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PCCD Funding Announcement Q&A

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collapse Funding Announcement Title Endowment Act - Prevention ‎(60)

Question: In regards to the 2 hour teacher workshop, are all 2nd grade teachers at the school required to participate or is this flexible? For example, can the workshop be offered during a professional development opportunity?   

Answer: The Safe Touches teacher workshop is not a required element of the implementation as it is currently only evidence-informed (i.e., the teacher workshop has not been evaluated in a randomized trial to date). The offer of teacher workshops is intended to facilitate school district buy in. This workshop would cover the Act 80 requirement, and could provide teachers with knowledge on: child sexual abuse, concepts covered in the Safe Touches workshops, how to manage disclosures subsequent to program delivery, and information on normative sexual development. 

Question: Is the 10-item survey already created? If so, can we get a copy to give to the superintendents?

Answer: The research assessment to accompany the Safe Touches implementation is an adaptation of the Children’s Knowledge of Abuse Questionnaire (CKAQ; Tutty, 1995). The research team from Penn State, in cooperation with the Safe Touches developer, selected 6 questions from the CKAQ and added 8 “filler questions” including 3 questions that may be of interest to school leadership about the children’s perceptions about school.

1.    You have to let grown-ups touch you whether you like it or not.
2.    You always have to keep secrets.
3.    You can trust your feelings about whether a touch is good or bad.
4.    It’s OK to say “no” and move away if someone touches you in a way you don’t like.
5.    Someone you know, even a relative, might want to touch your private parts in a way that feels confusing.
6.    A pat on the back from a teacher you like after you have done a good job at school is a safe touch
7.    Grape juice will always turn your teeth orange.
8.    It is a good idea to wear a coat in the winter.
9.    Cats are better than dogs.
10.  It is important to drink milk with every meal.
11.  My teacher clucks like a chicken when we learn math.
12.  I look forward to coming to school every day.
13.  I have good friends in my classroom.
14.  My school is a happy and safe place to be.
Tutty LM. The revised Children’s Knowledge of Abuse Questionnaire: development of a measure of children’s understanding of sexual abuse prevention concepts. Soc Work Res. 1995;19(2):112–120

Question: Our superintendents said they want to see the program before signing a letter of agreement.  As centers considering applying for this grant may want to know what the curriculum material  consists of. Is it possible to publicly post the curriculum?

AnswerAs with any curriculum, there is proprietary and copyright issues. We are unable to publicly post the curriculum. However, videos of the workshop delivered to second graders can be viewed here: In addition, we have put together a fact sheetSafe Touches Fact Sheet_01May.docxSafe Touches Fact Sheet_01May.docx for applicants to share with stakeholders and decision makers within the school districts.  

Question: We have a significant Spanish-speaking population in our county and wanted to know if the programs delivered in the pilot are offered in Spanish.

Answer: The Stewards of Children and Safe Touches curricula (e.g., materials) are available in Spanish. A county should already be providing parenting programs, so if Spanish is needed we trust that they will have selected and evidence-based parent-education program available in Spanish. The one hour of additional content specific to CSA will be available in Spanish as well. However, it is important to note that not all aspects of training for providers/facilitators is available in Spanish so it would be in the best interest of the applicant to have bilingual providers/facilitators.

Question: We know that we are going to have a somewhat challenging time convincing the majority of our school superintendents to provide support without more information about the Safe Touches curriculum. Is there a way to get more information about it?

Answer: Safe Touches is an evidence-based curriculum disseminated through the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The prevention pilot will be implementing the Body Safety Training for second graders. More information on the curriculum and its evidence can be found here: In addition, we have put together a fact sheet Safe Touches Fact Sheet_01May.docxSafe Touches Fact Sheet_01May.docx for applicants to provide to stakeholders and decision makers. We encourage applicants to funnel specific questions about the curriculum through this Q&A process rather than contacting purveyors of any component directly – information on all components is available on respective websites.

Question:  For Safe Touches, do 100% of second-grade classrooms need to be reached within the public school district or, more broadly, do 100% of classrooms need to be reached within all schools including charter schools (i.e., are charter schools considered districts)?

