Request for Public Comment on Proposed Funding Opportunity Announcement for Special Initiative Concerning the Assets for Independence Program
In FY 2011, the Office of Community Services (OCS) will coordinate with the Administration on Native Americans (ANA) to implement the Native Asset Building Initiative, through which the two offices will support Tribes and Native organizations in planning and implementing comprehensive asset-building projects. The initiative will feature special grants through the Assets for Independence (AFI) program. These grants will be in addition to the annual AFI grants that OCS will award in FY 2011. In contrast to the annual awards, though, the eligibility criteria to be listed for these AFI grants in the ``Native Asset Building Initiative'' will vary from the annual AFI awards' eligibility criteria. This is because the criteria used to determine eligibility for these special initiative awards will be more consistent with those used to determine eligibility in the ANA grant program with which OCS is coordinating. Consequently, the eligibility for the special AFI grants will be limited to Native 501(c)(3) non- profits serving Native Americans; Federally recognized Tribal governments or Alaska Native Villages, as defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, that are joint applicants with a 501(c)(3) Native non-profit organization; and Native non-profit organizations designated by the Secretary of the Treasury as Community Development Financial Institutions and Native non-profit credit unions designated by the National Credit Union Administration as low-income credit unions that demonstrate a collaborative relationship with a local community based organization whose activities are designed to address poverty and the needs of community members for economic independence and stability. Other entities will not be eligible for awards under this initiative, but will continue to be eligible for awards under the annual AFI funding opportunity announcement that was published issued for FY 2011 through FY 2013 on February 24, 2011 on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/ open/foa/view/HHS-2011-ACF-OCS-EI-0137. It is estimated that OCS will award up to 10 AFI program grants under Native Asset Building Initiative, with overall funding of approximately $2,500,000 toward the initiative. It is anticipated that each recipient of these special AFI grants will also receive a separate ANA award for their project. In addition to these special AFI awards, we estimate that $15,000,000 in grants will be awarded in FY 2011 under the annual AFI funding opportunity announcement published on February 24, 2011.
Announcement of Award
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Children's Bureau (CB) announces the award of a single-source program expansion supplement grant to the Regents of the University of Michigan at Anne Arbor, MI, Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System (QIC-ChildRep), to support additional and enhanced evaluation of the QIC-ChildRep research and demonstration projects. The Regents of the University of Michigan was awarded a cooperative agreement in FY 2009 as the result of a competition to establish the QIC-ChildRep. The purpose of the QIC-ChildRep is to improve the quality of legal representation for children and youth in child welfare cases so that States and Tribes achieve the best safety, permanency and well- being outcomes for children and youth. Under the cooperative agreement, the QIC-ChildRep develops knowledge about effective strategies to provide competent and effective representation for children and youth in child welfare cases, promotes the certification of lawyers as specialist is child welfare, develops and implements child representation research and demonstration projects to promote evidence- based, evidence-informed practice improvements and effective child representation, establishes and maintains a national information sharing network to disseminate information on promising practices; evaluates the impact of selected projects implementing the child representation models on outcomes for children and families who have competent and effective child representation, and identifies barriers and recommends need changes in laws, policies, procedures and/or practice. The supplemental funds will be used to provide additional training, technical assistance, and support to each research and demonstration site to fully implement and maintain rigorous on-site and cross-site evaluation plans.
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation
This notice announces a forthcoming meeting of a public advisory committee of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The meeting will be open to the public. Name of Committee: Advisory Committee for Head Start Research and Evaluation. General Function of Committee: The Advisory Committee for Head Start Research and Evaluation will provide feedback on the published final report for the Head Start Impact Study, offering interpretations of the findings, discussing implications for practice and policy, and providing recommendations on follow-up research, including additional analysis of the Head Start Impact Study data. The Committee will also be asked to provide recommendations to the Secretary regarding how to improve Head Start and other early childhood programs by enhancing the use of research-informed practices in early childhood. Finally, the Committee will be asked to provide recommendations on the overall Head Start research agenda, includingbut not limited tohow the Head Start Impact Study fits within this agenda. The Committee will provide advice regarding future research efforts to inform HHS about how to guide the development and implementation of best practices in Head Start and other early childhood programs around the country.
