Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Administration on Children, Youth and Families - Children's Bureau
 
Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families
HHS-2019-ACF-ACYF-CA-1559
Application Due Date: 06/11/2019
 
Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families
HHS-2019-ACF-ACYF-CA-1559
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
    1. Overview
    2. Executive Summary
    1. Program Description
    2. Federal Award Information
    3. Eligibility Information
      1. Eligible Applicants
      2. Cost Sharing or Matching
      3. Other
    4. Application and Submission Information
      1. Address to Request Application Package
      2. Content and Form of Application Submission
      3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management
        (SAM)
      4. Submission Dates and Times
      5. Intergovernmental Review
      6. Funding Restrictions
      7. Other Submission Requirements
    5. Application Review Information
      1. Criteria
      2. Review and Selection Process
      3. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates
    6. Federal Award Administration Information
      1. Federal Award Notices
      2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
      3. Reporting
    7. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s)
    8. Other Information
 
 
HHS-2019-ACF-ACYF-CA-1559
Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families
ANNOUNCEMENT MODIFICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
 
Funding Opportunity Title:Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families
Announcement Type:Modification
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2019-ACF-ACYF-CA-1559
Primary CFDA Number: 93.670
Due Date for Letter of Intent: 05/23/2019
Due Date for Applications: 06/11/2019
 
Executive Summary

Notice: 

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire funding opportunity announcement (FOA) carefully and observe the application formatting requirements listed in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission. For more information on applying for grants, please visit "How to Apply for a Grant" on the ACF Grants & Funding Page at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto.

UPDATE: The address for CB Operations Center c/o LCG, Inc. is now 6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 410, Rockville, MD 20852. The address has been updated in Sections IV.1; IV.2, Project Description, Letter of Intent; IV.7; and VII.

The purpose of this FOA is to fund cooperative agreements that support the development, implementation, and evaluation of primary prevention strategies to improve the safety, stability, and well-being of all families through a continuum of community-based services and supports.

During the project period, grantees will address site-specific barriers and mobilize communities to prevent child maltreatment, reduce entry into the public child welfare system, and enhance the overall well-being outcomes of children and families. The cooperative agreements aim to develop integrated family support systems through a continuum of community-based prevention services that are able to support families early and strengthen protective factors before formal involvement with the child welfare system is necessary.

I. Program Description

Statutory Authority

Title I, Section 105(b)(5) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5106(b)(5)).

Description

BACKGROUND

In the current child welfare approach, most services are provided after abuse and/or neglect have occurred, with resources being directed toward out-of-home care or other permanency options, rather than primary prevention services that prevent families from child welfare involvement. Child welfare agencies are increasingly challenged to respond effectively to the complex needs of children and families. Their mission is made even more difficult by high worker turnover, changing practice requirements, restricted funding streams, and a reactive response to reports of child maltreatment as opposed to a proactive approach to preventing maltreatment. The overall lack of collaboration between community-based providers and the public child welfare agency can also limit family awareness of and access to local services and resources that can help support timely, positive outcomes for children and their families.

With the passing of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), states and tribes are able to use federal title IV-E funding to provide time-limited prevention services to parents to prevent children from entering foster care. The Children’s Bureau (CB) believes that, in addition to this opportunity, communities can create environments and family supports to prevent the initial occurrence of child maltreatment and avoid foster care placement.

Recently, many child welfare systems have begun to explore new approaches to establish stronger partnerships with community-based providers and supports, thereby broadening the service array and their ability to meet the needs of children and families in new ways, particularly before reports of maltreatment occur. CB supports further development of these collaborations to create conditions for strong and thriving families where children are free from harm. 

Common components identified across existing primary prevention programs include services and resources that:

  • are offered on a voluntary basis;
  • are commonly place-based and centrally located within the communities where families live, ensuring easy accessibility;
  • align with community values, norms, and culture;
  • are commonly offered by a public, nonprofit, faith-based, or private provider that may receive funding from the state or county child protection agency, but operates independently of government;
  • are available to anyone that lives in the community, not just to families deemed to be at risk, and are offered in normalized, non-stigmatizing ways;
  • focus on enhancing parental protective factors;
  • include concrete supports (limited financial assistance, food assistance, housing assistance, legal services, respite or child care), clinical services, and peer mentoring or support services and activities; and
  • may be provided through various types of flexible funding, such as CB's title IV-E waiver demonstration authority, along with state, county, city, and private funding.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

The purpose of this FOA is to fund cooperative agreements that support the development, implementation, and evaluation of primary prevention strategies to improve the safety, stability, and well-being of families through a continuum of community-based services and supports.

Projects will be required to integrate primary prevention and early response efforts to achieve the following goals:

  1. Reduce entry into foster care by intentionally linking families to local, community-based services early, before coming to the attention of the child welfare agency. Activities include implementing primary prevention strategies, practices, or activities that are informed by the relevant literature and identified needs of the communities to be served.
  2. Support the overall well-being outcomes of children and families, including changes in risk and protective factors, by using data to inform and align strategies across sectors and address site-specific barriers. Activities include developing coordinated and robust primary prevention efforts across the child welfare, public health, education, legal and judicial community, law enforcement, business/labor, nonprofit, government, and philanthropic sectors in the communities to be served.
  3. Develop strategic collaborations with traditional family serving agencies, parents and youth with lived experience, the legal and judicial community, community services and family assistance agencies, the community-based child abuse prevention agency program (CBCAP) grantee (i.e., state lead agency and/or tribal and migrant program), and the public housing agency. Activities include designing or re-designing cross-system functioning and financing, removing systemic and structural barriers, creating linkages to civil legal service providers, and promoting policy changes that contribute to family and community stability.
  4. Coordinate, monitor, and report on strategies and outcomes across multi-sector partners. Activities include data sharing and integration and continuous quality improvement processes to inform and improve coordinated decision-making and accountability.
  5. Evaluate efforts to provide substantial information about the effectiveness of the strategies, practices, or activities implemented in addressing intermediate outcomes and, ultimately, reducing entry into foster care with the support of CB’s designated evaluation technical assistance (TA) provider.

This section highlights grantee requirements in the following areas:

  • Target Area for Project Implementation;
  • Collaboration;
  • Project Activities and Strategies;
  • Collaborative Planning Process;
  • Implementation Phase;
  • Evaluation;
  • Dissemination; and
  • Program Sustainability Plan.

Target Area for Project Implementation

The target area for project implementation is a geographic area that would benefit from a multi-system collaborative and a continuum of community-based prevention services designed to strengthen families, promote protective factors, and reduce the likelihood that children will suffer maltreatment.

Collaboration

Projects will be required to foster strategic coordination, a shared vision, jointly owned outcomes, and a strong multi-system collaboration with:

  • the public child welfare agency;
  • at least one community services and/or family assistance program/agency (i.e. title V maternal and child health services agency, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provider, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP));
  • the CBCAP grantee;
  • the legal and judicial community;
  • youth and families with lived child welfare experience;
  • the public health community (i.e. early and periodic screening diagnosis and treatment (EPSDT) providers); and
  • public housing partners.

Additional partners may include, but are not limited to:

  • Child support providers;
  • Fatherhood programs;
  • Home visiting programs;
  • Early childhood providers;
  • Child care providers;
  • Education providers/schools;
  • Healthy marriage providers;
  • Housing providers;
  • Law enforcement;
  • Business/labor organizations;
  • Non-profit organizations;
  • Government agencies;
  • Philanthropic organizations;
  • Mental health and substance abuse providers; and
  • Faith- and community-based providers.

Collaboration activities may include, but are not limited to, the following components:

  • Routine consultation and interactions with other agencies, organizations, and community groups or institutions;
  • Joint accountability and shared outcomes among agencies in Memorandums of Agreement;
  • Cross training and staff development;
  • Processes for communication and information sharing;
  • Co-location of services and supports; and
  • Agreement to share administrative data for program evaluation, adjustment of approaches, and/or research.

Project Activities and Strategies

Project activities and strategies will be based on the needs of the designated communities but must reflect CB’s priority on strengthening families’ protective capacities through primary prevention of child maltreatment, community-based services and supports, and enhancing child and family well-being. Project activities and strategies must be clearly linked to needs and target local barriers and challenges to community-based prevention and integrated family support services.  Projects should also align with existing initiatives being conducted in response to other CB-funded programs and requirements. 

Required strategies and project activities include:

  • Consulting with youth and parents with lived experience in the child welfare system in the design and implementation of the community-based service delivery system;
  • Identifying barriers specific to the identified jurisdiction(s) and population(s) to be served, including legal barriers;
  • Identifying and engaging partners to address identified barriers with the goal of integrating the selected strategies and programs necessary to implement project work;
  • Identifying services gaps; for example, civil legal services (such as representation on housing, public benefits, immigration, and domestic violence related cases); 
  • Promoting and sustaining community awareness of and commitment to community-based primary prevention services and resources; 
  • Meaningful coordination of federal programs, reporting requirements, and the development of a common vision with a focus on primary prevention;
  • Establishing an approach to participate with the designated evaluation TA and other federal-led evaluation activities to better understand how the implementation of proposed strategies, practices, or activities influence the intended outcomes; and
  • Developing and/or implementing innovative strategies to leverage and coordinate existing public funding streams in order to adopt, implement, assess, and sustain effective community-based, prevention-focused services.

Additional strategies and project activities may focus on, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting innovative outreach to identify communities where critical family supports are needed; linking families to community-based services and resources as early as possible; and strengthening families’ overall well-being;
  • Developing a network of community-based prevention services and supports in a defined community setting that will foster the development of a continuum of family support and prevention services for children and families;
  • Revising standard operating procedures within existing organizations (such as identifying how referrals will be provided/received or describing anticipated outreach activities);
  • Establishing approaches to develop, oversee, and foster ongoing service collaboration and information sharing across partners; and
  • Planning and implementing a multi-system collaborative among public and private agencies that integrates community, faith-based organizations, the legal and judicial community, youth and families with lived child welfare experience, and non-traditional partners (business/labor, non-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors) to support community-based, prevention-focused services for children and families.

