Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers

  • This document was originally posted on 2/23/22 and was last updated on 4/15/22.
  • Please note that new questions are added to the end of each category below, with the date in parentheses.
  1. Home Visiting NOFOs and Funding Streams

    1. Will Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funds be awarded through this NOFO?

      • No. MIECHV grantees will receive direct communication from IDHS-DEC regarding MIECHV funding for SFY23.
    2. Will Parents Too Soon (PTS) funds be awarded through this NOFO?

      • No. In SFY23, PTS funds will continue through Start Early.
    3. Will there be a second competitive IDHS-DEC Home Visiting NOFO for SFY23?

      • No.
    4. How can I apply for a regular Healthy Families America (HFA)/Healthy Families Illinois (HFI) grant?
      • This NOFO replaces the HFI grant. Anyone interested in FY23 funding for HFI should apply for this NOFO.
    5. We are currently supported by Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) as a Prevention Initiative program. I am interested in this grant opportunity. There are a few concerns about whether this new grant would conflict with ISBE funding? Would the additional funding allow us to expand our programming in FY23? Would this grant take into consideration only home visiting, or Early Head Start? (2/25/22)
      • There is nothing that prevents an ISBE-funded applicant from applying for these funds, if they are otherwise eligible. Yes, programs can apply to expand their current home visiting programming. This NOFO is for evidence-based home visiting only, so it does not include center-based Early Head Start.
    6. Will there be a NOFO specializing in funding Coordinated Intake? If so, do we know when to expect that may come out? (3/3/22)
      • There will not be a Notice of Funding Opportunity for MIECHV Coordinated Intake. If you are interested in Community System Development opportunities, the All Our Kids (AOK) Network posted a NOFO that includes a Family Recruitment Specialist. 
    7. You mentioned that funding is flat for this coming year. I was wondering why this is so, as it seems many programs are expanding funding with American Rescue Plan Act funds (ARPA). (3/3/22) 
      • State General Revenue Funds for IDHS-DEC home visiting are expected to be flat for this coming year. We are using ARPA dollars to supplement state funds in this NOFO, but this total amount is not expected to cover a large expansion of funding. Additionally, ARPA dollars are time-limited and will not support longer-term expansion.
    8. Can we braid this funding with other funding? (3/3/22) 
      • Yes.
    9. What is the time period for this funding? (3/3/22)
      • IDHS-DEC issues competitive NOFOs for this program every three years. The funding for this NOFO is for one year, SFY23. As stated in Section B of the NOFO (Funding Information), successful applicants under this NOFO may be eligible to receive two subsequent one-year grant renewals for this program. Renewals are at the discretion of the Department and are based on performance and sufficient appropriation.
    10. If funding is reduced after year one, are programs still accountable for the initial services proposed in this NOFO? (3/3/22)
      • This NOFO is for SFY23. Programs that are funded in FY23 will be responsible for carrying out the proposed level of services in their FY23 proposal.
    11. If a program's ISBE grant is underfunded, can this grant be used to supplement our current program? (3/7/22)
      • If you are proposing to serve additional families, then you may apply for funds through this NOFO. You must be able to separately report on ISBE-funded families and IDHS-funded families (you cannot report the same families served to both ISBE and IDHS).
    12. We currently have a home visiting program funded by the DFSS (City of Chicago). Is this funding additional or is it a renewal of what we currently have? (3/7/22)
      • This Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Home Visiting NOFO is unrelated to the DFSS (City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services). DFSS is separate from IDHS, so this is not a renewal of DFSS funding. If you are proposing to serve additional families, then you may apply for funds through this NOFO. You must be able to separately report on DFSS-funded families and IDHS-funded families (you cannot report the same families served to both DFSS and IDHS).
    13. Have state agencies (IDHS, ISBE) who fund Home Visiting come together to discuss minimum salary requirements and cost per child so there is statewide agreement for current and future NOFOs? For agencies that blend and braid funding from various state agencies for home visiting, how should that be represented in the NOFO? Will compensation/cost per child be prioritized in FY23 by all state agencies supporting the ability to blend and braid to reach more families and match the funding within this NOFO? (3/18/22)
      • Yes, discussions are ongoing with state funders of home visiting about the alignment of funding levels and salaries. We recognize the challenges experienced by programs with multiple funding streams. Applicants are encouraged to include this information in your program narrative.
  2. Eligibility

    1. Can programs that currently receive HFI funds apply for the NOFO if they do not serve Priority 1 or Priority 2 communities?

