Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is my agency/organization eligible to apply for TN Strong Families?
A. Section 1.1 in the Solicitation offers information regarding services supported by TN Strong Families funding. In section 1.2 Eligibility for organizations and agencies requires:
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.
E. Applicants must meet the criteria listed in section 4 of this solicitation. Organizations unable to demonstrate they meet these criteria will not be considered.
Q2. Is there more information about Workforce Development regarding this grant funding?
A. There is no further information regarding Workforce Development at this time. Please watch the website for announcements regarding future trainings and webinar.
Q3. Is the Family Advocacy Unit (FAU) able to attend community meetings to share information regarding TN Strong Families?
A. The FAU will be hosting live webinars in October for those interested in learning more about this grant program. The webinars will be recorded. Please watch the website for announcements regarding future trainings and webinar.
Q4. Our organization is unsure of which Scope to apply.
A. While the FAU cannot advise on which Scope for which an organization can apply, the considerations for each are listed in section 1.3 in the Solicitation.
Q5. Which funding source should I select when completing the intent to apply for TN Strong Families?
A. For “Project Title” and “Appropriate Fund Source” you will select the “TN Strong Families” option. Our website has been updated to reflect this selection.
Q6. Where do I find evidence-based models for program implementation?
A. The FAU is compiling a list of Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) and will list these under resources on the website. Please watch the website for updates with these resources.
Q7. Can a faith-based organization continue to share the gospel with our patients/clients?
A. Section 4.1.5 of the Solicitation states “Faith-Based Activities: Organizations may engage in inherently (or explicitly) religious activities, but the participation in the inherently religious activities by program beneficiaries must be voluntary. Activities must be agreed to by the participant on a consent form provided by FAU, occur post consent, and should be separate either in time or in place from the grant-funded program.”
Q8. Can we apply for both areas of the grant?
A. You may apply for both grant types, but an application will be needed for each grant type with the applicable scope. This information can be found in the FAQ section on the website and in the “TN Strong Families Grant Program Contract Type” training in under the Trainings tab on the website here: https://www.tn.gov/finance/office-of-criminal-justice-programs/ocjp/tennessee-strong-families-grant-program-/trainings.html.
Section 2.1 in the Solicitation highlights Scope of Services stating “Scope of Services”
The FAU has provided a word document for use in constructing an application under this solicitation based on the various project types available. First select the proper scope of services from the list below and save this document to your computer with the grant solicitation identification title before completing it.
Q9. If awarded the grant, is this money to be paid back in the future if criteria are not met?
A. Under Fiscal Reporting Section 6.2.1 of the Solicitation states “Invoice for Reimbursement (Non-state Agencies): The invoice is used to request monthly reimbursement. It is strongly recommended that organizations invoice monthly when monthly expenditures are incurred. However, organizations can invoice quarterly. If invoicing quarterly, organizations 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 sub-recipients upon receipt of a properly prepared and signed invoice. The invoices are emailed to the Office of Business and Finance of the Department of Finance and Administration.”
Q10. What is the criteria/eligibility for persons served by the TN Strong Families Grant?
A. Section 1.2 D of the Solicitation states, “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.”
In addition, Section 4.1.1 states the following: “The sole purpose of either the organization or at least one program within the organization must be to provide direct services to pregnant women and families that promote a healthy pregnancy and birth.”
Q11. Is coverage of car payments for pregnant women included in allowable costs?
A. Section 4.2 and 4.3 of the Solicitation highlight allowable and nonallowable costs for Tn Strong Families funding. Please refer to the grants manual allowable costs and unallowable costs for full explanations and restrictions regarding these costs. Please check Specific Fund Source Chapter under the Grants Manual which will be updated in the coming months.
Q12. Can services extend beyond 2 years of age for post adoption support?
A. Section 1.4 of the Solicitation states that program priorities include addressing “gaps in services for pregnant families and their children up to 2 years of age.”
Q13. Is the 24-month period to provide services directly to the pregnant mom and child?
