Opioid-Impacted Family Support Program (OIFSP) FAQs

  1. Application Submission
  2. Applicant Eligibility
  3. Accreditation
  4. Use of OIFSP Funds
  5. Experiential Field Placements
  6. Apprenticeships
  7. Funding Preference and Priority
  8. General

Applicant Submission

  1. I wish to submit an application to the OIFSP, how do we access the full announcement?
    Access the application.
    Click on the “package” tab. You will see two hyperlinks next to the opportunity: Preview and Apply. 
    Select Preview, then click Download Instructions, and you should have access to the full funding opportunity.
  2. Do all attachments count towards the page limit?
    Yes, all non-OMB required attachments count toward the page limit.
    Print the application in its entirety, including the attachments, to ensure that the application does not exceed the 70-page limit. 
    Standard OMB-approved forms that are included in the workspace application package do not count in the page limit.  Biographical sketches do count in the page limit. 
    Take appropriate measures to ensure your application does not exceed the specified page limit.  If an application goes over the page limit, it will be non-responsive and will not go forward for panel review.
  3. Where do I find instructions about font size and other format requirements?
    You can find formatting instructions in HRSA’s SF-424 R&R Application Guide (PDF - 837 KB). 
  4. If an attachment is not applicable, should we skip that number in the attachment section or renumber the attachments?
    Please do not renumber the attachments. Submit attachments with the numbers specified in the NOFO.
  5. Can an application have more than one Program Director/Program Investigator?
    HRSA only recognizes one Program Director/Program Investigator, who will be accountable to HRSA.  However, applicants may identify multiple key personnel in their proposal.
  6. When does the OIFSP funding opportunity close?
    This funding opportunity closes on Monday, April 13, 2020, at 11:59 PM ET.
  7. Are Letters of Support required for this grant application?
    No. Letters of support are not required for OIFSP, but applicants may submit them as applicable.
    If you choose to submit a letter of support, include it as Attachment 9. See page 25 of the NOFO for more details. 
  8. The SF424 R&R Application Packet has a section on human subjects.  Is this required for this grant?
    No.  HRSA-20-014 is a health workforce education and training grant and there are no human subject requirements for this funding. 
  9. What should the logic model include?
    A logic model is a one-page diagram that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the links among program elements (Per NOFO).
    A logic model must contain the activities and processes and must summarize the connections between the goals of the project, assumptions, inputs, target population, activities, outputs, and outcomes. 
    Access additional information on developing logic models.
  10. How is a logic model different from work plan?
    A logic model is not a work plan, although there similarities.
    A work plan is an “action” guide with a timeline used during program implementation; the work plan provides the “how to” steps.
    A logic model is a visual diagram that demonstrates an overview of the relationships between:
    You can find information on how to distinguish between a logic model and work plan.
  11. Should I apply for the Training and Apprenticeship strategies together or separately if I was applying in a partnership with an organization?
    Submit only one application for both the training component and apprenticeship component if you are applying in a partnership with an organization.
    • 1. Resources and inputs
    • Implementation strategies and activities
    • Desired outputs and outcomes in a project
    • You can find information on how to distinguish between a logic model and work plan.