The following resources may assist projects in selecting activities and strategies:

Collaborative Planning Process

The project period will include an initial 10-month planning phase. During this time, projects will work with CB’s designated evaluation TA provider to review data presented in the application and further refine and finalize their target area for project implementation, data sharing agreements, implementation, and site-specific evaluation plans. Projects will be expected to allocate sufficient resources towards developing, negotiating, and finalizing data sharing agreements during this phase. At the end of the collaborative planning process, projects will submit a revised implementation and evaluation plan for review and approval by CB. A revised plan that incorporates the recommendations of CB may be required. Continuation funding through Year Five will be contingent upon CB's final approval of the site-specific implementation and evaluation plans.

The following additional activities will be completed during the planning phase:

  • Finalize all partnership agreements (including data sharing agreements) necessary to support successful implementation of the community-based, multi-system collaborative;
  • Complete a minimum of three site visits to other jurisdictions to learn about promising community-based prevention programs that are focusing on similar needs for similar populations, to be determined in collaboration with CB;
  • Reassess the barriers and challenges to community-based and integrated family support services that are specific to the geographical area(s) to be targeted, including legal barriers;
  • Refine the target area for program implementation;
  • Reassess the planned strategies, practices, or activities, and proposed timeline to ensure the appropriateness and fit for the target area for project implementation;
  • Revisit the project logic model and theory of change;
  • Further refine the site-specific evaluation plan;
  • Review and obtain approval of the implementation and evaluation plans by CB; and
  • Revise the implementation and evaluation plans, as necessary.

Implementation Phase

The implementation phase will begin after CB has approved the project timeline, implementation plan, and evaluation plan.

The following activities will be completed during the implementation phase:

  • Implement approved project implementation and evaluation plans; and
  • Engage with CB’s designated evaluation TA provider in activities that support projects in conducting their evaluations as well as other federally led evaluation activities.

Evaluation

Projects must devote a minimum of 10 percent of grant funds to data collection and evaluation activities. Projects will include both process and outcome evaluations. The process evaluation will examine how the project has been implemented, including the policies and procedures that have been put in place; the types and quantity of strategies, practices, or activities delivered; the characteristics of the population served (including demographics, risk and protective factors at program entry, services offered, and services received); and the numbers of families served. Outcome evaluations will examine the extent to which implementing the primary prevention strategies, practices, and activities were successful in improving the intended outcomes of preventing child maltreatment, reducing entry into the public child welfare system, and enhancing the overall well-being outcomes of children and families. Projects must document and track intermediate outcomes linked to the intended outcomes (e.g., changes in risk and protective factors amongst participant families, changes in access to and uptake of services by at risk families). Projects must specifically assess changes in cross-agency collaboration. Projects are expected to measure both participant-level and systems-level outcomes.

Projects must demonstrate sufficient in-house capacity to conduct an objective process and outcome evaluation, or provide a sound plan for contracting with a third-party evaluator specializing in social science evaluation to conduct the evaluation.  Projects are required to actively engage with CB’s designated evaluation TA provider and CB. The evaluation TA provider will be identified and supported by CB and will assume primary responsibility for providing TA to projects in collecting and reporting evaluation data.

Projects must work collaboratively with the designated evaluation TA provider to finalize a set of process and outcome measures as well as targets for assessing improvements. Additionally, projects must identify reliable data sources for the collection of baseline and follow-up comparison data, and design and implement a data collection plan. By identifying the core components of the proposed project and looking at the implementation of the strategies and activities, CB expects to better understand the factors associated with the successful ongoing implementation of primary prevention strategies and activities.

Dissemination

It is the intent of CB that the knowledge gained, lessons learned, and evidence generated from discretionary grants will help support the learning, innovation, and development of effective interventions, practices, and programs across child welfare. Projects will work with Federal Project Officers, the designated evaluation TA provider, other CB-funded entities, and projects in this grant cluster to:

  • Finalize a project-specific dissemination plan, including goals and objectives;
  • Identify and engage with relevant target audiences to share project information and learning through selected channels;
  • Develop quality materials for dissemination, such as detailed procedure manuals, training materials, briefs, and/or other products that will facilitate and enable learning in other states/jurisdictions;
  • Develop and disseminate summarized/synthesized information about the project and produce a high-quality, comprehensive final report;
  • Collaborate with Child Welfare Information Gateway (https​://www​.child​welfa​re​.gov​) to share, archive, and disseminate relevant project materials and reports; and
  • Ensure publications and websites are widely accessible. All products, tools, publications, and other print- and web-based content developed must adhere to Section 508 (https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/admin​istra​tive​-and​-natio​nal​-polic​y​-requi​remen​ts​#chapt​er​-10​).

Project Sustainability Plan

CB is interested in ensuring that the most effective program strategies, practices, and activities can be sustained. Therefore, progress reports should explain ongoing efforts to assess and gather evidence on the particular strategies, activities, or practices initiated under this grant that should and can be sustained after the end of the project period.

II. Federal Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Total Funding: $4,400,000
Expected Number of Awards: 8
Award Ceiling: $550,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $500,000 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $550,000 Per Budget Period
Anticipated Project Start Date: 09/30/2019

Length of Project Periods:

Length of Project Period: 60-month project period with five 12-month budget periods

Additional Information on Awards:

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

Applications requesting an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period, or per project period, as stated in this section, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period. Please see Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Note: For those programs that require matching or cost sharing, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the required amount of match or cost share. A recipient's failure to provide the required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. See Section III.2. of this announcement for information on cost-sharing or matching requirements.

The initial award will be for a 12-month budget period. The award of continuation beyond each 12-month budget period will be subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress on the part of the grantee, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the federal government.

Applicants are required to commit a minimum of 10 percent of their budget to program evaluation.

Description of ACF's Anticipated Substantial Involvement Under the Cooperative Agreement

A cooperative agreement is a specific method of awarding federal assistance in which substantial federal involvement is anticipated. A cooperative agreement clearly defines the respective responsibilities of CB and the awardee prior to the award. CB anticipates that agency involvement will produce programmatic benefits to the recipient otherwise unavailable to them for carrying out the project. A signed cooperative agreement between ACYF/CB and the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) will be submitted in Year One. The involvement and collaboration includes:

  • CB review and approval of implementation and evaluation plan activities before implementation phase may begin;
  • CB and recipient joint collaboration (including active collaboration with the designated evaluation TA provider) in the performance of key programmatic activities (i.e., strategic planning, implementation, information technology enhancements, technical assistance, publications or products, and evaluation);
  • Close monitoring by CB of the requirements stated in this announcement that limit the awardee's discretion with respect to scope of services offered; and
  • Close monitoring by CB during performance, which may, in order to ensure compliance with the intent of this funding, exceed those federal stewardship responsibilities customary for grant activities.
III. Eligibility Information

III.1. Eligible Applicants

Eligibility is open to the following: 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), nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, nonprofits 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, and small businesses.

Collaborative efforts are strongly encouraged, but applicants must identify a primary applicant responsible for administering the cooperative agreement.

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. See Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
See Section IV.2. Legal Status of Applicant Entity for documentation required to support eligibility.
Please see Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions for any limitations on the use of federal funds that could affect the eligibility of an applicant or project.
 

III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: No

For all federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third-party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the recipient’s cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the criteria listed in 45 CFR 75.306.

For awards that require matching by statute, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the amount required by the statutory match. A recipient’s failure to provide the statutorily required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

For awards that do not require matching or cost sharing by statute, where “cost sharing” refers to any situation in which the recipient voluntarily shares in the costs of a project other than as statutorily required matching, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards. These include situations in which contributions are voluntarily proposed by an applicant and are accepted by ACF. Non-federal cost sharing will be included in the approved project budget so that the applicant will be held accountable for proposed non-federal cost-sharing funds as shown in the Notice of Award (NOA). A recipient’s failure to provide voluntary cost sharing of non-federal resources that have been accepted by ACF as part of the approved project costs and that have been shown as part of the approved project budget in the NOA, may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

 

III.3. Other

Application Disqualification Factors

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Award Ceiling Disqualification

Applications that request an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period or per project period ("per project period" refers only to fully funded awards), as stated in Section II. Federal Award Information, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period.

Required Electronic Application Submission

ACF requires electronic submission of applications at www.Grants.gov. Paper applications received from applicants that have not been approved for an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption that will allow the applicant to submit applications in paper format. Information and the requirements for requesting an exemption from required electronic application submission are found in "ACF Policy for Requesting an Exemption from Electronic Application Submission" at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto#chapter-6


Missing the Application Deadline (Late Applications)

The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. Electronic applications submitted to www.Grants.gov after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, as indicated by a dated and time-stamped email from www.Grants.gov, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. That is, applications submitted to www.Grants.gov, on or after 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. 

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time, which fail the www.Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at, or acknowledged by, ACF. 

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the submission will generate a new date and time-stamp email notification. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps that result in a validated application, which is transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.  

The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. Paper applications received after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. Paper applications received from applicants that have not received approval of an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Notification of Application Disqualification

Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

CB Operations Center
c/o LCG, Inc.
Attn: HHS-2019-ACF-ACYF-CA-1559
6000 Executive Boulevard
Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (888) 203-6161
Email: CB@grantreview.org


Electronic Application Submission:
The electronic application submission package is available in the FOA's listing at www.Grants.gov.

Applications in Paper Format:
For applicants that have received an exemption to submit applications in paper format, Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available in the "Select Grant Opportunity Package" available in the FOA's Grants.gov Synopsis under the Package tab at www.Grants.gov. See Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission if applicants do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to www.Grants.gov.

Federal Relay Service:
Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service (FedRelay) for assistance at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

FORMATTING APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS

Each applicant applying electronically via www.Grants.gov is required to upload only two electronic files, excluding Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms. No more than two files will be accepted for the review, and additional files will be removed. Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms will not be considered additional files.

FOR ALL APPLICATIONS:
Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)
AOR is the designated representative of the applicant/recipient organization with authority to act on the organization’s behalf in matters related to the award and administration of grants. In signing a grant application, this individual agrees that the organization will assume the obligations imposed by applicable Federal statutes and regulations and other terms and conditions of the award, including any assurances, if a grant is awarded.

Point of Contact
In addition to the AOR, a point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.  The point of contact must be available to answer any questions pertaining to the application.