      • Yes, but they will not receive priority points for those communities.
    2. Is this NOFO open to applicants who do not currently have IDHS funding, or who have never had HFI funding in the past? (updated 2/25/22)

      • Eligibility for this NOFO is not limited to current HFI grantees. Organizations that do not currently have IDHS/HFI funding, or have never had IDHS/HFI funding, are eligible if they propose to serve the communities listed in Section C, Eligibility.  (updated 3/3/22)
    3. What if a program serves a county/community not listed in Priority 1, but was listed as a Priority 1 community on the MIECHV FY20 Needs Assessment? Was this an oversight of the NOFO?
      • Yes, this reflects an oversight on our part. Please notify us of any such oversights so that we can make corrections. Thank you for your patience.
    4. Can privately-funded home visiting programs apply for this NOFO? (3/3/22)
      • Yes.
    5. We currently provide services to a Priority 3 county. Are we are able to continue to serve this county?
      • Yes, programs that serve Priority 3 counties are eligible to apply for SFY23 funding.
    6. We serve a county that is At-Risk in the Needs Assessment, but is not listed in the NOFO. Are we eligible to apply? (3/7/22)
      • Due to limited funding, this NOFO is only available to providers that serve At-Risk communities that currently receive HFI funding (Priority 1 service areas).
  3. Home Visiting Models and Curricula

    1. Which home visiting models can be supported by this NOFO?
      • Early Head Start-Home Based (EHS), Healthy Families America (HFA), Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), and Parents as Teachers (PAT).
    2. For this NOFO, which curricula can be used with the HFA model?
      • Any curriculum that is accepted by the HFA model can be used in this NOFO.
    3. We use a curriculum which is not listed in the home visiting models section on the information sheet. Would we be eligible to apply for this grant? (3/3/22)
      • Home visiting curricula are different from home visiting models. NOFO applicants can only propose to use one of the four evidence-based home visiting models listed in the NOFO: Early Head Start-Home Based, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership, or Parents as Teachers. Some models require a specific curriculum, while others allow various approved curricula to be used. Please contact your curriculum author for more information.
    4. If a program does not currently use one of the approved home visiting models, is it possible for us to write for the grant if we indicate that we are willing to switch to one of the approved models? (3/3/22)
      • Yes, an organization may apply for this NOFO if they are not yet using one of the four listed home visiting models, but plan to do so in SFY23.
    5. Are we allowed to apply for more than one evidence-based model? (3/3/22)
      • Yes. If you do so, please submit a separate application for each model used.
    6. What commitment is there to the HFA model? (3/18/22)
      • The HFA model has been, and will continue to be, one of Illinois' core home visiting models. There has been, and will continue to be, investment in HFA infrastructure in Illinois, including technical assistance and training.
    7. We have an HFA program but we do not yet have the Child Welfare protocol in place. Will this impact our application? (4/6/22)
      • No, this will not impact your application. The NOFO requirement is for grantees to request the protocol within 6 months of the award.
  4. Budget