Applicant Eligibility

  1. If a training placement does not serve a high need, high demand population or area, would an application be eligible?
    No. You must have the ability to recruit and place students, as described on page 7 of the NOFO, in training sites that are located in high need, high demand areas.
    As noted in Review Criterion 1 (page 29), applicants that partner with at least one Level I (Pre-service) training site located in high need, high demand areas, as listed in Table 1 in Attachment 4, will receive up to 10 points.
  2. Are federally recognized tribes eligible applicants?
    Eligible applicants include state-licensed mental health nonprofit and for-profit organizations (see definition in Section VIII of the NOFO).  Please reference pages ii and 6-7 of the NOFO.
    Organizations must be able to support programs for pre-service or in-service training of paraprofessional child, adolescent and transitional-aged youth mental health workers. 
    For the purpose of this NOFO, organizations may include:
  3. Does a training site need to have both a county Mental Health HPSA and a facility HPSA score of 16 or above?
    No. A training site does not have to have both a county Mental Health HPSA and a facility HPSA score of 16 or above.
    If you with at least one Level I (Pre-service) training site located in high need, high demand areas, as listed in Table 1 in Attachment 4, will receive up to 10 points. Please refer to page 29 of the NOFO.
  4. Are existing HRSA grantees ineligible for this grant? If our trainees receive stipends under BHWET or OWEP-Paraprofessionals are they eligible to receive stipends under OIFSP?
    Existing HRSA grant recipients may apply as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.
    Stipends are not an allowable cost in the current BHWET and OWEP paraprofessional programs.  Participants who are receiving participant support by a HRSA training grant may not receive concurrent participant support from another HRSA grant.
  5. Our state has an agency that specifically certifies and funds SUD prevention, treatment, recovery, and training programs.  Would nonprofits certified by this state agency be eligible to apply?
    Yes. Entities must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education or be approved by the state government to provide a behavioral health-related paraprofessional certificate program. 
    Applicants must provide a copy of their active accreditation or active approval from the state government as Attachment 6.
  6. Are academic institutions eligible to apply? Is only limited to licensed state mental health agencies?
    Academic institutions and licensed state mental health agencies are eligible to apply.  Please refer to pages ii and 6 of the NOFO.
    For the purpose of this NOFO, organizations may include:
    • Academic institutions
      • universities
      • community colleges
      • technical schools
    • Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations
    • Tribes and tribal organizations.
  7. If we are a Behavioral Health Service Organization (BHSO) nonprofit provider, can we apply for the grant and be the apprenticeship site?
    Yes. BHSO providers are eligible to apply as long as they meet the eligibility criteria in the NOFO.  The BHSO may also be an apprenticeship site as long as the apprenticeship program is registered with the Department of Labor or with a State Apprenticeship Agency.
  8. Are eligible applicants EITHER or BOTH: State-licensed mental health nonprofit and for-profit organizations?  In other words can an applicant be either a licensed mental health agency, or an academic institution, or must it be a partnership?  Either or both?
    Eligible applicants can be either a state-licensed mental health nonprofit or for profit organization or an academic institution, or both.

Accreditation

  1. Do individual programs have to have a specialized accreditation to apply?
    Programs must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education, or must be approved by the state government to provide a behavioral health-related paraprofessional certificate program. Applicants must provide a copy of their active accreditation or active approval from the state government as Attachment 6.
    Please refer to page 7 of the NOFO.
  2. We are in the process of applying for accreditation, but we will not have our official accreditation letter until after the NOFO deadline. Can we still apply?
    No. Applicants must be accredited at the time of their application submission and provide documentation of their institution’s accreditation letter as Attachment 6.
  3. Our state does not recognize any particular peer support training.  We provide training for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, which is a Federal program, and a number of non-profits.  Do we qualify?
    Eligible entities must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education, or must be approved by the state government to provide a behavioral health-related paraprofessional certificate program.
    Applicants must provide a copy of their active accreditation or active approval from the state government as Attachment 6.
  4. Would community health workers be an acceptable paraprofessional for this announcement?
    Yes. Eligible entities must offer a certificate to the trainees upon completion of a program in a paraprofessional behavioral health related field. 
  5. How do we know if our paraprofessional certificate program is eligible to apply?
    Eligible certificate programs must be approved by the state government and must already offer at least one certificate program in a behavioral health-related paraprofessional field, including, but not limited to:
    • Community health worker
    • Outreach worker
    • Social services aide
    • Mental health worker
    • Substance abuse/addictions counselor
    • Promotoro/a, youth worker
    • Peer counselor

    Applicants must provide a copy of their active accreditation or active approval from the state government as Attachment 6.

  6. We have a program that would be interested in developing a paraprofessional certificate program. However, the certificate is not in place currently. They can begin the development as soon as possible, but how long before the certificate program must be an official program?
    To be eligible, the paraprofessional certificate program must already exist. 
    Via this NOFO, HRSA aims to expand such programs to include more behavioral health related content and curricula, as well as hands-on learning in the form of field placements.

Use of Funds - Infrastructure

  1. Can applicants use funds to develop a new program that included internships? Does the program already have to be in place and funds are used to expand it?
    Applicants must be accredited at the time of their application submission and provide documentation of their institution’s accreditation letter as Attachment 6 (Per NOFO).
    Applicants cannot use funds to develop a completely new program.
  2. Will budget allow for purchase of hardware, software for participant trainees and faculty?
    Yes. The purchase of hardware for participant trainees and faculty are allowable costs.
    If the hardware or software meets the definition of “supplies”, then any supply cost for program participants’ use in their training may be allocated out the participant supply portion.  Supply costs for the recipients’ use must be allocated out of the 50% administrative costs.