Application Checklist
Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.

Accepted Font Style
Applications must be in Times New Roman (TNR), 12-point font, except for footnotes, which may be TNR 10-point font.  Pages that contain blurred text, or text that is too small to read comfortably, will be removed. 

English Language
Applications must be submitted in the English language and must be in the terms of United States (U.S.) dollars. If applications are submitted using another currency, ACF will convert the foreign currency to U.S. currency using the date of receipt of the application to determine the rate of exchange.


Page Limitations
Applicants must observe the page limitation(s) listed under "PAGE LIMITATIONS AND CONTENT FOR ALL SUBMISSION FORMATS:".  Page limitation(s) do not include SFs and OMB-approved forms.

All applications must be double-spaced.  An application that exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the Project Description file or the Appendices file will have the last extra pages removed and the removed pages will not be reviewed.

Application Elements Exempted from Double-Spacing Requirements
The following elements of the application submission are exempt from the double-spacing requirements and may be single-spaced: the table of contents, the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, required Assurances and Certifications, required SFs, required OMB-approved forms, resumes, logic models, proof of legal status/non-profit status, third-party agreements, letters of support,  footnotes, tables, the line-item budget and/or the budget justification.

Adherence to FOA Formatting, Font, and Page Limitation Requirements
Applications that fail to adhere to ACF’s FOA formatting, font, and page limitation requirements will be adjusted by the removal of page(s) from the application. Pages will be removed before the objective review. The removed page(s) will not be made available to reviewers.

Applications that have more than one scanned page of a document on a single page will have the page(s) removed from the review.

For applicants that submit paper applications, double-sided pages will be counted as two pages. When the maximum allowed number of pages is reached, excess pages will be removed and will not be made available to reviewers.

NOTE: Applicants failing to adhere to ACF’s FOA formatting, font, and page limitation requirements will receive a letter from ACF notifying them that their application was amended. The letter will be sent after awards have been issued and will specify the reason(s) for removal of page(s).

Corrections/Updates to Submitted Applications
When applicants make revisions to a previously submitted application, ACF will accept only the last on-time application for pre-review under the Application Disqualification Factors. The Application Disqualification Factors determine the application's acceptance for competitive review. See Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors and Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

Copies Required
Applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically. Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application package.

Applicants submitting applications in paper format must submit one original and two copies of the complete application, including all Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms. The original copy must have original signatures.

Signatures
Applicants submitting electronic applications must follow the registration and application submission instructions provided at www.Grants.gov.

The original of a paper format application must include original signatures of the authorized representatives.

Accepted Application Format
With the exception of the required Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved forms, all application materials must be formatted so that they are 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins all around.

If possible, applicants are encouraged to include page numbers for each page within the application.

ACF generally does not encourage submission of scanned documents as they tend to have reduced clarity and readability.  If documents must be scanned, the font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable. Documents must be scanned page-for-page, meaning that applicants may not scan more than one page of a document onto a single page. Pages with blurred text will be removed from the application.

PAGE LIMITATIONS AND CONTENT FOR ALL SUBMISSION FORMATS:

The Project Description and the Appendices must not exceed a combined total of 80 pages. 

The Project Description file must include:

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Abstract
  3. Objectives and Need for Assistance
  4. Approach
  5. Evaluation
  6. Organizational Capacity
  7. Logic Model
  8. Line Item Budget and Budget Justification

The Appendices file must include:

  1. Documentation related to collaboration (see Section IV.2, The Project Description, Collaboration)
  2. Third-party agreements
  3. Staff and Position Data (e.g., resumes, job descriptions, organizational charts)
  4. Certifications and Assurances
  5. Proof of Legal Status (if applicable)
  6. Indirect Cost Rate Letter (if applicable)

ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically unless they have requested and received an exemption that will allow submission in paper format. See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options for information about requesting an exemption.

Electronic applications will only be accepted via www.Grants.gov. ACF will not accept applications submitted via email or via facsimile.

Each applicant is required to upload ONLY two electronic files, excluding SFs and OMB-approved forms.

File One: Must contain the entire Project Description, and the Budget and Budget Justification (including a line-item budget and a budget narrative).

File Two: Must contain all documents required in the Appendices.

Adherence to the Two-File Requirement
No more than two files will be accepted for the review.  Applications with additional files will be amended and files will be removed from the review.  SFs and OMB-approved forms will not be considered additional files.  

Application Upload Requirements
ACF strongly recommends that electronic applications be uploaded as Portable Document Files (PDFs). One file must contain the entire Project Description and Budget Justification; the other file must contain all documents required in the Appendices. Details on the content of each of the two files, as well as page limitations, are listed earlier in this section.

To adhere to the two-file requirement, applicants may need to convert and/or merge documents together using a PDF converter software. Many recent versions of Microsoft Office include the ability to save documents to the PDF format without need of additional software. Applicants using the Adobe Professional software suite will be able to merge these documents together.  ACF recommends merging documents electronically rather than scanning multiple documents into one document manually, as scanned documents may have reduced clarity and readability.

Applicants must ensure that the version of Adobe Professional they are using is compatible with Grants.gov. To verify Adobe software compatibility please go to Grants.gov and click on “Support” at the top bar menu and select “Adobe Software Compatibility,” which is listed under the topic “Online Answers.” The Adobe verification process allows applicants to test their version of the software by opening a test application package. Grants.gov also includes guidance on how to download a supported version of Adobe, as well as troubleshooting instructions for use, if an applicant is unable to open the test application package. 

The Adobe Software Compatibility page located on Grants.gov also provides guidance for applicants that have received error messages while attempting to save an application package. It also addresses local network and/or computer security settings and the impact this has on use of Adobe software.

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved Forms
Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved forms, such as the SF-424 application and budget forms and the SF-P/PSL (Project/Performance Site Location), are uploaded separately at Grants.gov. These forms are submitted separately from the Project Description and Appendices files. See Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications for the listing of required Standard Forms, OMB-approved forms, and required assurances and certifications.

Naming Application Submission Files
Carefully observe the file naming conventions required by www.Grants.gov. Limit file names to 50 characters (characters and spaces). Special characters that are allowed under Grants.gov’s naming conventions, and are accommodated by ACF’s systems, are listed in the instructions available in the "Select Grant Opportunity Package" at Grants.gov. Please also see https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/submitting-utf-8-special-characters.html.

Use only file formats supported by ACF
It is critical that applicants submit applications using only the supported file formats listed here. While ACF supports all of the following file formats, we strongly recommend that the two application submission files (Project Description and Appendices) are uploaded as PDF documents in order to comply with the two file upload limitation. Documents in file formats that are not supported by ACF will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

ACF supports the following file formats:

  • Adobe PDF – Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
  • Corel WordPerfect (.wpd)
  • Image Formats (.JPG, .GIF, .TIFF, or .BMP only)

Do Not Encrypt or Password-Protect the Electronic Application Files
If ACF cannot access submitted electronic files because they are encrypted or password protected, the affected file will be removed from the application and will not be reviewed. This removal may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make awards based on an incomplete application.

FORMATTING FOR PAPER APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS:
The following requirements are only applicable to applications submitted in paper format. Applicants must receive an exemption from ACF in order for a paper format application to be accepted for review. For more information on the exemption, see "ACF Policy on Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission'" at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/ howto#chapter-6

Format Requirements for Paper Applications
All copies of mailed or hand-delivered paper applications must be submitted in a single package. If an applicant is submitting multiple applications under a single FOA, or multiple applications under separate FOAs, each application submission must be packaged separately. The package(s) must be clearly labeled for the specific FOA it addresses by FOA title and by Funding Opportunity Number (FON).

Applicants using paper format should download the application forms package associated with the FOA's Synopsis on www.Grants.gov under the Package tab.

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 sections of the application. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the federal government for review. All application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes. All pages in the application submission must be sequentially numbered.

Addresses for Submission of Paper Applications
See Section IV.7. Other Submission Requirements for addresses for paper format application submissions.

Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications


Applicants seeking grant or cooperative agreement awards under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications with the application.
All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available in the Application Package posted for this FOA at www.Grants.gov.

 

Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due at the time of application.  If it is not available at the time of application, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

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.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non- Construction Programs and SF-424B - Assurances - Non- Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for a non-construction project. Standard Forms must be used. Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

By signing and submitting the SF-424B, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

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

Certification Regarding Lobbying
(Grants.gov Lobbying Form)

Submission required of all applicants with the application package.  If it is not submitted with the application package, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Submission of the certification is required for all applicants.

SF-424 Key Contact Form

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

Protection of Human Subjects Assurance Identification / IRB Certification / Declaration of Exemption (Common Rule)

Submission of the required information and forms is due with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. If the information is not available at the time of application, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Form is available at http​:// www​.hhs​.gov​/ ohrp​/ assur​ances​/ forms​/index​.html​.

General information about the HHS Protection of Human Subjects regulations can be obtained at http​://www​. hhs​.gov​/ ohrp​/ . Applicants may also contact OHRP by email (ohrp​@csoph​s​ .dhhs​.gov​) or by phone (240-453-6900).

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Required of all applicants. To obtain a DUNS number, go to http​://fedgo​v​.dnb​.com​/ webfo​rm​

Active registration at the Systems Award Management (SAM) website must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

SAM registration is available at 
http​://www​.sam​.gov​.

See Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) for more information.

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

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications. In the SF-P/PSL, applicants must cite their primary location and up to 29 additional performance sites.

 

Mandatory Grant Disclosure

All applicants and recipients are required to submit, in writing, to the awarding agency and to the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), all information related to violations of federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the federal award. (Mandatory Disclosures, 45 CFR 75.113)

Disclosures must be sent in writing to:

The Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Grants Management, ATTN: Grants Management Specialist, 330 C Street, SW., Switzer Building, Corridor 3200, Washington, DC 20201

And to:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, ATTN: Mandatory Grant Disclosures, Intake Coordinator, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Cohen Building, Room 5527, Washington, DC 20201

Fax: (202) 205-0604 (Include “Mandatory Grant Disclosures” in subject line) or
Email: MandatoryGranteeDisclosures@oig.hhs.gov


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.
    The Project Description

The Project Description

The Project Description Overview

Purpose

The project description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for available assistance.  It should address the activity for which federal funds are being requested, and should be consistent with the goals and objectives of the program as described in Section I. Program Description.  Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly.  When appropriate, applicants should cite the evaluation criteria that are relevant to specific components of their project description.   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

Applicants should develop 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.

