Domestic Violence Shelter & Services Request for Applications (RFA) - ADDENDUM

Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Family and Community Services
Bureau of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Domestic Violence Shelter and Services Request for Application (RFA) - ADDENDUM

Released March 12, 2014 - ADDENDUM added 04/09/2014

Table of Contents

  1. PART I
    1. A. Date of Issuance: March 12, 2014
    2. B. Issuing Organizational Unit
    3. C. RFA Availability
    4. D. Due Date, Location and Time of Application Opening
    5. E. Audit Submission Requirements
    6. F. Application Submission Requirements
    7. G. Eligible Applicants
    8. H. Questions and Answers
    9. I. Award Process
    10. J. Review Panel
    11. K. Estimated Length of Agreement
    12. L. Withdrawal Disclaimer
    13. M. Modifications to Applications by Applicants
    14. N. Modifications to Applications by DHS
    15. O. Clarifications, Negotiations or Discussions Initiated by DHS
    16. R. Objections
    17. S. Commencement of Service
    18. T. Public Information
    19. U. Contract
    20. V. Program Evaluation and Reporting Requirements
    21. W. Training and Technical Assistance
    22. X. Congressional and Legislative Districts
    23. Y. Additional Information
    24. Z. Sectarian Issue
    25. AA. Background Checks
    26. BB. Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Mandate
    27. CC. Hiring and Employment Policy
  2. PART II
    1. A. Department's Need for Services
    2. B. Intent of the RFA
    3. C. Objectives/Services to be Performed (the Approach)
    4. D. Locations of Service Sites and Service Area
    5. E. Mandatory Requirements
    6. F. Application Evaluation
    7. G. Award Amount
    1. A. Executive Summary (2 page maximum)
    2. B. Agency History and Purpose (2 pages maximum) - 50 points
    3. C. Provider/Program Description and Eligibility (2 pages maximum) - 50 points
    4. D. Service Delivery (10 pages maximum) - 250 points
    5. E. Community Needs (2 pages maximum) - 50 points
    6. F. Data and Demographics (1 page maximum for narrative, plus attached form) - 25 points
    7. G. Program Evaluation and Auditing (2 pages maximum for narrative, plus attached forms) - 25 points
    8. J. Budget and Budget Justification - No Points Assigned


A.  Date of Issuance:  March 12, 2014

B.  Issuing Organizational Unit

  • Illinois Department of Human Services
    Division of Family and Community Services
    Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Unit
    823 East Monroe
    Springfield, IL 62701
  • Contact Person
    Sharon Spinks
    Phone Number (217)782-0947

C.  RFA Availability

Copies of this RFA may be downloaded from the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) website at

Additional copies may be obtained by calling the contact person listed above.

D.  Due Date, Location and Time of Application Opening

Applications must be received no later than April 18, 2014, 3:00 pm (extension due to the omission of a required item). The Application container will be time-stamped upon receipt. The Department will not accept applications submitted by electronic mail, on diskette or by facsimile machine. Mail your completed grant applications to:

  • Illinois Department of Human Services Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Unit
    "Sealed Bid - Do Not Open"
    Domestic Violence Shelter and Services RFA
    823 East Monroe
    Springfield, IL 62701
  • Due Date & Time: Extended to April 18, 2014, 3:00 pm due to the omission of a required item.

Applications may be personally dropped off at the above listed site by the due date and time.

E.  Audit Submission Requirements

All organizations applying for state funds must submit one (1) copy of their most recent audited financial statements as part of their Application. The Department will use the audit to ascertain the fiscal health of Applicants. While the audit will not be scored as part of the review the Department reserves the right to use information in the audit to assist in the final recommendation for funding. Applicants are expected to demonstrate through their audits a strong financial position and an ability to obtain funding outside of the public sector.

The audited financial statements should be included in the Application and labeled as Appendix D: Audited Financial Statements. Units of government (such as cities and counties, schools, health departments, etc.) do not need to submit an audit.

F.  Application Submission Requirements

To be considered, Applications must be in the possession of the Department of Human Services staff at the specified location and by the designated date and time listed above. The deadline will be strictly enforced without exception. In the event of a dispute, the applicant bears the burden of proof that the application was received on time at the location listed above.


All applications must be typed on 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper using 12-point type and at 100% magnification (not reduced). With the exception of letterhead and stationery for letter(s) of support, the entire Application should be typed in black ink on white paper. The program narrative must be typed, double-spaced, on one side of the page, with 1-inch margins on all sides. The program narrative must not exceed the specific page limits outlined in this RFA. The appendices, assurances, and budget forms are NOT included in the page limitation.

