FAQs for Juvenile Reentry Initiative RFP

Reentry RFP'12 PBC # 12-64876
Questions and Answers

All questions must be submitted on or before 12:00pm on Monday, January 16th, 2012. Questions submitted after 12:00pm on January 16th will not receive a response.

  1. Since the RFP states that there is $500,000 available to fund three grants, would it work if several agencies from multiple counties partnered together? For example, we have a juvenile correction facility in the St. Charles area. Assuming that a large portion of those youth reside in surrounding areas upon release, would it make sense for YSB of DeKalb, an agency in Naperville, Aurora, Rockford, etc. all get together to collaborate?

    Yes, it would be acceptable.

  2. Please clarify: It is not clear from the RFP where the letter of interest is to be submitted. Can it be faxed or a scanned copy emailed to Ms. Gonzales?

    Layla Suleiman-Gonzales, IDHS,
    401 S. Clinton, 7th Fl.,
    Chicago, IL 60607

  3. Are there any page limits or guides. If you could please clarify.

    Refer to the Part I F of the RFP for instructions.

  4. On Formatting - the RFP states that the Narrative should be single-spaced? Most are double-spaced. Is this an error?


  5. Under Project Description - Age Limit - the RFP states youth over the age of 13, but there is no other description of age limit. 

    There is- no upper age limit - but is limited to youth under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and leaving/left IDJJ.

  6. In the RFP, Appendix D - Action Plan Template - states that the template is attached; however, it is NOT included in the RFP?

    Refer back to website. It is posted as a separate form under Table of Contents, Part III Proposal Instructions, Appendix D.

  7. Appendix E - Additional Guidelines/Examples - again this is referenced but is NOT included in the RFP?

    Refer back to website. It is posted as a separate form under Table of Contents, Part III Proposal Instructions, Appendix E.

  8. Total Pages Permitted - "The program narrative is subject to a 20 page limit" - however, what are the page totals per section? (Example: number of pages for Executive Summary, Strategic Plan, Action Plan, Organizational Capacity, Evaluation of Expected Outcomes and Spending Plan).

    There is only a total page limit, not a section limit.

  9. Is the letter of intent to be completed on the form included in the packet or is it necessary to create a new one using your format. 

    Use the Letter of Interest, Appendix A (form included) (pdf). If you need to recreate it, just make sure you have the same content.

  10. What is the target number of youth to be served in a downstate area to support the $150,000 award?

    Award amounts are not pre-set and will be based on each application and its demonstrated need.

  11. Please confirm that you want applicants to submit original signed proposal without a binder clip and all pages with the original application should be loose. On p.4 of the RFP, it states, "Page numbers on the entire application, including attachments, must be sequential.

    Proposals should be bound with a single binder clip in the upper left-hand corner." On p.5 of the RFP, it states, "Applicants must submit one unbound, clearly identified original signed proposal and six complete copies of the proposal." The original must be unbound (loose), would recommend a rubber band to keep together.

  12. On p.19 of the RFP, it states, "Please complete the template in Appendix D in responding to the Action Plan requirement." Are applicants supposed to include Appendix D in Section 3 of the narrative? If the answer is yes, are all 8 pages of Appendix D part of the 20 page limit of the narrative section?

    Yes, include Appendix D in Section 3 of the narrative. No, they are not part of the 20 page limit of the narrative section.

  13. How many letters of support are required and are there some that are mandatory?

    Please refer to Part III B 4

  14. If you presently do not have someone on staff to assume the role of Program Manager, what do you want instead of a resume?

    Job Description, roles, responsibilities, qualifications, etc.

  15. Is the Re-entry RFP going to be funded with general revenue dollars or federal dollars? 

    Funded with federal dollars.

  16. Is it possible to submit one letter of intent for services in Cook County and outside Cook County?

    We would expect to see one letter of intent for each anticipated application. If the question is can one RFP propose to serve an area that includes both Cook and non-Cook, the answer is yes.

  17. Can you clarify the amount of the award(s) for Cook County?

    Award amounts are not predetermined.

  18. Can we get letters of support from any of our supporters or are we limited to people on Page 20 of the RFP?

    You are not limited.

  19. Are for-profit corporations eligible to bid on this opportunity?

    We provide community health services and feel we could be uniquely qualified for this RFP.

    See Part I F General Requirements

  20. Are applicants allowed to use a smaller font size for any graphs, figures, diagrams, charts, tables, included in the 20-page narrative?


  21. Are applicants allowed to use a smaller font size for any graphs, figures, diagrams, charts, tables, included in the 20-page narrative? If so, what specific font sizes will be allowed?

    8 or larger

  22. Since applicants cannot control the font size of the Appendix D "fillable form" for the Action Plan, please confirm that the default font and font size of the form provided by DHS at Juvenile Reentry Initiative RFP are acceptable.