    1. Can a currently-funded home visiting program ask for more funds if they are underfunded?

      • Yes.
    2. Can programs in Priority 1 communities apply for additional funding to expand their capacity?
      • Yes.
    3. For programs who serve only Priority 3 communities (and are thus not eligible for IDHS funding beyond FY23), will they be expected to budget for and contract with Infant Mental Health Consultants (IMHCs), increase salaries, and apply for the child welfare protocol, etc.?
      • Yes.
    4. Please explain more about "level funding". Programs are not understanding what exactly this means and are wondering how to budget for increased salaries and IMHCs if they can't ask for additional funds to cover those costs due to "level funding."
      • Programs can and should request increased funds to cover increased salaries and IMHCs. ("Level funding" was meant to refer to the total amount of funds that IDHS-DEC has been allocated for home visiting.)
    5. If a program is awarded FY23 funding, what happens from a budget standpoint in FY23 if staff resign or other factors occur that impact the budget? Will programs need to return funds or have grant awards decreased?
      • All grantees will receive payment by one of three payment methodologies (Advance Payment, Reimbursement, or Working Capital Advance). Under the reimbursement method, IDHS will disburse payments to grantees based on actual allowable costs incurred. Grantees that qualify for advance payments or working capital advances will receive advances not to exceed 2 months' cash requirements. Grantees that do not expend all advance payment amounts by the end of the Award term or that are unable to demonstrate that all incurred costs were necessary, reasonable, allowable, or allocable as approved in their respective budget, must return the funds within 45 days. Grant amounts that have not been expended and reimbursed/paid in advance are not subject to repayment. IDHS reserves the right to reallocate funding among grantees based on need.
    6. Are any programs using the ASQ-Enterprise for developmental screening tracking? How are programs going to account for additional program costs like this? (3/3/22)
      • Programs that are using the ASQ-Enterprise or have other program-related expenses should include these expenses in their budget and budget narrative.
    7. Are there minimum and maximum amounts that we can apply for? (3/3/22)
      • There is no minimum or maximum, but you must include the following items as listed in the NOFO:
        • Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (at least $150/hour x 72hrs/year = $10,800 per year (per program)
        • Annual subscription to Visit Tracker data system: see the DataKeeper pricing page for the current rate schedule based on the number of users
        • If you are applying for doula funds, include those expenses in your budget , including doula salaries and clinical consultation costs (see the Doula Enhancement Program Narrative section for details).
    8. Do we use the per funding per child to determine our budget? (3/3/22)
      • The per child funding amount shown in this NOFO is an estimate. In your budget, please include all necessary costs, including the salary increases, Infant Mental Health Consultation, data system, etc.
    9. Will funding be based on the maximum service capacity numbers shown in Section A? (The maximum service capacity number per 1.0 FTE home visitor is as follows: Early Head Start: 10 families. Healthy Families America: 12 families. Nurse-Family Partnership: 25 families. Parents as Teachers: 15 families.)  (3/18/22)
      • No. The "maximum service capacity" number is for a single point in time. That number is only used to define the Performance Measure for enrollment. Generally speaking, programs will serve more than that number of families per year. This is because some families will exit the program, and new families will be recruited. For example, a program that has capacity to serve 24 families at a single point in time might propose to serve 30 families during a year. We are not using those capacity numbers to limit your budget or the number of families you can serve in one year. Your program budget should reflect what you need to operate the program and the number of families you think you will see over the course of one year.
    10. When we estimate the number of families served, do we count the families served by other funding sources? I have a current DFSS funded program that serves 24 families and I want to add 24 families through this NOFO. When I develop the budget, do I ask for funding for 48, or just the expansion of 24? (3/18/22)
      • The budget should reflect only the families and services to be funded by IDHS. In your budget for this NOFO, do NOT include funds for families or staffing that is already covered by other funding streams. In the above example, you would budget for 24 families, not 48.
    11. For indirect costs, we currently elect the 10% de minimis rate. However, I plan to pursue a negotiated rate for FY23. How should I reflect this in the FY23 budgets due April 15th? (4/6/22)
      • If you have already applied for the negotiated indirect cost rate, or if you have a good estimate of what it will be, you can use that amount.  Otherwise, you can use the de minimis rate. You can do a budget amendment later, when the indirect rate has been finalized.
    12. We are unable to open the budget template. (4/6/22)
      • When you open the budget template link in the NOFO, you may not be able to see anything, but you can click on the download button in the top right corner to download the PDF to your computer. After you download it to your computer, you should be able to open it. For further assistance, please contact DHS.HomeVisiting@illinois.gov.
    13. The budget and budget narrative shall only be entered in the CSA system, and they are not part of the Home Visiting Program Narrative, is that correct? (4/13/22)
      • Correct, the budget and budget narrative are only in the CSA and are not included in the Program Narrative.
    14. We are a PAT program that is proposing to add home visitors. Should I include the costs of PAT foundational training for these additional home visitors in our budget? (4/13/22)
      • No, do not include these costs in your budget.
    15. If there are other program-related expenses, such as fees paid to our national model, should I include them in the budget? (4/13/22)
      • Yes, please include these expenses in your budget.
    16. What CSFA number should I use when entering my budget in the CSA? (4/13/22)
      • Please use 444-80-0660.
    17. What NOFO number should I use when entering my budget in the CSA? (corrected 4/13/22)
      • The NOFO number is optional, so you may enter 23-444-80-0660-01 or you may leave this field blank. If you are submitting more than one proposal, then we recommend that you leave the field blank.
    18. Would our proposal be rejected or lose points if our budget is deemed to be too high? (4/13/22)
      • The budget is worth 5 points and is only one part of the NOFO application. Proposals will not be rejected based on the budget amount.
  5. Caseload Capacity

    1. Program maximum capacity for HFA for 1.0 FTE home visitor is listed as 12 families. Does this mean that 1.0 FTE home visitor (and prorated for less than 1.0 FTE) should not exceed 12 families, even when any of the families on that caseload have moved to a Level 2, 3 or 4 and are receiving fewer visits as per HFA Best Practice Standards? (When families move to a Level 2, 3 or 4, it can potentially open up space on that caseload for one or more additional families per HFA Best Practice Standards.)
      • The capacity numbers provided in Section A.5.A.6 are ONLY for the purpose of calculating the Performance Standard related to caseload capacity. Yes, HFA programs may serve more than 12 families if some of the families have moved up to other levels as per HFA Best Practice Standards. (edited 3/7/22)
    2. Please explain maximum service capacity and how these numbers will be used. (The maximum service capacity number per 1.0 FTE home visitor is as follows: Early Head Start: 10 families. Healthy Families America: 12 families. Nurse-Family Partnership: 25 families. Parents as Teachers: 15 families.) (3/3/22)
      • The EHS and NFP numbers are standard, and IDHS consulted with other states and local HFA and PAT model representatives in defining the HFA and PAT levels, taking levels and weights into consideration. These numbers are used in the Performance Standards, where the requirement is for programs that have been active for one year or longer to achieve at least 85% of maximum caseload capacity. For example, an HFA program with 2.0 FTE home visitors has a maximum caseload capacity of 24 families. To achieve 85% of their maximum caseload capacity, the program would need to enroll 85% of 24, or 20 families. We know that many programs have not been fully enrolled during the pandemic. IDHS and other funders have been offering maximum flexibility on enrollment and we will continue to do so as long as possible.
    3. We are an accredited HFA site. The 12 family maximum capacity does not align with the new HFA best practice standards? Just verifying that each home visitor can only have a maximum of 12 families.
    4. Is my program limited to serving this number of families per year? My program can serve many more families. (3/18/22)
      • No, you are not limited to serving this number of families per year. The "maximum service capacity" number is for a single point in time. That number is only used to define the Performance Measure for caseload. Generally speaking, programs will serve more than that number of families per year. This is because some families will exit the program, and new families will be recruited. For example, a program that has capacity to serve 24 families at a single point in time might propose to serve 30 families during a year.
  6. Submitting One Application or Multiple Applications