Applicants must submit one, clearly identified originally signed proposal and five (5) complete copies of the proposal.

The entire application, including appendices, must be sequentially page numbered. Applications should be bound with a single staple or binder clip in the upper left-hand corner. 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 to extend beyond the 8 1/2 x 11 inch page. 

Additionally, applicants must include one (1) completed electronic copy of the application (disk, USB drives, etc.).  Faxed copies will not be accepted.  If you have already submitted your application, you can send a disk or flash drive.  You do not have to resubmit the application.

Not adhering to these guidelines for Application submission constitutes grounds for Application disqualification. Therefore, the Department is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the above requirements.

G.  Eligible Applicants

All public, private or not-for-profit community-based agencies are eligible to apply for funds under this Request for Applications. The funding opportunity is not limited to those who currently have a Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention Grant funded by the Department of Human Services; however, there are no startup funds available, so only those applicants with a documented history of providing domestic violence victim services will be considered eligible.

H.  Questions and Answers

Each applicant must have access to the Internet. The Department's website will contain information regarding the RFA. It is the responsibility of each applicant to monitor that website and comply with any instructions or requirements relating to the RFA.

"Frequently Asked Questions with Answers" will be posted on the DHS website at  The site will be updated periodically.

The last day to submit a question is:  April 4, 2014, 1:00 pm.

I.  Award Process

Successful Applicants will be notified in writing by letter from the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. A Notice of Grant Award is not equivalent to an agreement with the Department to commence providing service. Successful applicants will receive the FY15 Community Service Agreement or an amendment thereto for their signature and return. The release of this RFA does not compel the Department of Human Services to make an award.

J.  Review Panel

Applications will be reviewed by a panel established by staff from DHS, which may include Department staff familiar with the requirements of the program, academics and experts in relevant field, and community-based social services providers who are not party to applications for funding under this announcement. Panel members will initially read and evaluate applications independently using guidelines furnished by DHS and will subsequently participate in review panel meetings during which Applications will be reviewed and scored collectively.

The Department reserves the right to consider factors other than the Applicant's final score in determining final grant recommendations. Such factors may include (but are not limited to) geographic service area, Applicant's past performance, degree of need for services.

K.  Estimated Length of Agreement

The Department estimates that the term of the agreement resulting from this RFA will be 7/1/2014, and continuing through 6/30/15, and will require the mutual consent of both parties, and be dependent upon the Provider's performance and adherence to program requirements and the availability of funds.

L.  Withdrawal Disclaimer

The Department of Human Services may withdraw this Request for Applications at any time prior to the actual time a fully executed agreement is filed with the State of Illinois Comptroller's Office.

M.  Modifications to Applications by Applicants

To make a modification to an Application after it has been submitted, the applicant must submit a complete replacement Application package, as described above under "Application Submission Requirements," accompanied by a letter requesting that the replacement Application be considered. This must be received at the prescribed location by date and time designated under Item D.

N.  Modifications to Applications by DHS

If it becomes necessary or appropriate for DHS to change any part of the RFA, a modification to the RFA will be available from the Department's (DHS) website: and it will be issued to all known recipients of the RFA. In case of such an unforeseen event, DHS will issue detailed instructions for how to proceed.

O.  Clarifications, Negotiations or Discussions Initiated by DHS

The Department may contact any applicant prior to the final award for the following purposes.

As part of the Department's review process, the Department may request an applicant clarify its bid or Application. An applicant may not be allowed to materially change its bid or Application in response to a request for clarification.

Discussions may be held to promote understanding of the Department's requirements and the applicant's Application and to facilitate arriving at a contract that will be most advantageous to the State considering price and other evaluation factors set forth in the RFA.

When the Department knows or has reason to conclude that a mistake has been made, the Department shall ask the Applicant to confirm the information. Situations in which confirmation should be requested include obvious or apparent errors on the face of the document or a price unreasonably lower than the price others submitted, or if the price is considerably higher than what is currently paid for this type of services. If the Applicant alleges a mistake, the bid or Application may be corrected or withdrawn following the conditions set forth by the State of Illinois.

P.  DHS Grants Information Conference

Not applicable for this RFA.

Q.  Late Applications/Responses

Late Applications will not be opened or considered and will be automatically disqualified, but will be retained by the Department. The Department will notify all applicants whose Applications will not be considered because of lateness or non-compliance with Application submission requirements.

