20-444-80-0700-01 TANF Employment & Training-TANF Special Projects Program

Summary Information

1. Awarding Agency Name: Illinois Department of Human Services
2. Agency Contact:

Jataun J. Rollins


(312) 793-7839

3. Announcement Type: Initial announcement
4. Type of Assistance Instrument: Grant
5. Funding Opportunity Number: 20-444-80-0700-01
6. Funding Opportunity Title: TANF Employment & Training-TANF Special Projects Program
7. CSFA Number: 444-80-0700
8. CSFA Popular Name: TANF Special Projects Program
9. CFDA Number(s): 93.558
10. Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 9
11. Estimated Total Program Funding: $885,174
12. Award Range $3,185 - $278,129
13. Source of Funding: Federal or Federal pass-through
14. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
15. Indirect Costs Allowed Yes
Restrictions on Indirect Costs No
16. Posted Date: April 5, 2019
17.Application Range: April 5, 2019-May 5, 2019 by 12pm
18. Technical Assistance Session:

Session Offered: Yes

Session Mandatory: Yes

April 12, 2019 at 11:30am

RSVP to DHS.ETBILLING@illinois.gov

with subject line 0700 Technical Assistance

NOFO Supplemental

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

A. Program Description

The TANF Special Projects Program targets people receiving TANF or other low-income residents (annual income below 200% of the Federal poverty level). The types and levels of services to be provided are negotiated individually, when special needs are identified. This program is designed to provide scholarships to Illinois TANF (and other low-income) students who are enrolled full-time (minimum 12 hours) and have minor children/currently pregnant. This will be an opportunity to receive funding in order to assist them in obtaining a college degree.

The Scholarship fund is to be used as an additional funding source for eligible students to reduce or eliminate financial barriers to them successfully obtaining a degree. In addition, the Grantee must ensure that eligible students apply for and receive all other possible financial assistance available through completion of the FAFSA form.

The Scholarship funds are to be administered to meet the students' educational and financial needs, such as payment of tuition, required textbooks, university sponsored meal plans and campus housing. Additional services that may be needed to help the student transition to college and succeed academically are things such as mentoring, tutoring, special prep classes and time management workshops. All are allowable under this initiative.

Accordingly, priority points will be awarded to Grantees that hire IDHS customers who were former scholarship recipients.


  1. All students will be provided with case management services within five (5) days of admittance to the program. All students must have documented access, when applicable, to other supportive services.
  2. All students must have an education plan developed for implementation within the first semester of admittance to the program. The plan must outline the strategy for identifying and reaching the student's educational goals and should be maintained throughout enrollment. Requirements are: schedule of classes per semester/quarter, GPA on a 4.0/5.0 scale, supportive services, academic/financial aid counseling and time management.
  3. The Grantee must have a community outreach plan which includes their method of notifying the community of the program. This also includes reaching out to the local FCRCs in the community.
  4. The Grantee must have a written referral process that assist the students with enrollment into public benefit programs such as TANF, SNAP, medical and other resources that addresses the needs of the students.
  5. The Grantee will accurately report outcomes and submit reports to IDHS within the designated time frames.

Performance Measures (Agencies Must Report the Following)

  1. The number of students (unduplicated) receiving scholarships during the month.
  2. The dollar amount of scholarships issued.
  3. The number and type of outreach/recruitment events held to advertise program.
  4. The number of students receiving scholarships that were employed.
  5. The number of students that received scholarships and graduated during program year.
  6. The number of students that have used their last semester of eligibility.
  7. Customer's written statement of how they plan to continue their education with the awarding of a scholarship.

Performance Standards (Agencies Must Achieve the Following)

  1. Grantees must provide case management services within five (5) days of admittance to the program.
  2. Grantee must have a community outreach plan which includes a detailed description for notifying the community of the program (i.e., FCRCs, college fairs and seminars.) The Grantee must not just pull from the FAFSA to determine eligible scholarship recipients. Eligibility must come from other resources.
  3. The Grantee must report the students' mid-term and end of term grades on a semester/quarterly basis.
  4. The Grantee must have a written referral process that assist the students with enrollment into public benefit programs such as TANF, SNAP, medical and other resources that addresses the needs of the students.
  5. The Grantee must accurately report outcomes and submit reports to IDHS within the designated time frames.

As needed, Corrective Action Plans will be initiated to address unmet performance standards, which may result in a reduction or termination of funding.

B. Funding Information

This award utilizes appropriate Federal funds. In FY20, the Department anticipates funding for up to 9 as described in the NOFO ranging from $3,185 to $278,129.

Grantees must submit a program plan which supports the level of funding requested and details service delivery and deliverables. Applicants for new Grantees will be scored using a rubric scale.

The grant period will begin no sooner than July 1, 2019 and will extend through June 30, 2020 of the contract year.