    Yes, they are acceptable.

  23. Please clearly confirm that it is acceptable for applicants to use a rubber bands to keep the original signed application together, since the FAQ #11 and RFP contradict one another (see below). 

    In the FAQs section found here FAQs for Juvenile Reentry Initiative RFP, the answer to question #11 states that the "original must be unbound (loose), would recommend a rubber band to keep together."

    On p.5 of the RFP, it states that "Applicants must not use any other form of binding, including ring binders, spiral binders, report covers or rubber bands, as well as subject dividers or tabs that extend beyond the 81/2 x 11-inch page."

    With or without a rubber banded will be accepted.

  24. There is a reference that there are guidelines and examples of Turn the Curve Thinking in Appendix E, but there is nothing there. Please advise.

    It is there now.

  25. I didn't see the Request for Proposals until after the LOI due date of December 19. Is it possible to still submit an application before that due date of January 24, if the first deadline for a LOI was missed?

    No. The deadline is past and no more applications are permitted.

  26. Can an agency submit a proposal for a "sub-group" (e.g. Only ages 13-17)?

    No. As this RFP is for pilot demonstration programs, a sub-group can be a primary focus of services but the plan needs to be able to address the service needs of all reentry youth, even if through referral.

  27. What is the source of the federal funding?

    U. S. Department of Justice.

  28. If awarded, will I be expected to use the funds towards placement into foster care? Or is there DJJ/DOC funding for placement?

    It can be assumed that youth released from IDJJ will have an identified placement.

  29. Is the bidder's conference only by webcast or can you participate in person? The RFP directs you to the DHS Website to get more information about the conference, but I cannot locate where the information is posted. Can you be more specific to where to locate the information for the bidder's conference?

    Refer to Part I H.

  30. Please clarify whether or not you want applicants to write a narrative for Section 3, utilizing the instructions on p.19-20 of the RFP. For #3 Action Plan - Are applicants expected to only complete the Action Plan Form for the Action Plan section of the application; or is one expected to also write a narrative regarding what is put into the Action Plan Form?

    The Action Plan serves as the narrative for Section 3. Please see Q/A #12 for further clarification. The Action Plan Form is a required; it will be a stand-alone document. However, further explanation and detail about the Action plan, to the extent necessary, can be included in a narrative.

  31. If a narrative is required for Section 3, please confirm that per FAQ Question #12, Appendix D should be attached immediately following this Section 3 narrative, and sequentially page numbered (but will not count against the 20 page narrative limit).

    See above.

  32. In order to complete Appendix F/Proposal Content Checklist, can an applicant simply erase the word "No" (under "Eligibility Determination")? 

    If you cannot circle or indicate by a checkmark you can delete the "no" from the checklist.

  33. Please specify exactly where you want "documentation from the Secretary of State's Office regarding the status of your agency"to be attached (as stated under Section 4 of the Application Cover Page).

    Please attach behind the completed Application and Plan document.

  34. Please specify where the Spending Plan Forms (Excel spreadsheet) should be attached. Should they be attached before or after the Spending Plan Narrative, and sequentially page numbered?

    After the Spending Plan Narrative - sequentially numbered.

  35. Do the Spending Plan Forms count towards the 20-page narrative limit?


  36. Can you provide more detail on what is required to comply with the Language and Cultural Competency policy, especially as it relates to LGBQT youth?

    Linguistic and Cultural Competence Guidelines were included to provide definitions and guidance as to the areas which should be addressed throughout the narrative. Please See Part III, Section A. Scoring Criteria: "Reviewers will be looking for evidence of linguistic and cultural competence in each section of the Project Narrative, and will consider how well you address the cultural competence aspects of the review criteria when scoring your application." Applicants are required to demonstrate they have the cultural and linguistic capacity to serve the target population. Applicants are not required to submit a separate Linguistic & Cultural Competence Plan nor the Good Faith Efforts Checklist.

  37. What performance measures should be used in the "Turn the Curve" Strategic Plan versus the Action Plan?

    Please refer to Part II, Section F. This section of the RFP details exactly which measures should be used in both the Strategic Plan and the Action Plan.

  38. How will this project affect existing programs agencies run for youth from DJJ (e.g. Neighborhood Recovery Initiative programs).

    Those programs will continue to serve youth and in certain situations may require coordination with those providers to ensure the youth receives the "full array" of services necessary to reach the projects outcomes. However, if an existing program is currently funded by another source, These Reentry grant funds should be used to develop additional pieces of the continuum of reentry services. Federal funds granted by the Commission cannot be used as a "match" for any other federally-funded program, nor can these funds "supplant" existing funding.

  39. Can participants in this reentry programs also be served by other programs at the applicant agency or other youth programs currently in place?