R.  Objections

Applicants who object to any provision of the RFA, who believe their Application was improperly rejected, or who believe that the selected Application(s) is/are not in the best interest of the Department may submit a written protest of the Department's action. The Department will consider all such written protests that are submitted according to the time periods specified below. The Department will investigate all allegations and issue a written response.

The decision of the Department is final. Protests must be in writing and will be considered filed when physically received by the Department at the following address:

  • Illinois Department of Human Services
    General Counsel's Office
    Ms. Kathy Ward, Senior Deputy General Counsel
    100 W Randolph, Suite 6-400
    Chicago, Illinois 60601

Protests must be filed within fourteen (14) calendar days after the Protestor knows or should have known of the facts giving rise to the protest.

Protests regarding RFA specifications must be filed within fourteen (14) calendar days after the date the RFA was issued and, in any event must be filed before the date for opening the Applications. If a protest is received, any award made is not final until the protest is resolved.

S.  Commencement of Service

The Department will not reimburse applicants for expenses incurred prior to the complete and final execution of the written contract. If the applicant receives an award letter from the Secretary, then it is reasonable to assume that the Department will be forwarding the Applicant a contract.

No services can be reimbursed prior to the full and complete execution of the contract and filing with the Illinois Office of the Comptroller.

T.  Public Information

Some information submitted pursuant to this RFA is subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The successful applicant must recognize and accept that any material marked proprietary or confidential that must be made a part of the contract may be considered open for public inspection. Price information submitted by the successful Applicants shall be considered public.

For Applications that are not selected for funding, only the list of those submitting Applications/responses shall be considered public. Any internal documentation used to determine grant selections will not be considered public information. Applicant scores will NOT be made public. The Department may give Applicants feedback about their Application upon request and at the discretion of the Department.

U.  Contract

The legal agreement between DHS and the successful applicants will be in the form and format prescribed by DHS. The standard DHS Community Service Agreement (CSA) will be used as the grant agreement. Samples of this agreement may be found at and in Attachment H of this RFA If selected for funding, the applicant will be provided a DHS Community Service Agreement for their signature and return. Applicants must review the sample CSA and insure that they meet all requirements contained in the CSA. Applicants must note any exceptions contained in the CSA. All exceptions must be agreed to by DHS before awarding any grants and execution of the CSA.

V.  Program Evaluation and Reporting Requirements

In order to assure accountability at all levels of service provision, the Illinois Department of Human Services is implementing the practice of performance-based contracting with its grantee agencies. The articulation and achievement of measurable outcomes assure that we are carrying out the most effective programming possible.

W.  Training and Technical Assistance

If required, programs must agree to receive consultation and technical assistance from authorized representatives of the Department. The program and collaborating partners will be required to be in attendance at site visits. Programs may be required to attend regular meetings and training as provided by the Department or a sub-contractor of the Department.

X.  Congressional and Legislative Districts

On the required Application Cover Sheet, the Applicant must provide, the Congressional District (by number), available at the following web site: and the Illinois House and Senate Legislative Districts (by number), available on the Illinois General Assembly web site at

Y.  Additional Information

The Department reserves the right to request additional information that could assist the Department with its award decision. Applicants are expected to provide the additional information within a reasonable period of time. Failure to provide the information could result in the rejection of the Application.

Z.  Sectarian Issue

Applicant organizations may not expend federal or state funds for sectarian instruction, worship, prayer, or proselytization. If the applicant organization is a faith based or religious organization that offers such activities, these activities shall be voluntary for the individuals receiving services and offered separately from the program.

AA.  Background Checks

Background checks are required for all program staff and volunteers who have one-on-one contact with children and youth. Funded programs will be required to have a written protocol on file requiring background checks, as well as evidence of their completion.

BB.  Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Mandate

Per the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, adults working with children and youth under the age of 18 years old are mandated reporters for suspected child abuse and neglect. Funded programs must have a written protocol for identifying and reporting suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect.

CC.  Hiring and Employment Policy

It is the policy of the Department to encourage cultural diversity in the work environment and to promote employment opportunities through its programs. The Department's philosophy is that the program workforce should appropriately reflect the populations to be served, with special attention given to hiring individuals indigenous to those communities. Consistent with Department policy, whenever a position becomes available, funded programs are encouraged to consider TANF clients for employment, contingent upon their qualifications in the area of education and work experience.



