- Q: Must an individual have a undergraduate degree or is this program encouraging people to go into the feels of human service?
A: No undergraduate degree is required. High school diploma and lived expertise are the only pre-requisites.
- Q: Will this grant be available annually?
A: Per the NOFO, Section B. Award and Funding Information, Renewals - This program will be awarded as a 6-month term agreement with two subsequent, one-year renewal options. Renewals are at the sole discretion of the IDHS and are contingent on meeting the following criteria:
- Applicant has performed satisfactorily during the most recent past funding period.
- All required reports have been submitted on time, unless a written exception has been provided by the Division.
- No outstanding issues are present (i.e. in good standing with all pre-qualification requirements); and
- Funding for the budget year has been appropriated in the state's approved fiscal year budget.
- Q: Do we need to include the affiliate agreements in the application or is this an item we secure after the grant is awarded?
A: You do not need to include affiliate agreements in the application. Per the NOFO, Section E, Application/Program Narrative Review Information, Quality - Description of Program Services, 3C, requests "policies and procedures" for developing such agreements, and "a list of known sites with whom your organization will pursue" such agreements. Also, requested in the NOFO, under this section, is a description of "how your organization will develop linkages…".
- Q: If we have letters of support from practical experience sites and the education community may we include the letters in the "attachments" section or as part of the narrative?
A: Letters of Support should be submitted in a separate attachment. It is not part of the Program Narrative. Also note that the attachments are not scored or part of the Merit Based Review process.
- Q: We are interested in the topic and aims of this grant but aren't in a position to apply for funding for this NOFO at this time. Do you know if there will be subsequent rounds of funding? Do you know if and when you may release public information about the projects that eventually receive funding?
A: The current funding opportunity is for the current State fiscal year with awards for the period of December 15, 2021 through June 30, 2022. These awards include two 1-year renewal options subject to grantee performance and funds appropriation. If these grants are renewed for the two renewal periods, the final award period will expire June 30, 2024. If the State proceeds with continuation of the program beyond the 3-year period, we will post a NOFO in the Spring of 2024 for awards for State fiscal year 2025. All NOFOs are posted in the GOMB portal and the DHS website. At times, unplanned things happen that could necessitate an interim posting. I would recommend occasionally checking the GOMB portal and DHS website for any new postings. Once awards are made for all grants they are made public on the GATA Catalog of State Financial Assistance (CSFA) website.
- Q: As a sub-recipient working with a community college, if we are submitting our GATA Budget to the institution, can the funds from the approved grant be paid directly to our organization, or should we set up a system for reimbursement with the institution?
A: The grant agreement is between your agency and community college. Community college is responsible for disbursing payments to your agency. You will need to set up a system for reimbursement with the institution.
- Q: Is this grant designed to be made to institutions rather than Primary Investigators (PIs) as individuals. Is a university eligible to apply (as opposed to a medical school or medical clinic for example)?
A: This grant is designed for post-secondary institutions, not individuals, to apply.
- Q: In looking at the CRV registration, it seems as though a driver's license number is required. If a university is an eligible institution, would the PI register in the CRV or would an authorized institutional official?
A: It is up to the provider to decide who registers for CSA and/or CRV and who is authorized to sign-off on budgets. The driver's license number is required to obtain an Illinois.gov ID so DoIT can verify their identity. When the applicant is not already registered in the CSA Tracking System, they should email DHS.DMHGrantApp@illinois.gov in order to get registered.
- Q: If complete spend down of the 6.5 month budget does not occur before June 30, 2022, can the remaining funds rollover to the subsequent one-year renewal budget?
A: Unspent funds of specific Fiscal Year cannot be rolled over to another fiscal year.
- Q: Can you clarify if the $1M - $8M award range is for the original 6.5 month budget submission? Or is this the amount the colleges should anticipate for the 2.5 year window? Additionally, can you clarify the budget elements to be prepared for the application?