General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

Applicants must prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria in Section V.1. Criteria.  The text options give a broad overview of what the project description should include while the evaluation criteria identify the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.

Letter of Intent

Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify ACF of their intention to submit an application under this announcement. Please submit the letter of intent by the deadline date listed in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

The letter of intent should include the following information: number and title of this announcement; the name and address of the applicant organization; and/or Fiscal Agent (if known); and the name, phone number, fax number and email address of a contact person.

Letter of intent information will be used to determine the number of expert reviewers needed to evaluate applications. The letter of intent is optional.  Failure to submit a letter of intent will not impact eligibility to submit an application and will not disqualify an application from competitive review.

The letter of intent should be submitted to:

CB Operations Center
c/o LCG, Inc.
Attn: HHS-2019-ACF-ACYF-CA-1559
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (888) 203-6161
Email: CB@grantreview.org


Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers. The table of contents must be single spaced and will be counted against the total page limitations.


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, in Times New Roman 12-point font, and limited to one page in length. Additional pages will be removed and will not be reviewed.


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 should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes.  Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as well as data describing the needs of the target population and the proposed service area as needed. When appropriate, a literature review should be used to support the objectives and needs described in this section.


Expected Outcomes

Identify the outcomes to be derived from the project.  Outcomes should relate to the overall goals of the project as described in Section I. Program Description. If research is part of the proposed work, outcomes must include hypothesized results and implications of the proposed research.


Approach

Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed project will be accomplished.  Applicants must account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Describe any design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and/or community involvement in the project. Provide a list of organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals that will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Cite potential obstacles and challenges to accomplishing project goals and explain strategies that will be used to address these challenges.

Target Area for Project Implementation

Applicants must include and describe a target area that would benefit from a multi-system collaborative designed to create a continuum of community-based services that are offered on a universal basis to families within the community, rather than targeting certain groups.

Applicants must provide the rationale for selecting the target area for implementation, which should describe the characteristics of families and individuals living in those communities, including demographic data and participant/beneficiary information; an estimate of the number of children/families that will be impacted by the project; and child welfare status and/or history (e.g., referrals and repeat referrals, differential response, and substantiated reports of abuse and neglect).

Applicants must also describe the community needs of the target area where universal services will be offered and provide an assessment of the needs and resources of the communities. The applicant should assess community needs using child welfare administrative data referenced in the state’s National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) report and other data sources including, but not limited to, the state’s Early Learning Plan, Title V Home Visiting Needs Assessment, Kids Count, and regional data sources (e.g., unemployment, homelessness, TANF, teen pregnancy, opioid rates, domestic violence, and/or community violence statistics).

Applicants should also describe how families and individuals living in the target area will be engaged, including any relevant inclusion/exclusion criteria and a projection of the number to be served. In the event that certain groups are singled out, applicants must provide a rationale for not offering universal project activities and strategies.

Collaboration

Applicants must describe an established multi-system, community-based collaboration that has the capacity, resources, and continued commitment to implement the proposed project fully.

Applicants must clearly articulate how the composition of the community-based collaboration may evolve as the planning and implementation process progresses. Applicants must describe how partnerships among community agencies, administration of public and private agencies, non-traditional partners, and families will support the project's intended outcomes. Applicants must clearly articulate a strategic vision for the project design that accounts for changes in administration and staff turnover for the grantee organization and community stakeholders.

Applicants must provide detailed information about the infrastructure necessary to manage implementation of the project, including identification and description of:

  • The required partner organizations (i.e., the public child welfare agency, parents and youth with lived experience, legal and judicial community, the public health community, public housing, the public health community, and at least one community services or family assistance program/agency, and the CBCAP grantee). The description should outline each partner's respective roles, responsibilities, and financial commitments to the project;
  • The process of identifying and maintaining engagement of traditional family serving agencies, parents and youth with lived experience, and non-traditional partners (i.e., business/labor, non-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors);
  • The governance structure that describes the coordination of services, information sharing and data collection across systems, continuous quality improvement, and strategic planning;
  • The management procedures, positions, and functions that will effectively manage and coordinate activities carried out by all partners, subcontractors, and consultants, including internal and external TA providers, where applicable. The plan should include clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks and ensuring quality; 
  • The processes for monitoring implementation progress, including participant enrollment, staff selection and training, service dosage and duration, and ongoing identification of barriers or emerging implementation issues; and
  • A strategy to continue the project initiative in the event of a change in leadership.

In demonstrating organizational readiness and capacity, applicants must also provide information about the following component of the collaboration, including, but not limited to:

  • Routine consultation and interactions with other agencies, organizations, and community groups or institutions;
  • Cross training and staff development;
  • Processes for communication and information sharing; and
  • Co-location of services and supports.

Applicants must also provide the following in the Appendix section of their application:

  • Written agreements between the public child welfare system, relevant court partners, community services and family assistance programs/agencies, the CBCAP grantee, public housing, and the legal and public health community (i.e., Memorandums of Agreement);
  • Evidence of commitment from appropriate leadership (e.g., letters of commitment from local government and/or community stakeholders). If the primary applicant is not the child welfare agency, there must be a MOU from the relevant child welfare agency(ies); and 
  • A data sharing agreement that reflects a commitment to share administrative data for program evaluation, adjustment of approaches, and/or research.

Collaborative Planning Process

Applicants must provide a clear and reasonable plan to complete the following activities during the 10-month planning phase:

  • Finalize all partnership agreements (including data sharing agreements) necessary to support successful implementation of the community-based, multi-system collaborative;
  • Complete a minimum of three site visits to other jurisdictions to learn about promising community-based prevention programs that are focusing on similar needs for similar populations, to be determined in collaboration with CB;
  • Reassess the barriers and challenges to community-based and integrated family support services that are specific to the geographical area(s) to be targeted, including legal barriers;
  • Refine the target area for program implementation;
  • Reassess the planned strategies, practices, or activities and proposed timeline to ensure the appropriateness and fit for the target area for project implementation;
  • Revisit the project logic model and theory of change;
  • Further refine the site-specific evaluation plan;
  • Review and approval of the implementation and evaluation plans by CB; and
  • Revise the implementation and evaluation plans, as necessary.

Project Activities and Strategies

Applicants must provide a clear and reasonable description of an innovative plan to complete the following required project activities and strategies:

  • Consulting with youth and parents with lived experience in the child welfare system in the design and implementation of the community-based service delivery system;
  • Identifying barriers specific to the identified jurisdiction(s) and population(s) to be served, including legal barriers;
  • Identifying and engaging partners to address identified barriers with the goal of integrating the selected strategies and programs necessary to implement project work;
  • Identifying services gaps; for example, civil legal services (such as representation on housing, public benefits, immigration, and domestic violence related cases);
  • Promoting and sustaining community awareness of and commitment to community-based primary prevention services and resources; 
  • Establishing an approach to participate with the designated evaluation TA and other federal-led evaluation activities to better understand how the implementation of proposed strategies, practices, or activities influence the intended outcomes; and
  • Developing and/or implementing innovative strategies to leverage and coordinate existing public funding streams in order to adopt, implement, assess, and sustain effective community-based, prevention-focused services.

Applicants must also describe any additional proposed strategies designed to mitigate or eliminate barriers to the availability of community-based, family support services.

The description must include how the project will increase for families the awareness of and accessibility to an integrated continuum of community-based, prevention-focused services that are specific to the unique needs and strengths of the proposed target area for program implementation, within the defined geographical area. Applicants must describe how the multi-system collaborative will be designed to create the conditions for strong and thriving families and communities, where children are free from harm, by promoting social connections and reducing isolation. Applicants must describe how the project will develop or enhance a continuum of services so that families are linked with needed services and supports before more formal intervention is warranted, thereby strengthening protective factors and reducing the number of referrals to the public child welfare agency. Applicants must also state how the project will align with existing initiatives being conducted in response to other CB-funded programs and requirements (e.g., CBCAP).

Applicants must provide a clear and detailed approach explaining how they will facilitate and support the project partners' willingness to share administrative data for program evaluation. If the primary applicant is not the child welfare agency, the applicant must explain how the relevant public child welfare agency(ies) is involved in the development of and reporting on a common set of measures, and the applicant must propose an effective strategy for facilitating the regular use of administrative data for program evaluation.

Applicants must clearly describe the proposed strategies, practices, or activities that will be implemented and explain why they have been selected.

Applicants must provide the following:

  • A thorough outline of the core components of the proposed strategies, practices, and activities, including sequencing;
  • Existing relevant literature linking identified prevention strategies, practices, or activities with the project's intended outcomes (i.e., data demonstrating support for the application of the chosen strategies, practices, and activities with the defined target area(s)); and/or
  • A clear theoretical model, if little or no research exists.

Project Timeline and Milestones

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.


Program Performance Evaluation Plan

Applicants must describe the plan for the program performance evaluation that will contribute to continuous quality improvement. The program performance evaluation should monitor ongoing processes and the progress towards the goals and objectives of the project.  Include descriptions of the inputs (e.g., organizational profile, collaborative partners, key staff, budget, and other resources), key processes, and expected outcomes of the funded activities. The plan may be supported by a logic model and must explain how the inputs, processes and outcomes will be measured, and how the resulting information will be used to inform improvement of funded activities. 

Applicants must describe the systems and processes that will support the organization's performance management requirements through effective tracking of performance outcomes, including a description of how the organization will collect and manage data (e.g. assigned skilled staff, data management software) in a way that allows for accurate and timely reporting of performance outcomes. Applicants must describe any potential obstacles for implementing the program performance evaluation and how those obstacles will be addressed.