A.  Department's Need for Services

The Department currently funds a statewide network of 64 community agencies that provide crisis intervention and prevention services to domestic violence victims and their children. Services offered by these agencies include a 24-hour crisis response, emergency on and off site shelter, individual and group counseling for adults and children, legal and other systems advocacy, and other support services. In addition to these intervention services, domestic violence programs also provide prevention services such as community outreach and education.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS or Department), has issued this Request for Application (RFA) in order to distribute grant funds for fiscal year 2015. These funds are to be used to provide domestic violence intervention and prevention to victims and their children throughout Illinois. Through grants to community-based agencies, the Department seeks to ensure that all victims of domestic violence in the state have access to quality domestic violence services. Grant funds must be used to cover the costs of providing crisis intervention, shelter and related domestic violence services as defined in this Request for Applications (RFA).

B.  Intent of the RFA

It is the intent of the Department to continue to provide a service delivery network of interventions that support victims' efforts to become and remain safe, gain control over their lives, and become self-sufficient. This will be achieved through grants to domestic violence service providers who are experienced in the special needs of victims and well educated on the dynamics of abuse.

The Department will give special emphasis to the support of community-based projects of demonstrated effectiveness, that are carried out by nonprofit organizations and that have as their primary purpose the operation of shelters for victims of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence, and their dependents, and programs with a documented history of effective work with domestic violence victims. An applicant may be part of a larger agency with multiple purposes, but there must be a program within the agency that has as its primary purpose helping victims of domestic violence.

The Department will provide funding to support and enhance existing programs, but will not provide full funding to any program, and startup programs will not be considered. Therefore, Applicants must already be providing significant domestic violence services in order to be considered for funding. Site visits, program location inspections, or face-to-face meetings may also be required before final funding decisions are made.

Program Guidelines

Together with the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV), the Illinois Department of Human Services developed the Illinois Domestic Violence Services Guidelines Manual, which outlines the minimum requirements with which all funded programs must comply. The manual was developed utilizing research, best practices, and the input and expertise of the domestic violence service community. The purpose of the minimum requirements is to assure the safety and well-being of persons receiving domestic violence services, and to ensure the quality and consistency of domestic violence services across the state.

In addition to the minimum requirements, the manual also provides further guidelines to promote excellence in domestic violence services, descriptions of the guiding principles and philosophies of domestic violence service delivery, and specific samples and tools to help in implementing services.

The requirements and guidelines of the Illinois Domestic Violence Services Guidelines Manual are incorporated into this RFA. In any contract resulting from this RFA, programs will be expected to adhere to the minimum requirements of the manual. The manual is available online through the ICADV website at:

Target Population

Domestic violence services are provided to persons who are, or have been, victims of, or threatened with, domestic violence or abuse, whether physical, sexual, or emotional. Persons eligible for services are adult victims and their dependent children. Services may also be provided to victims who are minors and their children when the abuse takes place within the context of a dating or engagement relationship.

As an addition to victim services, comprehensive domestic violence agencies must provide prevention and outreach services to their communities.

Program Philosophy

Successful Grantees will use a service delivery model designed to encourage and support victims' efforts to regain control over their lives and decrease the violence in their lives. Successful intervention models increase the safety of victims and children; respect the authority and autonomy of adult victims to direct their own lives; and hold perpetrators, not victims, responsible for the abusive behavior and for stopping the abuse. Further information on the guiding principles of effective domestic violence programs can be found in the Illinois Domestic Violence Services Guidelines Manual.

C.  Objectives/Services to be Performed (the Approach)

Illinois' domestic violence services provide a safety net to assist victims and their children. The goals are to ensure that high-quality services are available to meet the immediate crisis and long term needs of domestic violence victims and their children, and to prevent domestic violence.

The objectives are to provide safe, secure shelter to protect victims and their children from further abuse; to provide information, support, counseling and advocacy services to help victims become aware of and take advantage of their rights and options; to provide supportive services that help victims become self-sufficient and enable them to live in nonviolent homes; and to educate and inform the community that abusing a family member is a crime that will not be tolerated.

Services to be Performed

Services provided by domestic violence programs include shelter, individual and group counseling, crisis hotline services, legal and other systems advocacy, information and referral services, transportation, and outreach and prevention services. Shelter, crisis hotline and other emergency services must be available 24 hours a day.

Depending on the services provided, domestic violence programs funded by the Department fall into the category of either Comprehensive or Specialized. Comprehensive programs are further categorized as either On-Site or Off-Site, depending on where the shelter services are located. Applicants must indicate the category of service for which they are applying.

Definitions of program funding categories and services are listed below.

Program Funding Category Definitions

Comprehensive Domestic Violence Services - Domestic violence programs that provide shelter; 24-hour crisis hotline services in response to calls from the Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line; information and referral services; counseling; advocacy; legal advocacy that includes Illinois Domestic Violence Act advocacy; transportation; and outreach and prevention services to the community. Comprehensive domestic violence programs must make crisis hotlines, emergency services and on or off-site shelter available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the contract period.

