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collapse Funding Announcement Title : 2019-2020 STOP Funding ‎(34)
collapse Question Title : Application ‎(1)

Question:  There is no listed requirement for supplantation letters as is normally required in other PCCD grants. Is this the case?

Answer:  A condition of funding, described on page 4 of the Funding Announcement, states the “Funding must not be used to supplant/replace state, federal or local funds that would otherwise be available to provide for program-related services. PCCD funding is to be used in addition to other funds that are made available for services.” A separate supplantation letter is not required.

collapse Question Title : Application Sections ‎(7)

Question:  I wasn't sure what to put under "Performance Indicators".

Answer:  No data is required in the performance indicators section.  Please just 'save as complete'.

Question:  Under "Evaluation", they're not looking for a new Muskie Report with current stats or anything?  It's just wanting us to indicate how we will collect data FOR muskie?  Is that correct?

Answer:  The evaulation section requires applicants to document the data collection/record-keeping processes that will be used to report data in the Annual Muskie Report.  A copy of the report is available at http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/vawamei/attachments/forms/STOPSubgranteeFormGMSSample2016-2.pdf

Question:  ​Regarding Civil Rights Responsibilities - Is the EEOP form no longer required as an attachment?​

Answer:  ​All applicants must submit an EEOP Certification Form to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the federal Office of Justice Programs. 

Question:  ​Regarding Civil Rights Responsibilities -Does the required training described in #9  need to be completed before our application is submitted?​

Answer: No. 

Question:  ​Question concerning Section (Underserved and SA Allocations).  Question 1 is asking the total amount of STOP grant funding.  Is this total for one year of funding or for both year one and two?

Answer:  ​It should be the total of year one and year two (i.e. no more than $250,000)

Question:  ​Regarding “Approval Checklist” - Our County Detective works in the District Attorney’s Office and has the powers of arrest but generally acts in a supporting role to prosecution and law enforcement.  For the purposes of the checklist, does the County Detective constitute a “law enforcement agency”?

Answer:  The question pertains only to the Applicant Agency not the Pass-through or Recipient Agencies.  If the Applicant Agency is the DA’s Office and the County Detective has arrest powers this would constitute a “law enforcement agency” for the purposes of this question and would have to submit a UCR to the PA State Police.

Question:  I have a question regarding the page on Underserved And SA Allocations. I’m not sure if I am listing the entire 2 year grant amount or if I should break things down into a one-year cycle. So like when they ask for $ amount—is it the $125,000 or $250,000. And then when they ask “of the total dollar amount of the STOP Grant, how much of your budget is allocated for VS—again—am I answering in one year or two years?  Same for the other questions. And they will only let you answer numerically, I cannot break it down or elaborate or list anything other than one specific dollar amount.

Answer:  Please list the two-year amounts for the Underserved and SA Allocations as well as the amount budgeted for victim services.​

collapse Question Title : Budget ‎(3)

Question:  Can the County Probation & Parole divisions be included in the Law Enforcement portion (budget) of the new grant?

Answer:  County Probation/Parole divisions can be included under the law enforcement budget.​

Question:  I need to set up pass through budgets for 2 grant applications that I'm working on for STOP.  For STOP 19-20, I will need three budgets VS, LE & Prosecution.  Can you please send me instructions on setting up pass through budgets?

Answer:  The attachment​provides a PowerPoint walking organizations through setting up multiple budgets.  

Please tailor the Recipient Agencies names to the following format:  Agency name - named initiative (Law Enforcement, Prosecution, or Victim Service).

If one agency will be providing services to more than one initiative, a separate Recipient Agency will need to be established for each initiative as follows: 

Agency Name A - Law Enforcement

Agency Name A - Victim Service

Question:  If a SAFE Nurse and Children’s Advocacy Center staff are both project partners under the STOP Grant – Sex Trafficking project, would their involvement/activities be listed as law enforcement or prosecution?  They both collect evidence that aids law enforcement in their investigation and assist with the prosecution of the case. Where should both of these entities be listed in the budget allocation?

Answer:   It is up to the applicant to determine where these positions best fit in their particular grant’s budget.  They could come from law enforcement, prosecution or discretionary.​

collapse Question Title : Egrants ‎(1)

Question:  We have a quick question about our new STOP application in e-grants.  To allow another entity access to the application, do we just have to click Add Recipient in the Main Summary section and then our partner agencies, or is there anything else involved?