Announcement of an Award
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development announces the award of a cooperative agreement with the Congressional Hunger Center (CHC) in Washington, DC, to work with ACF programs on hunger and obesity issues for young children. An award in the amount of $3,000 has been made to the CHC.
Head Start Program
This proposed rule would amend Head Start program regulations to codify statutory eligibility requirements for Head Start and Early Head Start program enrollment and strengthen procedures to determine, verify, certify, and maintain records regarding eligibility for Head Start and Early Head Start program enrollment. It also proposes to create new requirements for the person seeking services to certify in a signed and dated statement that the documents and information that the person provided concerning eligibility are accurate to the best of the person's knowledge, as well as new requirements for program staff who make the eligibility determination to certify in a signed and dated statement that the information on eligibility in the file is accurate to the best of the person's knowledge, and based on that information, the person has determined the pregnant woman or child to be eligible for services. In addition, it proposes to create a new requirement for agencies to establish policies and procedures describing the actions that will be taken against staff who violate eligibility determination requirements and requires agencies to provide training related to eligibility requirements and the legal consequences of committing fraud. The intent of this rule is to reduce substantially the risk that children or pregnant women who are ineligible for participation in Head Start or Early Head Start programs are enrolled in these programs.
Advisory Committee on the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Evaluation
HRSA and ACF announce through this notice the establishment of the Advisory Committee on the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Evaluation (``the Committee''), pursuant to subsection 2951(g) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act). Under this authority, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (``the Secretary'') is to appoint an independent advisory panel consisting of experts in program evaluation and research, education, and early childhood development. The purpose of the Committee is to provide advice to the Secretary on the design, plan, progress, and findings of the evaluation required for the home visiting program under the Affordable Care Act.
Tribal Consultation Meetings
Pursuant to the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law 110-134, notice is hereby given of one-day Tribal Consultation Sessions to be held between the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, OHS leadership, and the leadership of Tribal Governments operating Head Start (including Early Head Start) programs. The purpose of these Consultation Sessions is to discuss ways to better meet the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native children and their families, taking into consideration funding allocations, distribution formulas, and other issues affecting the delivery of Head Start services in their geographic locations [42 U.S.C. 9835, Section 640(l)(4)]. Dates & Locations: The initial 2011 OHS Tribal Consultation Sessions will be held as follows: Friday, March 25, 2011Rapid City, South DakotaBest Western Ramkota. Friday, April 1, 2011Boston, MassachusettsJFK Federal Building.
Notice of Allotment Percentages to States for Child Welfare Services State Grants
As required by section 423(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 623(c)), the Department is publishing the allotment percentage for each State under the Title IV-B Subpart 1, Child Welfare Services State Grants Program. Under section 423(a), the allotment percentages are one of the factors used in the computation of the Federal grants awarded under the Program.
Issuance of Final Policy Directive
The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) is issuing final interpretive rules, general statements of policy and rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice relating to the following Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs): Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS), Social and Economic Development StrategiesTribal Governance (SEDSTG), Social and Economic Development Strategies Assets for Independence (SEDSAFI), Native Language Preservation and Maintenance (Language P&M), Native Language Preservation and MaintenanceEsther Martinez Initiative (LanguageEMI), and Environmental Regulatory Enhancement (ERE). This notice also provides information about how ANA will administer these programs.
Notice of Revised Child Outcomes Framework
This notice announces and informs the public of the revised Head Start Child Outcomes Framework, renamed The Head Start Child Development and Learning Framework: Promoting Positive Outcomes in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children 3-5 Years Old. The Framework was revised to give more prominence to the information part of the initial document. The revisions do not create new requirements on Head Start and delegate agencies. The revised Framework continues to identify the developmental outcomes that Head Start and delegate agencies have been responsible for addressing in their Head Start preschool programs serving 3 to 5 year old children since the original was published in 2000.