    1. We have an HFA program serving one Priority 1 community; we also provide Nurse-Family Partnership in another Priority 1 community. Can we submit 1 application that includes both program models and splits families across the models? If not, are we eligible to apply for the 2 separate models and would that mean 2 separate applications?
      • Applicants can propose to use any of the four evidence-based home visiting models listed in the NOFO (including HFA and NFP). Please submit a separate application for each home visiting model that you are proposing to use.
    2. What if an applicant uses one home visiting model in multiple locations in Priority Areas 1 and 2? Should they submit one application for all sites or a separate application for each site
      • An applicant proposing to serve Priority Areas 1 and 2 with one model has two options: 1) submit one application and answer questions fully for all sites, or: 2) submit a separate application for each site. If the applicant chooses option 1 (one application for more than one site), the applicant can exceed the stated page limits.
    3. Can you provide guidance on how to proceed with our application process since we are serving families in both the at-risk Priority 1 and Priority 3 service areas?
      • Priority 1 and 2 communities may be submitted together as one application if you are using one home visiting model for both. However, please submit a separate application for any Priority 3 communities that you are proposing to serve.
    4. If we submit 2 applications for two different geographies with 2 different models, would we be competing against ourselves or would these applications be viewed separately because of the different regions and models? (2/25/22)
      • An applicant organization may submit multiple applications. Each application will be reviewed on its own merits.
    5. Is one organization allowed to submit multiple applications for different purposes? Also, if we submit multiple applications, can we be awarded for more than one contract, or will we only be chosen for one? (3/3/22)
      • Yes, one organization can submit multiple applications (for using different home visiting models and/or for serving different geographic locations). Yes, an organization that submits multiple applications could be awarded for more than one application (each application will be reviewed on its own merits).
    6. If we have an existing HFI program in a county which does not appear in the priority categories, can we apply to serve an adjacent county which is deemed "at risk"? (3/3/22)
      • Yes. Priority 1 and 2 communities may be submitted together as one application if you are using one home visiting model for both. However, please submit a separate application for any Priority 3 communities that you are proposing to serve.
    7. We are a currently funded program that employs one worker who is divided between 2 counties. This includes a priority 1 and priority 3 area. It sounds like you are indicating we need 2 separate applications. Is that correct? (3/3/22)
      • Yes. A separate application is needed for Priority 3 communities.
    8. Our program includes a "swing worker" that serves both a Priority 1 county and a Priority 3 county. Can we include 100% of this worker in our Priority 1 application, or do we need to split this person across two applications? (3/7/22)
      • Priority 1 and 2 communities may be submitted together as one application if you are using the same home visiting model for both. However, a separate application is needed for Priority 3 communities. This means that you would have to split the swing worker's time across your two applications (one for Priority 1 and one for Priority 3).
  7. Administrative Questions

    1. Where can I find the NOFO?

    2. Where can I find a printable version of the HFI-MIECHV NOFO?

      • PDF versions of the NOFOs can be found on the GATA portal under the CSFA tab. Please note that the links do not work in the PDF versions. Other functionality, such as web accessibility, may not be present in the PDFs.
    3. My organization has never applied for a DHS grant before. The guidance says: "Do not register [in the CSA tracking system] before contacting your division contact person to enter your organization's information." Who can assist me with this?
    4. The Catalog of State Financial Assistance (CSFA) number for this NOFO is 444-84-0660. However, in the CSA tracking system, I see this number: 444-80-0660. Should I select 444-80-0660? (3/3/22)
      • Yes. In the CSA tracking system, applicants will see the old CSFA number, 444-80-0660, instead of the new one. It is allowable to use 444-80-0660 for the budget for this application. (This issue is due to changes related to the new IDHS Division of Early Childhood.)
    5. On the assurances form, should we answer 8 times for question 4? And does this count for 8 points, or only 1 point? (3/3/22)
      • Question 4 on the Assurances Form asks if your program will prioritize the eight MIECHV priority populations. This question is worth 1 point. Please answer yes or no once for this question as a whole. If your program can prioritize some, but not all, of the populations listed, then the answer to this question is "no."
    6. What NOFO number should I use when entering my budget in the CSA? (corrected 4/13/22)
      • The NOFO number is optional, so you may enter 23-444-80-0660-01 or you may leave this field blank. If you are submitting more than one proposal, then we recommend that you leave the field blank.
    7. When completing the program narrative, can we provide information in tables instead of answering in paragraph form? (4/12/22)
      • Yes, you may provide tables or bullet points, as long as all of the requested information is included.
    8. How should we submit the attachments? Should we submit them as separate documents? (4/15/22)
      • Please submit your narrative and the attachments as one combined PDF.
    9. Is there a fillable Attachment C? (4/15/22)
    10. On the Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance Form, question #13 asks for the Funding Opportunity Program Field. What information should I enter? (4/15/22)
      • You may leave that field blank.
  8. Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC)

