FAQs: Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) Paraprofessional

Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-19-089

Applicant Submission

  1. How can I obtain a copy of the full notice of funding opportunity (NOFO)?
  2. I am having trouble printing the NOFO. Can you help me?
  3. Do all attachments count towards the page limit?
  4. Where do I find instructions about font size and other format requirements?
  5. Are Letters of Support required for this grant application?
  6. If an attachment is not applicable, should we skip that number in the attachment section or renumber the attachments?
  7. The SF424 R&R Application Packet has a section on human subjects. Is this required for this grant?
  8. What should the logic model include?
  9. Can an application have more than one Program Director/Program Investigator?

Applicant Eligibility

  1. New York State has an agency that specifically certifies and funds SUD prevention, treatment, recovery, and training programs: (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). Would nonprofits certified by OASAS be eligible to apply?
  2. Please clarify what the term ‘institution” means for purposes of eligibility.
  3. Are only mental health organizations eligible to apply?
  4. Can current BHWET grantees apply for funding under the FY 2019 OWEP PARA program?
  5. 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?
  6. Would community health workers be an acceptable paraprofessional for this announcement?
  7. Would an undergraduate program qualify as paraprofessional? Specifically, do undergrad program in Social Work that does lead to licensed bachelor in SW qualify? There is licensure for BSW in our state.
  8. Are eligible applicants EITHER, or BOTH: State-licensed mental health nonprofit and for-profit organizations? In other words can they be either a licensed mental health agency, or an academic institution, or must it be a partnership? Either or both?
  9. Are public institutes of higher education eligible to apply for the OWEP Paraprofessionals Certificate Track?
  10. How do we know if our paraprofessional certificate program is eligible to apply?
  11. We have two certificate programs that are related to behavioral health fields but are not explicitly stated in the eligibility section, so I wanted to check on our eligibility. Additionally, would it be a requirement of the certificate program that field experience is included as a term of receiving the certification?
  12. 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?
  13. I am a newly non for profit organization that provides resources and social services to moms and pregnant women as well as their children that are diagnosed and exposed to Opioids. I have a small staff that provides case- management services that includes multiple referrals to community-based service providers to ensure that both mother and child can gain resource within the community such as medical treatment; behavioral services, prescribed medication, developmental and pediatric services, etc. Can I apply for this grant?

Accreditation

  1. We are a community organization and we provide training for paraprofessionals within one of our state organizations. Would documentation from the state organization satisfy that accreditation process or are you looking for something more specific?
  2. We belong to a consortium of three programs. Two are accredited, and one is working on accreditation. Can the consortium apply for all three programs?

Use of Funds - Infrastructure

  1. Is health insurance for trainees an allowable expense?
  2. What allowable costs can be charged to the grant? What percentage of funding can be allocated to administrative and management costs of the program?
  3. We are a state university. Would we use our negotiated cost agreement rate or the 8%?
  4. Can the 8% indirect be taken from the 70% of the budget?
  5. Is the training grant for behavioral health targeted to existing programs or can funds be used to help establish a new track?
  6. Could funds be used to develop a new program, which would include internships? Or, must the program already be in place and funds used to expand it?

Use of Funds – Student Support Activities

  1. Just to verify - the expectation is that 60-70 students (max $210,000) will be supported at $3,000, with only a max of $90,000 available to support training, job placement, field placement support, in-service training at sites, etc.?
  2. Can the administrative and management portion of the budget support staff or faculty salaries?
  3. Is the intent of the $3,000 per student to support opening additional slots and support instruction and training for additional students?
  4. I’m assuming part of the tuition allocated, per student, can be used to compensate trainers.
  5. The funding announcement states that students have to be enrolled in a program. The enrollment rate exceeds $3000. How will this be accomplished?
  6. Can students in a paraprofessional certificate program receive stipends?
  7. We would be able to accommodate additional interns with this funding. Would we need to request funding for multiple students or do we need to apply for multiple grants per student?
  8. Could an agency serve multi counties across the state?
  9. For peer coaches, peer paraprofessionals, is an internship a required part of the program?
  10. Please define student support activities.
  11. What needs to be included in the student letter of commitment? Are they required from each applicant?
  12. The budget period start date is after the beginning of our academic year start. Can we include students in our cohort who begin training in August 2019?
  13. What does the student support disbursement plan need to include?
  14. Do you have a definition of integrated primary care settings?
  15. What type of integration with primary care are you looking for in these internship placements?