A: The $1M - $8M is for the initial 6.5 months. However, you can apply for less than $1M. The budget elements are not included with the application or Program Narrative. You can find the elements in the budget in the CSA Tracking System.
- Q: How many awards are planned?
A: Eight awards are anticipated with an award range anticipated between $1 million to $8 million.
- Q: Can you talk about if local social service agencies will be hiring these folks? We imagine that CPRS can't bill Medicaid.
A: All team based services that the Division of Mental Health funds or that are funded through the Medicaid mental health billing rule must have CRSS staff as part of their team, which includes Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), Community Support Team (CST), First.IL team, Living Room program sites and Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT). In addition, the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) has CRSS or CPRS as a requirement for many of the grants that they have issued, or plan to issue in the near future, although their Medicaid billing hasn't changed. SUPR's programs operate more on grants than Medicaid. DHS also has partnerships the with various aspects of the justice system, and CRSS/CPRS are seen as part of the solution to challenges of providing proper treatment or care to inmates with behavioral health issues.
- Q: Is there a required number of participants for the 6.5 month grant period?
A: There is no required number of participants for the 6.5 month grant period, as this is considered the start-up phase.
Q: Can a Community Based Organization be the lead and a community college be the sub-recipient?
A: No, these grants are being awarded to post secondary educational institutions, which means that the lead must be a community college or a university.
Q: For a CPRS training program would the local, 12 step community count as representatives of the recovery support community as part of the grant?
A: Yes, as representatives of the recovery support community as required by the grant. To be clear, the CRSS success program all of the standards are for both CRSS and CPRS. This is because that's how the Illinois Certification Board has developled their standards. The Illinois Certification Board released the standards for organizations that wanted to seek to be accredited training sites. You would not have a program for either CRSS or CPRS, you would have a program that is for both. The students that go through your program will have the option of their own choosing of which ICB exam they want to take at the conclusion of the program. For the purposes of this program CPRS and CRSS are one and the same. At the end of the program, the student would decide whether they want to sit for the CRSS exam or whether they want to sit for the CPRS exam.
Q: What measures are in place to ensure that awards and programs will be statewide and not just in one area of Illinois?
A: The Department has the ability to keep the NOFO active in order to put out a bid for a certain area if proposals are not received from across the state.
- Q: Is there an expectation regarding how much of the training is to be on site/on campus versus virtual/remote?
A: No, the expectation is that you will be following current safety guidelines as issued by the state of Illinois, the IL Department of Public Health, and the, the CDC. We know that virtual training is possible and what is most essential is the opportunity for interaction. So training should be interactive training, not just simply didactic training, but that can be done obviously, with small class settings in a virtual environment.
- Q: Do vocational schools qualify to receive this grant?
A: If vocational schools are considered post secondary educational institutions then they would qualify.
Q: For CRSS/CPRS training program would recovery community organizations and mental health prosumer/peer operated agencies, count as representatives of the recovery support community as required by this grant?
A: Yes. There are many examples that would fall into the recovery support community.
- Q: What is the budgetary limit for the initial 6.5 month budget, period?
A: We would anticipate that a 6.5 month application/budget would be reflective of what a full year cost would be.
- Q: The NOFO states that the budget award is for 6.5 months but some of the responses are suggesting that we should submit for projects that are a longer than 6.5 months. Should the narrative and scope of work reflect a plan for a 2.5 year period since the initial award is for 6.5 months with two potential one-year renewals? Could you provide additional insight into how this relates to the NOFO guidance that the budget be prepared to reflect 6.5 months? Should we be budgeting in the initial 6.5 months period or should the budget outline expenses for 2.5 years understanding that the initial award is only for the first 6.5 month term?
