Summary Information

1. Awarding Agency Name: Illinois Department of Human Services
2. Agency Contact: Ngoan Le, Illinois Department of Human Services/Bureau of Refugee & Immigrant Services @ or 312-793-7120
3. Announcement Type:

X Initial announcement

Modification of a previous announcement

4. Type of Assistance Instrument: Grant
5. Funding Opportunity Number: 20-444-80-1456-01
6. Funding Opportunity Title: Immigrant Integration
7. CSFA Number: 444-80-1456
8. CSFA Popular Name: Immigrant Integration
9. CFDA Number(s): Not applicable
10. Anticipated Number of Awards: To be determined based on coverage of services needed statewide
11. Estimated Total Program Funding: $6,035,000
12. Award Range To be determined based whether the application is for a single agency, or a consortium of agencies
13. Source of Funding:
14. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
15. Indirect Costs Allowed Yes
Restrictions on Indirect Costs No
16. Posted Date: March 6, 2019
17.Application Deadline Noon on April 15, 2019
18. Technical Assistance Session:

Session Offered: Yes

Session Mandatory:  No

@ 1:00 - 3:00 PM, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Illinois Department of Human Services

401 S. Clinton, Training Room 1, 1st floor, Chicago, Illinois 60607

RSVP by noon Tuesday, March 12, 2019 via

NOFO Supplemental

(Agency-specific Content for the Notice of Funding Opportunity)

A. Program Description

The overall goal of the Immigrant Integration NOFO is to improve opportunities for self-sufficiency and successful integration for immigrants and refugees. The goal is achieved through helping low-income Limited-English-proficient (LEP) immigrants/refugees gain access to public benefits and increasing the rates of naturalization for eligible legal permanent residents. The NOFO has two components:

  1. Immigrant Family Resource Program
  2. New Americans Initiative

Funding will be prioritized for areas with high concentration of low-income immigrants. Data can be found via:

Organizations interested in this NOFO can apply to one or both components.

1. Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP) - This program is designed to address language barriers and lack of information about human services that prevent immigrants/refugees from securing public benefits and services. IDHS seeks to ensure that LEP immigrants/refugees know about public benefits and assist those eligible to obtain them.

IDHS has made significant changes to its benefits application process. Eligible individuals and families can apply for TANF, SNAP and Medicaid online, or have an approved representative to assist them with this process. This online system allows for individuals and families to submit applications electronically, rather than having to come to FCRCs (Family and Community Resource Centers).

The recent implementation of phase II of the Integrated Eligibility System (IES) has introduced additional online functions designed to improve the benefits application and management process. In addition to being able to submit benefits applications on line, individuals and families are able to update their information online directly and timely, such as changes in income, address, household composition, and work status. This new process is expected to reduce the time needed to complete the traditional paperwork requirements and time spent at the FCRCs. Low-income LEP immigrants/refugees should be made aware of and benefit from these changes.

Low-income LEP immigrants/refugees receiving TANF and SNAP could be at risk of losing the benefits if they are unable to meet work participation requirements and make progress toward self-sufficiency. Work participation requirements need to be explained to immigrants receiving TANF and SNAP. Additionally, services to help meet the work requirements should also be provided.

Services eligible for funding under this area include:

a) Translation of key IDHS documents to the languages spoken by the largest low-income LEP immigrant groups eligible for IDHS services. Spanish translation of IDHS forms will not be needed due to the fact that IDHS has an internal unit handling Spanish translation work on an on-going basis. All current IDHS information as well as benefits applications/notifications are bilingual in English and Spanish.

b) Development of a multi-media campaign in multiple languages, and targeted to diverse immigrant communities, to educate potentially eligible low-income LEP immigrants/refugees on:

  • IDHS programs and services, including Medicaid, TANF, SNAP benefits and work requirements.
  • New IES online system to apply for public benefits and Manage My Case function to update personal information.
  • Any new federal policy changes that may affect eligibility for federal benefits.

c) Provision of outreach and community education to raise awareness about the availability of public benefits and other services that support personal and family well-being and economic self-sufficiency. Ensure that the community is well informed on state and federal policies on public benefits eligibility based on immigration status. Outreach and education should be linguistically and culturally appropriate to specific immigrant communities.

d) Assistance and provision of interpretation and/or translation services either for FCRCs, or immigrants/refugees seeking to apply for, or meeting on-going requirements of, public benefits such as TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, or childcare.

e) Case management services to help immigrants/refugees address barriers preventing them from applying for public benefits or other human services.