The release of this NOFO does not obligate the Illinois Department of Human Services to make an award or grant the same award from the previous year. Work cannot begin until a contract is fully executed by the Department.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Grantees include public and private colleges/universities that have been granted accreditation status.

All Grantees must be Pre-Qualified to apply for this funding notice through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal @ www.grants.illinois.gov. Registrations and pre-qualifications are required annually. Applications from entities that have not completed the GATA pre-qualification process prior to the due date of this application will NOT be reviewed or considered for funding.

Grantee has prepared a budget in accordance with the template provided by the Illinois Department of Human services which follows and adheres to all applicable Federal guidelines.

2. Cost Sharing or Match

Cost sharing is not a requirement of this application. There are also no match requirements.

3. Indirect Cost Rate Requirements

To charge indirect costs to a grant, the Grantee's 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 must negotiate an indirect cost rate with the State of Illinois if they do not have a Federally Negotiated Rate. Or the organization may elect to use the De Minimis Rate (10%). If an organization has not previously established an indirect cost rate, an indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted to the State of Illinois through the indirect cost rate system, CARS, no later than three months after the effective date of the award. 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. All Grantees must complete an indirect cost rate negotiation or elect the De Minimis Rate in CARS to claim indirect costs. Indirect costs claimed without an established negotiated rate or a De Minimis Rate election in CARS may be subject to disallowance. c) De Minimis Rate. An organization that has never received a Federally Negotiated Rate may 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.

Grantees have discretion not to claim payment for indirect costs. Grantees that elect not to claim indirect costs cannot be reimbursed for indirect costs. The organization must record an election of "No Indirect Costs" into CARS.

D. Application and Submission Information

Indicate and describe in detail if the Grantee has a current policy and practice of awarding IDHS customers who were former scholarship recipients, priority on employment opportunities. If known, please indicate the number of TANF customers that have been hired in recent years. If this is not current policy or practice, and the Grantee intends to seek priority points in this area, please describe the detailed plans of the Grantee to develop and implement such a policy in the future.

Application materials are provided throughout this announcement. Grantees must have access to the internet (Internet Explorer's most current version - 11). The Department's website: www.dhs.state.il.us contains information regarding the NOFO and the materials necessary for submission. Questions and answers will also be posted on the site. It is the responsibility of each Grantee to monitor the web site and comply with any instructions of requirements related to the NOFO.

Contact Person:

Jataun J. Rollins

IDHS - Workforce Development

401 S. Clinton Street - 3rd Floor

Chicago, IL 60607


(312) 793-7839

In addition to the Mandatory forms required for all NOFOs (Uniform Grant application and Uniform Grant Budget template), Grantees are required to submit a program plan. Each section of the program plan must be completed, and supportive documentation requested in the program plan must be attached.

Applications must be received at the location below no later than 12:00pm on May 5, 2019. The application container will be time-stamped upon receipt. The Department will only accept applications submitted by electronic email. Applications will NOT be accepted if received by fax machine, hard copy, disk or thumb drive. Applications will be opened as they are received. Grantees will receive an email (within 72 hours of receipt or 120 hours if received on a non-business day) notifying them that their application was received and if it was received by the due date and time. This email reply will be sent to the original sender of the application. Applications received after the due date and time will not be considered for review or funding.

Submit the completed grant application to: DHS.ETBilling@illinois.gov emailed with the subject line stating:

Grantee's Organization name

Funding Opportunity Number (20-444-80-0700)

Program Contact Name (Jataun J. Rollins)

The subject line should look like this: ABC agency, 20-444-80-0700, Jataun J. Rollins

If you have trouble emailing document due to file size, please utilize the CMS Transfer Utility located at https://filet.illinois.gov/filet/PIMupload.asp.  Please follow instructions to attach your application. Do not forget the subject line above.

To be considered, proposals must be emailed by the designated date and time above. For your records, please keep a copy of your email submission with the date and time the application was submitted along with the email address to which it was sent. The deadline will be strictly enforced. In the event of a dispute, the Grantee bears the burden of proof that the application was received on time at the location listed above.

Dun and Bradstreet Universal Number System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM) - Each applicant (unless the applicant is an individual or Federal or State awarding agency that is exempt from those requirements under 2 CFR§25.110 (b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal or State awarding agency under 2 CFR§25.110 (d)) is required to:

Be registered in SAM before submitting its application. If you are not registered in SAM, this line provides a connection for SAM registration: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/ ;

Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and

Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal, Federal pass-through or State award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal or State awarding agency. Until the Grantee has complied with the requirement, the State awarding agency may not make a Federal pass-through or State award to a Grantee. The State awarding agency may determine that the Grantee is not qualified to receive a Federal pass-through or State award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal pass-through or State award to another Grantee.

E. Application Review Information

Funding for the period of July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 is not guaranteed. All Grantees must demonstrate that they meet all requirements under this NOFO described throughout.