    Yes, youth in the reentry program can receive services from established programs at the applicant or any other agency. It is expected that the services needed will be coordinated and where needed services exist they will be utilized. It is however important that two important things can be ensured: 1) that these dollars are not being used to supplant existing funds/services and 2) that youth are adequately assessed and placed in appropriate services with similar risk youth. It is a well-documented principle that mixing youth assessed as "low risk" to re-offend with those who are "high risk" to re-offend ultimately increases the risk of those who were initially "low risk." Not all youth released from DJJ are "high risk."

  40. Will program areas with large numbers of children to serve have a better chance of receiving funding?

    The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission is looking to fund a project that has the best plan and capacity to demonstrate that a comprehensive model can be effective as demonstrated by their application. While the Commission reserves the right to also consider outside factors such as geography, numbers served etc. the Commission fully intends to models that demonstrate the best capacity to achieve the desired results. Quote from the Commission Chair "If you focus on the number of kids instead of the outcomes you missed the mark."

  41. Are we required to incorporate Evidence Based Practices into our plan? 

    Yes, Evidence Based Practices that are age and risk appropriate are required.

  42. Must the agency be housed in the community served?

    The RFP does not specifically state this; however, the applicant must clearly demonstrate how they will effectively provide the services in that community.

  43. Does the agency have to serve all youth paroled to the service area?

    Please refer to Part II, Section F. Services to be performed: "Applicants must seek to serve all the youth paroled to their proposed geographic service area." However, the provider does not need to provide all services independently.

  44. Does IDJJ currently provide primary case management services to paroled youth?

    In Cook County this answer is mostly yes as Cook has 20 aftercare specialists that are providing case management services to the youth that have recently come into the system. Downstate this answer is mostly no.

  45. Are current parolees eligible?

    Yes current parolees are eligible to participate in your program. However, it is expected that referrals for these youth will come from IDJJ Aftercare.

  46. If we attended the first grants information conference on 1/5/12, is it recommended we attend the meeting on 1/12/12 as well?

    It is strongly recommended that you attend the second grants information conference. The agenda for the second meeting will be different. The meeting will provide further information and clarification regarding the RFP. There will also be information presented, regarding the number of youth paroled from DJJ.

  47. Are the dollar amounts listed in the RFP set in stone? Is it $500,000 over 3 years or for each year? What about the split between Chicago and downstate?

    The Commission has set aside $500,000 for each of three years for this project. It is expected that one or more projects will be funded in Cook County and one or more downstate. The dollar amounts in the RFP represent an estimated distribution amount. The actual distribution amount will ultimately depend on the quality and quantity of the proposals selected.

  48. RFP states 2 projects will be funded in Cook. Will each project be awarded $175,000 or will the projects split that dollar amount?

    The RFP does not state that two projects will be funded in Cook. The Department has made available approximately $500,000 to support the Juvenile Reentry Initiative. Individual grant amounts will vary.

  49. What will the referral process be, both inside Cook County and outside Cook County?

    We anticipate that referrals to programs will be coordinated by the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Aftercare Division, regardless of whether a youth is supervised by a DJJ Aftercare Specialist (currently only in Cook) or an Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) parole agent for all areas outside of Cook County.

  50. Can funding be used for placements such as Foster Care Homes, Group Homes or a Secured Facility?

    Youth released by DJJ will already have placements. Should these placements disrupt, it would be appropriate to use funds to allow temporary, emergency placement in a non-secure environment.

  51. I'm working with an organization that is pursuing the Juvenile Reentry Grant. We have third party evaluator that wants to work with us on the project, but their quote is coming in at close to 20% of the budget. We are afraid this amount may be frowned upon by the reviewers. Does it seem acceptable? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    While we cannot answer this question specifically, you may refer to Part I, section X, for information on program evaluation.

  52. Can the "local consortium of stakeholders" mentioned on page 20 of the RFP under #4 "Organizational Capacity" be the service area's Local Area Network (LAN)?


  53. On the Action Plan form it states: Please identify the assessment process which will be used to identify your service needs, risks, and assets/strengths. Are you asking what assessment will be done to determine service needs in the community; what assessment will be conducted for each youth enrolled in the project; or what assessment did we do of the community to determine that there is a need and therefore we are applying for funds? 

    Yes, all of the above.

  54. For #3 Action Plan - Are applicants expected to only complete the Action Plan Form for the Action Plan section of the application; or is one expected to also write a narrative regarding what is put into the Action Plan Form?

    The Action Plan Form is a required, stand-alone document. Further explanation and detail about the Action plan, to the extent necessary, will be included within the narrative.

  55. In reviewing the RFP and while at the Bidders Conference last week, we would like to clarify that being in partnership with the Cook County Juvenile Probation in Chicago is aligned with the mission of targeting "Reentry Youth?