Answer: We are targeting 100% of public schools with regard to sustainability. Charter schools can certainly be incorporated in the implementation plan, but would be additional to the 100%. And to be clear, it is 100% of second grade class rooms within 70% of school districts within the county.  

Question: As our work group is seeking letters of support from our local school districts re: the second grade education we have been asked:
“can you share more detail about the curriculum for Safe Touches?”

Is PCCD able to provide any details or outline of the module for us to inform the school superintendents?

Answer: As with any curriculum, there is proprietary and copyright issues. We are unable to publicly post the curriculum.  However, videos of the workshop delivered to second graders can be viewed here:  In addition, we have put together a fact sheet for applicants to share with stakeholders and decision makers within the school districts. 

Question: How we will sustain the program when the grant ends and the funds/supports are discontinued.

Answer: As noted in the funding announcement, the sustainability of the programs is built into the final year of the grant.  If the Prevention Pilot demonstrates effectiveness, PSU and PCCD will work with various agencies including the Department of Education, Department of Health, and/or the Department of Human Services to devise creative solutions to sustain these programs in the future.  It should be noted, that the first step to garnering sustainable funding is to demonstrate that the strategy reduces rates of child sexual abuse in an evidence-based framework.

Question: Scheduling logistics for students whose parents deny access to the experience – where to assign them and who will provide coverage and appropriate instruction for these students.

Answer: Schools routinely have to accommodate non-participating students in a host of activities.  We would assume that schools would adopt similar solutions to this program.  There may be other creative solutions to this.  For example, perhaps the day of the workshop could be a day when a parent volunteer comes in and is able to supervise children who do not have parental permission to participate.

Question: Curricular alignment at the 2nd grade level and the fact that without actually seeing/hearing all the content to be shared, we are not comfortable consenting to this experience, at least without parents being present or having a thorough knowledge of what’s being presented.

Answer: As would be the case with any curriculum it is not possible for us to provide the full copyrighted curriculum.  However, the developer has provided two YouTube videos (here and here) showing different clips of the workshop and there is a plethora of resources on their website where it is made clear that there are two providers, culturally representative puppets, and child appropriate language in presenting the concepts.
As a potential troubleshooting solution, PSU and PCCD, in coordination with the County Coordinator, can be available for each district to do an informational meeting at the beginning of each term so that parents can learn about the content, research aspect, and ask questions prior to implementation. 
Additionally, the applicant should be reminded that parents can participate in the community-based component (Stewards of Children) at no cost.  The comprehensive strategy will simultaneously reach children and their parents with similar content that can be discussed within the family setting.  Optimally, these programs can be delivered in parallel.

Question: Will the survey will be issued anonymously and non-identifiable as the school was concerned. 

Answer: Results reported in this study will be completely de-identified. That is the responses of a particular child will never be reported. Because we are assessing the effect of the workshop over time, we will not be able to do anonymous surveys. Rather, children who have parental permission and assent themselves to participate in the research will be assigned a numerical identifier such that we can monitor changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior over time. The child's name or any other personally identifiable information will not be stored with the data. In addition, using these numerical identifiers will be able to describe the results by classroom, school, and school district which may be of interest to stakeholders. Analytically it is important to monitor statistical differences between classrooms, schools, and districts in the context of our overall findings.

Question: What provisions will be given to counties with thousands of children in multiple districts?  Implementing School based Program. We have over 300 2nd grade classrooms with a total of approximately 6000 second graders per year in 13 districts.  Some of these districts have as many as 24 2nd grade classrooms. Completing 70% of these classrooms in year one will be a challenge.  With initial program set up and limited number of days within school year that this program could be implemented there are approximately 160 possible days.   This would mean that 2 programs per day would need to be scheduled to accomplish 100%. This does not account for scheduling conflicts, teacher resistance, schools where parental permission will be required, etc.  

Answer: The delivery of Safe Touches will occur over the course of two academic years with the intent of delivering the workshops in 100% of the 2nd grade classrooms in 70% of the school districts within a county. In other words, not every classroom will receive the training each year, but rather over the course of two academic years (e.g., some second graders will not receive Safe Touches training). The Prevention Pilot is designed to be implemented in any size county – even with 6,000 second graders. The budget is done on a per capita basis so there is funding for a proportionate number of Safe Touches providers to make this goal more obtainable for counties with a large number of school districts.  