    1. Can programs contract with a licensed mental health professional in their community who is not on the IMHC list and who does not have IMHC certification? Some programs have long-standing relationships with community mental health providers that they could contract for IMHC if allowed. (2/25/22)
      • We appreciate that home visiting programs may already have valuable partnerships with mental health professionals who are outside the Registry. However, there is a specific Illinois model of Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, and we require programs to utilize Consultants that are in the Registry. If your mental health partner would like to serve as a Consultant, please invite them to join the Registry.
    2. How should I budget for Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation? Is there any prescribed/required "dosage?" (3/3/22)
      • In the NOFO, the instructions for the budget narrative include this calculation for IECMHC: $150/hour x 72hrs/year = $10,800 per year. Each applicant should budget at least this amount for IECMHC.
    3. Could an IECMHC also split time as a home visitor? (3/7/22)
      • Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants cannot split their time in this way: one person cannot be the IECMH Consultant and also a home visitor for the same program. Based on the Illinois Model of Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, the type of consultation for home visiting programs is called "programmatic consultation." In this type of consultation, IECMH Consultants provide reflective consultation to program administrators/supervisors and home visitors. Therefore, to ensure boundaries are maintained, an IECMH Consultant cannot also be a home visitor for the same program.
    4. What will a partnership with a IECMH Consultant look like for this program? (3/7/22)
    5. Will we be given guidance on IECMHC documentation and reporting expectations? (3/18/22)
      • Yes. Programs are expected to contract with an IECMHC from the Registry and implement the Illinois Model of IECMHC. We expect that there will be a ramp-up period for programs to incorporate IECMHC, and we will support programs with this process.
    6. Would our contract for IECMHC services be considered a Sub-Contract and thus require pre-approval? (3/29/22)
      • IDHS does not need to pre-approve the actual document that you sign with your consultant. However, we do need to approve the consultant before that person begins providing services. We will provide details about this after the NOFO selection process concludes.
    7. My agency's home visiting program has multiple funding sources. How should I budget for IECMHC? (4/6/22)
      • Ideally, IECMHC costs should be proportionally shared by all of your home visiting funding streams. If costs are shared in this way, you may charge less than $10,800 in IECMHC costs to IDHS-DEC Home Visiting. This is allowable, and please explain this briefly in your budget narrative. If there are different home visiting supervisors involved for each funding stream, one consultant may be utilized, and each supervisor should plan with the consultant to ensure that their needs are met.
    8. The IECMHC expenses listed in the NOFO are considerably more than we have been paying in the past. Is our current amount adequate for the new grant year, or do we need to increase their time and funding? (4/6/22)
      • To carry out the Illinois Model of IECMHC, the recommended annual amount per program is $150/hour x 72hrs/year = $10,800. We suggest that you discuss this with your consultant.
  9. Alignment to MIECHV Expectations/Requirements

    1. This NOFO is for state funds. Why are some federal MIECHV program requirements being applied? (2/25/22)
      • In alignment with the recommendations from the Governor's Early Childhood Funding Commission, IDHS-DEC is aligning the requirements for home visiting programs that are in our Division, starting with MIECHV and HFI. This is why, starting in FY23, programs receiving these two streams of funding will have the same deliverables, performance measures, and performance standards. We recognize that this will be an adjustment for programs, and we will provide technical assistance to support our grantees in adapting to these changes.
  10. Priority Populations and Children/Families to be Served

    1. Under this NOFO, are services limited to the MIECHV priority populations? (2/25/22)
      • No. Enrollment is not limited to the MIECHV priority populations, but programs are expected to PRIORITIZE these populations for enrollment. The Program Summary of the NOFO will be edited in order to clarify this.
      • At least 80% of enrolled families must meet at least one of the MIECHV priority population criteria. Therefore, no more than 20% of enrolled families may meet none of the MIECHV priority population criteria. These remaining families must represent at least one Early Learning Council priority population OR have a mental health concern.
      • We recognize that this will be an adjustment for programs, and we will provide technical assistance to support our grantees in adapting to these changes.
    2. Do families/children have to be under 100% of the federal poverty level in order to receive services? (2/25/22)
      • No. (See also the question and answer immediately above.)
    3. The NOFO says that no more than 20% of enrolled families may meet none of the 8 MIECHV priority population criteria. These remaining families must represent at least one Early Learning Council priority population OR have a mental health concern. What does "mental health concern" mean? Is this a diagnosis for parent or child? How are programs required to document this? (3/3/22)
      • A mental health concern can be noted by the home visiting staff or self-reported by the parent, and does NOT require a diagnosis. IDHS will provide further guidance to grantees on data collection and documentation.
    4. Are families with child welfare involvement and families experiencing homelessness automatically eligible for IDHS-DEC home visiting services? (3/3/22)
      • IDHS-DEC considers families with child welfare involvement and families experiencing homelessness to be automatically eligible for IDHS-DEC home visiting, unless the family does not meet some other requirement of the model (such as the age of the child).
    5. Is there a limit to the number of additional families that you can propose to serve in this NOFO? (3/14/22)
      • No, there is no set limit to the number of additional families that you can propose to serve in this NOFO.
    6. The Priority Populations refer to the "household" or "someone in the household." Can you please clarify what this means as we only obtain consent from the participant, and other individuals do not sign consent for their information to be entered in a state database system. (3/18/22)
      • This information can be collected through discussion with the participant. It is not necessary to specify which household member falls into any one of these priority population categories. We will offer a sample screening tool that programs can use and adapt locally. We expect that there will be a ramp-up period for programs to become familiar with the priority populations and how to collect and report the data. IDHS will provide support and TA to programs around this measure.
  11. Letter of Intent

