CYEP Frequently Asked Questions (17-444801444-01)

  1. What is a NOFO?
    A Notice of Funding Opportunity is similar to a Request for Proposals or Applications. It is a notice that a State Agency intends to fund a program/project. It allows eligible applicants to bid for funding under that notice.
  2. Why is DHS posting a NOFO for the CYEP Program?
    Per 30 ILCS 708, the Grants Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA). Please refer to this public act as well as the Code of Federal Regulations Title 2: Grants and Agreements PART 200 (CFR 200) referenced within GATA. A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) must be posted as this program/funding source does not qualify for an exception to this requirement.
  3. I was a Summer Youth Employment provider in FY14/15; will I receive a grant agreement / contract for this program in FY17 if I do NOT prepare a response to this NOFO?
    NO. Only applications submitted in response to this NOFO posting will be considered for funding in FY17.
  4. I was a Summer Youth Employment provider in FY14/15; if I submit a response to this NOFO posting will I automatically receive a grant agreement/contract for this program in FY17?
    Not Necessarily. Applicants must meet or continue to meet the eligibility requirements identified in this NOFO, including the pre-qualification requirements and all applications will undergo a merit based review as described in this NOFO. Applicants must also meet all Application and Submission requirements found in the NOFO.
  5. Are we required to use the budget forms provided for with the NOFO posting or can we use our own budget forms?
    YES. You must use the Uniform Budget Template.
  6. How many awards are expected?
    The Department anticipates awarding approximately 45 grant awards. This is only an estimate.
  7. Is there a minimum or maximum award amount?
    Award amounts will vary and are estimated to range between $50,000 and $1 Million.
  8. I represent a provider interested in becoming a CYEP provider/site, however, my agency does not feel it can turn around an application by the due date. Will there be another opportunity to apply for funding later this Fiscal Year?
    While the possibility does exist, it should not be planned for. It is estimated that the number of applications for this program will exceed the funding available. While funding is not the only factor the Department considers when determining to release a NOFO, without available funding, there would not be another opportunity posted this fiscal year.
  9. My organization will be submitting an application to serve one of the Priority Service Areas identified in Appendix J. Will my application automatically receive the priority points listed in the Appendix, or do we need to somehow request those points be applied. Also, is it possible we would receive fewer priority points than what is listed and if so, what would that be based on?
    YES, your application will automatically receive the full points identified in Appendix J. No action is required on your part.
  10. Is it acceptable to provide some of the requested information in a table or chart format or is a narrative format required?
    This is at the discretion of the applicant; any of these formats will be accepted. Please understand that these pages, in whatever format, will still be counted within the page limit requirement and must be inserted in the corresponding section and NOT as an attachment.
  11. If my final PDF application document is too large to email can I break it down into smaller PDF files to submit?
    This should ONLY be a last resort option. While it would be accepted, it significantly increases the likelihood that portions of your application will be misplaced. Further, it will make review of your application difficult at best. Please be sure to follow the instructions provided in the NOFO to submit large documents. This is a very simple process and it should have no trouble accepting your document. If you have trouble with the link or uploading your document, please contact CMS directly or the Program contact identified in this NOFO posting for assistance.
  12. I am an out-of-state agency; can I apply for this grant?
    Yes, provided that you have physical office space somewhere in the State of Illinois and this is the area in which you intend to provide CYEP programming and services to youth.
  13. Can we apply for both in-school and out of school? Or do we have to apply for one or the other?
    YES. However, you will need to clearly distinguish any differences between the two categories. Services, expectations etc.
  14. Also, is the length of the grant only 6 months? What is the beginning and end date?
    While this program is intended to be a year round program, with the current fiscal year partially over, the anticipated length of the award for FY2017 is expected to be from November 1st 2016 through 6/30/2017. The proposed budget should reflect this same time period.
  15. Is it renewable?
    NO. The new GATA (Grants Accountability and Transparency Act) Law will require this program to be bid again for FY2018.
  16. Is there an expected range for the cost per participant?
    No. That said, the Department expects to fund cost effective programs. To this end, the Department will take into account the cost per youth when scoring applications and making funding determinations.
  17. Is it possible that rather than the service provider being the employer of record, can we reimburse an employer for the costs of wages, workers comp, etc. during the designated time frame?
  18. The NOFO mentions six months as the length of employment. So, if the program were to start in December or even mid-November with a six month limit they would have to go off the payroll in mid-April. It would be much stronger to keep them on through the school year. Can employment go longer?
    It is the expectation of the Department for providers to get youth placed in actual jobs/employment, not qualified work experience programs. Therefore it is our expectation that these youth will continue to be employed past 6 months. The limit of 6 months per youth refers only to the provider's ability to subsidize wages for that employment. Providers may place youth on work experience projects that will lead to actual employment, however, the grant may not be used to pay youth wages for that work experience, only to subsidize actual employment. The grant may be used to fund everything related to work experience projects, except for paying a wage.