Question: Why did you choose 2nd grade as the focus year for Safe Touches?

Answer: Second graders demonstrated the largest gains in knowledge and attitudes in the randomized controlled trial demonstrating the effect of Safe Touches published in a peer reviewed journal (Pulido, M.L., Dauber, S., Tully, B.A., Hamilton, P., Smith, M.J., & Freeman, K. (2015). Knowledge gains following a sexual abuse prevention program among urban students: A cluster-randomized evaluation. American Journal of Public Health, 105(7), 1344-1350).
Specifically, second graders who participated in the Safe Touches workshop showed greater gains in discerning inappropriate touch compared to second graders who did not attend the workshop (intervention group: second grade, mean=2.50; SD=3.17; control group: second grade, mean=0.47; SD=2.94). In addition, they showed greater grains compared to all third graders (intervention group: third grade, mean=1.33; SD=3.40; control group: third grade, mean=0.01; SD=2.90).
Therefore, this pilot concentrates on second grade as the initial demonstration of the scale-up of Safe Touches in Pennsylvania. Future renditions of this comprehensive prevention approach, if shown to be effective, will certainly be able to include other grades and other EBP for older children.

Question: We know that we are going to have a somewhat challenging time convincing the majority of our school superintendents to provide support without more information about the Safe Touches curriculum. Is there a way to get more information about it? How long would you estimate the research assessments will take?

Answer: Safe Touches is an evidence-based curriculum disseminated through the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The prevention pilot will be implementing the body safety training for second graders. More information on the curriculum and its evidence can be found here: . We encourage applicants to funnel specific questions about the curriculum through this Q&A process rather than contacting purveyors of any component directly – information on all components is available on respective websites.

Question: How long would you estimate the Safe Touches research assessments will take?

AnswerThe Safe Touches curriculum is delivered in a single 45-50 minute session in the classroom. The assessment will add an additional 10-15 minutes total onto this (so a teacher may want to block 90 minutes for the pre-assessment, workshop, and post-assessment). 
Question: Could one regional application submitted to serve three rural counties meet the eligibility requirements of having 200+ child sexual abuse investigations.  Could the three-county total be utilized to meet this eligibility requirement?  All three counties have a collaborative relationship in terms of CAC’s. 
Answer: It is potentially possible for multiple counties to come in as one applicant for this funding announcement. One reason for doing so would be that the counties are small in population and do not meet the criteria to apply individually. However, to maintain the rigor of this study, there are specific criteria that must be met/addressed in the application:
  • Collectively, the counties must have at least 200 or more investigated child sexual abuse cases annually (i.e., averaged over the past two years using 2015 and 2016 data; including law enforcement only cases). The data should be presented for each county and collectively. The applicant must demonstrate that the systems for tracking these data are the same or highly compatible across the multiple counties.
  • The counties must be adjacent or adjoining geographically.
  • Only one fulltime coordinator (1.0 FTE) will be funded on each application regardless of how many counties apply as one applicant. Thus, the applicant must demonstrate a solid plan for coordinating the entire project, across all counties.
  • We will not fund multiple County Coordinator positions in one application.
  • ​The applicant must demonstrate the cooperation of all entities (e.g., community organizations, superintendents, CAC, CYS, etc.) in all of the counties.
It is preferable that no more than 3 counties come in as one applicant. The burden is on the applicant to demonstrate that they have a solid plan for achieving the rigor of the project as if it was one county applying.

Question:  Are points awarded based on population of county (more people/greater program reach)?

Answer: The only population requirement is that a county must have at least 200 or more investigated child sexual abuse cases annually (i.e, averaged over the past two years using 2015 and 2016 data).  General county population is not a scoring factor. 

Question: Does the Prevention Pilot use additional sexual abuse prevention curriculum in addition to the evidence-based programs already in place with CYS? If so, what does that involve and can we get information on it?

