General Information

2006-2008 Child Welfare Services Plan "Making a World of Difference"

To: Prospective Welfare Service Providers
From: James W. Payne, Director
         M.B. Lippold, Deputy Director Program Services

Date: November 15, 2005

The Child Welfare Services Plan for July 1, 2006 through December 31, 2008 is ready for distribution. The intent is to ensure that every county has access to every service regardless of the funding stream whether federal, state, or county funds. Agencies submitting Request for Funding Proposal must agree to provide services in a manner described in the Child Welfare Services Plan for 2006-2008. Therefore it is extremely important that all agencies submitting proposals thoroughly read the document prior to preparing their proposal. The regional allocations will only include IV-B Part II, SSBG, Chafee IL, CBCAP, and Kids First Trust Fund funds. County funds from the Family and Children Fund and Child Welfare Fund will be available for the entire period of the contracts that develop from this RFP. Grantees submitting Request for Funding Proposals agree that County Funding will be considered the payer of last resort except in those instances where it is indicated otherwise. The funding is a projection of anticipated appropriations from Federal, State and Local sources. If the appropriations are less than anticipated, adjustments in the contracts may be necessary. Since the funding is coming from different sources, payment may be made from the state and/or local level.

Payment for the services will be at the local level and at the state level depending on the service provided, eligibility of the service for a particular funding, and where the resource is located. The funding is a projection of anticipated appropriations from Federal, State and Local sources. If the appropriations are less than anticipated, adjustments in the contracts may be necessary. Reimbursement to the county for funds expended to provide intensive family preservation services and intensive family reunification services will occur by the state and the allocation for each county will be provider at a later date.

Those agencies interested in proposing for the intensive preservation and reunification services may wish to propose for both services to prevent capacity problems. Those agencies who receive contracts to provide these services will be provided training through the State on the HOMEBUILDERS® model to prepare them for this service provision separate from the contract. The period of time required to train staff is included in the service standard billing unit as program development.

Questions related to the RFP
All questions regarding information in the RFP must be submitted in writing by November 30th to or Written answers to the questions will be posted to the website for review by December 7th. Proposals must be mailed to the Child Welfare Coordinators with a postmark on or before December 22nd to be considered. Technical questions related to the use of the Excel spreadsheets only may be directed to the Child Welfare Coordinators.

Staff Qualifications
If an agency’s staff person does not meet the minimum qualifications but the agency wishes to pursue approval of a particular staff person, the agency must submit a request with the proposal stating the qualifications and experience of the staff person along with a plan for the person to meet the minimum qualifications in a given period of time. If approval is given, it is for that particular individual only. If the individual resigns from the position with the agency, the agency shall then hire a person with appropriate qualifications for the position. If a staff person with appropriate qualifications cannot be located, the same process described above must occur before payment may be made.

Submission of the proposal and checklist
The proposal format and budget justification sheets are new and must be completed according to the instructions. The budget justification sheets are set up in Excel to make the budget easier to complete. If Excel is not available, the budget justification sheets are also available in WORD documents. Prior to submitting the proposal, it is vital that the proposal is reviewed using the checklist to ensure that all required information is included. Please check the box in column B on the left side of the checklist to verify that the information required for each item is included. This completed checklist must be included with the proposal.

Applicants are to mail one (1) copy of their completed proposal to the DCS County Director, one (1) copy to the DCS Regional Manager, and the original and one (1) copy to the Regional Child Welfare Service Coordinator that they are proposing to serve. The Child Welfare Service Coordinator will notify the Regional Services Council of all the completed proposals that are received from the providers on or before the submission deadline. Proposals that are not postmarked by the DCS Regional Child Welfare Services Coordinator on the deadline date will not be considered.

If the following information is not included, the proposal will be returned to the agency by the Child Welfare Coordinator for completion and return within 5 days.

  1. Staff that do not meet minimum qualifications or staff not present in the proposal.
  2. Cover page of the proposal or assurances are not signed.
  3. Budget is not present or not on the required forms. Budget includes unallowable costs.
  4. Proposal narrative is not present or does not follow required guidelines.
  5. Unit rates are not defined or justified on the budget pages.
  6. MBE/WBE or waiver is not present.