    1. Should the letter of intent be addressed to a specific person? (3/3/22)
    2. Where we can get guidance related to the letter of intent that is due this Friday? (3/3/22)
      • The NOFO is posted here and Section D (Application and Submission Information) includes details about the Letter of Intent.
    3. In the letter of intent, do we need to specify how many positions we would like to fund? (3/3/22)
      • No.
    4. Are applicants not eligible to apply if they did not submit a letter of intent by March 4th? (3/14/22)
      • The letter of intent is a new piece that we added this year, and we realize that not all programs may have spotted this. So we will allow organizations to apply (if they are otherwise eligible), even if they did not submit a letter of intent by March 4th. If you are thinking of applying, please do submit a letter of intent at your earliest convenience, as it helps us with planning.
      • NOTE: the NOFO has been edited to reflect this change (3/17/22).
    5. Is it possible to share the number of letters of intent that were submitted? (3/17/22)
      • As of March 14, 2022, IDHS has received 53 letters of intent. The letters of intent are non-binding: this means that some organizations who submitted letters of intent might choose not to submit a full application. In addition, agencies who did not submit a letter of intent may still submit a full application.
  12. Staffing and Salaries

    1. How were the levels for the minimum salaries calculated? (3/3/22)
      • The minimum salaries in this NOFO reflect 90% of the salary levels that were recommended in the Home Visiting Cost Model Narrative.
    2. Who is considered a supervisor? Are Team Leads included as supervisors? (3/3/22)
      • A home visiting supervisor is the person that oversees the home visitors and provides reflective supervision to the home visitors. If the Team Lead serves in this role, then they are considered the supervisor. It is up to each applicant organization to identify and assign its home visiting supervisors. (updated 3/17/22)
    3. What salary levels are recommended for supervisors who are only being funded by DHS? (3/3/22)
      • IDHS recommends that all applicants meet the listed minimum salaries for home visiting supervisors. This includes supervisors that are only funded by DHS.
    4. Regarding salary increases, any program with a union may also have to negotiate with its union about a higher starting salary. (3/3/22)
      • Yes. If your organization is in this situation, please include this in your Program Narrative.
    5. What are the educational requirements needed for the home visitors and supervisors? (3/3/22)
      • Follow your model's educational requirements for home visitors and supervisors.
    6. Is the minimum salary for home visitors based on a 40 hour work week? (3/7/22)
      • The minimum salaries listed in the NOFO are for a 1.0 FTE home visitor. Each organization can define the number of hours that is considered 1.0 FTE.
    7. Is there a minimum salary for program managers? (3/17/22)
      • No, we did not establish a minimum salary for program managers.
    8. For the minimum salary levels, is there a minimum hourly rate? (3/29/22)
      • No. The minimum salary amounts are for 1.0 FTE: the number of hours and the hourly rate can vary. See also the answer to question XII.F. above.
  13. Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness

    1. How do the deliverables for cultural and linguistic responsiveness relate to model requirements or resources? How will meeting model requirements be acknowledged or document as part of this program requirement? (3/3/22)
      • Programs are expected to follow their model requirements. IDHS will provide additional guidance to grantees about deliverables including this one.
    2. What happens if no (or few) organizations can meet the "culturally responsive leadership" bonus points criteria? Can they show how they will move toward this target or otherwise demonstrate progress on this dimension? (3/3/22)
      • Applicants who do not meet this requirement will not receive these bonus points. Applicants are welcome to describe their plans to meet this goal, but it is not required.
    3. Will IDHS require programs to collect demographic data on the home visiting workforce? Will this be captured in Gateways or elsewhere? (3/3/22)
      • IDHS will provide future guidance to grantees about workforce data reporting.
  14. Collaborations and Community Systems Development

    1. The AOK Networks has a current NOFO underway. If programs are not currently in an area with an AOK, IRIS, or CI initiative, but one may be funded in FY23, how should they meet this requirement? (3/3/22)
      • Grantees are expected to meet this deliverable in SFY23, which begins on July 1, 2022. By that date, we expect to confirm all FY23 AOK Networks grantees. IDHS will work with grantees to identify local collaborations initiatives. Please also see the answer to question B immediately below.
    2. Where can I find a list of all the local collaborations (AOK Networks, Coordinated Intake, etc.)?
    3. There is a deliverable that says a staff member should participate regularly in a local community collaboration. What if no local collaborative table exists, or the table does not allow/invite HV to participate? How will this work with caseloads for staff? (3/3/22)
      • See the answer to question B immediately above, regarding how to find a local collaboration. If there are existing collaboration tables that do not allow home visiting programs to participate, please contact IDHS for assistance at DHS.HomeVisiting@Illinois.gov. We recognize there are concerns about staff time, but participating in local collaborations is an important way to help ensure that home visiting programs are connected to comprehensive services for families.
    4. How should programs interact with the Birth to Five Action Councils that are being established? (3/3/22)
      • IDHS will provide updated guidance to grantees in coordination with the Birth to Five team.
    5. What other resources beyond this grant will be available for community systems development?
      • For support with community systems development, please visit the Partner Plan Act webpage. This project provides supports including on-demand consultation and longer-term technical assistance.
  15. Referrals