Answer: The Research Team at Penn State surveyed CYS and other agencies across the Commonwealth to identify what (if any) evidence-based sexual abuse prevention programs were currently being implemented. The selection of the 3 components in the prevention pilot were informed in part by the results of this survey. The implementation budget will support only the evidence-based programs identified in the funding announcement (e.g., Stewards of Children, Safe Touches, and the parent-focused module in development). As directed in the funding announcement, the applicant should describe any and all evidence-based sexual abuse prevention programs implemented. The definition and requirements of evidence-based parenting programs can be found on the Q&A under the question titled “Evidence Based Programs.” 

Question:  (Page 7, Section 7, (3), ii) – For those parents referred to these parent-education programs and who also have a GPS designation, this is taken to mean that we would count and track ONLY those people with cases that are OPEN with CYS, AND have the GPS designation, and thus have a referral made for the program, correct?  We would not count those parents referred who do not have an open case with CYS, correct?

Answer: The parent-focused component is designed for any family referred to parent education programs by CYS. It is likely this mechanism is through a GPS referral. A parent does not have to have an open case, but it might. Our intent is to reach parents who are at highest risk.

Question: For the media campaign component: Is the topic of the media campaign restricted to the issues in this solicitation (physical and sexual abuse), or can a broader approach to the campaign be considered (including issues such as co-sleeping and the risks that causes as it relates to potential harm to a child)? 

Answer: The media campaign will be a prescribed campaign that is focused on child sexual abuse only. Awarded grantees will be required to implement the program as is and will not be able to modify the content. The materials are provided by Darkness to Light and coordinated by CMSN.

Question: Our DA’s Office routinely receives LEOs that don’t come from CYS, but either are not substantiated or do not fit the criteria to be handled by CYS. Are you requesting that they notify CYS of any type of CSA even if they won’t investigate the case?

Answer: We recognize that counties likely handle LEO data differently. We are not necessarily requesting that a county change their process and procedure, but rather to thoroughly describe the process of capturing LEO data in their application. LEO cases are an important metric for the Prevention Pilot. The applicant should describe the process by which LEOs that do not come from CYS come to the attention of the DA’s Office and if/how these cases are captured in CYS numbers.

Question:  Does an entity representing county government need to be the lead applicant if there is a letter of commitment from the CYS agency and all required attachments are provided? In this case, could a non-profit service provider be the lead applicant with the support and commitment of the CYS agency? (i.e., can a non-profit service provider represent county government, with the CYS agency applying as a partner)

Answer: Applications can only be submitted through the County Commissioners, the District Attorneys Office and/or county Children and Youth Services.

Question:   The requirement under the activities (#7) for a threshold goal of 100% of parents with GPS designation to have the parenting education – how do we arrive at understanding who has a having a GPS designation.

Answer: As stated on page 7 of the funding announcement, the threshold goal is to reach 100% of parents who have a GPS designation and are referred for parent-education programs. In cooperation CYS, the applicant should be able to identify the number of families that have a GPS designation and that are referred to parent-education services. Not every family referred to GPS is referred to parent education. This characterizes the families that are most at risk.

Question: Should we include expunged cases in the estimates of the average number of CSA cases over the past two years?

Answer: Yes, expunged cases should be included in the estimates of the average number of CSA cases over the past two years. The applicant is also encouraged to describe the county’s procedure for maintaining information on the child following expungement.  

Question: One of our partners is currently using Nurturing Parents as an evidenced based parent education program (but this curriculum is not listed as an option) so we wanted to verify that others are permitted.

Answer: See attached document.Evidence-based Parenting Programs (2).docxEvidence-based Parenting Programs (2).docx
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collapse Funding Announcement Title Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) 2018-2020 Competitive Funding ‎(14)

Question: Please explain the requirement for “programmatic data backup” (p. 18 of the funding announcement)?

Answer: All agencies awarded VOCA funds may be subject to random review of data backup.  VOCA programs will have their programmatic reports selected at random for data backup, the Grant, reporting period and category of services to be reviewed.  VOCA programs will be advised that they have been selected and will have to provide PCCD with the data backup to support the data that was provided in their most recent program report.  For example, if a program reported they provided services to 50 victims of human trafficking during the period of July 1, 2017-September 31, 2017, they must submit data to PCCD that would support those numbers.  This may include, but not limited to the following: a case/client ID, the type of service provided during that reported period, and the date the service was provided.