Funding Preference and Priority

  1. Is there a funding preference for this NOFO?
  2. Would a university still be considered if our facility is not in a county with 21.7% overdose rate and do not partner with a training facility in an area with a score of 16 or higher. Would we still be considered if we met other criteria?
  3. My organization graduated or completed fewer than three classes. Can we still qualify for a funding preference?
  4. Are paraprofessional organizations at a disadvantage because they cannot receive the 5-points for the funding priority?

General

  1. Is there an emphasis on rural settings?

Applicant Submission

  1. How can I obtain a copy of the full notice of funding opportunity (NOFO)?

    Visit the 2019 Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) Paraprofessional Program NOFO posted at Grants.gov and search in the keywords for "HRSA-19-089." Click on the “Package” tab, and you will have access to the NOFO as a PDF file.

  2. I am having trouble printing the NOFO. Can you help me?

    For assistance accessing the NOFO, please contact GRANTS.GOV Applicant Support at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov

  3. Do all attachments count towards the page limit?

    Yes, all non-OMB required attachments count toward the page limit. We encourage applicants to print your application in its entirety including the attachment to ensure that you do not go over the 70-page limit. If an application goes over the page limit, it will be considered non-responsive and it will not go forward for panel review.

  4. Where do I find instructions about font size and other format requirements?

    Formatting instructions are in HRSA’s SF-424 R&R Application Guide.

  5. Are Letters of Support required for this grant application?

    No, letters of support are not required for the OWEP-Paraprofessional program, only as applicable and should be included as Attachment 9. See page 22 of the NOFO for more details.

  6. 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. Attachments should be submitted with the same numbers as specified in the NOFO.

  7. The SF424 R&R Application Packet has a section on human subjects. Is this required for this grant?

    HRSA-19-089 is a training grant and there are no human subject requirements for this funding.

  8. What should the logic model include?

    Per the NOFO (page 39), a logic model is a one-page diagram that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the links among program elements. 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. Find additional information on developing logic models and how to distinguish between a logic model and work plan.

  9. 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 can identify multiple key personnel in their proposal.

Applicant Eligibility

  1. New York State has an agency that specifically certifies and funds SUD prevention, treatment, recovery, and training programs: (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). Would nonprofits certified by OASAS 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.

  2. Please clarify what the term "institution” means for purposes of eligibility.

    An eligible institution may submit up to two applications—one under the OWEP Professional Track and one under the OWEP Paraprofessional Track. Applicants may not submit two applications for either the Professional Track or Paraprofessional Track. For this purpose, the term “institution means multiple applications from an organization with the same DUNS number are not allowed. Eligible applicants can submit only one application per campus; multiple applications from a single campus are not allowable. A campus is defined as a division of a university that has its own grounds, buildings and faculty. Where multiple programs from an institution are interested in applying under this funding notice, you may collaborate across programs to submit a single application.

  3. Are only mental health organizations eligible to apply?

    State-licensed mental health nonprofit and for-profit organizations. These organizations must be able to carry out programs for pre-service or in-service training of paraprofessional child and adolescent mental health workers. These programs can include occupations such as peer support specialist, peer support counselor, community health worker, outreach worker, social services aide, substance abuse/addictions worker, youth worker, and promotor/a (for full list of occupations see the definitions section). For the purpose of this NOFO, these organizations may include academic institutions, including universities, community colleges and technical schools, which must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education..