    1. There is a deliverable that requires a response to referral sources within two (2) business days. What if there are delays in hearing back from families or referral partners? Will programs be penalized if a family or referral partner does not respond? How is this tracked? (3/3/22)
      • IDHS-DEC has heard from referral sources that some home visiting programs do not always respond to follow-up inquiries in a timely way, so the referral source does not know if the family has enrolled. In response, we added this deliverable to facilitate "closing the loop" on referrals. In this case, a response could simply be an email or phone call stating, "I am still trying to reach the family" or "The family's phone number is disconnected, do you have alternate contact information?" Programs are not responsible for delays that are out of their control (such as families or referral partners not responding to them), but they are responsible for informing their referral partners on the status of a referral. Referrals will be tracked in the IDHS selected data system.
  16. Data on Community Needs and Home Visiting "Slots"

    1. Is IDHS publishing a single list of capacity/or currently funded slots by funding source? (3/3/22)
      • As described in the Program Narrative under Community Need, the IECAM Regional Reports include county-level data on the estimated number of home visiting slots (see the Home Visiting tab). This is the single resource on home visiting slots by funding source.
    2. How can I find out what other home visiting programs are in my geographic area? (3/3/22)
      • As described in the Program Narrative, under Community Need, the www.igrowillinois.org website contains a list of home visiting programs in Illinois currently known to IDHS. Use the "Find A Program" feature on the igrowillinois website to locate the other home visiting programs within your proposed service area.
    3. Where can I find data on the number of eligible families in my geographic service area? (3/7/22)
      • The IECAM Regional Reports include county-level data on the number of children living in families with incomes at or below various federal poverty levels (FPLs) (see the Demographics tab). Poverty level data are used for a variety of purposes by different entities, and no single level is uniformly used by home visiting program models. For this application, IDHS suggests that applicants use the FPL level that aligns with their organization's precedent, or that they feel most accurately describes their community needs. For example, the number of children at or below 185% FPL or 200% FPL is commonly used to generate an estimate of community need. Whichever data you decide to use, please define and explain this in your NOFO application. Please contact IECAM at IECAM@illinois.edu if you need any assistance in navigating the regional reports.
    4. The "Find a Program" feature on the igrowillinois website does not seem to be working. Where can I get help with this? (3/14/22)
      • Please try again with a different browser. If you are still having trouble, please contact DHS.HomeVisiting@Illinois.gov and we will assist you.
    5. The NOFO includes suggestions to use poverty data to estimate the number of eligible families in our community. Can we use other data instead? (3/29/22)
      • Yes, you can use other data to estimate community need (you are not required or obligated to use poverty data). Whichever data you decide to use, please define and explain this in your NOFO application.
  17. Priority Points and Bonus Points

    1. Are the priority points only for programs that currently receive HFI funding? (3/3/22)
      • No. The priority points are available to all applicants, including those who currently do not have HFI funding.
    2. If an HFA program already has Child Welfare Protocol in place or has already applied with HFA for Child Welfare Protocol, will bonus points be applied to their NOFO application? (3/14/22)
      • No, in this NOFO we did not establish bonus points for already having or requesting the HFA Child Welfare protocol.
    3. Are there priority points awarded for serving priority populations (ie; children in families impacted by incarceration? (3/14/22) 
      • No, in this NOFO we did not establish priority points or bonus points for serving specific priority populations (such as children in families impacted by incarceration).
  18. Priority Service Areas

    1. If we are not currently funded by HFI but will serve one of the Priority 1 counties, will we be eligible for priority points? (3/3/22)
      • Yes, if you apply to serve a Priority 1 county, you will receive 10 priority points.
    2. Can we propose to serve a county that we currently do not serve? (3/3/22)
      • Yes.
    3. Where can we find the map of the priority areas? (3/3/22)
      • Please see the 2020 MIECHV Needs Assessment. A map of the At-Risk counties is on page 12. The "High Consideration" counties are shown on page 31.
    4. Our program serves Priority 3 communities. Does this mean that we will not be funded in SFY23? (3/14/22)
      • Applicants serving Priority 3 counties are eligible to apply for funding for FY23. IDHS does expect to fund successful applicants in this category in FY23.
  19. Technical Assistance Sessions

    1. Where are the recording and the slides from the TA Session on March 2nd? (3/3/22)
      • A link to the TA webinar slides and recording will be posted on the IDHS-DEC Home Visiting NOFO, in the section of the Summary Information table that includes the TA Session links.
  20. Doula Enhancement