Applicants must describe a plan for site-specific process and outcome evaluations. Applicants must propose a data collection strategy for examining how the strategies, activities, or programs are implemented, including policies and procedures. Applicants must include demographics, risk and protective factors at program entry, services offered and received, and the number of families served as part of the plan. The data collection strategy should include how the applicant intends to measure implementation fidelity and a method for analyzing data from the process study. Applicants must identify any potential barriers to sharing administrative data for program evaluation and provide a plan to overcome those barriers. Applicants must include a detailed approach for how the project will maintain willingness and agreement to share administrative data for program evaluation. If the primary applicant is not the child welfare agency, the applicant should demonstrate how the relevant public child welfare agency(ies) is involved in the development and reporting on the common set of measures. This plan should include an effective strategy for facilitating regular use of administrative data across child welfare and other social service sites for program evaluation.

Applicants must also describe the methods they will use to evaluate project outcomes. Applicants must document and track intermediate outcomes linked to the intended outcomes (e.g., changes in risk and protective factors among participant families, changes in access to and uptake of services by at-risk families). Applicants must specifically assess changes in cross-agency collaboration. Applicants are expected to measure both participant-level and systems-level outcomes. 

The outcome evaluation plan should include discussion of the sample sizes needed to demonstrate improvements in the identified outcomes and data collection methods (including collection, storage, and management of grant-related data) and measures (including information on reliability and validity where appropriate). Data collection methods can be quantitative and qualitative, including, but not limited to, interviews with stakeholders.

At a minimum, evaluation plans should answer the following questions:

  • What core components of the strategies, activities, or programs were implemented?
  • Were the strategies, activities, or programs implemented as intended?
  • To what extent were the strategies, activities, or programs integrated within the existing system?
  • What strategies, activities, or programs did the project deliver to families and communities?
  • What steps did grantees take to support the continuation of the strategies, activities, or programs beyond the life of the current project period?
  • What effects did the strategies, activities, or programs have on the identified outcomes?
  • What effects did the strategies, activities, or programs have on the identified intermediate and long-term outcomes (e.g., changes in organizations, systems, agencies, and/or participant families who receive grant-supported activities)?

An appropriate plan for securing informed consent and implementing an Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and tribal review must be provided, if applicable.

Applicants should provide a data security plan that includes a plan for securing project participants’ consent to data collection and data sharing; a plan for secure transfer of participant data between organizations; a secure data storage plan that minimizes the risk of data being accessed by individuals not involved in the projects; and if applicable, a plan for de-identifying participant data before transmitting to the project evaluator, evaluation TA provider, or CB-identified cross-site process evaluation contractor. 

Applicants should note the FOA requires a minimum of 10 percent of grant funds be spent on required evaluation elements of this FOA, including the local evaluation and participation in the national cross-site evaluation.

Theory of Change

Applicants must provide a reasonable theory of change that is consistent with the logic model and the intent of the FOA. A theory of change clearly identifies how the selected activities will lead to  desired outcomes and address the problems identified by the grant. Outcomes should document each logical step in the grantee’s theory of change (e.g., the process by which grant activities will lead to the prevention of child abuse). Applicants must include intermediate and long-term outcomes (i.e., the results of a program, typically describing a change in people or systems). Applicants must include the context (i.e., relevant state, community, and organizational level actions that may affect the project and the outcomes it produces).

Skilled Evaluator

If the applicant does not have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective and comprehensive evaluation of the project, the applicant must propose contracting with a third-party evaluator specializing in social science to conduct the evaluation. Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed evaluator has sufficient experience with research and/or evaluation, understand the population of interest, and have experience in obtaining and analyzing child welfare data. Applicants should demonstrate that the proposed evaluator has experience with successfully implementing human services evaluations utilizing research designs similar to the proposed effort, developing logic models, and designing an evaluation strategy that is appropriate given the goals and objectives of the proposed project.

Applicants should also describe a plan for the applicant and the evaluator to work collaboratively with CB and CB’s designated evaluation TA provider to:

  • Establish targets for the identified outcomes, and throughout implementation, to conduct site-specific and cross-site evaluation activities during the planning year; and
  • Develop and report on a common set of measures for the site-specific process and outcome evaluation.

Geographic Location

Describe the precise location of the project and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project.


Legal Status of Applicant Entity
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.

Unless directed otherwise, applicants must include proof of non-profit status in the Appendices file of the electronic application submission.


Logic Model

Applicants must submit a logic 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);
  • Target population (e.g., the individuals to be served);
  • 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

Applicants must propose a plan for project sustainability after the period of federal funding ends. Grantees are expected to sustain key elements of their grant projects, e.g., strategies or services and interventions, which have been effective in improving practices and those that have led to improved outcomes for children and families.

Describe the approach to project sustainment that will be most effective and feasible. Describe the key individuals and/or organizations whose support will be required in order to sustain program activities. Describe the types of alternative support that will be required to sustain the planned program. If the proposed project involves key project partners, describe how their cooperation and/or collaboration will be maintained after the end of federal funding.

Organizational Capacity

Provide the following information on the applicant organization and, if applicable, on any cooperating partners:

  • Organizational charts;
  • Resumes (no more than two single-spaced pages in length);
  • Copy or description of the applicant organizationís fiscal control and accountability procedures;
  • Evidence that the applicant organization, and any partnering organizations, have relevant experience and expertise with administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of programs similar to that offered under this announcement;
  • Evidence that each participating organization, including partners and/or subcontractors, possess the organizational capability to fulfill their role(s) and function(s) effectively;

Dissemination Plan

Applicants must propose a plan to disseminate reports, products, and/or grant project outputs so that project information is provided to key target audiences. Dissemination plans must include:

  • Dissemination goals and objectives;
  • Strategies to identify and engage with target audiences;
  • Allocation of sufficient staff time and budget for dissemination purposes;
  • A preliminary plan to evaluate the extent to which target audiences have received project information and have used it as intended.
Third-Party Agreements

Third-party agreements include Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and Letters of Commitment. General letters of support are not considered to be third-party agreements. Third-party agreements must clearly describe the project activities and support to which the third party is committing.  Third-party agreements must be signed by the person in the third-party organization with the authority to make such commitments on behalf of their organization.

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.

Collaboration/consortia applicants must provide letters of commitment or MOU identifying the primary applicant that is responsible for administering the grant. The primary applicant must provide documentation of the commitments made by partnering organizations and describe in detail their roles and responsibilities as partners in the collaboration/consortia.

Letters of Support

Provide statements from community, public, and commercial leaders that support the project proposed for funding.  All submissions must be included in the application package.


Plan for Oversight of Federal Award Funds

Provide a plan describing how oversight of federal funds will be ensured and how grant activities and partner(s) will adhere to applicable federal and programmatic regulations. Applicants must identify staff that will be responsible for maintaining oversight of program activities, staff, and partner(s). Applicants must describe procedures and policies used to oversee staff and/or partners/contractors.

Describe organizational records systems that relate financial data to performance data by identifying the source and application of federal funds so that they demonstrate effective control over and accountability for funds, compare outlays with budget amounts, and provide accounting records supported by source documentation.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

All applicants are required to submit a project budget and budget justification with their application. The project budget is entered on the Budget Information Standard Form, either SF-424A or SF-424C, according to the directions provided with the SFs. The budget justification consists of a budget narrative and a line-item budget detail that includes detailed calculations for "object class categories" identified on the Budget Information Standard Form. Applicants must indicate the method they are selecting for their indirect cost rate.  See Indirect Charges for further information. 

Project budget calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. If matching or cost sharing is a requirement, applicants must include a detailed listing of any funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance). See the table in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications listing the appropriate budget forms to use in this application.

Special Note: The Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019, (Division B, Title II, Sec. 202), limits the salary amount that may be awarded and charged to ACF grants and cooperative agreements. Award funds issued under this announcement may not be used to pay the salary of an individual at a rate in excess of Executive Level II. The Executive Level II salary of the "Rates of Pay for the Executive Schedule" is $189,600. This amount reflects an individual's base salary exclusive of fringe benefits and any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties of the applicant organization. This salary limitation also applies to subawards and subcontracts under an ACF grant or cooperative agreement.

 

Provide a budget using the 424A and/or 424C, as applicable, for each year of the proposed project. Provide a budget justification, which includes a budget narrative and a line-item detail, for each year of the proposed project. The budget narrative should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.

Applicants must allocate sufficient funds in their budget to support the following required travel:

  • Within three months after the award, the project director, child welfare agency liaison (if different from the project director), evaluator, and one to two key staff (e.g., representatives from the required partnering agencies) must attend a two-day kick-off meeting, in Washington, DC;
  • The  project director, child welfare agency liaison (if different from the project director), evaluator, and one to two key staff (e.g., representatives from the required partnering agencies) must attend an annual two-day grantee meeting in Washington, D.C.; and
  • The project director, evaluator, and one to two key staff (e.g., representatives from partnering agencies) must plan and budget for a minimum of three site visits to other jurisdictions within the United States to learn about promising community-based, prevention-focused programs that are focusing on similar needs for similar populations, to be determined in collaboration with CB.

If applicants do not have the in-house capacity to conduct an objective evaluation, the applicant is requested to include dedicated funds for evaluation activities in the budget. This must include funds for a third-party evaluator specializing in social science evaluation to conduct the evaluation.

Applicants are required to spend a minimum of 10 percent of grant funds on required evaluation elements, including the local evaluation and participation in the national cross-site evaluation. Applicants must justify that the percentage of grant funds chosen is sufficient to conduct the required evaluation elements and that the remaining grant funds are sufficient to carry out all activities under this FOA.

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. Contractors and consultants should not be placed under this category.


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, and taxes.


Travel

Description:  Costs of out-of-state or overnight project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization. Do not include in-state travel or 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 project staff to attend ACF-sponsored workshops/conferences/grantee orientations 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 per unit 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 applicant organization's regular written accounting practices.) 

Justification:  For each type of equipment requested applicants must provide a description of the equipment; the cost per unit; the number of units; the total cost; and a plan for use of the equipment in the project; as well as a plan for the 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.  This includes office and other consumable supplies with a per-unit cost of less than $5,000.

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 third-party evaluation contracts, if applicable, and contracts with secondary recipient organizations (with budget detail), including delegate agencies and specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant.  This area is not for individual consultants.

