Employment First Balancing Incentive Program Project (17-444-24-0836-04)

Summary Information

1. Awarding Agency Name: Department of Human Services
Division of Developmental Disabilities
2. Agency Contact: Mary Hebert
3. Announcement Type: Initial announcement
4. Type of Assistance Instrument: Grant
5. Funding Opportunity Number: 17-444-24-0836-04
6. Funding Opportunity Title: Employment First Balancing Incentive Program Project
7. CSFA Number: 444-24-0836
8. CSFA Popular Name: Special Projects
9. CFDA Number(s): Not applicable
10. Anticipated Number of Awards: 8-10
11. Estimated Total Program Funding: 3,000,000
12. Award Range 300,000 to 375,000
13. Source of Funding: State
14. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
15. Indirect Costs Allowed Yes
Restrictions on Indirect Costs No
16. Posted Date: August 5, 2016
17. Closing Date for Applications: September 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm NOON
18. Technical Assistance Session: Session Offered:  No
Session Mandatory:  No

Agency-specific Content for the Notice of Funding Opportunity

A. Program Description

  1. Intent of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

    The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS or Department) Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is issuing a Notice of Funding Opportunity funded by the Balancing Incentive Program with the intent to increase the number of individuals with I/DD working in individualized, competitive integrated employment and to expand the state's capacity and expertise to provide individualized competitive, integrated employment services and supports to individuals with I/DD. The DDD intends to use the results of this NOFO process to award up to $3.0 million in grant funds to successfully place at least 200 individuals with I/DD into individualized competitive integrated employment.

    Individualized competitive integrated employment refers to working for a competitive wage in a community-based job (i.e., a job that is not based in a community rehabilitation facility or residential long-term care institution for people with disabilities). The employment must be in a work setting where, to the extent the employment typically involves interaction with others, the interaction is predominantly with co-workers or business associates who do not have disabilities or with the general public. Integrated employment includes employment located in a typical community business, self-employment and ownership of a micro-enterprise. For the purposes of this NOFO, group supported employment (work crews or enclaves) and employment of any type where an individual is not paid at least minimum wage are not considered individualized competitive integrated employment. Employment otherwise meeting the definition of individualized competitive integrated employment, where the employment service provider is the employer of record is also not considered to meet the definition of individualized competitive integrated employment for this NOFO.

    Interested applicants will define a strategy and intent to provide an array of individualized competitive integrated employment services, which may include but are not limited to job seeker assessment and/or Discovery, trial or temporary work experiences, assistive technology assessment and acquisition, job development and negotiation, self-employment planning and start-up assistance, work incentives benefits counseling, job coaching, on-the-job training, and supports to maintain self-employment.

    The Department intends to capture information from successful applicants' experiences providing individualized competitive integrated employment services through this project in order to further expand individualized competitive integrated employment services throughout the state after the initial project period ends. A separate NOFO is being issued to solicit applications for an organization or entity to design and conduct the project evaluation and develop deliverables, including but not limited to: written individual success stories, a lessons learned report, and a best practices guide which includes details on specific services and supports including key specifications and core competencies. Applicants chosen for the project will be informed of:

    1. Notification of opportunities to access training opportunities, and
    2. Opportunities to participate in webcasts, conference calls, and in-person discussions with other participating organizations to learn about best practices for facilitating individualized competitive integrated employment for people with I/DD.
  2. Objectives/Department's Need for Services (Rationale)

    The Department recognizes that participation in individualized competitive integrated employment among the current I/DD Waiver population is lower than DHS desires and that many working-age individuals with I/DD either newly enrolling in the Waiver or continuing participation in the Waiver would enjoy, benefit from, and be capable of individualized competitive integrated employment if supports to obtain and maintain such employment were available. To address this situation, and increase individualized competitive integrated employment rates for the Waiver population, the Department is soliciting applicants that have a strong and explicit organizational commitment to expanding individualized competitive integrated employment opportunities and building organizational policy and culture that recognizes the inherent value of individualized competitive integrated employment as the employment path that offers people with I/DD the greatest access to full community inclusion and employment choices equal to those available to citizens without disabilities.

