U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)
07/30/18 4:30 PM ET Hard Copy Receipt; or 11:59 PM ET Electronic Submission
Grant to a USA nonprofit organization, government agency, tribe, or IHE to provide a nationwide technical assistance and training resource to meet the needs of refugees. Applicants are advised to verify or create the required registrations well in advance of the deadline.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), announces the availability of funds for the creation of a national one-stop source or hub for refugee technical assistance (TA) and training, under the Refugee Technical Assistance Program (RTAP). A maximum of $1.2 million is available, to be competitively awarded through one cooperative agreement under RTAP. This national hub will provide coordinated, innovative TA and training to ORR-funded state refugee programs and ORR-funded refugee service providers, filling gaps where no other such TA and training exists.
The TA provider is expected to foster and engage with a network of subject matter experts in the field, through consultancy or sub-recipient relationships. The overall goal is to equip ORR- funded state refugee programs and ORR-funded refugee service providers with the specialized TA, training, and resources needed to appropriately address barriers that refugees may encounter while trying to access community-based services, education, employment, and specialized care. The TA provider will respond to refugees' unique challenges and needs, and leverage the strengths, talents and capabilities of refugees and their resettlement communities through a strengths-based approach to TA and training. The TA provider is also intended to help ORR-funded refugee service providers measure the quality and effectiveness of their programs and services, and develop communication strategies that reflect the outcomes of the program. The TA provider will conduct regular needs assessments of the field to determine the areas of TA focus, which may include refugee self-sufficiency through employment, trauma-informed refugee health, refugee child and family wellbeing, and program evaluation.
A refugee is a person who is unwilling or unable to return to her or his country of origin due to a well-founded fear of persecution, based on the following protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
U.S. policy allows refugees of special humanitarian concern entrance into the country, reflecting core American values and the tradition of being a safe haven for the oppressed. Since the inception of the refugee resettlement program in 1975, the U.S. has been a leader is welcoming some of the world's most vulnerable refugees, who include women and children at risk of further persecution, survivors of torture and war-related atrocities, and the elderly, among others.
Refugees may arrive in the U.S. from large urban centers with high concentrations of forcibly- displaced persons or from rural refugee camps where adequate nutrition, security, healthcare, education, and employment are severely limited, if available at all. But refugees also bring with them to the U.S. a rich diversity of experience, talent, skills, education, and knowledge that strengthen the fabric of American society.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) helps refugees maximize their potential in the U.S. by linking them to critical resources that assist them in becoming contributing members of American society and provides funding and services for refugees through state governments, national resettlement agencies and their affiliates, and community-based organizations. ORR serves individuals with the following statuses (see 45 CFR § 400.43(a) (1)-(6)) or statutory provisions cited below:
1. Individuals paroled as refugees or asylees under § 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
2. Refugees admitted under § 207 of the INA.
3. Asylees whose status was granted under § 208 of the INA.
4. Cuban and Haitian entrants, in accordance with the requirements in 45 CFR § 401.2
a. Any individual granted parole status as a Cuban/Haitian Entrant (Status Pending) or granted any other special status subsequently established under the immigration laws for nationals of Cuba or Haiti, regardless of the status of the individual at the time assistance or services are provided;
b. A national of Cuba or Haiti who was paroled into the U.S. and has not acquired any other status under the INA and with respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation, or exclusion has not been entered;
c. A national of Cuba or Haiti who is the subject of removal, deportation, or exclusion proceedings under the INA and with respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation, or exclusion has not been entered;
d. A national of Cuba or Haiti who has an application for asylum pending with the Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or Department of Justice/Executive Office for Immigration Review and with respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation or exclusion has not been entered
5. Lawful permanent residents provided the individuals previously held one of the statuses identified above. (Note that this does not refer to Amerasians who are admitted as lawful permanent residents. See #6 below.)
6. Certain Amerasians from Vietnam who are admitted to the United States as immigrants pursuant to § 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988 (as contained in § 101(e) of Pub. L. 100-202), as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1101 note).
7. Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants per section 1244(g) of Div. A of Pub. L. 110-181, as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1157 note) and section 602(b) (8) of Div. F of Pub. L. 118-8, as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1101 note).
8. Victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons per the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106-386, as amended, 22 U.S.C. § 7105(b) (1) (A) and (C).
ORR assistance and services must be provided to refugees without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, or political opinion.
The purpose of ORR’s refugee program is “to provide for the effective resettlement of refugees and to assist them to achieve economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.” A priority within ORR’s refugee resettlement program is the provision of employment services and English language training.
ORR has six guiding principles that aim to assist refugees with accessing mainstream opportunities and resources that are centered on: 1) appropriate placement and services 2) client- centered case management 3) newly-arriving refugees 4) health and mental health services 5) outreach, and 6) data-informed decision making.