Answer:  If by "Entity", you are referring to adding another Recipient Agency, they can add that at any time themselves using "Add Recipient" button on the Main Summary application page.  However, doing that will only name the agency as a recipient.  It will not enable any access for that agency.  Any additional access to the application must be done by having the person requesting access join the agency using the "User Management" screen. ​

collapse Question Title : Equipment ‎(1)

Question:  We are in the process of preparing our STOP grant proposal and Prosecution and Law enforcement would like to know if the grant will allow the following equipment purchase that will be used for purpose of their investigation and prosecution.

  • Electronic surveillance 
  • Recording devices 
  • GPS 
  • Updated Computer forensic software 

Answer:  Equipment purchases under STOP must be justified and must align with your project’s goals and objectives.  It is important to note that the Office on Violence Against Women considers equipment for the tracking of offenders as ineligible.​

collapse Question Title : Fiscal ‎(2)

Question:  With the changes that have been made to the Egrants system, I’m off in one of the STOP budget categories by a total of $10.00 ($5.00 each year).  Can you give me any hints or suggestions as to how to account for the $10.00 that we’re short?  I’m afraid we will have this same problem with the other categories as well.

Answer:  We recommend adjusting the affected budget(s) to meet the $5 annual shortage.  For example, you might consider covering a small amount of supplies to match the shortage if the budget primarily supports a staff person(s). 

Question:  Is it required that fringe benefits be budgeted if salary is included in the grant budget?  Or is it allowable to only charge salary to the grant budget?

Answer:  ​Applicants may charge salary and no benefits, but not benefits when salary is not funded.

collapse Question Title : Funding ‎(4)

Question:  Can you please clarify the funding allocation for the allocation categories?  The percentages in the funding announcement only add to 95%; is the additional 5% discretionary as well?

Answer:  The correct percentages for the allocation categories in each of the STOP funding announcements are:
 
25% law enforcement
 
25% prosecution
 
30% victim services
 
20% discretionary

​​Question:  X County is applying for a STOP grant. We previously had a STOP grant that provided the partial funding for a prosecutor's salary (who was working as a prosecutor prior to the grant) where the prosecutor was then dedicated to cases involving violence against women.  Once the grant funding ended, the prosecutor shifted to regular prosecution. 

Is it possible to apply for the grant to partially pay for the same prosecutor's salary, which will allow them to return to handling DV/Sexual Assault cases?  The prosecutor is paid by the County, but is unable to currently focus on these types of cases. 

Answer:  Yes, your county is eligible to reapply for STOP funding for the prosecutor, as long as the STOP funded portion of that prosecutor's salary will be devoted to sexual assault and domestic violence cases. 

​​​Question:  Can you provide any information on what impact, if any, unexpended funds from our existing STOP grants may have on the request for additional funding through this application process?

Answer:  Unexpended funds do not impact an agency's eligibility to apply for STOP funding.  In terms of the application review and scoring process, it would depend upon the magnitude of unexpended funds, the factors that contributed to the inability to expend funds, and whether key goals/objectives of the project are affected.  If this type of situation exists, then it would be prudent for the applicant to provide such information in the part of the application narrative that requests an update on the current STOP Project. 

Question:  Our county is served by 38 small, many part-time, often one officer, police departments.

The STOP Coordinating Team was agreeable to the DA’s office desire to use both the law enforcement and prosecution portions of the available funding to hire a full-time detective/investigator. The thinking is that the detective/investigator could spend time both in training the smaller departments and in ensuring that cases were appropriately handled to support successful outcomes.
 
We understand that 30% of the funding is discretionary, but the victim service agencies (non-dual) would each find it challenging to participate – and bear the responsibility for managing the grant – at less than 25% (as you know, splitting the 30% will get us there).
 
Please advise if a full-time detective/investigator as described above would be considered acceptable for funding through the grant at 50% --  utilizing the law enforcement and DA portions of the grant – and, if so, other than addressing in a general MOU including all of the partners and their roles if something else should be included, i.e., do we need to submit  support from departments who would benefit from the detective/investigator?
 
Answer:  The prosecution allocation for the county detective would eligible. We would need a letter from the DA’s Office stipulating that they agree to the use of prosecutorial funds for the county detective’s position and the detective’s STOP activities would benefit the DA Office’s response to violence against women incidents.   
 
