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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Substance Abuse in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities

Deadline: July 10, 2017

Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Substance Abuse in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities will be awarded to regional partnerships that provide, through interagency collaboration and integration of programs, activities, and services that are designed to increase well-being, improve permanency, and enhance the safety of children who are in an out-of-home placement or are at risk of being placed in out-of-home care as a result of a parent’s or caregiver’s substance abuse in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.

Grantees are required to:

  • Use services and interventions that are emerging (evidence-informed), supported, or well-supported by evidence that are appropriate and culturally responsive to the target populations they select
  • Address child well-being along with the more traditional goals of safety and permanency as part of their selected strategy or program
  • Conduct an evaluation sufficiently rigorous to contribute to building the evidence base on service delivery and outcomes associated with the chosen interventions
  • Participate in the national cross-site evaluation and collect and report performance and evaluation measures to increase the knowledge that can be gained from the Regional Partnership Grants (RPG) program

Project requirements include:

  • Target population: The target population of the project should include communities in which there are a number of children in out-of-home placements or who are at risk of being placed in an out-of-home placement due to the substantial impact of substance abuse in AI/AN communities.
  • Collaboration: Grantees will collaborate with a wide range of family-serving agencies, including, but not limited to, child welfare agencies, substance abuse treatment providers, mental health agencies, courts, and other service organizations.
  • Program strategies and activities: Grantees will implement specific services and activities that increase the well-being, improve permanency outcomes, and enhance safety of children who are in or at risk of being placed in an out-of-home placement as a result of a parent’s or caretaker’s substance abuse in AI/AN communities. Children’s Bureau (CB)-supported contractors will work with grantees after the award to assess the fit of program strategies and activities for the identified target population and review how the quality of the program services and activities influence the intended outcomes of the grant.
  • Using evidence-supported and/or emerging (evidence-informed) practices: Grantees will build upon existing collaborative practices and fund services or practices that are: well-supported and supported by evidence, as well as those innovative practices that are emerging, but are evidence-informed; that are appropriate for the population of focus; and that are shown to be effective in achieving the outcomes of the grant. Grantees are required to: 1) identify the evidence supported and emerging (evidence-informed) practices they plan to use; 2) provide evidence that shows the practices to be effective; 3) commit to fidelity in implementing the practices; and 4) provide a rationale for using the practices in the identified community with the identified target population. Evidence supported refers to approaches that are validated by some form of documented research evidence.
  • Planning period: A six month planning period is allowed, after which grantees are required to have the project up and fully functioning as described in the application timeline.
  • Evaluation: Grantees must implement a local evaluation plan of sufficient rigor to assess impacts on service delivery and outcomes for the specified target population and to contribute to the evidence base for approaches that improve well-being and functioning for families affected by substance use disorders. Grantees must participate fully in a national cross-site evaluation in which an Administration for Children and Families (ACF)-supported contractor analyzes the performance and/or outcomes of multiple projects that are funded under the grant program.
  • Tribal considerations: Evaluation-related work done by grantees should incorporate the themes and values of CB’s Roadmap for Co-Creating Collaborative & Effective Evaluation To Improve Tribal Child Welfare Programs. The Roadmap can be accessed at http​://www.acf​.hhs​.gov​/progr​ams​/cb​/resou​rce​/triba​l​-workg​roup​.
  • Well-being as a special consideration: Applicants must identify at least one well-being measure indicator for children and one well-being indicator for adults (either proximal or distal) that is to be achieved as a result of the proposed project. The well-being of both children and parents or caretakers should be better as a result of the programs and services offered by the grantees. CB recognizes that well-being can be defined in a variety of ways (physical, social/emotional, cognitive, etc.), but applicants are required to give particular focus on the social/emotional well-being of its target population. This may include, but is not limited to, grantees that demonstrate the proposed activities will result in proximal outcomes of improved child and family functioning, increased parenting skills, improved developmental functioning, or improved protective factors such as increased resiliency or attachment.
  • Dissemination: Grantees are expected to work throughout the course of their grants with federal project officers, the relevant CB training and technical assistance providers, and other grants in this cluster to: 1) finalize individual grant dissemination goals, objectives, and strategic plans; 2) identify and engage with target audiences for dissemination; 3) produce detailed procedures, materials, and other products based on the program evaluation and the needs of identified target audiences; 4) develop and disseminate summarized/synthesized information about the grant; and 5) evaluate their dissemination processes and outcomes.
  • Project sustainability plan: Grantees will be expected to submit grant progress reports that explain ongoing efforts to assess and gather evidence on the particular strategies and activities initiated under this grant that should and can be sustained after the end of the project period.

Amount: A total of $3,600,000 is available to make six cooperative agreements that range from $500,000-$600,000 and average $500,000 per budget period. The project period is for 60 months with five 12-month budget periods. Grantees must provide a matching requirement that increases from 15%-25% over the duration of the grant (see solicitation for details).

Eligibility: Regional partnerships, which are defined as a collaborative agreement (which may be established on an interstate or intrastate basis) entered into by at least two of the following parties:

  • The state child welfare agency responsible for the administration of the state plan, unless it is a regional partnership entered into by Indian tribes or tribal consortia
  • The state agency responsible for administering the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant
  • An Indian tribe or tribal consortium (federally recognized)
  • Nonprofit or for-profit child welfare service providers
  • Community health service providers
  • Community mental health providers
  • Local law enforcement agencies
  • Judges and court personnel
  • Juvenile justice officials
  • School personnel
  • Tribal child welfare agencies or a consortia of such agencies
  • Any other providers, agencies, personnel, officials, or entities that are related to the provision of child and family services under the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program

The state child welfare agency responsible for the state plan must be included in the Regional Partnership. If the Regional Partnership is located in a state-supervised, county-administered state, the county child welfare agency satisfies the administration of the state plan requirement. In such a Regional Partnership, the state agency that is ultimately responsible for state plan compliance is not required to be a partner in the Regional Partnership but also is not precluded from participating as a member of the Regional Partnership. In a state-administered system, a local office of the state child welfare agency can participate in the Regional Partnership and satisfy this statutory requirement.

If an Indian tribe or tribal consortium enters into a Regional Partnership, the Indian tribe may (but is not required to) include the state child welfare agency as a partner in the collaborative agreement. If the regional partnership is an Indian tribe or tribal consortia, they may not enter into a collaborative agreement only with tribal child welfare agencies (or a consortium of such agencies). The Indian tribe or tribal consortium applicant should enter into a collaborative agreement by at least two of the parties listed above.

Grantees are expected to have a collaborative infrastructure in place that is capable of building the region’s capacity to meet a broad range of needs for families involved with substance use disorder treatment, child welfare systems, court, and other service organizations in AI/AN communities.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=288214

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