2. New Americans Initiative - For over 10 years IDHS has helped eligible legal permanent residents apply for citizenship through the naturalization process. Assistance can also be provided for individuals eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Priority for services must be for low-income LEP immigrants/refugees, seniors, women and youth with special needs.

Services under this area can include:

a) Community education and outreach - to raise awareness about the benefits of and requirements of the naturalization process, as well as to inform the community and eligible immigrants/refugees of the programs and services available to assist them. Outreach and education should be linguistically and culturally appropriate to specific immigrant communities.

b) Citizenship civic education and relevant English classes - provide short-term citizenship training classes to ensure that eligible immigrants/refugees will acquire knowledge, such as the U.S. Constitution and history, as required for citizenship.

c) Assistance, including legal guidance, with U.S. Citizenship or DACA application preparation/submission and interview.


IDHS requires the successful applicants to meet the following performance standards:

  • Services provided to at least 80% of the projected number of customers.
  • Successful outcomes for at least 80% of services delivered.
  • Timely and accurate fiscal and program reports.

Special note: Agencies interested in providing training and technical assistance for community service providers can also submit application for either IFRP or NAI and describe how their services can improve the outcomes described in this NOFO.

B. Funding Information

Funding for the Immigrant Integration services is made available through Public Act 99-0524. A total of $6,035,000 will be used to fund the services described in this NOFO.

  • Up to $2,268,741 will be allocated to support programs providing assistance to educate and secure IDHS services/public benefits for low-income LEP immigrants/refugees
  • Up to $3,766,259 will be allocated to programs providing training and assistance for eligible legal permanent residents to apply successfully for citizenship or DACA. Priority for services must be for low-income LEP immigrants/refugees, seniors, women and youth with special needs

Funding will support services provided from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. Funding may be renewed, subject to appropriation, for up to two one-year periods at IDHS discretion. Renewal is conditional on meeting performance measures, timely compliance with reporting requirements, and compliance with any corrective action plan or findings.

Applicant needs to submit a budget for the period for which the services are anticipated to be delivered, within the State Fiscal Year 2020.

Note: Pre-award costs for services in anticipation of an award are allowable where necessary for the efficient and timely performance of the program, and are subject to 2 CFR 200.458. Applicants who have been performing the services specified in this NOFO since July 1, 2019 must provide proof of services and associated expenses.

Only applicants who receive an award as a result of the NOFO and merit-based review process will be eligible for pre-award costs. Any applicant who has performed services since July 1, 2019 that does not receive an award under this NOFO will not be eligible for reimbursement of costs incurred.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicant - IDHS will consider applications from an individual agency or a consortium of qualified community-based agencies and with a prime grantee/fiscal agent. Prime grantee applicants must be able to sub-contract with consortium agencies located in the areas with high concentration of low-income LEP immigrants/refugees.

All interested applicants, including prime grantee and sub-recipients, must meet the following c criteria:

a. Is a nonprofit organizations subject to 26 U.S.C. 501(c) (3) in good standing with the State of Illinois.

b. Has experience and successful track record of providing immigrant and refugee services.

c. Has prior experience or knowledge of the Immigrant Integration program model.

d. Has knowledge and expertise in working with federal and state policies regarding immigrant and refugee status.

e. Demonstrates understanding in ethnic diversity of the immigrant and refugee populations and the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate services unique to this program.

f. Is able to meet the program goals described in this NOFO.

Applicants seeking to serve as prime grantee/fiscal agent must also meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least five years of successful experience in managing to manage sub-grants for direct services, including training, monitoring and service evaluation.
  • The capacity to manage system planning and program operation.
  • The capacity to provide technical assistance, collect service data and generate program reports using the data provided by the service providers.
  • The capacity to provide program and fiscal monitoring.

The applicants must also be willing to comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity including, but not limited to: The Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.), The Public Works Employment Discrimination At (775 ILCS 10/1 et seq.), The United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) (42 USC 2000a-and 2000H-6), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794), The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC 12101 et seq.), and The Age Discrimination Act (42 USC 6101 et seq.)