A. Section 1.1 of the Solicitation states that “funding is to support the needs of the mothers, children and families they serve by improving access to maternal healthcare and boosting critical resources essential to vulnerable families experiencing pregnancy. Services start during pregnancy and can continue for 24 months post-delivery.”
Q14. When will the training opportunities be available?
A. The Family Advocacy Unit is currently working on uploading training videos to assist with navigating the Solicitation grant along with providing a list of additional resources including evidence-based practices and websites that can assist with the application process. In addition, the FAU will host a webinar (date to be announced) that will also be recorded for convenience. Please watch the website for updates about these resources coming in October 2023.
Q15. What is the difference between the Supplies and Assistance Scope and the Support Services Scope?
A. The Scopes of Services are highlighted in Section 1.3 under “Project Support.” Here you will find examples of services that are covered under each funding option. Please view the TN Strong Families Grant Program Contract Types training and PowerPoint for additional information.
Q16. How can we charge for maintenance and operations when our programs serve both pregnant and non-pregnant clients?
A. Maintenance and operations would need to be prorated utilizing a cost allocation plan. For example: If the organization’s total budget is $500,000.00 and $50,000.00 of that amount is from the TN Strong Families Grant Program, then 10% of the shared costs could be charged to the strong families’ budget.
Q17. Is money for assistance paid directly to clients or paid to third party vendors? Are vendors considered the same thing as subcontractors?
A. Regarding transportation and childcare assistance, direct payments to the client would not be allowed. Payments would be made to the vendor on behalf of the client. Payments to 3rd party vendors would be included in the Specific Assistance line-item of the budget, and subcontractors are included in the Professional Fees line-item of the budget. More information on subcontracts can be found in the Grants Manual, Chapter XIII. Procurement of Professional Services.
Q18. Is it required that 20% for Goods Assistance to be allocated in the budget?
A. Yes. More information can be found in the Solicitation section 1.3 B.
Q19. Is childbirth education a benefit covered by insurance?
A. It is outside of our capacity to know if childbirth education is currently a covered benefit by insurance. 4.1.4. refers to billing insurance and the grant program for the same service being unallowable. 4.3.1. allows for an exception to be made if there’s an extenuating circumstance to allow agencies who would normally bill a service to insurance to instead bill it directly to the grant program with FAU approval.
Q20. I made a mistake on the Intent to Apply form. How can I correct it?
A. Submit a new intent to apply with the correct information. We will accept the most recent intent to apply submitted.
Q21. Which option should I select on the fund source dropdown?
A. The intent to apply has been updated to reflect “TN Strong Families” from the dropdown option list.
Q22. Are local governments considered Non-profits and/or what role do local governments have in the application process?
A. Solicitation Section 1.2 states, “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).” Local governments can share the solicitation announcement with partnering 501(c)(3) organizations.
Q23. What is the proof of certifications and membership as outlined in the solicitation?
A. Proof of certification or membership will not apply to every applicant organization, but if the applicant organization is a member or certified by any other state or national organization, we ask for that information to be provided in question 1 and 2 of “Membership & Certifications” in the Scope and submitted with the application package.
Q24. What are the medical requirements or how does an organization respond to a patient who identifies as female but is biologically male requesting medical services related to pregnancy?
A. A patient identifying as female but biologically male would not be pregnant and therefore would not need medical services related to pregnancy, therefore OCJP/FAU does not see a need for the agency to provide pregnancy related medical services to this individual.
Q25. How does the state define “new baby?”
A. The solicitation references “new baby” in regards to baby equipment which would be newly purchased equipment as opposed to used, donated items.
Q26. Are organizations with faith-based hiring practices excluded or does it mean that we agree to engage in hiring practices that do not violate local, state & federal laws?
A. In the Grants Manual, Chapter I. Pre-award Requirements, Section E. Additional Requirements, 6. Partnership with Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations, it states, “Faith Based Organizations may, in some circumstances, consider religion as a basis for employment and should contact their OCJP program manager for additional information if their organization or their subcontractors have such policies.” If approved for funding, applicable organizations will need to contact their assigned program manager for further information.
