TN Strong Families Grant Program

The purpose of the TN Strong Families Grant Program is to support non-profits and pregnancy centers that provide direct services to individuals and families experiencing pregnancy and caring for infants.

The TN Strong Families Grant program will support:

·         Direct services for pregnancy support, which can include medical, mental health or other counseling services.

·         Support for Tennesseans who are considering adoption.

·         Workforce assistance to prepare new moms for self-sufficiency.

·         Housing assistance to help moms in crisis find a safe and stable place to live.

·         Additional wraparound services to support vulnerable mothers and their children, including but not limited to, childcare and transportation assistance.

A.      Applicants must be not-for-profit organizations. Applicants must submit a copy of the organization’s current and valid not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax status determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

B.      Applicants must have a physical location or office in the State of Tennessee.

C.      Applicants must have been operating and providing direct services in TN for at least twelve (12) months prior to their application submission date.

D.      Applicants must provide direct services to pregnant women and families that promote a healthy pregnancy and birth. Services through this grant funding are for those experiencing a pregnancy and may continue for an additional 24 months. Services may include providing clothing, counseling, diapers, food, furniture, housing, health care, substance-use disorder treatment or recovery, postpartum recovery, shelter, and any other meaningful services, or programs throughout pregnancy and up to 24 months of the child’s life.

·         Housing, including but not limited to transitional housing, maternity homes, and other safe housing options.

·         Gaps in services for pregnant families and their children up to 2 years of age, including childcare and in-state transportation to obtain services and other resources pertaining to the pregnancy or accessing care.

·         Pregnancy and accessibility challenges specific to English as Second Language (ESL) clients/patients, children in or aging out of foster care, and those in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment or recovery.

Subrecipients should implement and adhere to the following:

·         Pregnant Workers Fairness Act- Each organization that receives a grant from the Family Advocacy Unit (FAU) must adhere to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act by making reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. See TN Code § 50-10-103 (2021) for more information.


·         Voluntary Services- All Goods and Services provided through any grant funded program must be provided for free and at no financial or other cost to the service recipient. Participants shall not be required to participate in programs, earn points or coupons, or take any required action steps to access grant funded Goods or Services.  Any deviation from this requires prior approval by the state. An Exception Request should be completed and emailed to the Program Manager for prior approval.

·         Confidentiality of Records- Each agency that receives a grant from the Family Advocacy Unit (FAU) to provide direct services should have a confidentiality policy in place to protect confidential personally identifying information (PII). Confidentiality statements should be signed by all staff, volunteers, interns, board member, etc. and should state, at a minimum, that they will protect the PII of all persons contacting the agency for service, regardless of whether these persons receive services from the agency. Confidential information should not be disclosed except as required by federal or state law or pursuant to an official release provided by FAU and authorized by the organization’s individual client. See Chapter XX. Retention of Access to Records, 5. Confidentiality Policy for more information.

The organization shall take all necessary steps to safeguard the confidentiality of such material or information from all interested and uninterested parties, including accompanying family members and support persons. Agencies are to establish and uphold a policy prohibiting sharing or selling client data and a policy addressing data breaches. Services provided by TN Strong Families (TNSF) funding should be voluntary with clients having the option to opt-in and opt-out of services. 

·         HIPAA- see Chapter XX. Retention of and Access to Records, 6. HIPAA Compliance Requirements.

State funds may be used by the subrecipient for personnel costs, training and technical assistance, equipment, operational costs, and information systems that are part of an approved project and are in addition to the resources already available to the subrecipient. Costs must be reasonable, allocable, and necessary to the project and comply with the State Program requirements. Any questions about allowable use of funds should be directed to the FAU.

A.      Equipment and Supplies for Clients: Payment of equipment and supplies costs is allowable if costs are part of an approved project and are necessary to the project implementation and operation. Equipment and supplies costs may include the following items for clients only through specific assistance:

·         New baby equipment

·         Furniture (see more information below)

·         Diapers

·         Car seats

·         Strollers

·         Food

·         Clothing

·         Hygiene items

·         Feeding and breastfeeding supplies

·         Other items needed for perinatal care.

B.      Equipment, Supplies and Technology for Organizations: Payment of equipment and supplies costs is allowable if costs are part of an approved project and are necessary to the project implementation and operation. Equipment and supplies costs for organizations may include computers, tablets, printers, software, etc. Equipment, supplies, and technology should be used to enhance existing services or implement new services.

C.      General Salaries and Personnel Costs: Payment of personnel costs are allowable if costs are part of an approved project and are necessary and incidental to project implementation and operation. Overtime pay will only be approved by FAU on a case-by-case basis.

D.      Operational Costs: Payment of operational costs are allowable if costs are part of an approved project and are necessary to the project implementation and operation. Operational costs may include supplies, telecommunication costs, postage, and shipping, printing and publication costs, rent, equipment rental costs and insurance costs. Costs for a program must be prorated across all fund sources. Operational costs may be assigned utilizing an approved cost allocation plan and an approved indirect cost rate or de minimis. See Chapter XVI. Cost Allocation for more information.