  19. On page 3 - #7: It mentions that payroll should be done biweekly. If we do payroll semi-monthly (twice per month) will that be acceptable?
  20. On page 3 - #7: It mentions that the immediate supervisor should be employed by the employer, not the provider. The youth employment programs we have run in the past we have used our staff are the supervisors. Will we be able to continue this practice?
    While provider staff may be involved in the supervision of youth if this is agreed to with the employer and the specifics surrounding that are detailed in the agreement, it is critical that the ACTUAL employer supervise the youth they are employing. Ultimately it is the employer and not the provider's staff that will determine if the youth will remain employed past any probationary period.
  21. On page 4 - #9: If youth employment programs have to take a majority of their youth as referrals from FCRCs, it may create a bottleneck in terms of getting youth into the programs. It would be important that non-FCRC youth be able to be recruited.
    It is not the expectation of the Department for ALL or even a majority of the youth served come into the program as referrals from the FCRCs. However, it is very important for the relationships to be built between the FCRC staff and the program as a vast majority of the youth that will be served in this program will either already be FCRC clients or they will eligible to receive benefits available through the FCRCs. This relationship will help to ensure that the provider and DHS are working together to best serve our young people and their families.
  22. The NOFO states that non-FCRC referred youth, 18 and older, and encouraged to apply through ABE - what is ABE?
    Application for Benefits Eligibility.
  23. Will payroll documentation have to be submitted for each payroll?
  24. Will there be a uniform way for documenting service delivery in order to document proof of completion of required activities and proof of work readiness, career awareness training, supportive services received and assessment documentation.
    Much of this will be documented through Illinois WorkNet on line activities. For items related to the case plan and supportive services, those will be prepared separately and submitted to the Department by uploading to Illinois WorkNet.
  25. FCRC referrals will be made to youth programs. But, will a majority of program participants have to be FCRC referrals?
  26. If I read this right, for in-school students, the two measures will be grade level promotion or attainment of a high school diploma or GED?
    Yes, but those are not the only measures, there are education related measures and there are several measures related to part-time employment for in-school youth. While those are two critical measures related to education, this is a youth employment program and all youth served in the program are expected to be employed.
  27. Does the performance measure that looks at nine months of employment include six months of subsidized employment and three months of other employment that is not subsidized?
    The expectation is that youth will be placed in employment, we will measure retention. What is being described in the question appears to be 2 separate jobs, one 6 months in length and one 3 months in length. This would not qualify as nine months. Now if it was 9 months in the same job with six months of that being subsidized and 3 not, then yes it would meet 9 months.
  28. Will subcontract agreements have to be preapproved by the Department?
    YES. If these subcontracts are submitted along with the application, the Department will be able to approve them, or not, along with the application. If an provider wishes to enter into a new subcontract following the award, then that proposed agreement will need to be submitted to the Department for pre-approval.
  29. Will the Worknet and career readiness and job readiness be included as work time?
  30. Can an agency apply to serve both in and out of school youth under the same grant?
    YES. Refer to Question # 13.
  31. I read somewhere that the minimum award would be $50,000. Will we still be considered if we submit an application for less than that amount?
    YES. This was simply an estimate.
  32. What is the minimum number of youth to be served?
    There is not a minimum requirement.
  33. The Notice of Funding Opportunity explained that the Department anticipates approximately $12 million available in State funds for approximately 45 applicants to provide CYEP programming. Does the Department anticipate any obstacles that would prevent award finalists from receiving grants (such as the State's difficult budget situation)?
    It's unclear what is indicated by "any obstacles." Like all State grants, the CYEP grants are made subject to appropriation authority. DHS intends to award grants for the award period explained in section B. Funding Information in the NOFO. Per GATA applicants are required to meet certain requirements as described through the pre-qualification process.
  34. Will awards be dispersed as reimbursements for service providers?
    Like all State grants, the award payment terms will detailed in Exhibit C of the Uniform Grant Agreement.
  35. Who are the grantees from previous years? And do you have a link to their funded programs?
    If a potential applicant is uncertain if they would be considered a previous provider, they may email  and we can let you know. The second half of the question is unclear as to what is intended.
  36. Will there be any advance funds for organizations to get their programs started or is it all reimbursement?
    If it is all reimbursement, then that would present a hardship for many organizations to apply for and operate these programs. We understand that one of the eligibility requirements is that an organization has the administrative and fiscal capacity to implement the program on a reimbursement basis. This may be doable after a program is up and running, and if the State pays its obligations on schedule. But, 100% reimbursable seems very unfair. No State agency would and could be started without any start-up funds.  Successful applicants will receive an advance payment. While maintaining an advance, the Department will reconcile reported monthly expenditures.