    In order to begin to develop significantly increased statewide capacity to offer the option of individualized competitive integrated employment to everyone receiving DDD Waiver services in Illinois, the Department intends to work with successful applicants to ensure the placement of no less than 200 Adult Waiver participants with I/DD in individualized competitive integrated employment by June 30, 2017.

  3. Service Area

    The Department is interested in funding applications that offer and demonstrate the effective and cost-effective delivery of individualized competitive integrated employment services in urban, suburban and rural parts of the state. In selecting applications for funding, the Department will seek to ensure as broad a statewide impact as feasible given the amount of funding available and quality of the applications received.

  4. Notice of Funding Opportunity Priorities

    Applicants are expected to use the grant funds to efficiently and effectively deploy specific strategies to identify, engage, place, train and stabilize Waiver participants with I/DD in individualized competitive integrated employment and to effectively leverage Waiver supports to provide any needed on-going supports to sustain this employment over time. Funds may be used for activities that contribute to and demonstrate a commitment to providing individualized competitive integrated employment services, including but not limited to direct service not otherwise covered by or available to each individual through the Waivers, staff training and general employer outreach/education.

    The goals of this projects are as follows:

    1. Place 200 individuals with I/DD into individualized competitive integrated employment on at least a substantive part-time basis (at least 12 hours per week for each individual). Individuals placed can include existing DD Waiver participants receiving Developmental Training or Group Supported Employment services, as well as new DD Waiver referrals, including Ligas Class Members. Individuals already working at some level in individualized competitive integrated employment would not be eligible, even if they are also receiving Developmental Training or Group Supported Employment services, or are also new DD Waiver referrals and/or Ligas Class Members.
    2. Increase successful applicant's capacity to provide individualized competitive integrated employment services, beyond the term of this project.
    3. Increase the number and expertise of job developers, job coaches, and workplace personal assistants that are available to provide individualized competitive integrated employment services and supports.
    4. Inform the development of a best practices procedural guide and other materials for use by entities throughout the state of Illinois that are involved in the provision of individualized competitive integrated employment services to people with I/DD.
  5. Mandatory Requirements and Special Considerations for Applicants

    Interested applicants should take note of the following project-specific mandatory requirements and special considerations. Other non-project specific requirements are found in Part 1 of this NOFO.

    Applicants are expected to:

