Grants to States for Access and Visitation Programs

To enable States to create programs which support and facilitate access and visitation by non-custodial parents with their children.

Activities may include mediation, counseling, education, development of parenting plans, visitation enforcement and development of guidelines for visitation and
alternative custody arrangements.

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 - See Appendix IV of the Catalog for ACF Regional Offices.

Program Accomplishments

Every Governor has designated a State agency that will use these grant funds to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate non-custodial parents' access to and visitation of their children. In fiscal year 2008, 54 grants were awarded. It is estimated that 54 grants will be awarded in fiscal year 2009 and 54 in FY 2010.

Uses and Use Restrictions

A State to which a grant is made under this section may not use the grant to supplant expenditures by the State for allowable activities, but shall use the grant to supplement such expenditures at a level at least equal to the level of such expenditures for fiscal year 1995.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

All States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Guam.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Custodial and non-custodial parents and children.


The Governors have designated a single State agency to represent the State in carrying out this responsibility.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

State Governors have designated a single State agency to carry out this responsibility.

Eligible applicants for these grants shall be State agencies, courts, nonprofit private agencies or local public agencies.

Information will be provided to the State designated agencies on available funds and relevant projects.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Applications are submitted biannually using the standard application form, as furnished by the Department of Health and Human Services and required by OMB Circular No. A-102. Application kits which contain the prescribed application forms and supplemental descriptive information on the access and visitation grant program are available from: The Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, 4th Floor, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington DC 20447.

Award Procedures

Official notice of approved grant applications is made through issuance of a Notice of Grant Award. 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, and the total grantee participation.


Closing dates are established and published as program announcements in letters which will be sent to the designated State agency.


Social Security Act, Section 469B.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 120 days.


There are no formal appeal procedures.


Extensions and continuations of grants are not available.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Grantees are required to share in the cost of projects. A 10% match is required. This can be provided by the State and local agency, cash or in kind.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are awarded for a two-year project period.

Post Assistance Requirements


Reports of progress and expenditures are required on all projects.

Specific requirements are indicated in the Program Announcement and Federal regulation.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular A-133.


Proper accounting records, identifiable by grant number and including all receipts and expenditures, must be maintained for 3 years. Subsequent to audit, they must be maintained until all questions are resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $10,000,000; FY 08 $10,000,000; and FY 09 est $12,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The amount of funding provided to each grantee is based on an allocation formula with a designated minimum amount, provided in statute.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Grants Administration Policies and application kits may be obtained from: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, 4th Floor, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington DC 20447.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for ACF Regional Offices.

Headquarters Office

Eileen Brooks, Director, Division of State, Tribal, and Local Assistance, Office of Child Support Enforcement, 4th Floor, Aerospace Building, 370 L'Enfant Promenade S.W., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-5369.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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