Update October 27, 2023: The Faith-Based Organization Hiring Certification is located here (click link).
Q27. Are we allowed to request funds to cover the salary of a grant manager to do the monthly invoicing?
A. Yes, you may request funds to support the salary of a grant manager to do the monthly invoicing, but the costs must be prorated utilizing a cost allocation plan and based on the percentage of time allotted to the grant funded project.
Q28. Does the choice in counties have to be fully decided before the Intent to Apply can be submitted?
A. The choice of counties does not have to be fully decided at the time you submit your Intent to Apply. This can be adjusted at a later time if there’s a need.
Q29. Would it be helpful if we complete the intent to apply even if we are not sure we will complete the application, or if we know we will not apply now, but possibly in the future?
A. Yes. The Intent to Apply does not obligate an organization formally apply but is necessary if the organization does apply for the grant funding.
Q30. Are there any updates regarding trainings from FAU or SWORPS?
A. Yes. 4 trainings are currently posted on the website. SWORPS has a training scheduled on 10/16/23. All trainings will be posted on the TN Strong Families website under the Trainings tab.
Q31. When will the next solicitation occur? Will there be future opportunities to apply?
A. This is the only solicitation planned at this time.
Q32. If a consent form has been signed, and permission granted, is there still a need to make a distinction in "time and place" for these faith-based conversations to continue?
A. Faith Based or religious organizations may continue to carry out its mission, including the practice and expression of its religious beliefs as long as it does not use state grant funding to support any explicitly religious activities. See examples listed in Question 35.
Q33. When can we see the consent form as mentioned in the Solicitation?
A. Update October 27, 2023: The Hiring Certification can be accessed by clicking here. At this time, the document is in process. OCJP is developing consent form template and will provide this form once finalized as part of the FAQs and a resource on the website. In general, a consent form should include the names of the parties agreeing to the permissible acts, a description of the permissible acts, a time frame the agreement will last, and a description of how the client may revoke consent at any time.
Q34. How will we define outcomes and attempt to define the nature of the organic ministry-oriented work in the services we provide within the grant's framework?
A. Organizations will report client outcomes annually by tallying survey responses to questions listed under “Intended Outcomes” in the scope. Quarterly/annual reports will also be required of funded agencies to report the number of individuals served and the types of services provided. Data points included in the quarterly/annual reports can be found in the Outputs section of the scope.
Q35. Many organizations use BrightCourse for parenting education. Would we be required to discontinue this and choose from an approved list? Would there be a pathway for getting the curricula we currently use on an approved list?
A. OCJP does not have an approved list. The applicant may choose any evidence based curriculum but must ensure that when implementing the curriculum, they follow applicable grant requirements found in section 4 of the solicitation document.
Q36. Many of our organizations’ practical parenting lessons also have a spiritual application. Would there be a requirement to separate these components in "space and/or time"?
A. Yes. In an effort to demonstrate the separation of space or time the following examples are listed below.
Ex: An advocate meets with the client and provides grant funded activities including referrals and goods assistance. The advocate provides a survey to the client completing the grant funded portion of their interaction. This interaction and survey completion takes approximately 30 minutes. The client then wants to continue the interaction with the advocate but have it be more faith-based. The faith-based portion of the conversation takes approximately 1 hour. The advocate would document and bill 30 minutes worked to the TN Strong Families grant, and 1 hour would be billed to other fund sources.
Ex: An advocate meets with the client and provides grant funded activities for approximately 1 hour. Towards the end of the interaction, the advocate invites the client to join their faith-led support group meeting immediately following their session. The client accepts the invitation and participates in the support group for 45 minutes with the advocate and other group members. The advocate would document and bill 1 hour worked to the TN Strong Families grant, and 45 minutes would be billed to other fund sources.
Ex. An advocate whose salary is not paid with grant funds meets with a client. During the meeting, the client states she is 40 weeks pregnant and expects to have the baby any day now. The client expresses the need for a car seat to bring her newborn home from the hospital. The Advocate provides a car seat to the client that was purchased with grant funds. As the client is getting ready to leave, the advocate and client pray together. The inherently religious activities are not being supported by grant funds in this example.