Victim services funding is 30% but the discretionary allocation is 20% not 30%.  The decision on the use of discretionary funding is made by the Project.
collapse Question Title : Human Trafficking Solicitation ‎(1)

Question:  The Funding Announcement notes that "STOP Program funds cannot be used to engage in/support the following: Services that focus exclusively on children."  Can the funds be used to support our Juvenile Human Trafficking Court program that addresses both minors (age 0 to 18) and young adults (age 18 to 21) who are subject to Juvenile Act jurisdiction? (this not "exclusively" children). Notably, this Court does not address adult-only cases, i.e., cases commenced after a person reaches age 18; our county has an entirely separate program for adult trafficking victims, which would not be encompassed by the project. 

Answer:  Yes, STOP funds could be used to support victims in the Juvenile Human Trafficking Court Program that you have described.  The federal Office on Violence Against Women's most recent federal soliciation regarding services to victims of human trafficking defines "children, youth and/or young adults" ages 0-24.​

collapse Question Title : Lethality Assessment ‎(1)

Question:  Hello there. I have a question regarding the MOU process.  Our agency and several of our collaborative programs in the county have been using STOP dollars to implement the LAP program.  We have been requesting law enforcement dollars to do trainings about LAP with officers.  I understand the rationale for an MOU for training as it aids the funder in knowing that there is commitment to the training.  I am curious about the need for an MOU with potential participating LAP departments, as the goal for our county is to get as many departments on board as soon as we can; however, we have been writing to get at least two to three trained per year.  If we have to get MOU’s from the PD’s in this short time frame, it wouldn’t make sense to have departments wait a year or two to join in on the project.  I am wondering if it may be appropriate to get an MOU with the police departments that would be willing to do the train the trainer with us?  ​

Answer:  Obtaining MOU’s from the police departments willing to participate in the LAP train-the-trainer would be sufficient for the purposes of the STOP Application.​

collapse Question Title : Model Response to Sex Trafficking ‎(1)

Question:  ​Can you please clarify the solicitation objectives that are expected. Based on the reading of the solicitation, it appears you are only looking for the development of the protocols and training and not actual implementation of these by the team.  I just wanted to be clear on the extent of what you are expecting to see as the project in order to budget accordingly.

Answer:  The selected applicant must already be engaged in providing services to victims of sex trafficking(emergency shelter and/or counseling) in order to be eligible to apply under this funding announcement.  It is expected that the selected applicant will work with the OVS Sex Trafficking Advisory Board to develop the protocol(s) and create/engage in the cross systems training called for in the solicitation.  It is possible that the applicant already has some sort of policy, protocol or curriculum that could serve as the foundation for deliverables to be created through this grant.  Whatever is developed in consultation with the OVS Sex Trafficking Advisory Board and the applicant’s Sex Trafficking Response Team (STRT) will have to be tested and refined during the award period.  It should result in a protocol(s) that have proven to work and a curriculum that provides the necessary cross-system training that a community needs for all stakeholders to understand and effectively respond to the crime of sex trafficking.​

collapse Question Title : MOU's ‎(1)

Question: We currently have a STOP Grant Coordinating Team Membership Agreement Form.  Is this sufficient, or do we need an MOU? Also, do we need an MOU between our Agency and the hospitals performing the SANE forensic examinations?

 
Answer:
  1. The importance of a STOP Team cannot be emphasized enough since it is central to the multidisciplinary success of a project. The Funding Announcement stipulates a Team MOU versus a membership agreement form since an MOU requires a signature accepting the Team objectives/ expectations outlined in the MOU.  
  2. An MOU between an agency and hospital will depend on the goals/objectives of the proposal.  For example, if a project has a goal involving SANEs, an MOU would be needed to ensure successful outcomes.
collapse Question Title : Required Attachments ‎(2)

Question:  Can the MOUs and the signature page (the part that must be mailed in) use electronic signatures?

Answer:   MOUs may contain a digital signature, but the Signature Page must be an original signature, digital signature are not allowed.

Question:  Our State Police are not able to sign onto our STOP Collaborative MOU due to internal process issues; however, they have provided a letter of support that states they are in full support of our application, and that they will commit to attend the required 4 STOP meetings per year. Since they are providing a written agreement that they will fulfill the required role of a STOP collaborative partner, is this sufficient and are we still eligible to apply?

 
Answer: A signed letter of support affirming the expectations is acceptable.
collapse Question Title : Required Signed Documents ‎(1)

Question:  We are partnering with colleges and universities for part of our STOP grant activities.  Are we required to have MOUs with those schools?  They are not culturally specific, community-based organizations.