NOTE: All contractors and subcontractors must register with the Secretary of State of Indiana in order to be considered for a State contract.

HIGHLIGHTS of the Child Welfare Services Plan:

New service standards have been included as well as enhancements to other standards. Please review the service standards in order to be apprised of the changes and or additions to each standard. Even though additional service standards have been developed, this does not preclude counties from developing other therapeutic models using Evidence Based Models such as wraparound programs like the Dawn Project in Marion County and the Circle of Care in Lake County.

  1. Contract will begin on July 1, 2006 and end on December 31, 2008. Contracts are moving to a calendar year. The first year of the contract will be from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007 and the second year will be from July 1, 2007 to December 31, 2008.
  2. The Child Welfare Coordinators contracts are being amended to adjust the counties to match the realigned regions that each coordinator will manage since their contracts run through June 30, 2007. The Regional Child Welfare Services Coordinator service standards have been removed since this will be in a separate RFP through IDOA in 2007
  3. Since the Budget Justification Sheets have been included in this RFP, guidelines for unit rates have been removed. Proposed rates are expected to cover the costs of proposed services and to be usual and customary rates for the type of service, qualifications of staff, and the geographic location of families to be served. The Service Standards include definitions of billable units. The proposals will be scored accordingly.
  4. The score sheet has been revised to follow the format of the proposals with a greater emphasis on cost and that the proposing agency has had an acceptable working relationship with the local DCS or other community agencies, if there is no prior relationship with the DCS.
  5. Program Specification Sheets are no longer included since the DCS is working to establish a core of services that are to be accessible to all counties within all Regions. The Service Standards include much of the information that was previous communicated through the specification sheets including target populations and objectives.
  6. Qualifications of the service provider who provides direct service and supervision has been changed from previous qualifications on some of the service standards.
  7. Prevention services have been included in the plan this year which are funded through Kids First Trust Fund, CBCAP, Child Welfare Fund and the Family and Children Fund.
  8. Custody studies and Step-Parent Adoptions are combined into a service standard separate from Foster Home Studies/Updates/Relicensing Studies.
  9. New service standards that have been developed and are listed below.
    • Diagnostic Evaluation Services and Parenting/Family Functioning Assessment are now two separate service standards.
    • Substance Abuse Assessment, Treatment, and Monitoring
    • Home-Based Intensive Family Preservation Services
    • Home-Based Intensive Family Reunification Services
    • Functional Family Therapy
    • CHINS Parent Support Services
    • Parent Education
    • Family Case Conferencing
    • Communities for Child Safety prevention services
  10. HOMEBUILDERS® training will be provided throughout the state for agencies receiving grants to provide the Home-Based Intensive Family Preservation Services and Home-Based Intensive Family Reunification Services.
  11. The Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA) is the only assessment tool that may be used for Independent Living to provide consistency across the state with regard to outcomes for youth.
  12. Since the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) requires the youth to take responsibility for their own IL Plan, the requirement to develop a mentoring program (which has been very difficult and costly for providers) for Independent Living has been changed to allow the youth to select their own mentor with guidance and monitoring by the CFCIP contracted service provider. Mentors will be volunteers only. While mentors fill a much needed role for the youth, the youth’s participation is paramount.
  13. Former foster youth between ages 18 and 21 requesting CFCIP services must have been in foster care for at least 6 months with a case plan indicating IL as a needed service to be eligible for IL case management services while CHINS or Probation youth. The age at which youth are to be referred for Chafee services has been raised to age 16 and the emancipation goods and services has been capped at $1000 with additional funds possibly being made available due to extenuating circumstances.
  14. Youth Advisory Boards have been previously funded through 13 sites of which 2 have not held meetings and others have had difficulty developing programs. The number of sites has been reduced to 10 with sites in the following counties: Lake, St. Joseph, Allen, Tippecanoe, Marion, Delaware, Vigo, Vanderburgh, Harrison, and Bartholomew. Youth may participate in the board that is geographically convenient.

Before contracts are moved through the signature process they must pass review by the Department of Workforce Development and Department of Revenue. If any agency accepted for a contract has unpaid unemployment insurance or unpaid taxes to the State, their contracts will be held up until these issues are resolved. It is extremely important that all agencies are aware of this review to prevent any delay in the contracts being fully executed.