  • On-Site Programs - Comprehensive programs that provide emergency shelter for victims and their vulnerable family members in a provider-operated, on-site facility.
  • Off-Site Programs - Comprehensive programs that provide emergency shelter for victims and their vulnerable family members at off-site facilities such as hotels/motels or safe homes.

Specialized Programs - Domestic violence programs that do not provide emergency shelter for victims; their primary purpose is the provision of specialized but limited domestic violence services. A Specialized program is required to provide referrals to shelter, information and referrals for other services, and at least one of the following services: counseling, advocacy, or Illinois Domestic Violence Act advocacy. Specialized domestic violence programs must be located in Chicago.

Service Definitions

Advocacy - The active support of and speaking on behalf of a person, group or cause. The primary focus of domestic violence advocacy is empowerment for victims of domestic violence.

Counseling - The act of providing supportive individual interactions to the victim. This can include time spent collecting information for the victim's intake; developing a safety plan with the victim; identifying and exploring fear, ambivalence or other emotional barriers, and any follow-up activities to remove barriers. This service can also include providing emotional support or domestic violence education; explaining services, policies, and procedures; and developing service plans. Counseling may also be performed with vulnerable family members of the victim.

Crisis hotline services- The 24-hour response service that provides crisis intervention services to meet the urgent physical and emotional needs of victims of domestic violence. Other than helping the victim to obtain immediate safety, services on the hotline may include collecting information for a victim's intake, assisting with developing a safety plan, explaining program services, providing information and referrals, or other counseling and support. Crisis hotline calls may come directly to the program, or may be linked in from the Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line. A hotline call is any call coming into the program that is not related to agency administration or operations, but instead focused on services.

Group counseling - The planned process of two or more domestic violence victims or family members meeting, facilitated by one or more advocates, for the purpose of sharing concerns and support, exploring personal situations, safety planning, and/or education regarding domestic violence.

Illinois domestic violence act advocacy - Legal advocacy that involves the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA). This can include explaining the IDVA, providing information and assistance in obtaining an Order of Protection, and intervention/contact on the victim's behalf with representatives of the civil or criminal justice system and law enforcement personnel. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act is available online on the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at:

Legal advocacy - Legal advocacy is the process that assists victims to obtain legal and human rights. This may include providing victims with legal information and options, accompanying them through the legal system or advocating for them within the legal system. It also includes emotional support, encouragement and problem solving related to legal issues. This can include advocacy related to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act or assistance with legal issues in systems such as DCFS, housing, the police, or the State's Attorney's office.

Outreach and prevention services - Services designed to increase awareness of the presence and illegality of domestic violence, available services for victims, and special problems encountered by, and needs of, victims and their families. These services can be accomplished through media activities, public education, professional training, and school prevention programs.

Shelter - A facility that provides victims of domestic violence and their vulnerable family or household members with a safe, protective temporary residence and the related necessities such as food and clothing. Shelter services may be on-site at a residential domestic violence program, or off-site at a hotel/motel or safe home arranged by the domestic violence program.

Transportation services - The process of assisting victims in traveling from one destination to another. Transportation services may involve directly transporting the victim by providing car rides; accompanying victims on public transportation; or giving other transportation-related assistance such as providing bus tokens or information on other transportation options.

D.  Locations of Service Sites and Service Area

The Department requires information about where services are located and the service delivery areas for each agency/program providing services to our clients. This geographic analysis helps us to assure that services are being delivered in the areas of greatest need, in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Because of the importance of this information, your proposed service delivery area will be reviewed in the context of your Application and the State's need for services in that area. The following information must be included in your Application as Appendix A: Service Locations and Service Area Description.

Service Locations

Provide the addresses and locations of all sites where domestic violence services will be provided. Include all sites where staff will provide services to clients on a regular basis, even those located in court houses, police stations, hospitals, etc.


  • Program Identifier (comprehensive on-site or off-site or specialized site or satellite, hospital, court house, police station, etc. site)
  • Address (street, city, zip code)
  • County
  • Chicago only: Community Area

Service Area

Provide a description that will give us as much information as possible about the geographic area you intend to serve with the funds awarded through this grant opportunity.

USE THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES, as appropriate to your description:

  • DHS Region(s)
  • County(ies)
  • City(ies)
  • ZIP Code(s)
  • Chicago only: Community Area(s)

Be as specific as you can. For example, if you will serve only a portion of a county, describe which portion.  Avoid redundancy. If you are serving an entire county, it is not necessary to list all of the cities and ZIP codes within that county.