Answer:  While you are not required to have MOU’s, it would be beneficial to your application if these institutions provided signed letters of support for the project to demonstrate their commitment to working with your organization.​

collapse Question Title : Rural ‎(2)

Question:  ​Under legal services for victims, is it permissible to fund an attorney to provide legal representation for victims at for PFA legal proceedings, including meeting with the PFA applicant prior to filing a PFA and representing them during the court proceedings to obtain a PFA?  We understand that the attorney would not be funded for divorce or custody proceedings?  

Answer:  Yes, it is permissible to fund an attorney to provide legal representation for victims at PFA legal proceedings as described.

Question:  If the county were to proceed with a prosecution/law enforcement unit model are the personnel funded by STOP required to be new hires, or can current personnel be developed and assigned new duties beyond that they already perform?

Answer:  They can be current personnel who assume duties beyond what they already perform.  The key is that the new duties will allow them to become specialists with regards to their role (i.e. prosecution or law enforcement) in the county’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and/or dating violence.​

collapse Question Title : Signature Pages ‎(2)

Question:  ​Our commissioners may not be meeting later this month, to be able to sign off on the STOP grant application.  I remember that at least once in the past, we’ve been able to submit the application ahead of the signature page from the commissioners.  Is that a possibility for this application?

Answer:  PCCD will allow for applicants under the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program 2019-2020, Model Response to Sex Trafficking 2019-2020 and Rural Capacity Building 2019-2020 Solicitations to submit their original, signed signature pages by July 31, 2018.  Staff will follow up with applicants whose original, signed signature pages are not received as of that date.​

Question:  ​Can you clarify which partners need to sign the signature page? Is it all STOP collaborative partners?

Answer:  Please consult PCCD’s Applicant’s Manual for guidance on who needs to sign the application’s signature page.

collapse Question Title : STOP 2018 WebEx ‎(1)

Question:  How do I access the STOP Application WebEx Training listed in the STOP solicitation?

Answer: Please click on the following link: PCCD STOP 2018 WebEx​​

collapse Question Title : Training ‎(2)

Question:  ​Can you clarify if a letter of support is required if a victim service provider is training only law enforcement?

Answer:  Yes, a signed letter of support is required from law enforcement to show that they will participate in the training.​

Question:  We are planning on using STOP funds for a national speaker in the 2019-2020 application.  Because it will be over $1500, and we’ve never held a training over that cost, I’d like clarification on the approval form.  Do I need to submit the request for training approval to PCCD before I submit the grant application, or when I submit the grant application?

Answer:  The training request does not need to be submitted with the application.  The request needs to be submitted at least 90 days prior to the training.  PCCD will supply the form to complete at that time.​

collapse Question Title : VAWA ‎(1)

Question:  ​What is the minimum age for provision of services under the VAWA STOP Grants? 

Answer:  The minimum age for the provision of services under the VAWA STOP Grant is 11 years of age.​

collapse Funding Announcement Title : Victims of Crime Act 2019-2021 Competitive #3 ‎(53)
collapse Question Title : Application Sections ‎(3)

Question: Section:  VOCA SERVICE COMPETITIVE: Question 2.2 and 2.3.   If services are provided to residents of multiple counties, but the services are exactly the same, can we provide a single list of all counties served and a single narrative that states the same services are provided regardless of the victims county of residence, vs having to list each county separately with the exact same narrative for each county? 

Answer: Applicants proposing a project serving victims in multiple counties must separately identify the services to be provided in each county.  In the VOCA Services-Competitive section of Egrants, applicants are instructed to state if services will be provided to one or multiple counties and if multiple counties are selected a description of services by county is requested by selecting “Add New Response” for each county.   If the same services are being provided in each of the counties then the same description can be copied and listed under the individual county’s service descriptions.  

Question: Page 12, iv. - Can you explain what you mean by this - what are you looking for? 

Answer: On Page 12, Under c. Problem Description, iv. Provide documentation specific to the intended service delivery area to support/justify the need, this is referring to a scored section of this application.  Applicants are asked to provide information that explains why the proposed project is needed in the proposed service area.  This should include detailed and specific information which describes how applicants arrived at the conclusion that the proposed project is needed.  Applicants are encouraged to review the Competitive Scoring and Egrants Sections WebEx, under the VOCA Application Trainings section of the Q&A site.  If prospective applications have any additional questions, please submit the questions to a Ra-ovs-fundinginfo@pa.gov (Please put VOCA 2019-2021 Competitive Funding in the subject line).