  37. Our organization is working towards submitting an application for the Community Youth Employment Program (CYEP) funding opportunity next month. The Capacity - Agency Qualifications/Organizational Capacity section of the narrative has a slightly confusing request and I hope you will be able to clear this up. The NOFO directs applicants to "Identify key staff positions that will be responsible for the program…Present the resume of the Project Manager/Coordinator, Agency Director, Fiscal Manager and Payroll Coordinator (if applicable)…" Am I to understand that we must provide the resumes of these personnel even if they will not be directly involved with the program? Our key personnel are a Program Coordinator, Job Developer, Academic Instructor and Case Manager. None of whom fill the roles requested in the NOFO's language in this particular section. The roles in the NOFO's text request resumes for personnel who are not going to be involved directly in the program, so our confusion lies in whether or not to include the resumes of our personnel who will actually be involved in addition to the resumes of the Agency Director, Fiscal Manager and Payroll Coordinator.
    YES. This section, Agency Qualifications/Organizational Capacity, considers the overall Agency Qualifications and Capacity. While your Agency Director, Fiscal Director etc. may not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the project, they are directly involved in ensuring that your agency has the structural capacity to implement a grant such as this. Please DO include resumes/job descriptions of your key staff that will be associated with the grant.
  38. Is the Budget & Budget Narrative worth 5 points or 10 points? There is conflicting information in the NOFO. I believe it is 5 points. Can you please confirm?
    Correct - It is worth 5 points and not 10 points.
  39. I am contacting you to better understand Attachment 5 Employer Agreements/Commitments of the application. The RFP describes these agreements as a requirement once youths are hired. What do we actually have to submit for proposal? A sample of the agreement that will be given to our partners? Please advise.
    In this Attachment, you would include any agreements that you may already have in place, you may include draft agreements, you may explain that you do not have any current agreements and instead discuss your anticipated agreements. Attachment 8 (Appendix E) you will be able to provide more specific information regarding those current or anticipated employers and at the bottom you will indicate if you have included an agreement or a draft agreement.
  40. The information summary cites 20% for administrative costs, but later caps it at 15% of the total program costs. Please clarify.
    The Information Summary is incorrect. As stated throughout the funding notice, the cap is set at 15%. Our apologies for the conflicting information.
  41. The summary states applicant must have "the administrative and fiscal capacity to implement the program on a reimbursement basis". Does this mean the provider pays program costs, including youth wages/fringes, then wait for reimbursement?
    It means that this may be a possibility. However, we have since learned that Successful applicants will receive an advance payment. While maintaining an advance, the Department will reconcile reported monthly expenditures.
  42. I have read the NOFO, but do not see information on grant minimums or maximums.
    Refer to questions #7, 31 and 32.
  43. I would also like to know if there are limitations regarding target areas, besides communities with greatest need.
    Please refer to Section A "Program Description" sub-section N "Service Area" for the description. There are not additional restrictions above and beyond what is in this section.
  44. I am representing South Suburban Chicago, which has communities with greatest need. Is it possible to partner with townships to cover areas of great need, and available business and community partners?
  45. What are the chances for agencies and organizations not currently funded by DHS for Teen REACH or other Youth Programs?
    As long as your organization meets the criteria in Section C "Eligibility Information" you have as good a chance as anyone else. This is an open competitive application process. Priority points are only given based on the service area as described in the Notice.
  46. At this time, we have tentative employers in mind who could be confirmed quickly upon grant award. Appendix E and Appendix G request information on employers. Is it permissible to include tentative employers on these documents?
    YES. Just indicate that in those documents.
  47. Page 16, part J - If the applicant does not have any financial resources that have been secured to off-set the costs associated with youth wages for the proposed employment placements, does the applicant still have to provide an Attachment A5 for this request?
    In your application narrative (part j) you should explain that you do not have any financial resources that have been secured to off-set the costs associated with youth wages and indicate if you have any plans to do so - or not. For Attachment 5, you should include Attachment 5 - even if it simply states that you do not have any resources and you have no plans to secure any. This way the reviewer will know that you did in fact address this piece of the application.
  48. Page 17, #10 - What kind of supporting documentation is acceptable as Attachment A10 for recent performance and outcomes achieved operating similar employment programs for transition-age youth?
    You may provide as much or as little as you would like here - however, a description and a summary of the performance and outcomes will be sufficient. If the information/data is based on an evaluation or some other type of analysis, it is sufficient to simply reference and describe that evaluation /analysis and the results - you do NOT need to - PLEASE do NOT attach the actual evaluation/analysis as proof. We can always request it from you if necessary.
  49. I understand the FY17 CYEP grant agreement period will run from November 1, 2016 until June 30, 2017 and allows pre-award costs with proof of services. Did the stopgap budget include funding for this entire period of time?
    Yes. The stopgap budget funds eligible CYEP services through June 30, 2017. Therefore, Grantees should expect DHS to issue payment to cover reported eligible expenditures (November 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 and Pre-award costs may be authorized back to July 1, 2016 per the NOFO guidance).