serving emerging, unserved, or under-served populations, including those populations located in pockets of poverty.  ACF will also consider the geographic distribution of Federal funds in its award decisions.

Preference

Section 811(1)(4)(E) of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111-291) provides that ACF shall give preference in making awards to applicants that were awarded grants for any prior fiscal year from prior Healthy Marriage programs and that have demonstrated the ability to successfully carry out the programs funded under the Agency's previous authority in Section 403 (a) of the Social Security Act. Applicants eligible for this preference must include the following information related to their prior funding, as part of their application: (1) the awarded organization's name; and (2) grant number(s) and (3) Federal Project Officer (FPO). Five preference points will be awarded to previously funded grantees that received an acceptable rating on its grants monitoring statements during the semi-annual reporting periods ending September 2010 and March 2011.

 

Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-Federal reviewers in the review process.

Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications recommended for approval that were not funded under the competition because of the lack of available funds, may be held over by ACF and re-considered in a subsequent review cycle if a future competition under the program area is planned.  These applications will be held over for a period of up to one year and will be re-competed for funding with all other competing applications in the next available review cycle.  For those applications that have been deemed as approved but unfunded, notice will be given of such determination by postal mail.

 
V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

It is anticipated that award decisions will be sent electronically via GrantSolutions no later than September 30, 2011.

VI. Award Administration Information
VI.1. Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Financial Assistance Award (FAA) document that 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 (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The FAA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail.  Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter, signed by the Program Office head.

Other correspondence announcing to a Principal Investigator or Project Director that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance.  Costs incurred before receipt of  a FAA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to extent considered allowable as approved pre-award costs.

 
VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the uniform administrative requirements and cost principles of 45 C.F.R. Part 74 (Awards And Subawards To Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Nonprofit Organizations, And Commercial Organizations) or 45 C.F.R. Part 92 (Grants And Cooperative Agreements To State, Local, And Tribal Governments).  The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is available at http://www.gpo.gov.

An application funded with the release of Federal funds through a grant award, does not constitute, or imply, compliance with Federal regulations.  Funded organizations are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with all applicable Federal regulations.

Prohibition Against Profit

Grantees are subject to the limitations set forth in 45 C.F.R. Part 74, Subpart E-Special Provisions for Awards to Commercial Organizations (45 C.F.R.  Part 74.81_Prohibition against profit), which states that, "... no HHS funds may be paid as profit to any recipient even if the recipient is a commercial organization.  Profit is any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs." 

Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations

Grantees are also subject to the requirements of 45 C.F.R. Part 87.1(c), Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which says, "Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from the Department under any Department program may not engage in inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization as part of the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from the Department."  Therefore, organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under this program.  

A faith-based organization receiving HHS funds retains its independence from Federal, State, and local governments, and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs. For example, a faith-based organization may use space in its facilities to provide secular programs or services funded with Federal funds without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols. In addition, a faith-based organization that receives Federal funds retains its authority over its internal governance, and it may retain religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on a religious basis, and include religious references in its organization's mission statements and other governing documents in accordance with all program requirements, statutes, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of HHS funded activities. 

Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, and additional information on "Understanding the Regulations Related to the Faith-Based and Community Initiative" are available at http://www.hhs.gov/fbci/regulations/index.html.

The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is available at http://www.gpo.gov.

Award Term and Condition under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the requirements of Section 106 (g) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (22 U.S.C. 7104).  For the full text of the award term, go to http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/award_term.html.  If you are unable to access this link, please contact the Grants Management Contact identified in Section VII. Agency Contacts of  this announcement to obtain a copy of the Term.

HHS Grants Policy Statement

The HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) is the Department of Health and Human Services' single policy guide for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements.  ACF grant awards are subject to the requirements of the HHS GPS, which covers basic grants processes, standard terms and conditions, and points of contact, as well as important agency-specific requirements.  Appendices to the HHS GPS include a glossary of terms and a list of standard abbreviations for ease of reference.  The general terms and conditions in the HHS GPS will apply as indicated unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary that are specified in the Financial Assistance Award (FAA). The HHS GPS is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_related.html

VI.3. Reporting

Grantees under this announcement will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. The frequency of required reporting is listed later in this section.  Final reports may be submitted in hard copy to the Grants Management Office Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this announcement.  Instructions on submission of reports electronically will be provided with award documents.

Performance Progress Reports (PPR)

ACF grantees are required to submit the SF-PPR Cover Page. ACF Programs that utilize reporting forms or formats in addition to, or instead of, the SF-PPR have listed the reporting requirements later in this section.

Grant award documents will inform grantees of the appropriate performance progress report form or format to use.  Grantees should consult their award documents to determine the appropriate performance progress report format required under their award.  Performance progress reports are due 30 days after the end of the reporting period.

Final program performance reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  The SF-PPR may be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html

Federal Financial Reports (FFR)

As of February 1, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began the transition from use of the SF-269, Financial Status Report (Short Form or Long Form) to the use of the SF-425 Federal Financial Report for expenditure reporting. SF-269s will no longer be accepted for expenditure reports due after that date. If an SF-269 is submitted, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will return it and require the recipient to complete the SF-425.