Q37. How would the practice of separation of space or time for faith-based organizations apply to telephone follow-up call conversations?
A. This will be discussed more in upcoming trainings.
Q38. Would our Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) programs fit within the scope of these grants?
A. The applicant may choose any evidence based curriculum but must ensure that when implementing the curriculum, they follow applicable grant requirements found in section 4 of the solicitation document.
Q39. Are additions to an existing property an allowable expense? Is the construction of a new facility allowable?
A. No. Neither of these would be allowable under this fund source.
Q40. Are improvements to an existing facility (security, remodeling, repairs) an allowable expense?
A. Limited, minor Improvements to an existing facility are allowable with prior approval. Examples: The repair/updating of a restroom where the clients take their pregnancy tests such that it was a comfortable, trauma informed space would be allowable or the minor remodel of a playroom where kids wait while mom is provided services by adding a window so mom can view her children while she is talking with the advocate/case manager would be allowable.
Q41. What type of accounting software would be needed to track grant expenses?
A. Training has been provided to address the basic components required for accounting software. Training can be viewed at: https://tn.gov/content/dam/tn/finance/ocjp/Fiscal%20Training%202018-with%20TN%20logo.pptx.
Q42. What type of project management software is recommended?
A. There is not a recommended project management software.
Q43. How does invoicing work? How are disbursements issued? How timely are reimbursements dispersed?
A. Training has been provided to address disbursements and reimbursements at this link: https://tn.gov/content/dam/tn/finance/ocjp/Fiscal%20Training%202018-with%20TN%20logo.pptx.
Q44. Will there be in-person visits or state audits of centers?
A. The FAU program managers and fiscal monitors provide routine program and fiscal monitoring of all FAU contracts. This monitoring provides program and fiscal contract compliance review, much needed information on how the program is actually being implemented and assists in identifying sub-recipients experiencing problems requiring corrective action.
Q45. What verbiage is required when referencing funding received from grant source?
A. Please see Grants Manual, Chapter XI. Printing, Publications, and Media for required language of printed materials.
Q46. Is the leasing of a Mobile Clinic Van an allowable cost, and would this be considered a capital expense?
A. Leasing a Mobile Clinic Van is not an allowable cost under this fund source.
Q47. Can you clarify pre-adoption support?
A. The Solicitation does not indicate specification of pre-adoption support but does indicate in Section 1.3B that funds may be used to provide support services including the following:
• 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.
Q48. Once we submit a letter of intent, do you give us feedback or is it just a letter of intent?
A. The Intent to Apply just notifies our unit of your intent to pursue TSF funding and will not receive feedback after submission.
Q49. Where can I find more information on Allowable/Unallowable costs?
A. Please see the location for allowable/unallowable costs on Q11 on FAQ. Section 4.2 and 4.3 of the Solicitation highlight allowable and unnallowable costs for Tn Strong Families funding. Please refer to allowable costs in the grants manual (click link) and also here for unallowable costs (click link) and for full explanations and restructions regarding these costs. Please check Specific Fund Source Chapter under the Grants Manual which will be updated in the coming months.
Q50. Is my organization eligible to apply if we meet all criteria other thank our “sole purpose” is to support mothers, babies, and families?
A. Section 4.1.1. of the solicitation states, “The sole purpose of either the organization or at least one program within the organization must be to provide direct services to pregnant women and families that promote a healthy pregnancy and birth.” If the organization’s sole purpose is not to provide direct services to pregnant women and families that promote a healthy pregnancy and birth, at least one program within the organization must have this sole purpose to be eligible to apply. Without meeting one of those requirements, the organization would not be eligible for the TN Strong Families Grant Program.
Q51. Our agency is applying under Supplies and Assistance. We will request grant funds only for supplies to be directly provided to eligible participants. Program services will be implemented by existing staff. Should we explain in the grant narrative and/or budget narrative that we will be allocating existing staff and agency resources to this project? If so, how detailed should we be?