E.       Furniture Costs: Furniture costs are only allowed without pre-approval if purchases are provided to clients as specific assistance. All other furniture costs must be pre-approved by FAU before purchase.

A.      Professional Fees: If the implementing organization is entering into a subcontractual relationship with an entity that is providing Fee-For-Service or Project Based professional services for the project, a subcontract will be required between the implementing organization and the subcontracting entity. Subcontracts must be reviewed and authorized by the FAU before a subcontract may be executed. Project Based Subcontracts should include all applicable clauses in the subcontract example including the name of the individual or company being used, the number of hours or days for the fiscal year, and the total cost. Prior to FAU reviewing and authorizing a Project Based Subcontract, implementing organizations should obtain a detailed annual budget for each year of the subcontract. Subcontracting entities are to complete the Pre-Award Risk Assessment, and the implementing organization will need to determine if the subcontracting entity is solvent and not debarred or suspended. This determination should be emailed to the Program Manager affirming these steps have been completed. 

Implementing organizations should reference the Grants Manual for responsibilities of the implementing organization in providing oversight of the subcontract. Consultant rates of payment are to be reasonable and consistent with fees for similar services in the marketplace.

B.      Travel: Expenses and reimbursements for in state and out of state travel for personnel must follow the most current comprehensive State of Tennessee Travel Rules and Regulations.

Services and assistance for clients shall not be contingent upon the client’s participation or completion, viewing, or reading of training, education, or agency material. 

·         Construction

·         Land acquisition

·         Any expenditures that reflect supplanting

·         Compensation of federal employees,

·         Travel of federal employees,

·         Bonuses or commissions,

·         Military type equipment,

·         Uniforms

·         Lobbying

·         Fundraising (including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions),

·         Corporate formation,

·         State and local taxes,

·         Legal fees,

·         Cost in applying for this grant,

·         Any expense prior to the grant award date,

·         First class travel,

·         Gift cards,

·         Depreciation,

·         Sole source contracts (without the prior written approval from OCJP), and

·         Cost incurred outside the project period.

The following services, activities, and costs CANNOT be supported with state grant funds:

·         Fundraising: Subrecipients are not permitted to use state funds for fundraising.

·         Inherently Religious Activities: State funding may not be used to support inherently (or explicitly) religious activities.

·         Dues or Membership Fees: State funds may not be used for dues or membership fees to an organization conducting any type of lobbying, including advocating with government agencies for policy change.

·         Program Income: Program Income is unallowable without prior approval.

·         Restrictions on Facility Use: No state grant funds shall be expended in connection with a meeting or other activity held at an establishment or facility that does not afford full membership rights and privileges to a person because of sex, race, creed, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or disability. TN Code § 4-21-802

The Project Director is responsible for timely submission of completed program reports each quarter and at the end of the year. Inability to submit required reports in a timely fashion is considered non-compliance with required contract obligations and may result in monitor findings.


Annual Report: This report is due July 31st for all executed contracts. TSF Annual Report

Invoice for Reimbursement: The invoice is used to request monthly reimbursement. It is strongly recommended that agencies invoice monthly when monthly expenditures are incurred. However, subrecipient agencies can invoice quarterly. If invoicing quarterly, agencies MUST request reimbursement 30 days after the end of each quarter for all the expenses incurred during the quarter in its entirety. Funds can only be distributed to subrecipients upon receipt of a properly prepared and signed invoice. The invoices are emailed to the Office of Business and Finance (OBF) of the Department of Finance and Administration.

Prior to emailing invoices for reimbursement to OBF, TNSF subrecipients must email a copy of the invoice and supporting documentation to their grant program manager. Supporting documentation includes general ledgers, payroll documents, timesheets, receipts, travel documents, or any other documentation needed to verify time and expenditures are being charged accurately.

Quarterly Report: Quarterly reports must be submitted one month after the end of the quarter at this link: TSF Quarterly Report. The due dates for quarterly reports are:

·         April 15 (for January 1 – March 31)

·         July 15 (for  April 1 – June 30)

·         October 15 (for July 1 – September 30)

·         January 15 (for October 1 – December 31)

Project Equipment Summary: Due online by July 31st. This report must be completed by any subrecipient that purchased capital or sensitive minor equipment (any item with an individual unit cost over $500) with FAU grant funds. This report can be found at the OCJP Reporting Homepage or by clicking this link: Project Equipment Summary Report

Client Survey Annual Outcome Report: Due only by July 31st. This report must be completed by any subrecipient providing direct service to clients with TNSF funds.

TSF Client Outcome Survey

TSF Client Outcome Survey Report

All electronic and print media, reports, studies, notices, informational pamphlets, press releases, signs, billboards, DVDs, public awareness kits, training curricula, webinars, websites and similar public notices (written, visual or sound) prepared and released by the Grantee with TNSF grant funds shall include the statement below and must be approved by the FAU Program Manager prior to being prepared or released.  

“This project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee.”