Question: I wanted to get a better understanding of statewide impact under this funding announcement. If my agency sought to place an advocate in a specific county in partnership with another victim service program to cover the VOCA eligible services in the Western Region, would that be allowable?

Answer: Any agency that is applying for this funding announcement that is interested in applying for a statewide project must indicate how the project will benefit, support and/or enhance services to victims in the Commonwealth.  If the advocate is only covering a region of the commonwealth, that would not be considered a statewide project.  However, a project covering multiple counties is eligible under this funding announcement.




Question: Is the county allocation amount the total for the entire 30-month project, or is this an annualized (12 month) amount?

Answer: The county allocation amounts, described in Appendix C, County Allocation Chart, are for the entire 30-month project.   

Question: Is this funding solicitation a new pot of VOCA money, or is this the original VOCA that is now opened for competitive response?

Answer:  The cap on the federal Crime Victims Fund was lifted in late 2014, resulting in an unprecedented increase in the state annual allocations for VOCA funding.  For Pennsylvania, the annual VOCA allocation increased from $17M in 2014 to $77M in 2015, $82M in 2016 and $71M in 2017.  Projections for FY 2018 are anticipated to be equal to 2017 or higher.

The Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, which provides oversight to the federal Crime Victims Fund, also published new guidelines for the VOCA Grant Program in 2016.  The guidelines identified new and expanded VOCA eligible services to allow states greater flexibility in providing a broader range of services to crime victims.
On May 2, 2017, our Victims’ Services Advisory Committee (VSAC) recommended OVS release a competitive funding announcement to implement those services and to generally strengthen the capacity of our existing programs.  This current VOCA 18-20 competitive funding announcement is a result of the funding increase and VSAC’s policy recommendations.  This competitive funding announcement is open to new and existing victim service programs.

Question: In reading the paragraph in the RFP about third party billing, I'm curious about sustainability.  If we plan to use third party billing to sustain the positions created by this grant, is that permissible?  This would be done carefully and with a great deal of oversight to prevent any double dipping using a very clear cut time table.  In other words, we would not start to bill for services until the time those staff members are no longer being covered by grant funds.  Would that still be a practice that is strongly discouraged or is it permissible to use third part billing as a means for sustainability?

Answer: The applicant would be free to fund the position through any available means after the grant period has concluded.

Question: To PCCD Staff: In the recently-issued announcement for Victims of Crime Act 2018-2020 Competitive Funding, “Automated Systems and Technology” is listed as a “VOCA Allowable Activity” (Page 26 of 49).  Is this funding available for what would essentially be a “capacity-building” project, i.e., to upgrade or replace the outdated computer workstations of direct-service case handlers who are doing VOCA-eligible and work?  Would there be any restrictions on the use of that equipment for non-VOCA work?

Answer: An agency that is intending to upgrade or replace their outdated computer workstations for VOCA direct service staff, may purchase these items under this funding announcement.  Upgraded/replaced computer workstations or technology of this nature must be used exclusively in conjunction with providing VOCA eligible services if 100% VOCA funded.  If upgraded/replaced computer workstations or technology of this nature are to be used in conjunction with activities which are not VOCA eligible services, the cost of the upgrades/replacements must be pro-rated based on the amount of time they will be used to support the VOCA eligible services. 

Question: Our organization is currently a recipient of a 2016-19 VOCA competitive grant and I’m trying to discover if we’re eligible for additional competitive VOCA funding for a different program/project, or if we are ineligible until our current VOCA competitive grant expires. We are very interested in applying, perhaps on a collaborative project with other service organizations in our area, and I would appreciate any guidance you can provide on this matter.

Answer: Yes you are eligible to apply for a competitive grant even if you currently receive a competitive grant. With respect to the second part of your question, if you are interested in pursuing a collaborative project you should consult other victim service organizations in your area to determine interest in collaboration. You should try to submit either a Memorandum of Understanding, Letter of Understanding or Letter of Support from the proposed collaborators which specifically lists the duties and responsibilities of each party or, in the case of a Letter of Support, whether they will assist by providing referrals to your proposed project.

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