    1. * Define the projected number of individuals with I/DD the applicant will recruit, serve, and successfully place into individualized competitive integrated employment by the end of the project period.
    2. * Define how qualified individuals with I/DD will be identified and recruited for the project. Qualified individuals with I/DD can include existing DD Waiver participants receiving Developmental Training or Group Supported Employment services, as well as new DD Waiver referrals, including Ligas Class Members. Individuals already working at some level in individualized competitive integrated employment would not be eligible, even if they are also receiving Developmental Training or Group Supported Employment services, or are also new DD Waiver referrals and/or Ligas Class Members.
    3. * Define how guardians, parents and family members, if involved in the lives of recruited individuals with I/DD, will be engaged and educated about the benefits of individualized competitive integrated employment, and how the support of these key allies will be assessed and ensured so that placement efforts are ultimately successful.
    4. * Define an action plan or strategy, including key milestones in the placement process, for achieving the targeted number of placements by the end of the grant period.
    5. * Describe an effective approach to identifying and engaging potential employers that will be used to ensure the targeted number of placements. Define the flexible array of methods that together make up the overall approach to potential employers that will be used.
    6. * Define clear and measurable goals to obtain at least part-time, individualized competitive integrated employment for the number of job seekers identified in their application.
    7. * Meet the following performance indicators and milestones in order to demonstrate timely progress toward project outcomes:
      1. Within 30 days of notice of award, hold an initial call with the provider conducting evaluation to discuss the organization's plan to achieve the targeted number of placements by the end of the grant period.
      2. Maintain at least monthly phone contact with provider conducting evaluation.
      3. Submit all data and other information necessary for project evaluation to the designated evaluation team per the deadlines requested.
      4. Within 14 days of receiving the executed contract, identify and initiate outreach with at least 50% of the targeted number of individuals to be recruited as indicated in the accepted application.
      5. Within 30 days of receiving the executed contract, identify and initiate outreach with 100% of the targeted number of individuals to be recruited as indicated in the accepted application.
      6. Within 60 days of receiving the executed contract, begin services with at least 50% of the recruited individuals. Note: The total number of recruited individuals should be sufficient to ensure the targeted number of placements are achieved by the end of the grant period.
      7. Within 90 days of receiving the executed contract, begin services with at least 100% of the recruited individuals. Note: The total number of recruited individuals should be sufficient to ensure the targeted number of placements are achieved by the end of the grant period.
      8. By February 28, 2017, successfully place and maintain at least 33% of total target number of individuals with I/DD in individualized competitive integrated employment that is at least 12 hours per week.
      9. By April 30, 2017, successfully place and maintain at least 66% of total target number of individuals with I/DD in individualized integrated competitive employment for no less than 12 hours per week.
      10. By June 30, 2017, successfully place and maintain 100% of total target number of individuals with I/DD in individualized integrated competitive employment for no less than 12 hours per week.
    8. * Meet the following performance indicators and milestones when providing individualized competitive integrated employment supports and services:
      1. Implement a person-centered, strengths-based assessment or Discovery process leading to grounded identification of individualized competitive integrated employment goal(s) and a Job Development Plan(s) for each job seeker.
      2. Provide information about the value and availability of Work Incentives and Benefits Counseling to all job seekers identified for job placement and assist job seekers (and guardians, parents or other involved family members, if applicable) to access Work Incentives Benefits Counseling, if requested.
      3. No later than 5 days after an individual's Job Development Plan(s) is completed, initiate job development while simultaneously ensuring any other services a person may already be receiving (e.g. Developmental Training; Small Group Supported Employment, etc.) are focused on assisting the person to prepare for imminent placement into individualized competitive integrated employment.
      4. Allocate sufficient and dedicated time for Job Developers to undertake job development activities each week once job development has begun for an individual, thus ensuring the highest likelihood of successful placement through concentrated and consistent effort.
      5. Develop individualized competitive integrated jobs with community employers that offer at least an average of 12 hours per week and pay at least minimum wage, or person-centered, community/home based microenterprises that demonstrate the potential for profitability.
      6. Commit to participate in project evaluation activities, project meetings/webinars, technical assistance and training activities coordinated by the Department or the project training and technical assistance provider.
      7. Submit quarterly project reports, following a prescribed template, describing the status of project activities, measurable outcomes, emerging issues or trends, and priority focus areas for the next quarterly reporting period. The reports shall also include case scenarios depicting the outcomes achieved by/for individual participants. Quarterly project and participant reports shall be due as follows:
        1. December 31 (for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2016)
        2. March 31 (for the quarter of January 1 - March 31, 2017)
        3. July 1 (Final report, including the quarter of April 1 - June 30, 2017)
    9. * Obtain releases of information, using prescribed forms provided by the project evaluator and submit individual level data, including outcomes, service utilization and cost-of-service data, as specified by the project evaluator. The successful applicant agrees to maintain individual-level data and files to support the project evaluation process.
    10. * Share lessons learned, success stories, etc. with the Department and/or the project evaluator for the purposes of developing best practice procedural guides and other resources to promote the expansion of individualized competitive integrated employment services and outcomes for individuals with I/DD in Illinois.
  6. Special considerations for this NOFO include:
    1. Grant funds may only be used to provide/purchase individualized competitive integrated employment services and support to individuals and to underwrite the time and expenses of personnel working on the project to participate in training and technical assistance, project meetings/webinars, project report writing, and project evaluation activities specifically related to the grant project.
    2. No more than 15% of the grant funds may be used for project management.
    3. If existing staff of the applicant's organization are being used to staff and manage the project, the application must clearly state, for those staff, what specific responsibilities and percentage of time being shifted (and to whom) during the project so that the staff whose positions and/or time are being funded through the grant have time available to dedicate to the project.
    4. Grant funds may be used to hire new staff or contract with independent contractors in order to provide individualized competitive integrated employment services and supports, and achieve the targeted number of placements stated in the application. However, keep in mind that recruiting and hiring may take too much time and therefore interfere with the applicant meeting the project performance indicators and milestones described above.
    5. If timely and accessible Work Incentives Benefits Counseling services are available at no cost to individuals with disabilities through other sources, such as the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program, this should be fully taken advantage of before utilizing grant funds for this service.
    6. If timely and accessible Assistive Technology services are available at no cost to individuals with disabilities through other sources, such as a school district, Independent Living Center, or the Illinois Assistive Technology Program, this should be fully taken advantage of before utilizing grant funds for this service.
    7. Grant funds may be used to pay job seeker wages for temporary work experiences, if these are arranged and if the employer is not otherwise compensating the job seeker or the successful applicant for the work completed by the job seeker during the work experience. Grant funds may not be used to pay job seeker wages for participation in Group Supported Employment (e.g. work crews or enclaves) where the beneficiary of the work done by the crew or enclave is paying the successful applicant or another entity that employs the crew or enclave for the work performed.
    8. Grant funds may be used to provide short-term wage reimbursement or financial incentives to employers who extend permanent offers to hire.
    9. A letter of commitment to the project approved by the applicant's Board of Directors that includes a description of the how the Board will be involved in the project must be submitted with the application.