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 are required to use 45 CFR 75.328 procedures and must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold fixed by 41 U.S.C. § 134, as amended by 2 CFR Part 200.88, and currently set at $150,000.  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 contractor/sub-contractor, by agency title, along with the same supporting information referred to in these instructions.  If the applicant plans to select the contractors/sub-contractors post-award and a detailed budget is not available at the time of application, the applicant must provide information on the nature of the work to be delegated, the estimated costs, and the process for selecting the delegate agency.


Other

Description: Enter the total of all other costs.  Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to: consultant costs, local travel; insurance; food (when allowable); medical and dental costs (noncontractual); professional services costs (including audit charges); 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 has one of two methods that an applicant can select.  An applicant may only select one.
 

1) The applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant federal agency.

Note: An applicant must enclose a copy of the current approved rate agreement.  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.

2) Per 45 CFR  § 75.414(f) Indirect (F&A) costs, “any non-Federal entity [i.e., applicant] that has never received a negotiated indirect costs rate, … may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10%  of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely.   As described in § 75.403, costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both.  If chosen, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all Federal awards until such time as a non-Federal entity chooses to negotiate for a rate, which the non-Federal entity may apply to do at any time.” 

 

Justification:  This method only applies to applicants that have never received an approved negotiated indirect cost rate from HHS or another cognizant federal agency.  Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposal may request the 10 percent de minimis rate.  When the applicant chooses this method, costs included in the indirect cost pool must not be charged as direct costs to the grant.


Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Description: Amounts of non-federal resources that will be used to support the project as identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

For all federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third-party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the recipient’s cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the criteria listed in 45 CFR § 75.306. 

For awards that require matching by statute, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the amount required by the statutory match. A recipient’s failure to provide the statutorily required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports. 

For awards that do not require matching or cost sharing by statute, where “cost sharing” refers to any situation in which the recipient voluntarily shares in the costs of a project other than as statutorily required matching, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards . These include situations in which contributions are voluntarily proposed by an applicant and are accepted by ACF. Non-federal cost sharing will be included in the approved project budget so that the applicant will be held accountable for proposed non-federal cost-sharing funds as shown in the Notice of Award (NOA). A recipient’s failure to provide voluntary cost sharing of non-federal resources that have been accepted by ACF as part of the approved project costs and that have been shown as part of the approved project budget in the NOA, may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports. 

Justification: If an applicant is relying on match from a third party, then a firm commitment of these resources (letter(s) or other documentation) is required to be submitted with the application. Detailed budget information must be provided for every funding source identified in Item18. "Estimated Funding ($)" on the SF-424. 

Applicants are required to fully identify and document in their applications the specific costs or contributions they propose in order to meet a matching requirement. Applicants are also required to provide documentation in their applications on the sources of funding or contribution(s). In-kind contributions must be accompanied by a justification of how the stated valuation was determined. Matching or cost sharing must be documented by budget period (or by project period for fully funded awards). A recipient’s failure to provide a statutorily required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds.

Applications that lack the required supporting documentation will not be disqualified from competitive review; however, it may impact an application’s scoring under the evaluation criteria in Section V.1. of this announcement.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, the public reporting burden for the Project Description and Budget/Budget Justification is estimated to average 60 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description and Budget/Budget Justification information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, expiration date is 01/31/2019. 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.

    Application Submission Options

    Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

This section provides the application submission and receipt instructions for ACF program applications. Please read the following instructions carefully and completely.

Electronic Delivery
ACF is participating in the Grants.gov initiative to provide the grant community with a single site to find and apply for grant funding opportunities. ACF applicants are required to submit their applications online through Grants.gov.

How to Register and Apply through Grants.gov
Read the following instructions about registering to apply for ACF funds. Applicants should read the registration instructions carefully and prepare the information requested before beginning the registration process. Reviewing and assembling the required information before beginning the registration process will alleviate last-minute searches for required information.

The registration process can take up to four weeks to complete. Therefore, registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required application submission deadlines.

Organization applicants can find complete instructions here: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html

Obtain a DUNS Number: All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Applicants must enter the DUNS number in the data entry field labeled "Organizations DUNS" on the SF-424 form.

For more detailed instructions for obtaining a DUNS number, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-1-obtain-duns-number.html

Register with SAM: In addition to having a DUNS number, organizations applying online through Grants.gov must register with the System for Award Management (SAM). All organizations must register with SAM in order to apply online. Failure to register with SAM will prevent your organization from applying through Grants.gov.

For more detailed instructions for registering with SAM, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-2-register-with-sam.html

Create a Grants.gov Account: The next step in the registration process is to create an account with Grants.gov. Applicants must know their organization's DUNS number to complete this process. Completing this process automatically triggers an email request for applicant roles to the organization's E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) for review. The EBiz POC is a representative from your organization who is the contact listed for SAM. To apply for grants on behalf of your organization, you will need the AOR role.

For more detailed instructions about creating a profile on Grants.gov, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration.html

Authorize Grants.gov Roles: After creating an account on Grants.gov, the EBiz POC receives an email notifying them of your registration and request for roles. The EBiz POC will then log in to Grants.gov and authorize the appropriate roles, which may include the AOR role, thereby giving you permission to complete and submit applications on behalf of your organization. You will be able to submit your application online any time after you have been approved as an AOR.

For more detailed instructions about creating a profile on Grants.gov. refer to:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration/authorize-roles.html

Track Role Status: To track your role request, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration/track-role-status.html


When applications are submitted through Grants.gov, the name of the organization's AOR that submitted the application is inserted into the signature line of the application, serving as the electronic signature. The EBiz POC must authorize individuals who are able to make legally binding commitment on behalf of the organization as an AOR; this step is often missed and it is crucial for valid and timely submissions.

How to Submit an Application to ACF via Grants.gov
Grants.gov applicants can apply online using Workspace. Workspace is a shared, online environment where members of a grant team may simultaneously access and edit different webforms within an application. For each FOA, you can create individual instances of a workspace.

The following is an overview of applying via Grants.gov. For access to complete instructions on how to apply for opportunities, refer to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html 

Create a Workspace: Creating a workspace allows you to complete an application online and route it through your organization for review before submitting.

Complete a Workspace: Add participants to the workspace, complete all the required forms, and check for errors before submission.

Adobe Reader: If you decide not to apply by filling out webforms you can download individual PDF forms in Workspace so that they will appear similar to other Standard or ACF forms. The individual PDF forms can be downloaded and saved to your local device storage, network drive(s), or external drive(s), then accessed through Adobe Reader.

NOTE: Visit the Adobe Software Compatibility page on Grants.gov to download the appropriate version of the software at: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/adobe-software-compatibility.html

Mandatory Fields in Forms: In the forms, you will note fields marked with an asterisk and a different background color. These fields are mandatory fields that must be completed to successfully submit your application.

Complete SF-424 Fields First: The forms are designed to fill in common required fields across other forms, such as the applicant name, address, and DUNS number. To trigger this feature, an applicant must complete the SF-424 information first. Once it is completed, the information will transfer to the other forms.

Submit a Workspace: An application may be submitted through workspace by clicking the Sign and Submit button on the Manage Workspace page, under the Forms tab. Grants.gov recommends submitting your application at least 24-48 hours prior to the close date to provide you with time to correct any potential technical issues that may disrupt the application submission.

Track a Workspace: After successfully submitting a workspace package, a Grants.gov Tracking Number (GRANTXXXXXXXX) is automatically assigned to the package. The number will be listed on the Confirmation page that is generated after submission.

For additional training resources, including video tutorials, refer to:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-training.html

Grants.gov provides applicants 24/7 support via the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email at support@grants.gov. For questions related to the specific grant opportunity, contact the number listed in the application package of the grant you are applying for.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your submission, it is best to call the Grants.gov Support Center and get a ticket number. The Support Center ticket number will assist ACF with tracking your issue and understanding background information on the issue.

Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission
All applications must be received by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date established for each program. Proof of timely submission is automatically recorded by Grants.gov. An electronic date/time stamp is generated within the system when the application is successfully received by Grants.gov. The applicant AOR will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and a tracking number (GRANTXXXXXXXX) from Grants.gov with the successful transmission of their application. Applicant AORs will also receive the official date/stamp and Grants.gov Tracking number in an email serving as proof of their timely submission.

When ACF successfully retrieves the application from Grants.gov, and acknowledges the download of submission, Grants.gov will provide an electronic acknowledgment of receipt of the application to the email address of the applicant with the AOR role. Again, proof of timely submission shall be the official date and time that Grants.gov receives your application. Applications received by Grants.gov after the established due date for the program will be considered late and will not be considered for funding by ACF.

Applicants with slow internet, such as dial-up connections, should be aware that transmission can take some time before Grants.gov receives your application. Again, Grants.gov will provide either an error or a successfully received transmission in the form of an email sent to the applicant with the AOR role. The Grants.gov Support Center reports that some applicants end the transmission because they think that nothing is occurring during the transmission process. Please be patient and give the system time to process the application.

Issues with Federal Systems
For any systems issues experienced with Grants.gov or SAM.gov, please refer to ACF’s “Policy for Applicants Experiencing Federal Systems Issues” document for complete guidance at www.acf.hhs.gov /sites/default/files/assets/systems_issue_policy_final.pdf.

Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission
To request an exemption from required electronic submission please refer to ACF’s “Policy for Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission” document for complete guidance at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/acf_policy_for_requesting_an_exemption_from_required_electronic.pdf.

Paper Format Application Submission
An exemption is required for the submission of paper applications. See the preceding section on "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission."

Applicants with exemptions that submit their applications in paper 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 AOR, and be unbound.  The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.7. of this announcement for address information for paper format application submissions. Applications submitted in paper format must be received by 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date.

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.4. Submission Dates and Times in this announcement.

IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

All applicants must have a DUNS Number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) and an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov/SAM, https://www.sam.gov).

Obtaining a DUNS Number may take 1 to 2 days.

All applicants are required to maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete. If a grant is awarded, registration at SAM must be active throughout the life of the award.

Plan ahead. Allow at least 10 business days after you submit your registration for it to become active in SAM and at least an additional 24 hours before that registration information is available in other government systems, i.e. Grants.gov.