The transition strategy is allowing individual HHS Operating Divisions to select--from a limited number of options--the approach that best fits their programs and business process. This transition does not affect completion or submission of the cash reporting to the HHS Division of Payment Management's Payment Management System (PMS). The primary features of this transition for recipients are that OPDIVs that previously required electronic submission of the SF-269 will receive the SF-425 expenditure reports electronically and, until further notice, OPDIVs that have been receiving expenditure reports in hard copy will continue to do so.

All expenditure reports will be due on one of the standard due dates by which cash reporting is required to be submitted to PMS OR at the end of a calendar quarter as determined by the Operating Division. As a result, a recipient that receives awards from more than one OPDIV may be subject to more than one approach, but will not be required to change its current means of submission or be subjected to more than eight standard due dates.

Beginning with budget periods which end from January 1 - March 31, 2011, and for all budget periods thereafter, all affected ACF grantees will be required to submit an SF-425 report as frequently as is required in the terms and conditions of their award using due dates for reports to PMS.
 

For budget periods ending in the months of:

The FFR (SF-425) is due to ACF on:

January 01 through March 31

April 30

April 01 through June 30

July 30

July 01 through September 30

October 30

October 01 through December 31

January 30


Fillable versions of the SF-425 form in Adobe PDF and MS-Excel formats, along with instructions, are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms, www.forms.gov, and on the ACF Funding Opportunity website Forms page.


Further instructions will be provided, as necessary, with award terms and conditions that will address specific reporting periods and due dates on an award-by-award basis.   Additional information on frequency of reporting is available on the ACF Funding Opportunities web site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/msg_sf425.html.

For planning purposes, reporting periods for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

 
Program Progress Reports: Semi-Annually
Financial Reports: Semi-Annually

Awards issued as a result of this funding opportunity may be subject to the Transparency Act subaward and executive compensation reporting requirements of 2 C.F.R. Part 170.  See ACF's Award Term for Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirement implementing this requirement and additional award applicability information.

OFA grantees are required to submit the SF-PPR Cover Page, the SF-PPR B, and the SF-PPR D.

Grantees will be required to document and report performance using uniform measures and data collection that are in addition to the standard elements in the SF-PPR and SF-425.   

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Michele Walters
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Family Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade S.W.
5th Floor East
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: 202.401.5726
Email: michele.walters@acf.hhs.gov
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Tim Chappelle
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Family Assistance
8405 Colesville Road
Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 866.796.1591
Email: OFA@luxcg.com
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

VIII. Other Information

NOTICE:  ACF intends to implement all electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for applications for discretionary awards in FY 2012.  For applicants without Internet access, or those without the computer capacity to upload large documents, ACF will offer a waiver procedure. In 2011, ACF will post a Federal Register notice soliciting public comment on the intended move to all electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for applicants for discretionary awards.

Reference Websites


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Internet http://www.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on the Internet http://www.acf.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families - ACF Funding Opportunities homepage  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (C.F.D.A.) https://www.cfda.gov/.

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)  http://www.gpo.gov.  

United States Code (U.S.C)  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/ .

All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available on the ACF Forms page at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.

Grants.gov Forms Repository webpage at http://www.grants.gov/agencies/aforms_repository_information.jsp.

Versions of other Standard Forms (SFs) are available on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Grants Management Forms web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms/.

For information regarding accessibility issues, visit the Grants.gov Accessibility Compliance Page at http://www07.grants.gov/aboutgrants/accessibility_compliance.jsp.

Sign up to receive notification of ACF Funding Opportunities at www.Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov/applicants/email_subscription.jsp.

Application Checklist

Applicants may use the checklist below as a guide when preparing your application package.
 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.  Go to www.ccr.gov to register.

Required for all applicants. CCR registration must be active by time of award.

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier)

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.  Go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform to obtain DUNS Number.

Required in application submission.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants/grants_resources.html and at the Grants.gov Forms Repository at http://www.grants.gov/ agencies/ aforms_repository_information.jsp.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, if applicable

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission of this form is required if any funds have been paid, or will be paid, to any person for influencing, or attempting to influence, an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan.

If applicable, submission is due prior to award.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html

Submission is due prior to award.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Legal Status of Applicant Entity" in the "Project Description."

Submission is due prior to award.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Logic Model

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Third-Party Agreements

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

If available, submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.  If not available at the time of application submission, due by the time of award.

Project Sustainability Plan

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications. Applicants using a hard copy application, place the completed survey in an envelope labeled "Applicant Survey." Seal the envelope and include it along with the application package. Applicants applying electronically, may submit this survey along with the application.

The survey is referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement. The survey may be found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission is voluntary. Submission may be made with the application or prior to award.

This program is covered under 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."  Applicants must submit all required application materials to the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 http:// www.whitehouse.gov /omb/grants_spoc/ as indicated in Section IV.4. of this announcement.

Submission due to State Single Point of Contact by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Allowable Activities Commitment Statement

Referenced in Section IV.5 of the announcement under "Funding Restrictions."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Appendices