A: The grant budget for this state fiscal year in the CSA system should reflect planned expenses for the first 6.5 months of the program with services beginning December 15, 2021 through June 30, 2022. These grant agreements will have 2 one-year renewal options. These are not multi-year agreements. These grant renewals are subject to appropriation by the legislature each year. We anticipate a new appropriation in FY23 beginning July 1, 2022, and therefore plan to exercise the first grant renewal option, subject to this appropriation coming to fruition. Appropriated funds cannot be carried over from one state fiscal year to the next. The grant agreement that will be awarded in December, 2021, will expire June 30, 2022 along with the appropriated $8M for this state fiscal year. The amount of $8M is considered to be a full year cost for the program. Although the service period for State fiscal year 2022 is only 6.5 months, the State plans to award the full $8M for this shorter time period in order to assist service providers with one-time start-up costs that should not be required for the renewal years. For renewal years two and three, the annual planned amount of award will remain $8M each. The 2, one-year renewal options will be grants that stand on their own. We cannot carry budgets forward from one year to another.
Q: Is it annualized only for institutions who receive the initial award? Or are you saying that this opportunity will be offered again next year?
A: Award recipients will have the opportunity for 2 consecutive one-year renewals presuming award requirements are being met. After the 2 renewals we will re-issue a NOFO for another round of bidding, subject to appropriation.
- Q: To confirm, should the narrative and scope of work reflect the 2.5 year period to meet the desired grant outcomes?
A: Programs are not expected to meet all outcomes within the initial 6.5 month performance period of December 15, 2021 through June 30, 2022. Your proposal should reflect the bigger plan of the 2.5 years.
- Q: Should the 6.5 month budget be for $1 Million with the expectation that those funds would cover 2.5 years or do we just request funds for the 6.5 months but still write a project timeline of 2.5 years?
A: Your budget doesn't have to be for $1 million; it could be for less or it could be for more. Your budget should reflect what you actually need to prepare and provide a quality program for 6.5 months. Your proposal should cover 2.5 years. The state operates in three year grant cycles and we are in the middle of a state fiscal year. So that's why you're submitting a proposal for 2.5 years. If we were at the beginning of the state's fiscal year, instead of the middle of a fiscal year, you would be submitting for 3 years.
- Q: Regarding the budget for $1 million. We were confused because the NOFO stated the award range would be from $1 million to $8 million. We read it as there would be no awards for less than $1 million.
A: When we list the award range, it's just an estimate. We make an educated guess of how we think the $8 Million will fall out within an award range and how many awards we anticipate and it's just an estimate. Applicants are able to submit their budget and their application for any amount of money between $0 and $8 Million. That doesn't mean we are going to award exactly what each applicant applies for. We want applicants to submit based on what the need actually is, and when we NOFO it again after 2.5 years, we will have a better understanding of the funds available and the number of awards that that may drive.
- Q: Is there a page limit for attachments?
A: The program narrative can not exceed 20 pages and anything over 20 pages will not be reviewed. There is no page limit for attachments. The attachments are not scored or part of the Merit Based Review process. The program narrative is scored as part of the Merit Based Review process.
- Q: Because RCO's (Recovery Community Organizations) are federally funded, it is likely that community colleges are familiar with an RCO if one is in their community. Prosumer mental health agencies do not have similar funding and subsequently do not have similar presence. What can be done to make known existing mental health prosumer agencies to schools?
A: Once the awards are issued, we will be connecting with those post secondary educational institutions to help make those connections whether it be with mental health prosumer agencies or other local recovery groups. DMH has recovery support specialists that are part of our staff in every region in the State, so we will be connecting with those post-secondary educational institutions across the state.
- Q: Is the expectation that trainees register as students at the post secondary educational institution?
A: Not necessarily. It depends on how you set up your program. In your proposal, you can determine whether you want to set up your program as part of your adult educational offerings. Adult education offerings are a way that members of the community can participate in educational offerings without being registered students. Or you may want to set up your program and submit your proposal in a way that you have made your program part of a department. Some colleges have chosen to put this under human services department, others under the psychology department and others under the health services department. If you choose the latter then students would register as students, and they would get college credit, and they could then, of course, apply those credits forward toward a degree to continue on and perhaps get their associates degree. Either of those pathways are acceptable options.