  4. Can current BHWET grantees apply for funding under the FY 2019 OWEP PARA program?

    Yes, per the funding opportunity announcement, this NOFO is open to all eligible entities. Please see eligibility guidelines for professional and paraprofessional programs.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 (i.e., peer support specialists, community health worker, outreach worker, social services aide, mental health worker, substance abuse/addictions worker, youth worker, promotor/a), and must include an experiential field placement component. Consistent with the statutory authority, applicants must also demonstrate a special focus on preservice or in-service training of paraprofessional child and adolescent mental health workers to understand the specific concerns of children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth in high need and high demand areas who are at risk for behavioral health disorders.

  7. Would an undergraduate program qualify as paraprofessional? Specifically, do undergrad program in Social Work that does lead to licensed bachelor in SW qualify? There is licensure for BSW in our state.

    No, an undergraduate major or minor program would not qualify as an eligible applicant. For the OWEP Paraprofessional program, applicants 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, and peer counselor. Consistent with the statutory authority, applicants must also demonstrate a special focus on preservice or in-service training of paraprofessional child and adolescent.

  8. Are eligible applicants EITHER, or BOTH: State-licensed mental health nonprofit and for-profit organizations? In other words can they 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.

  9. Are public institutes of higher education eligible to apply for the OWEP Paraprofessionals Certificate Track?

    Eligible entities include academic institutions (i.e., universities, community colleges or technical schools), must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education. Eligible entities 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, and peer counselor. Consistent with the statutory authority, applicants must also demonstrate a special focus on preservice or in-service training of paraprofessional child and adolescent.

  10. How do we know if our paraprofessional certificate program is eligible to apply?

    Eligible certificate programs must be approved by the state government to provide a behavioral health-related paraprofessional certificate program. Eligible entities 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, and peer counselor. Applicants must provide a copy of their active accreditation or active approval from the state government as Attachment 6.

  11. We have two certificate programs that are related to behavioral health fields but are not explicitly stated in the eligibility section, so I wanted to check on our eligibility. Additionally, would it be a requirement of the certificate program that field experience is included as a term of receiving the certification?

    Eligible certificate programs must be approved by the state government to provide a behavioral health-related paraprofessional certificate program. Eligible entities 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, and peer counselor. Applicants must provide a copy of their active accreditation or active approval from the state government as Attachment 6. Eligible entities will enhance their existing paraprofessional certificate program(s) through curriculum development or enhancement and inclusion of hands-on learning in the form of field placements or internships including preservice or in-service training to understand the specific concerns of the targeted population in OUD and other SUD prevention, treatment and recovery services.

  12. 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?

    The certificate program should be an existing paraprofessional certificate program that can be expanded to include more behavioral health related content and curricula, as well as hands-on learning in the form of field placements.

  13. I am a newly non for profit organization that provides resources and social services to moms and pregnant women as well as their children that are diagnosed and exposed to Opioids. I have a small staff that provides case- management services that includes multiple referrals to community-based service providers to ensure that both mother and child can gain resource within the community such as medical treatment; behavioral services, prescribed medication, developmental and pediatric services, etc. Can I apply for this grant?

    Per the NOFO eligible applicants include State-licensed mental health nonprofit and for-profit organizations. These organizations must be able to carry out programs for pre-service or in-service training of paraprofessional child and adolescent mental health workers. These programs can include occupations such as peer support specialist, peer support counselor, community health worker, outreach worker, social services aide, substance abuse/addictions worker, youth worker, and promotor/a (for full list of occupations see the definitions section of the NOFO). For the purpose of this NOFO, these organizations may include academic institutions, including universities, community colleges and technical schools, which must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education.

Accreditation

  1. We are a community organization and we provide training for paraprofessionals within one of our state organizations. Would documentation from the state organization satisfy that accreditation process or are you looking for something more specific?

    If your state government does not grant certification for paraprofessional programs, a letter of recognition from the state organization would suffice. The letter must be on state government letterhead.

  2. We belong to a consortium of three programs. Two are accredited, and one is working on accreditation. Can the consortium apply for all three programs?