Applications that fail to meet the criteria described in the "Eligible Grantees" will not be scored nor considered for funding.

The Department will follow the Merit-based review process established by the Governor's Office of Management and Budget.


Review teams comprised of at least 3 individuals employed by IDHS serving in the Division of Family and Community Services will be assigned to review applications. These review teams, where possible, will be comprised of staff within the Bureau of Workforce Development.

Applications will be reviewed and scored individually, followed by a team review. Scores will then be sent to the application Review Coordinator to be complied and averaged to produce the final application score. Scoring will be on a total 105-point scale.

Application Narratives will be evaluated on the following criteria: Points
Executive Summary 25 Points
Capacity - Agency Qualification/Organization Capacity 35 Points
Quality - Description of Program/Services 35 Points
Budget & Budget Narrative 5 Points
TOTAL 100 Points
Priority Points 5 Points
TOTAL Possible with Priority 105 Points

FCRC coordination - up to an additional 5 points will be awarded to Grantees whose applications include plans to coordinate with the local IDHS Family and Community Resource Center(s) to advertise job vacancies and hire TANF customers.

As described in the criteria section above, scoring will be on a 105-point scale. Scoring will not be the sole award criterion. While recommendations of the review panel will be key factors in the funding decisions, the Department maintains final authority over funding decisions and considers the findings of the review panel to be non-binding recommendations. The Department may, for example consider other items such as geography, past performance, cost effectiveness, etc. when finalizing their decision. Any internal documentation used in scoring or awarding of grants shall not be considered public information.

Final award decisions will be made by the Director of the Division of Family and Community Services at the recommendation of the Associate Director for the Office of Workforce Development. The Department reserves the right to negotiate with successful Grantees to adjust award amounts.

Appeals Process

Only the Merit Based Review Process is subject to appeal.

The Agency Head or designee may appoint one or more Appeal Review Officers (ARO) to consider the grant-related appeals and make a recommendation to the Agency Head or designee for resolution.

An appeal must be submitted in writing and received within 14 calendar days of the non-award notice and must include the name and address of the appealing party, identification of the grant, and a statement of reasons for the appeal. The Department will provide an acknowledgement within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal and a response within 60 calendar days or supply a written explanation to the appealing party as to why additional time is required.

F. Award Administration Information

A Notice of State Award (NOSA) will be issued to the review finalists that have successfully completed all grant award requirements. Based on the NOSA, the review finalist is positioned to make an informed decision to accept the grant award. The NOSA shall include:

The terms and conditions of the award.

Specific conditions assigned to the Grantee based on the fiscal and administrative and programmatic risk assessments. Upon acceptance of the grant award, announcement of the grant award shall be published by the awarding agency to www.grants.illinois.gov.

The NOSA must be signed by the grants officer (or equivalent). This signature effectively accepts the state award and all conditions set forth with the notice. The signed NOSA is the authorizing document. The Grantee's signed NOSA must be remitted to the Department as instructed in the notice.

The Grantee awarded funds shall provide services as set forth in the IDHS grant agreement and shall act in accordance with all state and federal statutes and administrative rules applicable to the provision of the services.

To review a copy of the FY20 IDHS contract/grant agreement, please visit the IDHS website.


G. State Awarding Agency Contact(s)

If you have any questions about this NOFO, please send them via email to Jataun J. Rollins (jataun.j.rollins@illinois.gov ) & (DHS.ETBilling@illinois.gov) with name of agency and BET NOFO Questions in the Subject line of the Email. IDHS/DFCS encourages inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcomes the opportunity to answer questions from Grantees. Frequently asked, "Questions and Answers" will be posted to the IDHS website and updated periodically.

H. Other Information, if applicable

Cultural diversity is important to IDHS. The Grantee is required to market to a pool of eligible candidates when awarding scholarships.

A Community Outreach Plan should include:

  1. FAFSA - those who are eligible/potentially eligible
  2. FCRCs (Family and Community Resource Centers) referrals
  3. College Fairs
  4. Seminars
  5. Social Media Platforms and other websites/resources
  6. A Brochure, website links and social media platforms

Mandatory Forms -- Required for All Agencies

  1. Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance (pdf)
  2. Uniform Grant Budget Template | Instructions The budget template is attached to assist in determining expenses; however, the final budget must be completed in CSA. The pdf budget or paper copy will not be accepted. CSA Budget/Tracking System and Registration Information 
  3. Attachment A Program Plan narrative (attachment included) (docx)
  4. Attachment B Organization Chart
  5. Attachment C Contact Form (template attached) (docx)
  6. Attachment D Delegation of Authority (template attached) (rtf)
  7. Attachment E Service Location (s) (template attached) (docx)
  8. Attachment F Budget Narrative (template attached) (docx)