- Q: Will the lack of mental health services in a college area be considered when reviewing applications?
A: Applications will be reviewed based on the criteria published in the NOFO.
- Q: Will this session be posted on the DHS site?
A: You can receive a copy of the recording by sending your request to DHS.DMHGrantApp@illinois.gov.
- Q: Are educational institutions allowed to contract with experienced recovery support trainers?
A: Yes. The ICB requirements are that the faculty for this program be individuals who have provided services in either recovery support, mental health, or substance use services and the ICB states that the most qualified faculty are those who have provided recovery support services.
- Q: Are awardees supposed to achieve these performance standards in the initial 6.5 month scope or over the 2.5 year period?
A: In your initial 6.5 month scope, you would need to be preparing to be capable of doing all of those things listed in the Performance Standards of the NOFO. It is not entirely likely, if you are starting in December, that you are going to be able to be doing all of those things the first 6.5 months and so you may not be able to actually provide the minimum, 40 clock hours, minimum 16 clock hours, etc., but you would need to be able to develop the curriculum, establishing the connections for the practical experience components, and get all those completed and potentially have your students enrolled etc. You definitely would not be getting 10 ICB application fees paid in the first 6.5 months. Even if you had students enrolled in your program in the first 6.5 months, they would not be ready to submit their applications to ICB.
- Q: Can schools submit a proposal with experienced recovery support trainers who do not have bachelor's degree but with subject matter expertise? Would a community college or university be required by their credentialing bodies to have someone with a degree who has less expertise regarding recovery support?
A: This would be a question that would have to be answered from the standpoint of the post secondary educational institution. We can't speak on behalf of what is acceptable to colleges and universities. You can submit a proposal that includes whatever is acceptable according to your college or university. We are not in the position to assess whether it's acceptable to your college or university; only you know that. You can submit the proposal with experienced recovery support trainers who don't have bachelor's degree, etc., but, of course, you would be held to the standards expected by your colleges and universities.
- Q: The NOFO asks for proposers to include resumes for the relevant staff. Must these fit within the 20 page limit?
A: The resumes are not part of the 20-page limit for the Program Narrative.
- Q: What attachments are allowable or required?
A: Besides the resumes, the only other required attachment is if you have a sub-recipient. See the NOFO, Section D, Content and Form of Application Submission, 3c.
- Q: For the "linkages with other segments of the recovery support community, education community, other professions, resources, etc. What purpose should these partners serve?
A: The purpose is to expand students' connections with potential resources, supports, and job opportunities related to the field of recovery support.
- Q: The funding timeframe is for December 15, 2021 - June 30, 2022. If we begin offering the training curriculum (didactic education) in March 2022 but do not plan to offer the internship component until August 2022, how do we pay out the student internship stipend since it is beyond the June 30th deadline?
A: The FY22 funding must be spent before 6/30/22 for services occurring prior to 6/30/22.
- Q: Can internship and curriculum courses run concurrently?
- Q: Can internship stipends be paid our prior to the internship beginning if they must be paid out by June 30th?
A: No. Payment from the FY22 grant award must be for FY22 services completed before 6/30/22.
- Q: Do you have additional examples of wrap around services? Currently, we are considering transportation, childcare, telecom services, provision of computing devises (laptop or tablet), other work supplies or clothing, and assistance with food, rent and utilities. Can you provide any additional guidance on this aspect of the NOFO?
A: Wrap-around services include anything that supports a student in overcoming barriers related to full participation and successful completion of the program. The ideas/examples you mention should be included in your program proposal.
- Q: The NOFO states that the supervised internship period should be a minimum of three months and 300 contact hours. However, per IAODAPCA/ICB requirements, a CRSS needs 2000 total hours (1 year) of supervised work experience. We assume that the stipend would fund the 3-month internship and then individuals working towards CRSS would find employment to fulfill the additional hours of supervised work experience. Is that correct?