This action should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your application through Grants.gov or prevent the award of a grant. Applicants should maintain documentation (with dates) of their efforts to register for, or renew a registration, at SAM. User Guides are available under the “Help” tab at https://www.sam.gov.

HHS requires all entities that plan to apply for, and ultimately receive, federal grant funds from any HHS Agency, or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:   

  • Be registered in the SAM prior to submitting an application or plan;
  • Maintain an active SAM 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 active DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

ACF is prohibited from making an award 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, ACF:

  • 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.
IV.4. Submission Dates and Times

IV.4. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Letter of Intent
Due Date for Letter of Intent: 05/23/2019
Due Date for Applications: 06/11/2019

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview section and in this section. See Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Electronic Applications
The deadline for submission of electronic applications via www.Grants.gov is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date. Electronic applications submitted at 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically via www.Grants.gov unless they received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by email or facsimile.

Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov are available at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period prior to the due date and time that fail the Grants.gov validation check will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged.

Mailed Paper Format Applications
The deadline for receipt of mailed, paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date. Mailed paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Hand-Delivered Paper Format Applications
Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, by overnight/express mail couriers, or other representatives of the applicant must be received on, or before, the due date listed in the Overview and in this section. These applications must be delivered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays). Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.7.Other Submission Requirements.

Hand-delivered paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Hand-delivered paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

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

  • Applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are considered late when they are dated and time-stamped after the deadline of 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • Paper format applications received by mail or hand-delivery after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
  • Paper format applications received from applicant organizations that were not approved for an exemption from required electronic application submission under the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Submission will be disqualified.

Emergency Extensions
ACF may extend an application due date when circumstances make it impossible for an applicant to submit their applications on time. Only events such as documented natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.), or a verifiable widespread disruption of electrical service, or mail service, will be considered. The determination to extend or waive the due date, and/or receipt time, requirements in an emergency situation rests with the Grants Management Officer listed as the Office of Grants Management Contact in Section VII. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s).

Acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov
Applicants will receive an initial email upon submission of their application 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's submission. Receipt of this email does not indicate that the application is accepted or that is has passed the validation check.

Applicants will also receive an email acknowledging that the received application is in the Grants.gov validation process, after which a third email is sent with the information that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, the series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged by ACF.

See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Acknowledgement from ACF of an electronic application's submission:
Applicants will be sent additional email(s) from ACF acknowledging that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF. Receipt of these emails is not an indication that the application is accepted for competition.

Acknowledgement from ACF of receipt of a paper format application:

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

IV.5. Intergovernmental Review

IV.5. Intergovernmental Review

This program is not subject to Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," or 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities." No action is required of applicants under this announcement with regard to E.O. 12372.
IV.6. Funding Restrictions

IV.6. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions are unallowable. Fund raising costs for the purposes of meeting the Federal program objectives are allowable with prior written approval from the Federal awarding agency. (45 CFR §75.442)

Proposal costs are the costs of preparing bids, proposals, or applications on potential Federal and non-Federal awards or projects, including the development of data necessary to support the non-Federal entity's bids or proposals. Proposal costs of the current accounting period of both successful and unsuccessful bids and proposals normally should be treated as indirect (F&A) costs and allocated currently to all activities of the non-Federal entity. No proposal costs of past accounting periods will be allocable to the current period. (45 CFR §75.460)

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.

Applicants must allot at least 10 percent of their budget to evaluation activities. 

IV.7. Other Submission Requirements

IV.7. Other Submission Requirements

Submit paper applications to one of the following addresses. Also see ACF Policy on Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto#chapter-6.

Submission By Mail

CB Operations Center
c/o LCG Inc.
Attn: HHS-2019-ACF-ACYF-CA-1559
6000 Executive Boulevard
Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852

Hand Delivery

CB Operations Center
c/o LCG Inc.
Attn: HHS-2019-ACF-ACYF-CA-1559
6000 Executive Boulevard
Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852

Electronic Submission

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

For all submissions, see Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Please note: With the exception of the funding opportunity announcement and relevant statutes and regulations, reviewers will not access, or review, any materials that are not part of the application documents.  This includes information accessible on websites via hyperlinks that are referenced, or embedded, in the application.  Though an application may include web links, or embedded hyperlinks, reviewers will not review this information as it is not considered to be part of the application documents.  Nor will the information on websites be taken into consideration in scoring of evaluation criteria presented in this section. Reviewers will evaluate and score an application based on the documents that are presented in the application and will not refer to, or access, external links during the objective review.

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.
Objectives and Need for Assistance Maximum Points:25

In reviewing the objectives and need for assistance, reviewers will consider the extent to which the applicant:

  1. Demonstrates a sound rationale for choosing the identified target area for project implementation, including presentation and analysis of relevant community level data (i.e., child welfare status and history, demographic and participant/beneficiary information, NCANDS, etc.) and evidence that such analysis was conducted by or in collaboration with the relevant public child welfare agency(ies).
  2. Presents a clear, concise, and appropriate vision for the proposed project. The overall vision for the project clearly addresses the need for a continuum of prevention-focused services that is coordinated by a multi-system collaborative as described in Section IV.2, Project Description, Approach, Collaboration, as a means of addressing the well-being needs of families before more formal intervention is warranted.
  3. Presents a clear description of the proposed project, including a clear statement of the goals (i.e., the intended end products of an effective project) and objectives (i.e., measurable steps for reaching these goals).
  4. Presents a clear and reasonable plan that demonstrates they understand how to use the planning phase to refine their proposed project plan in order to set a solid foundation for the project activities that will be developed during the implementation phase.
Approach Maximum Points:30

In reviewing the approach, reviewers will consider the extent to which:

  1. The applicant clearly describes their roles and responsibilities and the roles and responsibilities of identified partnering agencies. 
  2. The applicant proposes a network of partners to effectively implement the project. Required partners (i.e., public child welfare agency, parents and youth with lived experience, legal and judicial community, public housing, public health community, CBCAP grantee, and at least one community services and/or family assistance program/agency) are clearly identified.
  3. The applicant clearly explains how partners will take an active role in the project throughout the length of the project, including: (1) routine consultation and interaction with other agencies, (2) joint accountability and shared outcomes amongst agencies, (3) cross training and staff development, (4) processes for communication and information sharing, and (5) willingness and agreement to share administrative data for program evaluation and/or research.
  4. The applicant clearly articulates a strategic vision for the project design that accounts for changes in administration and turnover within the grantee organization and community partners.
  5. The applicant explains how the project would incorporate innovative prevention strategies, practices, or activities that mitigate or eliminate barriers to the availability of community-based, family support services. These strategies must include the required strategies listed in Section IV.2, Project Description, Approach, Project Activities and Strategies.
  6. The strategies for overcoming barriers are specific to the targeted jurisdiction and population.
  7. The applicant describes the development or enhancement of a continuum of services that build protective factors and reduce referrals to the public child welfare agency. 
  8. The applicant provides a synopsis of the available evidence or research supporting the proposed implementation strategies, practices, or activities. If little or no research exists, the applicant clearly outlines its theoretical model.
  9. The applicant provides a sound and reasonable work plan for accomplishing the stated objectives that covers the entire scope of the project, including the planning and implementation phases, and that are consistent with the project requirements described in Section IV.2. Program Description, Project Requirements, Collaborative Planning Process.
  10. The applicant provides a reasonable and appropriate timeline for implementing the proposed project, including milestones and target dates.
  11. The applicant provides a convincing plan for involving traditional family serving agencies, parents and youth with lived experience, and non-traditional partners (i.e., business/labor, non-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors) to support the planning and infrastructure needed for the development, implementation, and continued assessment of proposed programs and practices specific to the intent of this FOA.
  12. The proposed project plan includes sound strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of collaborative service delivery; promotes a collaborative, long-range plan of community-based, family support services; and includes procedures for leveraging funding streams for continuing this project beyond the period of federal funding.
  13. The applicant presents a detailed and sound dissemination plan for developing and strategically disseminating project information, products, and findings to effectively facilitate learning to the broader child welfare community.
Evaluation Maximum Points:15

In reviewing the evaluation plan, reviewers will consider the extent to which:

  1. The applicant's evaluation plan includes a plan to address the research questions listed in Section IV.2 The Project Description, Program Performance Evaluation Plan.
  2. The applicant outlines an appropriate sampling strategy that ensures a sample size that is sufficient to detect significant improvements in the identified outcomes.
  3. The applicant has described how they will collaborate with the designated evaluation TA provider during the planning year to establish targets for the identified outcomes and throughout implementation to conduct site-specific and cross-site evaluation activities.
  4. The applicant presents a clear plan to work with key partners, the designated evaluation TA provider, and CB to develop and report on a common set of measures for the site specific process and outcome evaluation.
  5. The applicant provides a clear and detailed approach for facilitating and supporting the project by establishing agreements to share administrative data for program evaluation. If the primary applicant is not the child welfare agency, the applicant demonstrates how the relevant public child welfare agency(ies) is involved in the development and reporting on the common set of measures and proposes an effective strategy for facilitating the regular use of administrative data across child welfare and other social service sites for program evaluation.
  6. The applicant provides a data security plan that includes a plan for securing project participants’ consent to data collection and data sharing; a plan for secure transfer of participant data between organizations; a secure data storage plan that minimizes the risk of data being accessed by individuals not involved in the projects; and if applicable, a plan for de-identifying participant data before transmitting to the project evaluator, evaluation TA provider, or CB-identified cross-site process evaluation contractor.
  7. The applicant proposes a preliminary logic model that is clearly described and supported by existing evidence; proposed activities are well-conceived, reasonable, and linked to the results and benefits expected; and all aspects of the model are appropriately measured within the timeframe of the grant.
  8. The applicant provides a reasonable preliminary theory of change for the project. The applicant provides a preliminary logic model for the project that is consistent with the theory of change and the intent of the FOA.
  9. The applicant proposes data collection methods (including collection, storage, and management of grant-related data) and analytical strategies for the process and outcome evaluation that are feasible, comprehensive, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and context of the project, and relevant to the FOA.
  10. The applicant proposes a data plan that includes demographics, risk and protective factors at program entry, services offered and received, and the numbers of families served.
  11. The applicant proposes data collection methods to track intermediate outcomes, measure participant- and systems-level outcomes, and assess changes in cross-agency collaboration.
  12. The applicant proposes appropriate implementation and outcomes measures and sufficiently justifies their selection (including information on reliability and validity where appropriate). The applicant provides a rationale for the selection of realistic measures that flow from the proposed plan as demonstrated in the applicant's logic model.
  13. The applicant demonstrates that the proposed evaluator has sufficient experience with research and/or evaluation to complete a comprehensive evaluation of the project, has experience conducting evaluations with child welfare populations, and has experiencing collecting and analyzing child welfare data.
  14. There is an appropriate plan for working with the national cross-site evaluator and complying with the requirements of the cross-site evaluation design.
  15. There is an appropriate plan for securing informed consent and implementing an IRB review and tribal review, if applicable.
  16. The applicant presents a realistic plan for using evaluation findings to produce ongoing documentation of project activities and results. The plan includes performance feedback and periodic assessment of program progress that can serve as a basis for program adjustments.
Organizational Capacity Maximum Points:25