    No, per the NOFO, applicants must be accredited at the time of their application submission and must provide proof of accreditation or state government approval documentation in the form of a letter on state government letterhead as Attachment 6.

Use of Funds - Infrastructure

  1. Is health insurance for trainees an allowable expense?

    No, health insurance is not an allowable trainee-related expense under the OWEP Paraprofessional program.

  2. What allowable costs can be charged to the grant? What percentage of funding can be allocated to administrative and management costs of the program?

    Applicants are required to provide a budget, with narrative, that includes at least seventy (70) percent of a recipient’s overall requested budget (direct and indirect costs) must be dedicated to support the tuition, fees, and supplies for the enrolled students. Thirty (30) percent of funding may be dedicated to grant recipient activities for:

    1. Development of experiential field placement
    2. Creation of additional slots beyond current program capacity in a paraprofessional certificate program(s) to expand the number of students trained with a focus on working with persons in high-need rural, vulnerable, and/or underserved communities
    3. Career development in behavioral health for paraprofessionals to encourage career progression
    4. Financial support for the supervision of students in experiential field placement
    5. Administration and management
    6. Data collection and (7) indirect costs at the fixed rate of 8%
  3. We are a state university. Would we use our negotiated cost agreement rate or the 8%?

    Indirect costs for all applicants are capped at the fixed rate of 8%.

  4. Can the 8% indirect be taken from the 70% of the budget?

    At least 70% of an applicant’s total requested budget (Direct and indirect costs) per year must be used for student support activities.

  5. Is the training grant for behavioral health targeted to existing programs or can funds be used to help establish a new track?

    No. The purpose of the OWEP Paraprofessionals program is to enhance existing paraprofessional certificate program(s) through curriculum development or enhancement and inclusion of hands-on learning in the form of field placements or internships including preservice or in-service training to understand the specific concerns of the targeted population in OUD and other SUD prevention, treatment and recovery services.

  6. Could funds be used to develop a new program, which would include internships? Or, must the program already be in place and funds used to expand it?

    Per the NOFO, applicants must be accredited at the time of their application submission and provide documentation of their institution’s accreditation letter as Attachment 6. Therefore, funds cannot be used to develop a completely new program.

Use of Funds – Student Support Activities

  1. Just to verify - the expectation is that 60-70 students (max $210,000) will be supported at $3,000, with only a max of $90,000 available to support training, job placement, field placement support, in-service training at sites, etc.?

    At least 70 percent of an applicant’s total requested budget (direct and indirect costs) per year must be used for student support activities (i.e., tuition, fees, and supplies). You may request a maximum of $3,000 per student to cover student support activities for the 12-month period for full-time students. Part-time student support is allowed for tuition, fees, and supplies prorated at one-half of the fixed amount for no more than 24 consecutive months. Up to 30 percent of funding is for the administration and management of the program and may be dedicated to recipient activities; e.g., student/intern support costs including travel, attendance at professional conferences, preparation for licensing exams, licenses, other allowable trainee-related expenses, eight percent indirect cost, and other expenses that support the programmatic requirements described in this NOFO.

  2. Can the administrative and management portion of the budget support staff or faculty salaries?

    Up to 30 percent of funding is for administrative and management activities including 8% indirect cost, and other expenses that support the programmatic requirements as described in this NOFO.

  3. Is the intent of the $3,000 per student to support opening additional slots and support instruction and training for additional students?

    No less than 70 percent of the award must be used for tuition, fees, or supplies (at a maximum of $3,000/student). Up to 30 percent of funding is for administrative and management activities e.g., student/intern support costs including travel, attendance at professional conferences, preparation for licensing exams, licenses, other allowable trainee-related expenses, 8% indirect cost, and other expenses that support the programmatic requirements described in this NOFO.

  4. I’m assuming part of the tuition allocated, per student, can be used to compensate trainers.

    No less than 70 percent of the award must be used for tuition, fees, or supplies. Up to 30 percent of funding is for the administration and management of the program and may be dedicated to recipient activities. Instructional costs would come under the 30 percent administrative portion.