An organization may apply for a grant but will not be eligible for a grant award until the organization has been pre-qualified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal, During pre-qualification, verifications are performed including a check of federal Exclusion List and status on the Illinois Stop Payment List. The Grantee Portal alerts grant applicants of "qualified" status or informs how to remediate a negative verification (e.g., inactive DUNS, not in good standing with the Secretary of State). Inclusion on the Exclusion List cannot be remediated.

FY2020 Pre-Qualification Process

In order to apply for Immigrant Integration funding, grant applicants must complete:

  • The Programmatic Risk Assessment
  • Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ) completed via Grantee Portal. 
  • Grantees should be aware, it is important to make sure all other requirements pertaining to pre-qualification are in good standing. This includes:
    • Account
    • Federal Employer ID (FEIN)
    • Federal Excluded Parties List
    • Federal Delinquent Debt
    • Illinois Secretary of State
    • Illinois Stop Payment List
    • Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) Sanction List (if applicable)

Grant applicants should monitor these items to ensure they do not expire during the grant application process. Program staff will also alert grantees of any expiration of these requirements to ensure grant applicants remain in good standing.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching.

There is no cost-sharing requirement for this program.

3. Indirect Cost Rate.

In order to charge indirect costs to a grant, the applicant organization must have an annually negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). There are three types of NICRAs: a) Federally Negotiated Rate. Organizations that receive direct federal funding, may have an indirect cost rate that was negotiated with the Federal Cognizant Agency. Illinois will accept the federally negotiated rate. The organization must provide a copy of the federally NICRA. b) State Negotiated Rate. The organization may negotiate an indirect cost rate with the State of Illinois if they do not have a Federally Negotiated Rate. If an organization has not previously established in indirect cost rate, an indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted through State of Illinois' centralized indirect cost rate system no later than three months after receipt of a Notice of State Award (NOSA). If an organization previously established an indirect cost rate, the organization must annually submit a new indirect cost proposal through CARS within six months after the close of the grantee's fiscal year. c) De Minimis Rate. An organization that has never negotiated an indirect cost rate with the Federal Government of the State of Illinois is eligible to elect a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct cost (MTDC). Once established, the De Minimis Rate may be used indefinitely. The State of Illinois must verify the calculation of the MTDC annually in order to accept the De Minimis Rate.

All grantees must complete an indirect cost rate negotiation or elect the De Minimis Rate to claim indirect costs. Indirect costs claimed without a negotiated rate or a De Minimis Rate election on record in the State of Illinois' centralized indirect cost rate system may be subject to disallowance.

Grantees have discretion and can elect to waive payment for indirect costs. Grantees that elect to waive payments for indirect costs cannot be reimbursed for indirect costs. The organization must record an election to "Waive Indirect Costs" into the State of Illinois' centralized indirect cost rate system.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Information on Application Package - Interested grant applicants can find all required grant application documents that must be completed in this NOFO. For those unable to access the NOFO and instructions on IDHS website to access the grant application, paper copy of the NOFO and grant application can be obtained by contacting:

Agata Fieske-Nesheiwat

Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services

Illinois Department of Human Services

401 S. Clinton, 4th floor

Chicago, Illinois 60607


2. Content and Form of Application Submission - Interested applicants must complete the following required documents:

a. The Letter of Intent by noon on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. The purpose of the Letter of Intent is for IDHS to prepare for the applications review process.

b. Uniform Grant Application by noon Monday, April 15, 2019.

c. Grant Application Narrative by noon on Monday, April 15, 2019.

d. Uniform Grant Budget - The proposed budget must be entered, signed and submitted in CSA and is required for the application to be considered complete. A hard copy of this signed and submitted budget must be included with the application. Both the electronic and hard copies must be received by noon on Monday, April 15, 2019.

Grant applicants can find information on how to access the CSA via this link:

All required documents must be submitted online to  by the deadlines established. Applications received after the deadline stated above will not be considered for funding.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria - ALL applicants must demonstrate that they meet all requirements under this NOFO as described throughout. Applications that fail to meet the criteria described in the Eligible Applicants and Mandatory Requirements of Applicants as identified in Section C Eligibility Information will not be evaluated or considered for funding.

Grant applications received will be reviewed by IDHS staff, including staff from the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services; persons with expertise on immigrant issues may also be included.