E.  Mandatory Requirements

Interested applicants should take note of the following program specific mandatory requirements. Other non-program specific requirements are found in Part 1 of this RFA.

An eligible applicant must at a minimum: be a local public or nonprofit private agency licensed to do business in the State of Illinois; meet all federal, state and local requirements related to health, safety, and zoning, or receive waivers of such requirements from the responsible agency; assure the health, safety, confidentiality and privacy of victims and their children both during and after service delivery and; provide services to the targeted population and meet the operations criteria established by the Department; and secure matching funds for State dollars through income from approved sources.

Program Manual Requirements

Programs must adhere to the requirements outlined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Services Guidelines Manual. Programs not yet in compliance with the manual may need to provide additional information or may be required to meet with the Department before funding will be awarded. In addition, such programs may be required to be on an initial probationary period with added monitoring and technical assistance in order to ensure that the guidelines from the manual are being implemented.

Client Eligibility Requirements

Individuals are determined eligible for shelter and services through screening and self-disclosure. There can be no income standard imposed as a condition of eligibility or fees levied for any shelter or service received. The acceptance of and participation in supportive services by individuals seeking emergency shelter is strictly voluntary; participation may not be used as a condition for emergency shelter.

Grantees must provide services to individuals without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, age or ethnicity. Grantees may not require individuals to become members of or participation in, any religious or political affiliation or activity as a condition of receiving service. Grantees may not require individuals to volunteer as a condition of receiving service. Grantees may not use grant funds to make direct payments to victims or dependents of such victims. Grantees will be required to have in place and follow written policies on client eligibility and nondiscrimination, and on investigating and resolving client complaints.

Availability of Services Requirements

Grantees funded as comprehensive domestic violence programs must make crisis hotlines, emergency services and on or off-site shelter available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the contract period. All program sites must either be ADA compliant or have procedures in place to accommodate ADA clients at other locations.

Staff Training Requirements

In order to comply with the confidentiality clause of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 (750 ILCS 60/227.), any person, employee or volunteer, who provides domestic violence services to victims either through face to face contact or via the crisis hotline must complete at a minimum 40 hours of training in domestic violence advocacy, crisis intervention and related areas. All Grantees will be required to keep on file documentation that appropriate staff and volunteers meet all training requirements. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act is available on the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at:  In addition, all supervisors, coordinators, directors and other program leaders are strongly encouraged to have Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professional (ICDVP) certification.

Safety Requirements

Grantees will be required to assure the health and safety of clients during all stages of service delivery. The safety of victims and their children must be paramount when determining operational policies and procedures, client eligibility and admission to services. Programs are required to have in place and follow written security and safety procedures designed to protect clients and staff from perpetrators of abuse. Services must be provided in a secure environment, and Grantees that shelter clients on site are required to have staff present at the site whenever clients are present. Additional information on safety requirements can be found throughout the Illinois Domestic Violence Services Guidelines Manual on the ICADV website. All federal, state and local requirements related to health, safety and zoning must also be met.

Confidentiality Requirements

All information, records and documents concerning persons served must remain confidential and be protected by the Grantee from unauthorized disclosure. Except as required by state or federal law, regulation or order; Grantees must agree not to disclose any information concerning a client without the informed, written and reasonably time-limited consent of the client. Such information must be limited to that which is necessary for the proper delivery of services to the client under the terms of the contract. Grantees will be required to have in place and follow written policies and procedures on client confidentiality and the release of client information. More information on confidentiality requirements can be found in the Confidentiality chapter of the Illinois Domestic Violence Services Guidelines Manual.

Cultural and Linguistic Competency

Services must be provided in a culturally sensitive manner. Providers need to understand, acknowledge and respect the differences among victims of domestic violence in ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender, abilities, language and other characteristics, and provide services in a relevant, competent and appropriate manner in accordance with these differences. Programs should demonstrate an ability to adapt individual interventions, programs, and policies to fit the cultural context of the individual family or community. Applicants should review the information in Attachment C of this RFA and incorporate the information into appropriate sections of their Application. Funded Applicants will be required to submit a formal assessment and plan as indicated in the Community Services Agreement. Attachment H is an example of a Community Services Agreement.

Data Collection Requirements

Grantees will be required to document service delivery and maintain accurate and complete service records for each client. As directed by the Department, Grantees will be required to submit monthly data and progress reports to the Department. The InfoNet documentation system, operated by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, is the required documentation system for all domestic violence programs funded through the Department.