Use of Funds - Stipends/Tuition Support

  1. Will these funds pay for health insurance cost for the stipend recipient?
    Health insurance is an allowable cost for participant trainees.  Applicants may include trainee health insurance in the budget. However, the costs would have to be allocated out of the admin portion, not the allowed participant trainee support costs (tuition/fees, supplies and stipend), unless health insurance is a required fee for student registration.
    If the health insurance is classified as a required fee for student registration, in accordance with institutional policies and procedures, the health insurance fee may be included in the participant support allocation.
    HRSA Grant Recipients may not offset the amount of stipends for tuition, fees, health insurance, or other costs associated with the training program. 
    The OIFSP grant does not set rules for how trainees expend their stipends.  Trainees have the latitude to spend the stipend funds as they deem reasonable.
    Example: Costs associated with housing, transportation and health care.
  2. Can the administrative and management portion of the budget support staff or faculty salaries?
    Yes. Over the course of the four years, up to 50 percent of funding is for administrative and management activities including 8% indirect costs and other expenses that support the programmatic requirements as described in this NOFO.
  3. How much total from the OIFSP funding can a trainee receive?
    Trainees in paraprofessional (pre-service) receive up to $8,000 total, including $5,000 for stipends and $3,000 for tuition, fees and supplies.
    If the trainee enters into an apprenticeship (in-service), they may receive $7,500 for up to four years.
  4. Could an agency serve multi counties across the state?
    Yes. An agency may serve multiple counties across the state.
  5. What needs to be included in the student letter of commitment? Are they required from each applicant?
    Yes. All applicants must include, as Attachment 7, a sample student letter of commitment.  Refer to page 25 of the NOFO for the student commitment letter requirements.
  6. What does the Student Support Disbursement Plan need to include?
    You must include a disbursement plan for the provision of stipend support.
    The plan must include at a minimum the disbursement schedule/rate of that support and should be consistent with the institution’s policies and procedures (Per NOFO). 
  7. My organization does not have a structured tuition and fee rate. We charge a small fee for the certificate, but it does not cover the cost of the training instructors or course materials for instructors.  How do we budget for tuition and fee costs?
    Applicant organizations that do not have a formal tuition and fee structure can still apply for this opportunity. 
    You must clearly itemize all of the costs that go into calculating the unstructured tuition and fee rate, total the costs and provide a cost per trainee, which cannot exceed the NOFO stated levels. 
    Example: This might include:
    • Cost for instructors
    • Instructor materials and supplies
    • Facility use cost for trainees
    • Cost of issuing a certificate, etc. 

    Note: This cannot include project staff, project staff travel, trainee supplies, trainee travel, and other trainee related costs.
    Experiential Field Placement Sites (Pre-Service Training)

  8. In regards to Table 1, Attachment 4, we anticipate partnering with multiple experiential field placement sites. Should we list all of these training sites within Attachment 4, or only select a few sites to highlight?
    You must list all of the experiential field placement sites in Table 1.
  9. Given the page count, do we need to include Letters of Agreement (LOA) for all training sites we will be using, or should we pick several to highlight?  We anticipate potentially 15 training sites.  Is there any specific language the LOA's need to include?
    LOAs for all training sites need to be included and will go towards the applicant’s page count. 
    In the past, applicants have formatted more than one LOA onto one page of their application.  All LOAs must be legible.  Refer to Attachment 2 of the NOFO for specific language of the LOAs.
  10. Do field placement sites need to be HRSA-funded sites?
    No. Field placement sites are not required to be HRSA-funded sites.
    Experiential training sites must participate in integrated, interprofessional team based practices with a special focus on Level I pre-service training in a behavioral health-related paraprofessional field.  Refer to Page 8 of the NOFO.
    Applicants must submit agreements and/or contracts with the experiential training sites that meet these criteria in Attachment 2.

Apprenticeships (In-Service Training)

