Welfare Reform Research, Evaluations and National Studies

To support research on the benefits, effects, and costs of operating different State welfare programs, including studies on the effects of different programs and the operation of such programs on welfare dependency, employment rates, child well-being, family formation and healthy marriage, illegitimacy,
teen pregnancy, and others; to assist States in developing and evaluating innovative approaches for reducing welfare dependency and increasing the well-being of minor children living at home.

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 - Contact the appropriate ACF Regional Administrator.

(See Appendix IV of the Catalog for ACF Regional Offices.)

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, funding was provided to 26 research and evaluation projects through contracts or grants related to welfare reform and employment strategies (including projects testing promising strategies to serve the hard-to-employ and job retention and advancement, and research on sanction policies, time-limited assistance and local implementation) and to strengthening marriage and family formation. More information describing research and evaluation projects we have funded can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/. We anticipate funding a similar number of projects related to these areas of interest in fiscal year 2008 and 2009.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts are awarded for innovative research, demonstrations, and evaluations that are responsive to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) program priorities.

All applications must meet standards of excellence in research, demonstration, or evaluation design.

Construction or the purchase of real estate are not allowable under these grants or contracts.

Further, these funds may not be used to supplement the cost of program operations otherwise capped under the law.

Organizations may not use funds under these grants or contracts to engage in inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization.

In addition, an organization receiving ACF funds shall not, in providing ACF-funded services, discriminate against a program beneficiary or prospective program beneficiary on the basis of religion or religious belief.

Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which include the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, as well a provisions related to nondiscrimination against religious organizations and the ability of religious organizations to maintain their religious character, can be found at either 45 CFR 87.1 or the HHS web site at http://www.os.dhhs.gov/fbci/waisgate21.pdf.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Grants and cooperative agreements may be made to or with governmental entities, colleges, universities, nonprofit and for-profit organizations (if fee is waived), and faith- and community-based organizations.

Grants or cooperative agreements cannot be made directly to individuals.

Contracts may be awarded to non-profit or for-profit organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Children, youth, and families, especially low-income families, will benefit.


Applicants must present written evidence of other agencies' willingness to cooperate when the project involves the use of other agencies, facilities, or services. Nonprofit organizations which have not previously received ACF program support must submit proof of nonprofit status. For State and local governments, costs will be determined in accordance with 45 CFR 92 and OMB Circular No. A-87. For other grantees, applicable costs and administrative procedures will be determined in accordance with 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "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

Applicants will be able to find a synopsis of grant or cooperative agreement oportunities and apply electronically for opportunities via: www.grants.gov. Applicants will also be able to find the complete text of grant announcements on the ACF web site located at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/index.html.

Award Procedures

Official notice of approved grant applications is made through issuance of a Financial Assistance Award (FAA). This provides the amount of funds awarded, the purpose of the award, the terms and conditions of the award, the budget period for which support is given, the total project period for which spport is contemplated, and the total grantee participation. Official notice of an accepted contract proposal is made through award of a contract.


Deadlines for grants and cooperative agreements are announced in www.grants.gov as part of the announcement or are mailed to State Agencies where applicants are limited to those agencies. Deadlines for requests for contract proposals are posted on www.fedbizopps.gov.


Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Public Law 109-171, 42 U.S.C. 613, 613 note, and 710.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 365 days. Generally, solicited grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts will be acted upon within 120 days.


Appeals are processed in accordance with HHS regulations in 45 CFR Part 16.


Grant extensions and continuations are available if formally applied for and approved. If an application is recommended for approval for 2 or more years, the grantee or contractor must submit a formal request for a non-competitive continuation application each year accompanied by a progress report which will be evaluated prior to a recommendation of continuation. This process is not applicable to contracts.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Grantees are generally required to share in the cost of projects. Cost sharing may range up to 25 percent of the total approved project cost for grants or cooperative agreements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are granted on a 1- to 5-year basis (up to 10 years under certain exceptions), with support beyond the first year contingent upon acceptable evidence of satisfactory progress, continuing program relevance, and availability of funds.

Post Assistance Requirements


Reports of progress and expenditures are required on all projects.

Comprehensive final reports are generally due within 90 days of completion of the project.


All fiscal transactions identifiable to Federal financial assistance are subject to audit by the HHS audit agency, and other Federal officials. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised June 27, 2003) "Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations," Non-Federal entities that expend $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend lees than $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in section 215(a), but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and General Accounting Office (GAO).


Proper accounting records, identifiable by grant number and including all receipts and expenditures, must be maintained for 3 years in accordance with 45 CFR Part 92. Subsequent to audit, they must be maintained until all questions are resolved, or at the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts) FY 07 $97,188,710 (Note: of this amount, $11,860,489 was funded under 93.647); FY 08 $94,882,000; and FY 09 est $101,762,000. Four funding streams combine for these amounts: the Compassion Capital Fund; Welfare Research; Social Services Research and Demonstration; and the Child Welfare Study. With regard to the Compassion Capital Fund, FY 07 $64,342,007, FY 08 $52,688,000, and FY 09 est $75,000,000. With regard to Welfare Research, FY 07 $14,991,207, FY 08 $15,000,000, and FY 09 est $15,000,000. With regard to Social Services Research and Demonstration, FY 07 $11,860,489, FY 08 $21,194,000, and FY 09 est $5,762,000. With regard to the Child Welfare Study, FY 07 $5,995,007, FY 08 $6,000,000, and FY 09 est $6,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

(Grants, Cooperative Agreements and Contracts) From $60,186 to $5,995,000; average $1,082,657.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

A variety of guidance on grants can be found at www.grants.gov and http://www.hhs.gov/grantsnet/roadmap/index.html. Helpful information on contracts is available at www.fedbizopps.gov.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact the appropriate ACF Regional Administrator. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog for ACF Regional Offices.)

Headquarters Office

Karl Koerper, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 7th Floor, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-4535. Fax: (202) 205-3598. E-Mail: KKoerper@ACF.HHS.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The criteria for selecting projects to be funded under this program are published in www.grants.gov for grant announcements and in the solicitation for requests for proposals published in www.fedbizopps.gov for contracts.

Social Entrepreneurship

Social Enterprise Crafts Sweet Design

Florence Norman founded Sweet Cavanagh, an award-winning peer-led aftercare social enterprise based in Notting Hill. The company hires women and trains them how to make and design jewelry. However, these women are in the process of recovering from eating disorders and addictions.

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