ORR-funded state refugee programs and ORR-funded refugee service providers – hereafter referred to as "refugee resettlement providers” – require specialized TA, training, and resources to be able to understand, identify, and respond to the unique challenges and needs that refugees may have during the resettlement period (five years or less after arrival). They must also be able to effectively assist refugees as they access resettlement and community-based services and programs, education, employment, and specialized care.
Historically, RTAP has focused on responding to the needs of refugees and resettlement communities and on providing refugee resettlement providers with the TA, training, and resources needed to effectively serve refugees in a culturally- and linguistically- appropriate way. During the last funding cycle, RTAP concentrated on: 1) developing tools and resources to enhance services to refugees and create opportunities for increased community engagement, 2) creating mechanisms to support the path to refugee economic self-sufficiency, and 3) increasing the overall organizational capacity of service providers to meet the needs of incoming refugee populations.
ORR has funded TA providers to focus on a range of issues, including housing access, mental healthcare, civic participation, economic development support, and more. Over time, RTAP has built an active professional network of experts who have contributed to a growing repository of refugee-specific resources and tools, developed by ORR’s TA providers.
Goals and Objectives:
With this funding opportunity, the goal of RTAP is to build on the existing expertise in the field and create a national one-stop source or hub to provide innovative and specialized TA, training, and resources to refugee resettlement providers so that they are able to effectively help refugees maximize their potential in the U.S. and become contributing members of American society. The objectives of the program are to:
1. Strengthen the capacity of refugee resettlement providers to provide evidence-and strengths- based services to refugees and to effectively address barriers that refugees may face in accessing mainstream and specialized services, education, and employment;
2. Help refugee service providers measure the quality and effectiveness of their programs and services; and
3. Develop and promote communication strategies and messaging around data for refugee resettlement providers to reflect the impact of ORR’s Refugee Program.
RTAP Design and Delivery:
The creation of a new TA and training hub will be national in scope and focus. RTAP will serve as a one-stop source for refugee-related TA, training, information, resources, and research and will reach a multi-disciplinary audience of refugee resettlement providers that may include social services staff, healthcare professionals, program administrators, educators, researchers, community leaders and liaisons, state government administrators, business owners and leaders, etc. RTAP TA and trainings will be designed for professionals who work with linguistically- and culturally-diverse refugee populations.
In order to reach RTAP’s stated objectives, there are three key areas of focus that must be incorporated in the program: knowledge development and management, professional skills- building, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E).
Knowledge Development and Management:
RTAP will develop a knowledge management strategy that will focus on fostering information- sharing of emergent and prominent issues in the field and of emerging, promising, and best practices in refugee service provision, across disciplines. RTAP will promote and build upon the existing repository of refugee-related resources, tools, information, and research that target the three objectives of the program.
As part of a knowledge management strategy, the following required RTAP activities must be implemented and managed throughout the project period:
1. Create and maintain an RTAP-specific website for the refugee resettlement field that includes web sections on the main domains of refugee service provision (e.g., refugee health, refugee children and youth, refugee employment and career development, etc.) and houses web-based trainings and e-learning modules, newly-developed and existing refugee-related resources, tools, information, bibliographies, manuals, publications, and research. The website will also contain a clearinghouse with emerging, promising, and best practices in refugee service provision, as well as information on evidence-based programming and services.
2. Use of web-based platforms for its TA and training activities, which may include webinars, podcasts, online courses, e-consultations, coordination of online Communities of Practice, etc. Web-based trainings developed under RTAP must be recorded and stored on the RTAP website.
3. Write one literature review during the project period on the state-of-the-science of a refugee- specific topic (e.g., interventions for refugee children and youth) to contribute to the thought leadership in the field. RTAP will seek publication of the article in an external peer-reviewed journal.
4. Create and manage a national advisory panel, made of refugee resettlement experts, including current or former refugee(s), to advise RTAP on the direction of its TA and training activities and to represent the needs and interests of the field. The panel will consist of eight to ten members, including an ORR representative, and will meet remotely each quarter to discuss TA initiatives as well as refugee resettlement trends and needs. RTAP will collaborate with ORR in selecting panel members.
The first RTAP objective is to strengthen the capacity of refugee resettlement providers to provide evidence-and strengths-based services to refugees and to effectively address barriers that refugees may face in accessing mainstream and specialized services, education, and employment (see Section I. Program Overview, Goals and Objectives). Working to develop and improve the professional skills (clinical, managerial, organizational, evaluation, etc.) of refugee resettlement providers is essential to building and sustaining healthy organizations and to providing strong services to refugees. TA and training activities in this area can be designed for a range of disciplines and positions within refugee resettlement organizations – from clinical staff, to paraprofessionals, to managers – and should be determined by regular needs assessments. For example, an ORR-funded Preferred Communities grantee that focuses on case management may need to incorporate a more clinical or resilience-based approach to its service provision in order to best meet the needs of its target population and provide more evidence- based programming. RTAP can provide assistance by conducting a web-based training on strengths-based refugee case management in order help build the professional skills of the grantee organization.