The maximum possible score is 100 points. All applications will be reviewed, evaluated, and rated based on the following criteria: 

25 points 1
Agency Qualifications: The extent to which the applicant demonstrates:
a)  Strong management, supervision, and well-organized internal organizational structure to insure effective program/service delivery and sound fiscal conditions.
b)  Successful history of working with immigrants and refugees, including having the expertise and capacity to deliver the services procured in the NOFO, such as: language and cultural competency, track record of providing effective services for low-income LEP immigrants/refugees, delivering successful program outcomes.
c)  Evidence of staff qualifications, experience and capability to carry out the proposed program.
20 points 2 Community Identification and Client Projection: The extent to which the applicant clearly defines and describes the geographic communities and the proposed target population the applicant plans to serve, and how the applicant is rooted in the community or communities it proposes to serve.
40 points 3 Program Design and Implementation: The extent to which the overall program design adequately and effectively addresses:
a)  Service strategies to meet the specific unique characteristics and needs of the proposed client population.
b)  Specific measureable outcomes for the proposed services.
c)  Ongoing program/service quality control through program reporting and evaluation.
15 points 4 Budget & Costs Justification: The extent to which the budget narrative provides:
a)  Thorough and clear justification for all proposed line item expenditures.
b)  All expenditures and program costs are reasonable and allowable.
c)  Proposed staffing is sufficient to address client projections and client language needs.
d)  Where available, supplemental or companion funding is clearly identified.

2. Review and Selection Process: Funding decisions will be based upon the quality of the applicant's program plan and budget/budget narrative based on the 100-point scale described above.

3. Anticipated Announcement and State Award Dates, if applicable. Final award decisions will be made by IDHS.

"A Notice of State Award " (NOSA) will be sent to each of the finalists prior to executing a grant agreement. This notice is not an authorization to begin performance. It is anticipated that the NOSA will be issued by June 1, 2019.

IDHS reserves the rights to negotiate the terms and conditions for the final grant award, including performance outcomes.

4. Merit-Based Evaluation Appeal Process

The appeal is limited to the evaluation process. Evaluation scores may not be protested. IDHS may appoint one or more Appeals Review Officer (AROs) to consider the grant-related appeals and make a recommendation to the agency head or designee for resolution.

a) Submission of Appeal:

i) An appeal must be submitted in writing to

ii) An appeal must be received within 14 calendar days after the date that the grant award notices have been published.

iii) The written appeal shall include at a minimum the following:

  • The name and address of the appealing party
  • Identification of the grant (CFSA number)
  • A statement of reasons for the appeal

b) Response to Appeal

* IDHS will acknowledge receipt of the appeal within 14 calendar days after it receives the appeal.

* The agency shall respond to the appeal within 60 days. If this is impracticable, the agency will provide the appealing party a written explanation of why additional time is required.

* The appealing party must supply to the agency any additional information requested within the time period identified in the request for additional information.

F. Award Administration Information

1. State Award Notices

Successful applicants will receive a notice stating that a project has been selected before the actual State award is made. This notice is not an authorization to begin services. A fully executed contract with the Illinois Department of Human Services is the authorizing document that must be in place prior to the provider initiating service delivery.

IDHS will provide the successful applicant a Notice of State Award (NOSA) which specifies the funding terms and specific conditions resulting from the pre-award risk assessments. The NOSA must be accepted through the Grantee Portal. The NOSA is not an authorization to begin performance or incur costs. The NOSA will be provided through Grantee Portal

Unsuccessful applicant will receive a formal notice of the decision. This notice will begin the 14-day appeal window.

2. Reporting

Successful applicant will be required to submit:

a) Monthly Program Performance Report (PPR) in the format prescribed by IDHS.

b) Monthly Program Fiscal Report (PFR) in the format developed by IDHS.

c) End of contract fiscal and program reports as required by IDHS.

G. State Awarding Agency Contact(s)

Grant award under this NOFO will be made by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Questions associated with the NOFO and the grant award can be directed to:

Ngoan Le

Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services

401 S. Clinton St., Chicago, IL 60607


H. Other Information, if applicable

Mandatory Forms -- Required for All Agencies

  1. Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance (pdf)
  2. Letter of Intent (docx)
  3. Application Narrative for Immigrant Family Resource Programs (docx)
  4. Application Narrative for New Americans Initiative (docx)
  5. Grant Budget