    Although Cook County Probation may be an acceptable partner, the purpose of this grant is to serve youth re-entering from IDJJ, not youth re-entering from probation.

  56. On p.20 of the RFP, you state that services should begin no later than May 1, 2012. On p.6 of the RFP, you state that the term of agreement resulting from the RFP will be 36 months beginning March, 2012 and continue through February, 2015. At the Grants Info Conference you state that the target date for awards is March 31, 2012, and the target date for services to begin is June 1, 2012. The instructions for Question 3 on the Application Cover Page state that applicants must "Enter the project period to be covered by this application, if different from that indicated." Question 1: On the Application Cover Page, what dates do you want entered for Question 3 "Project Period"?

    March 2012 - Feb 15

  57. Will youth on probation be served through the grant?

    Only youth re-entering from IDJJ will be served by this grant.

  58. Is it possible to change the community areas we proposed to work with in the letter of intent? Or do we have to follow what we wrote in the intent letter?

    Yes, you can adjust the originally proposed service area.

  59. Please clarify whether or not you want applicants to write a narrative for Section 3, utilizing the instructions on p. 19-20 of the RFP. Please confirm that per FAQ #12, Appendix D should be attached immediately following this section 3 narrative and sequentially page numbered (but will not count against the 20 page narrative limit)

    This is correct.

  60. Is there a typo on the Action Form? It states: "Please identify the assessment process which will be used to identify your service needs….etc" Is this supposed to be "YOUR" service needs or "YOUTH" service needs?


  61. I am having difficulty understanding how to interpret the performance plan section in the example turn the curve document provided. Can you provide any guidance?

    Please disregard section II - Performance Plan for the Proposed JRI Program and focus only on Section I - The Larger Context.

  62. Would you please explain how to print all the text that is typed in the scrolling text fields provided in the Action Plan/RFP Appendix D, instead of just the first page of a particular text field? 

    This problem has now been addressed (January 17th) Please use the attached Word version of the Action Plan rather than the fillable pdf form; as you pointed out, there were problems associated with printing the pdf.

  63. How long do youth stay on parole? Does the agency have to provide services throughout this entire time period?

    Youth remain on parole until the earliest of (1) their 21st birthday; (2) discharge by the Prisoner Review Board; or (3) reaching the maximum sentence allowed by law if they were convicted of the same offense as an adult. Each youth should have an individualized service plan that guides the length of time the agency will provide services, recognizing that it may not be necessary to provide services for the entire time the youth is on parole."

  64. What are the plans for data collection?

    Each agency will be expected to demonstrate a capacity to collect and track data; effective data collection allows the agency to monitor their progress and evaluate whether they are meeting their Juvenile Reentry goals and objectives. Within the first few months of the award, the process for data collection will be established through the grant collaborative, involving the grant recipients, the Commission, DHS, and DJJ.

  65. Would referrals to a Neighborhood Recovery Initiative agency in our community be an example of a partnership to leverage existing resources? 

    Yes, as long as funds are not being used to duplicate or supplant services being funded from other sources. Also, it's important to note there are different levels of referrals. Giving a youth the information on the other agency is one level of referral. Facilitating the referral in a proactive way is what we are looking for.

  66. Will youth participation in services be mandatory? 

    Youth on parole are required by their parole conditions to participate in services as directed by their parole agent and/or aftercare worker based on their service plan. Some youth will inevitably be uncooperative, and that issue will be addressed by their parole agent and/or aftercare worker.

  67. What case planning and case management services will be provided by DJJ Aftercare Specialists?

    Youth assigned to the Aftercare Pilot, benefit from working with a DJJ Aftercare Specialist. They begin working with a youth upon his/her admission to a DJJ facility and continue working with them throughout the period parole. They complete assessments, hold youth and family team meetings, develop a service plan, refer the youth to services, and monitor parole conditions. Agencies funded through the RFP will be invited to youth and family team meetings, and aftercare workers will refer youth to the agencies. Note, however, that the Aftercare Pilot is limited to youth in Cook County; it also does not yet serve all the youth paroled to Cook County.

  68. What are some resources for Evidence Based Practices?

    OJJDP's Model Program Guide, Blueprints for Violence Prevention, SAMSHA's Registry of evidence-based practices, and the Promising Practices Network are online resources. Other helpful experts, who have published numerous articles include Ed Latessa of the University of Cincinnati, Mark Lipsey at Vanderbilt University, and Shay Bilchik at Georgetown's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. Additionally, the websites for Models for Change and the Casey Foundation's JDAI may have useful resources.

  69. What happens if something has changed since the Letter of Intent was submitted?

    The background information that was submitted in the Letter of Intent was informational only and will not be evaluated. The only requirement is that applicant agencies submit the Letter of Intent.