Documentation will include but not be limited to the determination of each client's eligibility, the types and amounts of services provided to each client, measurable outcome data, budget and expenditure reports, and year-end performance reports. Grantees may also be required to participate in other survey, research and program evaluation efforts approved by the Department. For more information on minimum requirements of documentation, please refer to the Documenting Services and Evaluation chapters of the Illinois Domestic Violence Services Guidelines Manual.

Administrative Requirements

The applicant must have adequate infrastructure in its operations to carry out the goals of the Application and manage the funding. Programs must have an active Board of Directors providing oversight, a director whose duties include the daily management of the program, and sufficient personnel to both responsibly manage the fiscal resources of the agency and provide the proposed services. More information on Boards of Directors, personnel and fiscal requirements can be found in the Illinois Domestic Violence Services Guidelines Manual on the ICADV website.

Local Match Requirement

Grantees will receive a combination of federal and state monies, and must be able to secure matching funds from approved sources and as directed by the Department. The rate of match may vary but will be no more than 25% of the cost of the program funded through this RFA. Approximately one half of the required match may be from in-kind sources. Grantees should identify matching revenues and expenditures in the budget section of this RFA. The cost of the program is the amount of the IDHS award plus the required local match dollars.

F.  Application Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Agency History and Purpose 50
Provider/Program Description and Eligibility 50
Service Delivery 250
Community Needs 50
Data and Demographics 25
Program Evaluation and Auditing 25
Problems and Challenges 25
Staffing Requirements 25

G.  Award Amount

Individual grant amounts will vary. It is anticipated that approximately 70 grants will be awarded for fiscal year 2015 with individual awards ranging from $100,000 up to $650,000. With the mutual consent of both parties, and dependent upon the provider's performance and adherence to program requirements, and dependent upon the availability of funds to the Department, an award may be extended for additional one-year periods.

Please note: The Department will provide funding to support and enhance existing programs, but will not provide full funding to any program, and startup programs will not be considered.


Applicants must submit an Application that contains the information outlined below. Each section must have a heading that corresponds to the headings listed below. If the applicant believes that the subject has been adequately addressed in another part of the application narrative, then provide the cross-reference to the appropriate part of the narrative. The narrative portion must follow the page guidelines and limits set for each section and must be in the specified order below. Exceeding the prescribed page limits is grounds for automatic disqualification.

A.  Executive Summary (2 page maximum)

Give a brief overview of the proposed program or services. Include a summary of the service area and needs, the target population, and any special service features. Briefly state how the program or services will meet the needs of victims of domestic violence in the community. Give a brief overview of the agency's ability to provide grant management and administrative over site.

  • Attach an organizational chart that shows the agency's management and administrative over site and Programs within the agency as Appendix C of this Application.

B.  Agency History and Purpose (2 pages maximum) - 50 points

Describe your agency, including a brief description and history of the domestic violence program that you propose to provide to victims and their children. Include the following in your description:

  • How long your agency has been providing domestic violence services.
  • The domestic violence program's presence in the local community.
  • Whether your agency is devoted entirely to domestic violence services and if not, how the domestic violence program fits in to your agency's current services.
  • Other government funding sources the agency administers.

C.  Provider/Program Description and Eligibility (2 pages maximum) - 50 points

Describe your program's ability to administer and operate the proposed program. Include the following in your description:

  • Your program's philosophy and mission.
  • The client population your program serves.
  • The catchment/service area of your program and population numbers.
  • Your program policies regarding age limitations to shelter or other services, including any age limitations of male dependent children.
  • Your program's policy on length of stay in shelter, if applicable.
  • A description of the facility where services are provided, including
    • The security and safety procedures that will be in place to protect victims, their children and staff.
    • Whether the facility is compliant with the ADA, and if not, how the agency will accommodate clients with disabilities.
    • Whether the facility meets all other state, federal and local requirements for health, safety and zoning, and if not, if the program has waivers from the responsible agencies.
  • The sources from which your domestic violence program receives funding, including the current year's funders and amounts.
  • The sources from which your agency receives funding.