B. Funding Information

  1. Up to $3.0 million is available to an unspecified number of selected applicants to ensure placement of no less than 200 individuals with I/DD into individualized competitive integrated employment by the end of the grant period. Potential award amounts will be based on the number of proposed job placements in the application but will be paid to successful applicants upon achieving the milestones listed below with each individual in the project. Applicants may apply for up to $15,000 multiplied by the number of placements they intend to make by June 30, 2017. For example, if the applicant intends to place 50 individuals, the maximum grant amount requested would be $750,000.
  2. Project Payment Milestones:
    1. $2,500 Recruitment Payment - paid upon receipt of an enrollment form signed by the individual (and their guardian, if applicable)
    2. $3,500 Assessment/Discovery and Plan Payment - paid upon submission of a job seeker assessment/Discovery report and plan for job development report
    3. $5,000 Offer/Hire Payment - paid upon submission of a successful job hire report
    4. $4,000 Initial Job Support Payment - paid after the individual completes four weeks on the job (three weeks on the job if job start date is June 5, 2017 or later; two weeks on the job if job start date is June 12, 2017 or later; one week on the job if job start date is June 19, 2017 or later)
  3. The Department may select one or multiple applicants. The number of awards will be determined based on the strongest applicants and the numbers of placements proposed in their applications until a total of 200 placements have been accounted for in the awards made.
  4. In order to ensure the outcome of 200 placements by June 30, 2017, the Department reserves the right to reallocate funds from an applicant not meeting performance indicators, at any point after the first ninety (90) days of the project, to other applicant(s) that are meeting or exceeding standards and can accommodate additional placements before the end of the grant period.

C. Eligibility Information

This funding opportunity is limited to two types of eligible applicants:

  1. Organizations that are currently approved by the state to provide supported employment services through the Developmental Disabilities Waiver;
  2. Other organizations that are currently approved by the state to provide services other than supported employment services through the Developmental Disabilities Waiver may apply if their application includes a commitment to becoming an approved provider of supported employment services through the Developmental Disabilities Waiver by June 30, 2017;
  3. An entity may apply for a grant but DHS/DDD cannot execute the grant agreement until the entity has pre-qualified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Provider Portal at: grants.illinois.gov
  4. During pre-qualification, Dun and Bradstreet verifications are performed including a check of Debarred and Suspended status and good standing with the Secretary of State. The pre-qualification process also includes a financial and administrative risk assessment utilizing an Internal Controls Questionnaire. If applicable, the entity will be notified that it is ineligible for award as a result of the Dun and Bradstreet verification. The entity will be informed of corrective action needed to become eligible for a grant award.