A: The ICB document you should refer to is the one referenced to and linked in the NOFO, Illinois Certification Board Peer Recovery Support Training Accreditation Standards for CRSS and CPRS. This document reflects the 300 hours/3 months requirement. This standard is different than that referenced in other ICB documents for CRSS and CPRS because it is part of the accreditation standards. If a student completes a training program that meets the accreditation standards, they meet ICB standards and do not have to obtain additional hours to sit for the exam. All CRSS Success Program proposals are expected to meet the accreditation standards.
- Q: We would like to include letters of support from our partners in the one allowed attachment. Is this acceptable?
A: You may submit letters of support, however, they are not reviewed or scored in the Merit Based Review process.
- Q: Should we have actual Letters of Support from potential/current collaborators/partnering entities or should we only list them on the narrative? We aren't sure if the reviewers want to see any letters or if we should just list supportive collaborating entities.
A: Since this is a competitive opportunity reviewers are not allowed to review any letters of support. The Program Narrative must include headers consistent with the criteria listed in Section E and must only include all criteria information. Therefore, Letters of Support should not be included in the Program Narrative.
- Q: When submitting this grant, are electronic signatures allowed?
A: Yes, the application may be signed electronically.
- Q: We are working on our Program Budget and have acquired new space for the program addition. Can you advise if the purchase of Classroom Furniture and Technology is allowable?
A: It depends on the organization's capitalization policy. If the purchase of furniture and technology is classified as Supplies, then YES it is allowable and the items must be budgeted under the Supplies category of the CSA budget template. Otherwise, we recommend charging depreciation on purchase of Furniture and technology per organization's capitalization policy.
- Q: I was wondering if there was someplace on the website where agencies could list ourselves as an available subcontractor for this grant. We would love to work with a university to provide the practical experience for the grant and were hoping to advertise that to universities who are applying for the grant.
A: Once the awards are issued, we will be connecting with those post-secondary educational institutions to help make connections whether it be with mental health prosumer agencies or other local recovery groups.
- Q: Do the organizations who provide practical experience for individuals trying to get their CRSS need to be able to bill Medicaid or can an organization like ours be a part of this grant as well?
A: No, organizations that participate as practical experience sites do not need to be able to bill Medicaid.
- Q: Our college is putting together a proposed budget for this Certified Recovery Support Specialist Success Program. I wanted to ask if the retirement benefits costs is one of the allowable expense that can be included in the budget. Some of the college employees are eligible to participate in the IL State University Retirement System (SURS), and this is state funded pension pool.
A: Any costs that the State already funds, such as pension costs, cannot be claimed again via a grant.
- Q: Will we / should we account for these Year 2 and 3 expenses anywhere, as they will be significantly larger than the initial 6.5 month budget?
A: The planned services provision as well as the funding you will need for each of the years 2 and 3 should be addressed in your proposal. Your estimated funding for years 2 and 3 may be addressed in the verbiage stating the estimated total for each year. Detailed budget submission for out years is not required at this time. The budget for the State fiscal year 22 expenses beginning December 15, 2021 through June 30, 2022 must be entered into the CSA system by the due date state in the NOFO.
- Q: It appears we need another invitation code to register with CRV. Do we use the same invitation code that was sent to register with CSA?
A: The CRV is a separate system than CSA and requires a different invitation code. You can request a code from Please see DHS.CRV.Support@Illinois.gov.
- Q: Does everyone who registers with CSA also need to register with CRV or does only the institutional finance designee register with CRV?
A: Only one user for the Provider needs to register for CRV. It does not matter who registers.
- Q: Three of our seven colleges are applying and need to know if we fill out one Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRA) for each college. We have one FEIN number that covers all seven colleges but each college has their own DUNS number.
A: Since there are separate DUNS numbers for each college, one PRA will need to be filled out and submitted for each college.