Promoting Safe and Stable Families

To fund family preservation that serve families at risk or in crisis, including the following services: reunification and adoption services, preplacement/preventive services, follow-up services after return of a child from foster care, respite care, services designed to improve parenting skills; and
infant safe haven programs; to fund community-based family support services that promote the safety and well-being of children and families, to afford children a safe, stable and supportive family environment, to strengthen parental relationships and promote healthy marriages, and otherwise to enhance child development; to fund time-limited family reunification services to facilitate the reunification of the child safely and appropriately within a timely fashion; and to fund adoption promotion and support services designed to encourage more adoptions out of the foster care system, when adoption, promotes the best interests of the child.

In addition, a portion of funds also is reserved in FY 2008 - FY 2011 for a separate formula grant for States and territories to support monthly caseworker visits with children who are in foster care.

A small proportion of appropriated funds is reserved for research, evaluation and technical assistance, which may be awarded competitively through contracts or discretionary grants.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - Consult Regional Administrators, Administration for Children and Families.

(See Appendix IV of the Catalog for listing).

Program Accomplishments

There were 52 State grants awarded (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) and 4 territory grants awarded each fiscal year. 137 Tribes are eligible for grants awards in FY 2007. The increase in eligible Tribes is due to an increase (to 3%)in the tribal set-aside.

Uses and Use Restrictions

For the main Promoting Safe and Stable Families Formula Grants, a significant portion of funds must be spent on each of the service categories of family preservation, family support services, time-limited family reunification services and adoption promotion and support services.

State grantees must limit administrative expenditures to 10 percent of their allotment.

Caseworker visit formula grants: States and territories are required to spend funds to support monthly caseworker visits with children in foster care with a primary emphasis on activities designed to improve caseworker retention, recruitment, training and ability to access the benefits of technology.

Discretionary Grants: Grants are awarded for research, evaluation and technical assistance activities relating to family support, family preservation, time-limited family reunification and adoption promotion support.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

(1) Formula Grants: States, territories and certain Indian Tribes are eligible applicants.

For caseworker visit funds, only States and territories are eligible applicants.

(2) Discretionary Grants: States, local governments, tribes, public agencies or private agencies or organizations (or combinations of such agencies or organizations) with expertise in providing, evaluating and/or providing technical assistance related to family preservation, family support, time-limited family reunification and adoption promotion and support.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Families and children who need services to assist them to stabilize their lives, strengthen family functioning, prevent out-of-home placement of children, enhance child development and increase competence in parenting abilities, facilitate timely reunification of the child, and promote appropriate adoptions.


Formula Grants: The State agency which administers the social services program under Title XX of the Social Security Act (Social Services Block Grant) must also be the agency which administers the Title IV-B programs. Discretionary Grants: Nonprofit agencies must submit proof of nonprofit status. Applicable costs and administrative procedures will be determined in accordance with parts 74 and 92 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

(1) Formula Grants: Not applicable.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


(2)Discretionary Grants Standard application forms as furnished by DHHS must be used for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Application Procedure (1) Formula Grants: A 5-year State plan must be submitted. The plan must be jointly developed by the Secretary and the State or Indian Tribe and written after consultation by the agency with appropriate public and non-profit private agencies and community-based organizations. The plan must coordinate the provision of services under Title IV-B with services under other Federal or federally-assisted programs serving the same populations. (2) Discretionary Grants: Announcement of availability of funds is published in the Federal Register. Eligible applicants submit applications by specified deadlines.

Award Procedures

(1) Formula Grants: Funds will be approved after the State plan, or annual update is submitted and approved.(2) Discretionary Grants: Grant applications are reviewed by a panel of nonfederal professionals with expertise in child and family services, evaluation and related fields. Final decisions are made by the Commissioner, Administration for Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF). Contract proposals are reviewed by a panel of Federal Staff.


(1) Formula Grants: States, Territories and Indian Tribes are encouraged to submit applications in accordance with Departmental requirements. Contact Headquarters Office listed below for information. (2) Discretionary Grants: Deadlines change from year to year. Each program announcement provides specific deadline information. See for announcement details.


Social Security Act, as amended, Title IV, Part B, Subpart 2; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993; Public Law 103-66; Social Security Amendments of 1994, Public Law 103-432; Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, Public Law 105-89; Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001, Public Law 107-133.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (1) Formula Grants: The State plan or its annual update is due June 30 of each year. Approval/disapproval is due September 30 of each year. (2) Discretionary Grants: From 3 to 6 months.


Appeals are processed in accordance with Departmental regulations at 45 CFR 16.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Formula and Matching Requirements: (1) Formula Grants: State allotments are computed based on the number of children receiving food stamps over a three year rolling average. Allotments to Indian Tribes, including Tribal consortia are based on a percent set aside of the total appropriation in each fiscal year and computed based on the number of children in the tribe compared to the total number of children in eligible Indian Tribes. However, grants will not be made to Indian Tribes whose allotment is less than $10,000. Allotments to Territories are based on the formula in subpart 1of Title IV-B. Match: FFP is 75 percent of expenditures: grantees must provide a 25 percent match. (2) Discretionary Grants: matching requirements are described in each program announcement.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

(1) Formula Grants: Grant awards will be made quarterly on a fiscal year basis through a letter of credit. The Electronic Transfer System will be used for monthly cash draws from Federal Reserve Banks. (2) Discretionary Grants: Grants are generally available for a 12-, 24-, or 36- month period. Some may be renewed for up to a total of 5 years. Renewal funding for multiple-year grants is dependent upon grantee performance and availability of funds.

Post Assistance Requirements


(1) Formula Grants: After the end of each of the first four fiscal years, the States, Territories, and Indian Tribes must submit an interim review of progress toward accomplishment of the goals in the State or tribal plan.

After the end of the fifth fiscal year, the States and Indian Tribes must perform a final review of progress toward accomplishment of the goals.

(2) Discretionary Grants: Financial and program reports are required semiannually with a final report at completion of the project.


Audits are conducted in accordance with the requirement of 45 CFR 74.


(1) Formula Grants: Grantees must report expenditures for the most recent year for which fiscal expenditures are completed and must maintain records which permit review of expenditures in accordance with the provisions of the law. (2) Discretionary Grants: All financial records are to be maintained for 3 years after termination of the project or until audit is completed, whichever comes first.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants, Tribal Grants, and Contracts) FY 07 $381,104,000; FY 08 $361,222,000; and FY 09 est $365,222,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2007, an allotment to a State ranged from $400,925 to $37,396,892; Tribes received from $10,046 to $1,406,177. Discretionary grant awards range from $100,000 to $700,000 with the average award being $250,000 for FY 07, FY 08 and FY 09. For FY2008 and FY2009 the range for States is from approximately $375,103 to $34,988,313 and for Tribes $10,765 to $1,858,658.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

45 CFR 1355 and 45 CFR 1357.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Consult Regional Administrators, Administration for Children and Families. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog for listing).

Headquarters Office

Headquarters Office: Eileen West, Program Specialist, 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 205-8438.

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