  5. The funding announcement states that students have to be enrolled in a program. The enrollment rate exceeds $3000. How will this be accomplished?

    Students must be enrolled full or part time in the school or program receiving the grant award in order to receive tuition support in the OWEP Paraprofessionals program. HRSA funding will not exceed $3000 per student.

  6. Can students in a paraprofessional certificate program receive stipends?

    No, students in paraprofessional programs cannot receive stipends from this funding. Paraprofessional student support is in the form of tuition, fees, and supplies.

  7. We would be able to accommodate additional interns with this funding. Would we need to request funding for multiple students or do we need to apply for multiple grants per student?

    Applicants may apply to support multiple students in one application. Applicants may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $300,000 per year. No less than 70 percent of the award must be used for tuition, fees, or supplies (at a maximum of $3,000/student).

  8. Could an agency serve multi counties across the state?

    Yes.

  9. For peer coaches, peer paraprofessionals, is an internship a required part of the program?

    Yes, the experiential field placement/internship is a requirement and must be documented on Attachment 4. See page 21 of the NOFO.

  10. Please define student support activities.

    Student support activities include tuition, fees, and supplies.

  11. 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. Please refer to page 22 of the NOFO for the student commitment letter requirements.

  12. The budget period start date is after the beginning of our academic year start. Can we include students in our cohort who begin training in August 2019?

    This NOFO does allow pre-awards costs.

  13. What does the student support disbursement plan need to include?

    Per the NOFO, applicants must include a disbursement plan for the provision of tuition, supplies, and support activities for students.

  14. Do you have a definition of integrated primary care settings?

    To learn more about integrated care, please visit Health Workforce Glossary. See pages 40-42 of the NOFO for program definitions.

  15. What type of integration with primary care are you looking for in these internship placements?

    The levels of integration may be varied among internship sites. An explanation in your application is required of how you are exposing your students to integrated care settings. As stated in the NOFO, we encourage you to use SAMHSA’s models of integrated care to describe the level of integration of your internship sites.

Funding Preference and Priority

  1. Is there a funding preference for this NOFO?

    This funding opportunity includes a funding preference for any qualified applicant above the 20th percentile of proposals that have been recommended for approval by peer review groups that: 1) Has a high rate for placing graduates in practice settings having the principle focus of serving residents of underserved communities; or 2) Demonstrates a significant increase in the rate of placing graduates in such settings. In order to qualify for the funding preference, you must clearly indicate in the Project Abstract the funding preference you are applying for and provide supporting information and data in Attachment 11. Refer to Section V.2 of this funding opportunity for detailed information on qualifying for a funding preference.

  2. Would a university still be considered if our facility is not in a county with 21.7% overdose rate and do not partner with a training facility in an area with a score of 16 or higher. Would we still be considered if we met other criteria?

    The high rate and high demand (overdose rate over 21.7 and MH HPSA score of 16 or higher) is a part of the review criteria and not eligibility. All complete and eligible applicants will be considered for review.

  3. My organization graduated or completed fewer than three classes. Can we still qualify for a funding preference?

    As noted on pages 33-35 of the NOFO concerning preference “To permit new programs to compete equitably for funding under this section, those new programs that meet at least four (4) of the criteria shall qualify for a funding preference.” New Program means any program that has graduated/completed less than three (3) classes and not grant programs, specialized tracks or population focus, or rotations within a school.

  4. Are paraprofessional organizations at a disadvantage because they cannot receive the 5-points for the funding priority?

    No they are not at a disadvantage. As noted on page 32 of the NOFO HRSA shall give priority to any applicant in which training emphasizes the role of the family and the lived experience of the consumer and family-paraprofessional partnership. Applications that do not receive a funding priority will be given full and equitable consideration during the review process.

General

  1. Is there an emphasis on rural settings?

    Yes. The purpose of the OWEP Paraprofessional program is to develop and expand the behavioral health workforce serving populations across the lifespan, including in rural and medically underserved areas.

Date Last Reviewed:  April 2019