RTAP activities centered on professional skills-building may include providing TA and training on the following:
1. Management strategies to improve work culture, services to refugees, and employee wellness, satisfaction, and performance.
2. Professional skills-building of refugee service providers (e.g., training on writing effective case notes).
3. Compliance-related issues identified through ORR’s monitoring initiative.
4. Expanding an organization’s relationships and resources to facilitate sustainability and to reduce breakdowns in referrals.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
The second and third RTAP objectives are to help refugee service providers measure the quality and effectiveness of their programs and services and to effectively communicate the outcomes of ORR’s Refugee Program. Supporting refugee service providers through M&E TA and training is an essential component to RTAP. For example, a national voluntary agency may wish to evaluate the design, implementation, quality, value, and outcomes of a specific program or service area (e.g., refugee health services) of its affiliates or sub-agencies. Through RTAP, the agency can participate in targeted TA that focuses on using its data to improve its programming or services.
RTAP activities centered on M&E may include providing TA and training on the following:
1. Conducting internal needs assessments.
2. Creating evidence-based Theories of Change.
3. Tools and resources needed to conduct research on refugee services.
4. Data visualization.
5. Effectively communicating state-level refugee services outcomes. 6. Data management tools.
7. Outcomes analysis.
8. Adapting or modifying evidence-based practices for refugee populations.
The provision of TA and training is an ongoing process that works in collaboration with the field, and RTAP must be flexible to respond to the dynamic needs of the refugee resettlement network. RTAP activities should be based on data from ongoing, comprehensive needs assessments throughout the funding cycle, around the following broad areas: refugee self- sufficiency through employment, trauma- informed refugee health, refugee child and family wellbeing, and program evaluation. The needs assessments should serve as a foundation in the development of TA and training work plans and subsequent activities. Needs assessments should be conducted with refugee resettlement providers (national voluntary agencies and their affiliates/sub-agencies, state funded refugee programs, and other ORR-funded grantees) as well as ORR staff and may include: surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc. (Note that conducting needs assessments with ORR staff does not constitute providingTA to ORR staff, which is not allowable under RTAP.)
RTAP Internal Monitoring and Evaluation:
ORR expects meaningful outcomes of RTAP activities provided and wants to know how effective the program is in reaching its objectives.
RTAP’s design must be aligned with ORR’s Six Guiding Principles and be based on a strong and detailed evidence-based Theory of Change (ToC). A ToC is a type of logic model that shows “if...then” relationships. It highlights causal linkages among activities/approaches, outputs, outcomes, and objectives. The ToC logic model should identify the following:
1. Inputs: The resources required to operate the TA and training program;
2. Activities: The activities planned once resources are in place;
3. Outputs: The number of participants reached or amount of activities/services offered
once planned activities are successfully accomplished; and
4. Outcomes: The changes or benefits that result from the TA and training program. These outcomes may be immediate, intermediate, or long-term.
RTAP will implement an internal M&E plan of its TA and training activities (i.e., the program’s internal practices) and collect and manage program data.
ORR defines monitoring as a continuous and systematic approach to collecting and analyzing a program’s progress/activities against developed benchmarks, and it involves making adjustments to a project’s plan when necessary, based on the data reviewed. One example of TA and training monitoring may involve tracking the development and distribution of TA and training materials and resources. Evaluation is a systematic assessment of the design, implementation, quality, value, and outcomes of a program. One example of TA and training evaluation may involve measuring the knowledge gains of participants during trainings.
RTAP’s internal M&E plan must include a logframe, which is another type of logic model that details (at a more micro level than a ToC) the program’s objectives, activities, outputs and outcomes, but also includes key indicators, data sources and assumptions made about the program design. Assumptions should be based on research, where possible.
GrantWatch ID#: 156127
Expected Number of Awards: 1
-Award Ceiling: $1,200,000 Per Budget Period
-Award Floor: $900,000 Per Budget Period
-Average Projected Award Amount: $1,200,000 Per Budget Period
The anticipated project start date is September 30, 2018.
The grant covers a 48-month project period with four 12-month budget periods.
Awards for the second, third, and fourth 12-month budget periods will be made subsequent to approval of Non-Competing Continuation applications and will be subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress by the grantee, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the federal government.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Program Office Contact:
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Division of Refugee Assistance
330 C Street SW., Room 5123
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 205-3982
Office of Grants Management Contact:
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
Division of Discretionary Grants
330 C Street SW., 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 401-4577
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