D.  Service Delivery (10 pages maximum) - 250 points

Describe the proposed services and how your program provides or will provide them. Indicate the category of service listed in Section C for which you are applying: Comprehensive On-Site, Comprehensive Off-Site, or Specialized. Include the following information:

  • When your program services are available, including days and hours of operation.
  • How clients make initial contact with your program, and what criteria is used to determine eligibility.
  • How staff respond to clients who contact the program in emergency situations.
  • Whether any payment or fees are required for any services.
  • How your program identifies clients' needs and barriers, and how it helps clients to address them.
  • In what way your program promotes self-determination and helps clients to empower themselves, and how this shows in your service delivery process and procedures.
  • How your program procedures address client safety.
  • How your program addresses client confidentiality and compliance with the IDVA (Illinois Domestic Violence Act), including how confidentiality is handled in services provided in buildings that house other offices, if applicable.
  • In what way your program serves family members of victims, including boys over the age of 12.
  • How your program serves male victims of domestic violence.
  • How your program helps those it cannot serve.
  • How your program makes the community and target population aware of the program services.
  • In what way your program physically serves a victim in the furthest distance in your catchment area.

Describe how your program provides culturally appropriate and/or linguistic services to the following populations:

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered and Questioning (LGBTQ) clients.
  • Minority populations in your service area, as applicable.
  • People with disabilities, people living with HIV, people of varying religions, elderly clients, people living in rural areas, or any other special populations of victims of domestic violence in the service area, as applicable. Describe any relevant written procedures in place for these populations, e.g. ADA procedures.

Describe how any cultural competency plan is implemented in the program, and how services are delivered in a manner that will be most effective to the cultures served.

E.  Community Needs (2 pages maximum) - 50 points

State and describe the service area, the target population and the need for services in your community. Include the following in your description:

  •  How your service availability reflects your client populations' needs.
  • Any special needs of the community populations that you are proposing to serve.
  • The capacity of your program to meet the needs of the target populations you will be serving.
  • Your partners and linkages in the community, or if you are not partnering/linking, how you make client referrals to those agencies, and how you will develop partnerships and linkages.
  • Your program stake holders, and your relationship with them.

F.  Data and Demographics (1 page maximum for narrative, plus attached form) - 25 points

Explain your program's data and record keeping procedures. Complete and attach the 3-page Data and Demographics Form in Attachment D to provide program data, following the instructions included in the Attachment.

G.  Program Evaluation and Auditing (2 pages maximum for narrative, plus attached forms) - 25 points

Describe how your program's service delivery is evaluated, assessed and audited. Include the following information:

  • Your process for internally evaluating program activities and outputs, and how this data is used.
  • Whether any outside monitoring agencies evaluate your services.
  • Whether your program has had a recent site review, and if so, when it occurred, who performed it and what the findings were.
  • The fiscal auditing standards your program uses.

Describe how your agency's service delivery will help to meet the State's intended outcomes for domestic violence services. Include data (e.g. current outcome measurements) and/or anecdotes to demonstrate previous successes clients have achieved as a result of receiving your services, especially as they relate to the intended outcomes listed in the Logic Model Worksheets in Attachment E.

Complete and attach the Logic Model Worksheets in Attachment E for all applicable services, following the instructions included in the Attachment.

H.  Problems and Challenges (2 pages) - 25 points

Describe the current challenges for your program, and how you address them or plan to address them. Explain the major issue or issues with which your agency is currently struggling, and what would most help to mitigate them.

I.  Staffing Requirements (1 page) - 25 points

Describe your program staff's qualifications and training. Include the following information:

  • Any ongoing training provided.
  • How your program assesses the skills, abilities and qualities of potential staff and volunteers in hiring practices to ensure they will execute the philosophy and mission of your agency's service delivery.
  • Whether all staff providing domestic violence services have 40-hour domestic violence training certificates. Attach 40-hour training certificates for all staff that currently have them as Appendix B of this Application.
  • Whether any or all staff in leadership positions (such as supervisors, coordinators or program directors) hold Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professionals (ICDVP) certificates. Attach any staff ICDVP certificates as part of Appendix B of this Application.
  • Attach an organizational chart showing all current domestic violence program staff indicating their positions and all proposed to hire positions as part of Appendix B of this Application.

J.  Budget and Budget Justification - No Points Assigned

Complete and attach the budget forms in Attachment F of this RFA, following the instructions included in the Attachment. Allowable costs are outlined in Attachment G.

  • No more than 20% of the total request may be used for administrative costs.
  • Match sources must be identified at 25%.


Attachment A - Application Cover Sheet

Attachment B - Application Content Checklist

Attachment C - Cultural and Linguistic Competence Plan

Attachment D - Data and Demographics Form

Attachment E - Logic Model Worksheet

Attachment F - Budget Forms and Instructions - UPDATED 3/21/2014

Attachment G - Allowable and Unallowable Costs

Attachment H - Example of DHS Community Service Agreement and Exhibits

Attachments A, B, D, E, and F are also posted separately as a Word document. Please use the Word document to complete the Attachments.