INDIRECT COST RATE REQUIREMENTS

  1. Federally Negotiated Rate - Organizations that receive direct federal funding may have an indirect cost rate that was negotiated with the Federal Cognizant Agency. Illinois will accept the federally negotiated rate. The organization must provide a copy of the federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA).
  2. State Negotiated Rate - The organization must negotiate an indirect cost rate with the State of Illinois if they do not have Federally Negotiated Rate or elect to use the De Minimis Rate. The indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted to the State of Illinois within 90 days of the notice of award.
  3. De Minimis Rate - An organization that has never received a Federally Negotiated Rate may elect a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct cost (MTDC). Once established, the de minimis rate may be used indefinitely. The State of Illinois must verify the calculation of the MTDC annually in order to accept the de minimis rate.

COST SHARING, MATCHING OR COST PARTICIPATION

Applicant Requirements - None

APPLICANT NOTIFICATION AND REMEDIATION

The applicant will receive one of three notifications:

  1. Notification of Non-Qualification - on State Debarred Suspended list or the Federal Excluded Parties list (no remedy available)
  2. Notification of Non-Qualification with Remediation - e.g. Stop Pay list, expired DUNS number, Not in Good Standing with Secretary of State - the applicant will be able to provide information to remedy
  3. Applicant is qualified to receive a grant award and will be required to provide additional information in Stage Two of the registration process.
  4. The Department will seek cultural inclusion among providers. DHS must comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity including, but not limited to: The Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.), The Public Works Employment Discrimination Act (775 ILCS 10/1 et seq.), The United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) (42 USC 2000a-and 2000H-6), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794), The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC 12101 et seq.), and The Age Discrimination Act (42 USC 6101 et seq.).

APPLICANT EXPERIENCE

Based on the level of State or Federal grant administration experience:

  1. Less than Two Years.

    Applicant is considered high risk and the fiscal and administrative risk will not be conducted until notified they are a finalist in the grant application evaluation process.

  2. More than Two Years.

    Applicant will proceed to the fiscal and administrative risk stage.

  3. More than Five Years.

    Applicant will proceed to the fiscal and administrative review; if the grant programs meet the requirements for multi-year award, the applicant is eligible to receive a multi-year award.

OTHER

  1. Each applicant may submit only one application for new funding for each notice of funding opportunity.
  2. Each applicant must agree to adhere to conditions outlined in the DDD Attachment and Program Manual listed on the DHS website.

D. Application and Submission Information

APPLICATION PACKAGE

  1. Application guidelines are provided throughout the announcement.
  2. Each applicant must have access to the internet. Questions and answers will be posted on the Department's website. It is the responsibility of each applicant to monitor that web site and comply with any instructions or requirements relating to the NOFO.
  3. CONTACT PERSON

    Mary Hebert
    Department of Human Services
    Division of Developmental Disabilities
    600 East Ash Street, Building 400
    Springfield, IL 62701
    Phone: (217) 557-7673
    Email: mary.hebert@illinois.gov

  4. Note new address effective 8/15/16:  600 East Ash Street, Building 400, Springfield, IL  62703.  All other information remains the same.

CONTENT AND FORM OF APPLICATION SUBMISSION

PRE-APPLICATION COORDINATION

  1. Each applicant is required to:
    1. provide a valid DUNS number in its application
    2. be registered in System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting the application; and
    3. continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times in which the applicant has an active Federal, Federal pass-through or State award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal or State awarding agency.
    4. DHS may not make a Federal pass-through or State award cannot be made until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time DHS is ready to make the award, DHS may determine that the applicant is not qualified and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal pass-through or State award to another applicant.

THE APPLICATION PROCEDURE

  1. Applicants must submit a Proposal Narrative for executing the grant award.
  2. The proposal narrative 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 project narrative must be typed, double-spaced, on one side of the page, with 1-inch margins on all sides. The project narrative must not exceed the specific page limits outlined in this NOFO. The appendices, assurances, letters of support/collaboration and budget forms are NOT included in the page limitation. The entire application, including appendices, must be sequentially page numbered. 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. ALL Proposals MUST include the following mandatory forms/attachments in the order identified below.
    1. Uniform State Grant Application.