A. The budget will need to include positions funded by the grant project in the Salaries, Benefits, and Taxes line-item. Outside professionals, consultants, subcontractors, or subcontracting agencies funded by the grant will need to be included in the Professional Fee, Grant & Award line-item of the budget. Non-grant-funded staff that will be used to support the grant project will not need to be listed in the budget. If these non-grant-funded staff will be used to complete grant activities, their position should be listed in the timeline table of the scope of services next to the activity they will be responsible for and projected completion date.
Q52. For the “direct services for pregnancy support, which can include medical, mental health or other counseling services,” can this include parent education to support healthy birth outcomes (e.g., educating pregnant women about prenatal health and development in addition to connecting them to medical providers) and nurturing, responsive relationships once a child is born? Or is this limited to direct medical, mental health, and other counseling services?
A. The applicant may choose any evidence-based curriculum but must ensure that when implementing the curriculum, they follow applicable grant requirements found in section 4 of the solicitation document.
Q53. If we can provide goods assistance with diapers and other items through partners (e.g., donations from corporate partners) that meet the 20%-requirement, can we allocate the budget to direct service provision?
A. Donations can not meet the 20% requirement. The grant budget must allocate 20% of state funding to goods assistance.
Q54. Are there word or character limits to the narrative responses in the Scope of Services? Are there any expectations about the length of responses?
A. There are no word or character limits to the narrative responses. There are no requirements regarding the length of response to the program narrative.
Q55. For the “INTENDED OUTCOMES (Results)” section, there isn’t a gray box to type a response. Where should we enter information about our outcomes?
A. The intended outcomes are survey questions that must be distributed to clients after services are provided. Agencies wanting to add additional outcomes should do so after “(Optional) Additional client outcomes survey questions”.
Q56. What do I enter for SAMS number if my organization does not have one?
A. If your organization does not have a SAMS number you can leave this blank and enter any date for the expiration date.
Q57. Will we receive a response after submitting the Intent to Apply confirming the information in the Intent meets the criteria for the grant application?
A. You will only receive an auto generated copy of your Intent to Apply after completing your Intent.
Q59. What defines “Goods Assistance” within the budget? Is this specifically items which fall under the Special Assistance to Individuals category or is there other line items which this includes?
A. Goods Assistance is donated or purchased materials goods or supplies provided to clients. This will need to be included in the Specific Assistance line item in the budget.
Q60. Will the FAU review the application documents submitted and notify the applicant if the documents meet the criteria?
A. FAU will review documents submitted as part of the organization's application. Organizations will be notified after the application date if additional documents are needed and if documents submitted do not meet criteria.
Q61. Is my organization able to utilize TSF funding to provide services if we partner with an agency who utilizes alternate funding to do the same programming as long as there is not a duplication of services and all grant requirements are met?
A. Yes, as long as the organization meets the eligibility criteria found in Section 1.2 and Section 4 of the solicitation.
Q62. Can you please clarify that otherwise eligible nonprofit organizations can submit proposals to the TN Strong Families Program and are not excluded from this solicitation on the basis of their pre-215 “grandfathered” participant status in the Local Government Plan.
A. All applicants for the TN Strong Families Grant Program must satisfy grant provision 4.1.14-- the State Sponsored Insurance Plan Enrollment Clause (a mandatory provision in the CPO grant contract template) in order to be eligible for funding. OCJP/FAU is not involved with eligibility for the Local Government Plan, but only with an agency's eligibility for funding through the grant contracts it administers.
Q63. How many citations do you need for the application?
A. There are no requirements for the number of citations; it's required that you only cite a resource when it is referenced in your application. You can do so by indicating the source in parenthesis.
Q64. Are you able to resubmit the Intent to Apply if you now plan to utilize contracting services but previously indicated “no?"
A. Yes, you can resubmit your Intent to Apply and notify Family.Advocacy.Unit@tn.gov of your resubmission. We will utilize your most recent application.
Q65. Are you able to use TSF funding to request technology upgrades to collect data?