    1. If our program has doulas but they are not funded through IDHS, do we have to complete the Doula Enhancement Narrative in the NOFO?  (3/3/22)
      • If your program is requesting funds from this NOFO to cover doula costs, then the answer is yes, you must complete the Doula Enhancement Narrative. If your program is not requesting funds from this NOFO to cover doula costs, then please do not complete the Doula Enhancement Narrative.
    2. Is doula funding only available to programs that are currently funded by HFI? (3/3/22)
      • No.
    3. Can we apply for doula expansion only, or do we need to add home visitors in order to add doulas? (3/7/22)
      • This NOFO will not be able to support doula-only requests. NOFO applicants must apply for home visiting funds in order to also request funds to support doulas. If you apply for doulas, please follow the staffing ratios described in Section A.
  21. Data System

    1. What data system do you use to enter child/family data? (3/3/22)
      • Visit Tracker is the data system that we currently use.
  22. Submission, Review, Scoring, and Selection Process

    1. Will the review team be able to go back to programs if they have questions? Will programs be allowed to revise before final selection? (3/7/22)
      • Applicants may withdraw and re-submit their applications at any point BEFORE the due date (April 15, 2022). However, after that date has passed, applicants will not be able to make any further revisions. The review team will not be able to consider any information outside of the application materials received by April 15th. If applicants have any questions about the NOFO, please submit them to DHS.HomeVisiting@illinois.gov before April 15, 2022.
    2. How will IDHS determine the allocation of slots for this NOFO? Will existing slots from other funders be considered in funding allocation decisions? (3/14/22)
      • As stated in Section E.2.: The review team's numerical score may not be the sole award criterion. The Department reserves the right to consider other factors such as: geographical distribution, demonstrated need, location of home visiting slots supported by other funding streams, and agency past performance as a state grantee, etc.
    3. What are the scoring points for established programs? How can longtime small programs compete against programs with an excellent grant writer? (3/17/22)
      • The scoring rubric is shown in Section E.1. Applicants should be sure to answer all questions completely in the program narrative, including about their experience.
  23. Appeal Process

    1. Can IDHS clarify the difference between appealing the evaluation process versus appealing the scores? (3/7/22)
      • Illinois Administrative Code 7000.350 (g)(1) states: "Appeals of competitive grants are limited to the evaluation process. Evaluation scores may not be protested. Only the evaluation process is subject to appeal." This means that the appeal cannot change the score that was received. The appeal will consist of an Impartial Hearing Officer reviewing the evaluation process for the applicant ,to ensure that the procedures described in the NOFO were properly followed and that the NOFO followed the law.
  24. Developmental Screening

    1. What is the frequency of developmental screenings? (3/14/22)
      • The developmental screening schedule follows the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  25. Screenings for Adult Participants

    1. When will the screening tools for intimate partner violence, mental health, and substance use be sent to sites? What training will be required? Should I include funds in the budget for these trainings? (3/18/22)
      • The tools are: Futures Without Violence Relationship Assessment Tool (intimate partner violence), the Edinburgh (mental health screening) and the 4P's Plus (substance use screening). These tools will be shared after the contracting process is complete. Training will be provided by Start Early, free of charge to programs. We expect that there will be a ramp-up period for programs to become trained to use these tools and we will support programs through this process.
    2. Is there a tobacco screening tool, or is tobacco use just a question on a screening tool? (3/18/22)
      • This is just a question on a screening tool.
  26. Family Voice/ Family Engagement

    1. Is deliverable A5A14, "Family Voice" connected to Performance Measure A6A14, "Family Engagement and Empowerment"? We will be given more information on what this is? And expectations for documentation? (3/18/22)
      • Yes, these two are connected. Performance Measure A6A14 is defined as follows: "Number of home visiting families participating in group activities, such as parent groups, program advisory board meetings, CQI team meetings, or local collaboration meetings. Reported quarterly." This means that programs will be asked to report this number of families in their quarterly reports.
  27. Program Monitoring, including the Home Visit Rating Scale (HOVRS)

    1. When will we receive information/training on this process? Will we need to allocate funds for this training? (3/18/22)
      • Details on the HOVRS process will be shared after the contracting process is complete. Training will be provide, free of charge to programs. We expect that there will be a ramp-up period for programs to become familiar with the HOVRS process and we will support programs with this.
  28. Eligibility Screening Tool

    1. Will DHS provide an eligibility screening tool or should programs create their own? (3/18/22)
      • IDHS will provide a sample screening tool to grantees, which they can modify to meet local needs.
    2. If our program currently uses the "1 Step" HFI Eligibility Screen, can we keep using this? (3/18/22) 
      • Yes, you can continue to use this screen. IDHS will work with you to incorporate the priority populations into the "1 Step" screening.
  29. Enrollment and "Dual Enrollment"

    1. If a parent is already enrolled in another home visiting program with another agency, can they also be enrolled in the IDHS-DEC HV program? (3/29/22) 
      • In general, families should not be enrolled in IDHS-DEC home visiting if they are already enrolled in another intensive home visiting program. If there are multiple home visitors from multiple home visiting programs seeing a family, this can create duplication of effort among the programs, and it can create confusion and scheduling problems for the family and the home visitors.
  30. Application Due Date

    1. Is there a specific time on April 15th that the Home Visiting NOFO Application is due? (4/15/22) 
      • The full application is due by April 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.