      On the required Uniform State Grant Application, the applicant must provide, the Congressional District (by number), available at the following web site: http://www.house.gov and the Illinois House and Senate Legislative Districts (by number), available on the Illinois General Assembly web site at http://www.ilga.gov

    2. Proposal Narrative - including an Executive Summary; Extent of Need for the Project, Plan of Operation, and Service Comprehensiveness in order to meet all the Deliverables and Milestones outlined in the Program Description. Projected individuals to be served quarterly must be detailed.
    3. Need - The applicant should provide details on the following:
      1. The target audiences are clearly defined and realistic.
      2. Underserved populations are identified, as well as a description of insufficient services and resources to meet the level of need or risk in the community.
      3. Applicant provides data, facts, and/or evidence that demonstrate that the proposal supports the grant program purpose.
    4. Capacity - The applicant should provide details on the following:
      1. The applicant demonstrates its ability to execute the program according to the project requirements.
      2. The applicant cites evidence of successful innovation in implementation of the program or similar programs.
      3. The applicant's key personnel have the applicable licenses.
    5. Quality - The applicant should provide details on the following:
      1. The applicant demonstrates that the project, in total, is well articulated and in alignment with the project requirements.
      2. There is a complete summary of methods and procedures that will be used to accomplish goals stated in the scope of work.
    6. Other Criteria - The applicant should provide details on the following:
      1. The applicant explained the societal and economic impact of the project.
      2. The project is cost effective and sustainable.
    7. Uniform Budget
    8. Uniform Budget Narrative

ATTACHMENTS REQUIRED FOR APPLICATION AND PROPOSAL NARRATIVE

  1. 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. Units of government (such as cities and counties, schools, health departments, etc.) do not need to submit an audit.
  2. Organizational Chart
  3. Résumés of staff charged to the Proposal
  4. Job Descriptions of staff charged to the Proposal
  5. Physical Space Information
  6. Linkage Agreements with other Service Providers & Referral Source
  7. Copy of Currently Approved NICRA if indirect costs are included in the budget
  8. The entire proposal must be sequentially page numbered. Faxed copies will not be accepted.
  9. The Department is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the above requirements.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION

  1. Applicants are required to submit a complete electronic version of their Uniform Grant Agreement, Proposal Narrative, Application, Budget, and Attachments.
  2. Documents must be emailed to DHS.GrantApp@illinois.gov
  3. The Agency Opportunity Number and the program contact must be in the subject line. Specifically, the subject line must be:

    Your Organization's Name, 17-444-24-0836-04, Mary Hebert

  4. Applications must be received no later than 12:00 pm (noon) September 19, 2016.
  5. Applicant may apply for grant awards prior to completing the pre-qualification in FY 2017.
  6. Pre-Qualification is required to receive a grant award.
  7. To be considered, the application should be in the possession of DHS/DDD at the above specified location by the designated time. There will be an electronic time received known on all electronically submitted applications.
  8. In the event of a dispute whether the application was received, the applicant bears the burden of proof that the application was received on time at the location identified above.

E. Application Review Information

  1. AWARD PROCEDURE
    Complete proposals will undergo a Merit Based Review Process. The evaluation process will include a committee who will use a scoring process evaluate need, capacity, and quality.

    Applications will be reviewed by a panel established by staff from DHS, which may include Department staff familiar with the requirements of the project, 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 at least one review panel meeting 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, or degree of need for services.

  2. CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS

    In addition to the Merit Based Review Process, consideration may then be given to past performance, if applicable. Funding decisions will be made based on the quality of the complete proposal as score through the Merit Based Review Process. Final award decisions will be made by the Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities or his designee at the recommendation of the Bureau Chief of Reimbursement and Data Support. The Department reserves the right to negotiate with successful applicants to cover unserved areas that may result from this process of modify the overall budget request to meet the funding availability.