A. Yes, technology upgrades are an allowable expense.
Q66. What happens if we cannot collect data from all the counties we serve for the Problem and Need Section of the Scope of Services?
A. Please use data that is available and applicable to your project in the Problem and Need section of the Scope of Services.
Q67. Are letters of support required for the application?
A. No, letters of support are not required for the application.
Q68. Is SWORPS able to review the application before submission?
A. No; however, SWORPS is available to offer general technical assistance on writing a grant application.
Q69. What is a cost allocation plan?
A. Please see the Grants Manual, Chapter XVI. for more information on cost allocation plans.
Q70. Where do I find my state vendor ID?
A. Agencies with previous state contracts have set up a vendor ID for their agency. If you have not previously contracted with the state and receive a grant, you will be provided with instructions on how to set up a vendor ID in the state system.
Q71. Are administrative costs allowed?
A. Please see Section 4.2 and 4.3 for allowable and unallowable expenses.
Q72. Where can I find more information about indirect costs?
A. Please see the Grants Manual, Chapter XVI. for more information on indirect costs.
Q73. Which section of the budget should "goods assistance” for the clients be designated?
A. This would be designated under “specific assistance to individuals.”
Q74. Is the 1,000,000 and 100,000 maximum request amount the total over the 3 years or per year?
A. It's the maximum request amount over the three years and three months of grant funding.
Q75. Is a program that does not serve pregnant clients exclusively eligible for a TN Strong Families Grant?
A. Yes, so long as eligibility criteria is met as highlighted in section 1.2 and Section 4 in the solicitation.
Q76. If we applied under Support Services Grant, the funds could be for rent/utility assistance and at least 20% of the awarded funds must be used for goods and services including food and baby supplies? How much of the Support Services Grant could be used for Supplies and Assistance items?
A. There is no maximum percentage for goods assistance, but at 20% of grant funds should be allocated for goods assistance.
Q77. Can TSF funds be used to help with rent/mortgage payments, pay for counseling sessions and medical bills for mother or child? Could we use funds for rent or utility assistance for the mother’s current home?
A. Please refer to the “allowable” and “unallowable” section 4.2 and 4.3 of the solicitation.
Q78. Can the grant reimburse the agency for the value of a voucher provided to clients? For example, if an agency provides a client with a voucher valued at $25 to their thrift store, can the grant reimburse the agency for the value of the voucher?
A. No, the TN Strong Families Grant Program is meant to expand or enhance resources and services that are currently being provided to Tennesseans, not replace existing services.
Q79. If a staff member funded by this program offers to pray for the client and they agree, they would need to sign a consent form before we pray with them?
A. All clients receiving services funded by the TN Strong Families Grant Program are required to sign the Acknowledgment of Consent Form that is attached as Exhibit B to the Certification form that is posted on the "Additional Resources" tab of the grant website. This form must be reviewed and signed as a part of client intake. The grant program does not require additional consent forms to be executed by clients unless a client consents to release of information- See, Exhibit A to the Certification Form.
Q80. We have volunteers who directly interact with many clients. However, they are overseen by a staff member. Could we charge the staff member who oversees these volunteers time to these funds?
A. Please refer to Section 4.2.2 of the Solicitation for information regarding allowable use of funds for general salaries and personnel costs.
Q81. Can volunteers pray with the clients without a consent form?
A. All clients receiving services funded by the TN Strong Families Grant Program are required to sign the Acknowledgment of Consent Form that is attached as Exhibit B to the Certification Form that is posted on the "Additional Resources" tab of the grant website. This form must be reviewed and signed as a part of client intake. The grant program does not require additional consent forms to be executed by clients unless a client consents to release of information- See, Exhibit A to the Certification form.
Q82. If we apply under the Supplies and Assistance Grant, we would be able to use the funds for many great resources like food and baby supplies, but NOT for rent or utility assistance payments?
A. Section 1.3.A. of the solicitation provides examples for how the funding can be used. The list in 1.3.A. is not exhaustive. Although not specifically stated in the examples, Supplies and Assistance funds can be used for rent and utility assistance.