  1. Where can I get assistance in starting an apprenticeship program?
    Here is a great resource for assisting in starting an apprenticeship program.
  2. Can I partner with any apprenticeship? Am I able to partner with more than one registered apprenticeship program?
    Yes. You may partner with more than one apprenticeship program, but each apprenticeship program an applicant partners with must be registered with the Department of Labor or State Apprenticeship Agency. 
    Refer to the Partner Finder if you are seeking to partner with a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor or Training Provider.
    You can access a list of apprentice programs by state.
    Refer to the Partner Finder on the Apprenticeship website to become a Registered Apprenticeship or to partner with one.
  3. How do trainees enter into a registered apprenticeship program?
    Grant recipients will determine which trainees will be eligible for an apprenticeship and may refer a trainee to receive in-service training.
    Trainees may receive training by entering into a registered apprenticeship.
  4. What is the duration of Level II in-service training?
    The duration of a Level II in-service training will be a minimum of 12 months.
    The recipient is required to track the apprenticeship status of the apprentice.
  5. Do I need to submit MOUs with registered apprenticeship sites at the time of application?
    No. You do not need to submit an MOU with the registered apprenticeship sites at the time of application. 
    You will be allowed a maximum of 12 months from the date of your notice of award to develop an MOU and submit it to HRSA.
  6. Is it a requirement for all trainees to enroll in registered apprenticeship program?
    The recipient will aim for at least 50 percent of the Level I pre-service program completers to enter into a registered apprenticeship program (Level II in-service training). 
  7. Where can we find information about state specific contacts for apprenticeship?
    You may find information regarding state-specific contracts for apprenticement at: https://www.doleta.gov/OA/contactlist.cfm.
  8. The NOFO says, “each full-time trainee may receive $7,500 per year and $3,750 per year for part time trainees, for each level of training attained, up to a maximum of four (4) years.” Where can we find more information about various levels of training?
    Refer to pages 3-5 of the NOFO provide information regarding the various levels of training. 
    Level I pre-service training consists of two components: didactic training and hands-on learning in the form of experiential field placements to understand specific concerns of the targeted population in OUD and other SUD prevention treatment and recovery services. 
    Level II in-service training refers to the apprenticeship portion of the training.

Funding Preference and Priority

  1. How do I meet the funding priority?
    HRSA will give priority to any applicant whose training emphasizes the role of the family and the lived experience of the consumer and family-paraprofessional partnership. 
    Applicants that meet the criteria for the priority will have an additional 5 points added to the final score.  HRSA staff will determine whether applicants meet the funding priority.  In order to qualify, applicants must provide supporting information and data in Attachment 11.
  2. Is there a funding preference for this NOFO?
    Yes.  This funding opportunity includes a funding preference for any qualified applicant above the 20th percentile of proposals that was recommended for approval by peer review groups that:
    • Has a high rate for placing graduates in practice settings having the principle focus of serving residents of underserved communities
    • Demonstrates a significant increase in the rate of placing graduates in such settings.

    To qualify for the funding preference, you must clearly indicate in the Project Abstract the funding preference for which you are applying and provide supporting information and data in Attachment 11.

General

  1. Is there an emphasis on rural settings?
    Yes.  The purpose of the NOFO is to develop and expand the behavioral health workforce serving populations across the lifespan, including in rural and medically underserved areas.
  2. Will the grant fund paraprofessionals to provide services to the children of persons with OUD and SUD and the persons with OUD and SUD? I thought the focus was on services provided to children.
    The grant will fund paraprofessionals to provide services to the whole family.
    The purpose of this program is to support training programs that expand the number of peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessionals to work with families affected by opioid and other substance use disorders.
    A special focus is on demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the specific concerns for children, adolescents and transitional aged youth in high need and high demand areas who are at risk for mental health disorders and SUDs.
  3. Is there a minimum number of trainees to develop?
    No. There is not a minimum number of trainees to develop. 
    Programs must increase the number of paraprofessionals trained by a minimum of 10 percent in year 1 and maintain that level each year of the 4-year project period. 
    Example: A program with a baseline of 10 trainees will increase the capacity to 11 thus training at least 11 trainees annually for the 4-year project period.
  4. Where can I find the list of MUCs (Medically Underserved Communities)?
    Here is a list of MUCs.
  5. If you are training several different types of paraprofessionals, example: recovery coaches, promotoro/as, would you need different curriculums?
    It is up to an applicant’s institution to decide what curriculum to use for each paraprofessional occupation. 
    Note: All trainees will receive education and training on integrated, interprofessional teams to provide direct care services to families and individuals including children whose parents or guardians impacted by OUD and other SUD.
  6. What is the targeted age for the children in this NOFO?
    Children are persons under 18 years old. 
    The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an adolescent as any person between ages 10 and 19. 
    Transitional-aged youth are individuals who are 16-24 years old, falling in between older adolescence (15-16) and young adulthood (24-26).
  7. Would we have to become registered with our state as a DOL approved apprenticeship site?
    Yes. You may develop your own registered apprenticeship program or establish a partnership with an existing registered apprenticeship program that has registered with the Department of Labor or with a State Apprenticeship Agency.
Date Last Reviewed:  February 2020