In reviewing the organizational capacity, reviewers will consider the extent to which:

  1. The applicant organization and its staff document experience and expertise in successful collaboration and joint accountability with a variety of partners.
  2. The applicant demonstrates it has the capacity, commitment and accountability to support the planning and infrastructure needed to implement a multi-system collaborative with a continuum of community-based and prevention-focused services that will strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment.
  3. The applicant (and its partners, as applicable) demonstrates sufficient experience and expertise in the administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of projects similar in size.
  4. The applicant demonstrates sufficient experience, expertise, and understanding of child welfare systems, prevention-focused services, and community-based partnerships, to successfully address the barriers identified in their application.
  5. The applicant demonstrates experience with successful identification and engagement of traditional family serving agencies, parents and youth with lived experience, the legal and judicial community, and the public health community to develop a collaborative network that supports the target area for project implementation.
  6. The applicant has successful identification and engagement of non-traditional partners (i.e., business/labor, non-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors) to develop a collaborative network that supports the target area for project implementation.
  7. The applicant clearly demonstrates the ability to administer and implement the project effectively and efficiently. The applicant and all partnering organizations or subcontractors have the ability and organizational capacity to fulfill its roles and functions to satisfy its commitments related to the intent of this FOA.
  8. The proposed project director and key project staff demonstrate sufficient subject matter knowledge, experience, and capabilities (e.g., resume) to effectively implement and manage a project of this size, scope, and complexity.
  9. The roles, responsibilities, and time commitments of each proposed project staff position, including consultants or subcontractors, are clearly defined (e.g., job description) and appropriate to the successful implementation of the proposed project.
  10. The applicant includes a sound management plan that clearly describes the effective management and coordination of activities carried out by partners, subcontractors, consultants, and internal and external TA providers, if applicable, to ensure achievement of the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget.
  11. The management plan includes clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks and ensuring quality.
  12. The applicant provides MOUs, Memorandums of Agreement, or Letters of Commitment that are signed by the person in the organization with the authority to make such commitments on behalf of their organization and that demonstrate joint accountability and commitment to shared outcomes. If the primary applicant is not the child welfare agency, there must be a MOU from the relevant child welfare agency(ies).
Budget and Budget Justification Maximum Points:5

In reviewing the budget and budget justification, reviewers will consider the extent to which:

  1. There is a detailed budget justification for each year of the project. The costs of the proposed project are reasonable in view of the activities to be conducted and the expected results.
  2. The budget includes reasonable costs associated with travel for the project director, child welfare agency liaison (if different from the project director), evaluator, and one or two key staff (e.g. representatives from the required partnering agencies) to attend the kick-off and annual grantee meetings in Washington, DC.
  3. The budget shows that a minimum of 10 percent of grant funds will be spent on required evaluation elements of this FOA, including the local evaluation and participation in the national cross-site evaluation.
  4. The budget includes reasonable costs associated with travel for the project director, evaluator, and one to two key staff (e.g., representatives from partnering agencies) to conduct a minimum of three site visits to other jurisdictions within the United States to learn about promising community-based programs that are focusing on similar needs for similar populations.
  5. The applicant presents reasonable and timely evidence that their fiscal controls and accounting procedures would ensure prudent use, proper and timely disbursement, and accurate accounting of funds received under this FOA.
V.2. 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 a DUNS number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) and an active registration at SAM (www.sam.gov). See Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM).

Initial ACF Screening
Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets any of the disqualification factors described in Section III.3.Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Disqualified applications are considered to be “non-responsive” and are excluded from the competitive review process. Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

Objective Review and Results
Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using only the criteria described in Section V.1. Criteria of this announcement. Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include 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. Scores and rankings are only one element used in the award 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.

ACF may refuse funding for projects with what it regards as unreasonably high start-up costs for facilities or equipment, or for projects with unreasonably high operating costs.

ACF may elect not to fund applicants and/or partnering organizations that have previously demonstrated an inability to adhere to ACF reporting requirements. 

Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants

As required by 2 CFR Part 200, the Uniform Guidance, effective January 1, 2016, ACF is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), www.fapiis.gov/, before making any award in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000) over the period of performance. An applicant may review and comment on any information about itself that a federal awarding agency has previously entered into FAPIIS. ACF will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR § 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants (http://www.ecfr.gov/ cgi-bin/text-idx?node=se2.1.200_1205&rgn=div8).

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 in the objective review process, but not selected for award, may receive funding if additional funds become available or may compete for funding during the next review cycle (if one occurs in the next fiscal year). Applications designated as “approved but unfunded” typically cannot be kept in an active status for more than 12 months. For those applications determined as “approved but unfunded,” notice will be given of the determination by email.

 
 

V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

Announcement of awards and the disposition of applications will be provided to applicants at a later date. ACF staff cannot respond to requests for information regarding funding decisions prior to the official applicant notification. 

VI. Federal Award Administration Information

VI.1. Federal Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Notice of Award (NoA) 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 NoA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail, email, or by GrantSolutions.gov or the Head Start Enterprise System (HSES), whichever is relevant. Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter signed by the cognizant Program Office head. Any other correspondence that announces to a Principal Investigator, or a Project Director, that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance.

Project costs that are incurred prior to the receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to the extent that they are considered allowable as approved pre-award costs. Information on allowable pre-award costs and the time period under which they may be incurred is available in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions

Grantees may translate the Federal award and other documents into another language. In the event of inconsistency between any terms and conditions of the Federal award and any translation into another language, the English language meaning will control. Where a significant portion of the grantee’s employees who are working on the Federal award are not fluent in English, the grantee must provide the Federal award in English and in the language(s) with which employees are more familiar.

 

VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to 45 CFR Part 75 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is available at www.ecfr.gov. Unless otherwise noted in this section, administrative and national policy requirements that are applicable to discretionary grants are available at: www.acf.hhs.gov/administrative-and-national-policy-requirements.

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. 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 Notice of Award (NOA). The HHS GPS is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-1.


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. 

 

VI.3. Reporting

 
Performance Progress Reports: Semi-Annually

Recipients under this FOA will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. Information on reporting requirements is available on the ACF website at www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-2.

For planning purposes, the frequency of required reporting for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

Financial Reports: Semi-Annually
VII. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s)

Program Office Contact

Beth Claxon
Administration for Children and Families
Administration on Children, Youth, and Families
Children's Bureau
CB Operations Center c/o LCG, Inc.
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (888) 203-6161
Email: CB@grantreview.org
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Bridget Shea Westfall
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Administration
Office of Grants Management
CB Operations Center c/o LCG, Inc.
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (888) 203-6161
Email: CB@grantreview.org
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service (FedRelay) at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.

VIII. Other Information

Reference Websites


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) www.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) www.acf.hhs.gov/.

ACF Funding Opportunities Forecast www.grants.gov/.

ACF Funding Opportunity Announcements ami.grantsolutions.gov/.

ACF "How To Apply For A Grant" https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto.

Grants.gov Accessibility Information www.grants.gov/ web/grants/accessibility-compliance.html.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)  http://www.ecfr.gov/.

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

 

Application Checklist

 

Applicants may use this checklist as a guide when preparing an application package.

 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

Letter of Intent

Referenced in Section IV.2. Project Description.

Submission is due by the Letter of Intent due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submit with the application by the due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.

The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification.

Submission is required in addition to submission of SF-424A and / or SF-424C.


Submission is required with the application package by the due date in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non- Construction Programs and SF-424B - Assurances - Non- Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

These forms are available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section. 
They are required for applications that include only non-construction activities. 

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

 

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity

Proof of non-profit status should be submitted with the application package by the application due date and time listed in the Overview and Section IV.4. of the FOA. 

If it is not available at the time of application submission, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Certification Regarding Lobbying
(Grants.gov Lobbying Form)

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due with the application package or prior to the award of a grant.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in
Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due at the time of application. 


If it not available at the time of application, it may also be submitted prior to the
award of a grant.

SF-424 Key Contact Form

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due with the application by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. 

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Mandatory Grant Disclosure

Requirement, submission instructions, and mailing addresses are found in the "Mandatory Grant Disclosure"  in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances and Certifications.

If applicable, concurrent submission to the Administration for Children and Families and to the Office of the Inspector General is required.

Protection of Human Subjects Assurance Identification / IRB Certification / Declaration of Exemption (Common Rule)

Referenced in Section IV.2. Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. See http​://www​.hhs​.gov​/ ohrp​/ assur​ances​/ forms​/ index​.html​ for additional information.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ 

Submission of the required information and forms is due with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. If the information is not available at the time of application, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (IDR)

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification


The IDR must be submitted with the application package. 

If the IDR is available by the application due date, it must be
submitted with the application package. 

If it is not available by the application due date, listed in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times, it may be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Referenced in Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) in the announcement.

To obtain a DUNS number (Unique Entity Identifier), go to http​://fedgo​v​.dnb​.com​/webfo​rm​.

To register at SAM, go to http​://www​.sam​.gov​.

A DUNS number (Unique Entity Identifier) and registration at SAM.gov are required for all applicants.

Active registration at SAM must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

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

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.