Q83. What is the next step after submitting the Intent to Apply?
A. The next step after submitting the Intent to Apply is to submit the application. The application completion check-off list is in Section 2.8. of the solicitation.
Q84. Can these funds be used to help with hiring costs for new staff that will be added onto the grant and assist with cost of background checks, etc.? Where is this indicated on the budget?
A. 4.2.2 of the solicitation states, "Payment of personnel costs are allowable if costs are a part of an approve project and are necessary and incidental to project implementation and operation. Overtime pay will only be approved on a case-by-case basis. and a policy must be provided to FAU." The link to the budget instructions can be found in 2.5 and 2.8 of the solicitation.
Q85. In the budget, where would we classify educational meetings for our clients if it was for more than one client or a group of clients such as a meeting/educational meeting with a lactation consultant?
A. Please see the budget instructions which can be found in 2.5 and 2.8 of the solicitation.
Q86. What is “maximum liability”?
A. The maximum liability is the total amount of the awarded grant.
Q87. Is there a set amount allowed in Indirect Costs for the budgeting process?
A. Please see Chapter XVI. Cost Allocation, Section 7. Instructions for De Minimis Rate Election in the Grants Manual for more information on De minimis rate.
Q88. Is evidence-based programming required?
A. Evidence-based programming is preferred but not required. Section 1.3.B. of the solicitation states, “Applicants are encouraged to use evidence-based or evidence-informed programming to support families.”
Q89. Can we modify the Release of Information form to better suit our organization?
A. All information provided in the sample Release of Information (ROI) must be included, but an agency can modify the ROI by adding additional information specific to their organization such as a letterhead.
Q90. What happens if all funds in the contract are not used?
A. Contracts are reimbursement based. Costs not expended by the agency are not reimbursed through the invoicing process.
Q91. Can funds be used for marketing?
A. Although not specifically listed in Section 4.2 or 4.3 of the solicitation, marketing is allowable so long as it is reasonable, allocable, and necessary to the project and it complies with all requirements in Section 4 of the solicitation.
Q92. In addition to the required documents listed in section 2.8 of the solicitation, can other documents be submitted with the application package?
A: Yes. Required documents for submission are listed in section 2.8 of the solicitation. Organizations may include additional documents with their application package, but it is not required.
Q93. How many Program Managers will be assigned to TN Strong Families Grants?
A. Each agency or contract will typically have one program manager.
Q94. Is the scoring rubric available to the public?
A. As of 11/16/23, the score tool can be found in section 2.2. of the solicitation.
Q95. Is this an all or nothing funding or is there partial funding?
A. Applicants can request less than the maximum amount allowed for each contract type. In addition, occasionally during the allocation process there is funding available for partial funding of the request, but not full funding and the FAU would reach out to the agency to see if they were interested in partial funding.
Q96. Is there reimbursement for grant writing?
A. No. Please see the Grants Manual, Chapter XV, 13. Other Unallowable Expenses and section 2.7. in the solicitation.
Q97. Does staff paid with TN Strong Families grant funds need to be new hires only? Can we still apply for the direct services we provide that are not covered by clients’ TennCare coverage?
A: The TN Strong Families Grant Program is meant to expand or enhance resources and services that are currently being provided to Tennesseans, not replace existing services. Also, see Q78.
Q98. Will surveys collected from clients be the only data required for reporting?
A: Section 6 of the solicitation provides information on reporting requirements. In addition to client outcome reports (survey questions), quarterly and annual reports for outputs (services that are provided to clients) will be required.
Q99. What is the lag time for payouts from the grant?
A: It typically takes approximately 10-20 business days from the time OBF receives the submitted invoice to the time the payment is in the bank. It can take longer if agencies require a paper check or if there are issues/questions with the invoice.
Q100. Do software upgrades count for the goods assistance? Can this include consultant with software costs?
A: No. Software upgrades would not count as goods assistance.
This Page Last Updated: November 30, 2023 at 2:33 PM