  3. 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 NOFO. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. APPEALS

    Only the Merit Based Review Process is subject to appeal. An appeal must be submitted in writing and received within 14 calendar days and must include the appealing party, the grant and reasons for the appeal. The Department will provide an acknowledgement within 14 calendar days of receipt and a response within 60 calendar days.

    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: 

    Department of Human Services
    Division of Developmental Disabilities
    319 East Madison Street, Suite 2K
    Springfield, IL 62701
    Note new address effective 8/15/16:  600 East Ash Street, Building 400, Springfield, IL  62703. 

  6. PUBLIC INFORMATION

    Some information submitted pursuant to this NOFO 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.

  7. PROJECT 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.

  8. TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 project.

  11. BACKGROUND CHECKS

    Background checks are required for all project staff and volunteers who have one-on-one contact with children, youth, vulnerable adults or individuals enrolled in the DD Waivers. Funded projects will be required to have a written protocol on file requiring background checks, as well as evidence of their completion.

  12. 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, vulnerable adults or individuals enrolled in the DD Waivers are mandated reporters for suspected child abuse and neglect. Funded projects must have a written protocol for identifying and reporting suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect.

  13. 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 projects. The Department's philosophy is that the projects 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 projects are encouraged to consider TANF clients for employment, contingent upon their qualifications in the area of education and work experience.

  14. ANTICIPATED ANNOUNCEMENT

    It is anticipated an announcement regarding State awards will occur in October 2016.

Award Administration Information

  1. STATE AWARD NOTICES

    Following the selection of a grantee, a Notice of State Award (NOSA) will be issued via email to the Authorized Representative on the Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance. A NOSA is not authorization to begin performance.

  2. ADMINISTRATIVE AND NATIONAL POLICY REQUIREMENTS

    The NOSA will be distributed by the Department of Human Services prior to the issuance of the Uniform Grant Agreement. Awardees should carefully review the terms and conditions of the award and should be prepared to comply with the Indirect Cost Rate Requirements as applicable.

  3. INDIRECT COST RATE REQUIREMENTS
    1. Federally Negotiated Rate - Organizations that receive direct federal funding may have an indirect cost rate that was negotiated with the Federal Cognizant Agency. Illinois will accept the federally negotiated rate. The organization must provide a copy of the federally NICRA.
    2. State Negotiated Rate - The organization must negotiate an indirect cost rate with the State of Illinois if they do not have Federally Negotiated Rate or elect to use the De Minimis Rate. The indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted to the State of Illinois within 90 days of the notice of award.
    3. De Minimis Rate - An organization that has never received a Federally Negotiated Rate may elect a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct cost (MTDC). Once established, the de minimis rate may be used indefinitely. The State of Illinois must verify the calculation of the MTDC annually in order to accept the de minimis rate.
  4. POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS

    Post Assistance Requirements shall be incorporated by reference to the FY 2017 Grant Agreement

    Article XII, Maintenance and Accessibility of Records; Monitoring;

    Article XIII, Financial Reporting Requirements;

    Article XIV, Performance Reporting Requirements;

    Article XV, Audit Requirements

G. State Awarding Agency Contact(s)

  1. Questions related to this NOFO should be sent to the contact person listed below.
  2. All email correspondence must be sent using the following subject line:

    17-444-24-0836-04  Mary Hebert

  3. CONTACT PERSON

    Mary Hebert
    Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities
    319 East Madison, Suite 2K
    Springfield, IL 62701
    Phone: 217-557-7673
    Fax: 217-782-9535
    TTY: 1-866-376-8446
    Email: mary.hebert@illinois.gov

  4. Note new address effective 8/15/16:  600 East Ash Street, Building 400, Springfield, IL  62703.  All other information remains the same.
  5. All email correspondence should be sent to mary.hebert@illinois.gov

H. Other Information, if applicable

  1. This is a program funded for FY 2017.
  2. The Department of Human Services is not obligated to make any State Award as a result of this announcement.
  3. 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.

Mandatory Forms -- Required for All Agencies

  1. Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance (pdf)
  2. Uniform Grant Budget Template | Instructions