​Question: Page 17 of the announcement indicates there must be 2 users plus the applicant. Does this require 3 different people?

Answer: On Page 17, Section #14 Other Administrative Requirements, a. Egrants Registration, applicant agencies must have at least two users from the applicant agency.  At least two individuals per agency—those who will enter information or serve as a contact—must register online through Egrants.  Fields with an asterisk beside them must be filled in, and the 6-14 character User ID must begin with a letter.  Applicants are encouraged to write down the User ID and password and keep them in a safe place.  Please utilize the New User Quick Start (PDF) to guide you through the Egrants user registration process.

If you need additional assistance when registering please contact the PCCD Egrants Support at (717) 787-5887 or via email at ra-EGRANTSSupport@pa.gov.

collapse Question Title : Direct Services ‎(5)

Question: I have a quick question and I wasn’t sure who to ask since this is my first time applying for VOCA.

We are planning on applying for our transitional housing program and I noticed it discusses the rent structure. I am wondering if we apply as  a transitional housing program even if we don’t accept rent ? We have always classified ourself as that and we fit under the clustered and communal living. I wasn’t sure if that was an issue.

Answer:  VOCA allows for both emergency and transitional housing. Emergency housing is described as a safe space, or access to emergency safe space, which may be provided in residential shelter facilities, scattered site apartments, or hotels/motels.  Subject to the Victims' Service Program's (VSP) capacity availability, suitability under intake guidelines, and available resources, emergency shelter is available on a 24-hour a day, 7-days a week basis for short-term stays for a victim and the victim's non-offending family members. Emergency is an unexpected and unusually dangerous situation that calls for immediate action; an unforeseen combination of circumstances.  Shelter in a place for victims of crime to live temporarily when they cannot live in their previous residence. This includes emergency shelters, hotels, motels and other facilities made available through VOCA funding. 

Transitional Housing is described as housing that is provided to victims of crime between emergency and permanent housing designed to promote self-sufficiency and work towards economic stability.  This typically includes a model that includes a sliding scale for rent structure, which is intended for victims receiving this service to work towards self-sufficiency by securing permanent housing and employment.  Please Note- VOCA Recipients must be cognizant that they may be generating program income in the delivery of transitional housing services. Program income means gross income earned by the subgrantee that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of a PCCD grant award during the period of performance. If you choose to accept the payment/program income you must contact the Fiscal Department at PCCD at RA-PCCDGrantsMgmt@pa.gov . Please refer to PCCD's Applicant's Manual for more details on program income and for current policies related to it.

It is up to the applicant agency to describe how each intended service would be provided through this application process and to justify the way the services will be implemented.  When determining the services to be provided, applicants are encouraged to review PCCD's Consolidated Victim Service Program Standards located on  the PCCD website at the following link: Consolidated Victim Service Program Standards for the minimum standards required for the delivery of emergency and transitional housing, relocation and all other VOCA services.

Question: We are in the process of a proposal to add content to, and a live chat feature to a statewide legal website. The live chat would be for navigation, to help assure the user finds the resources and contacts they need and to assist with ways to best make those contacts. We’d work closely with victim service providers to maximize coordination of services. The live chat would not involve any counseling. Is this an eligible service?

Answer: The use of technology to facilitate service delivery is eligible.  The applicant is responsible of selecting the appropriate VOCA service and justifying the use of technology to support the service and overall proposed project.  Since this solicitation contains a broad range of eligible direct services, which may include innovative formats for service delivery we are encouraging applicants to refer to the federal VOCA guidelines (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/07/08/2016-16085/victims-ofcrime-act-victim-assistance-program) and the VOCA Reporting Requirements Appendix ”H” for definitions of eligible direct services.  

Question: May funds be used for hoteling in the case where shelters are full? If so, are there parameters around how much/how many days?

Answer: Yes, a victim service program can use a hotel for Emergency Housing, when the primary shelter is at capacity, the client cannot access the facility, or the need of the client requires alternative accommodations.  If using an alternate site for shelter, then the program shall be required to inspect alternate accommodations on an annual basis to ensure they meet the environmental requirements, which include that the physical space shall be in compliance with all relevant federal, state, and local laws; health and safety codes; and inspection requirements. 

Shelter/Safe House refers to offering specialized short term and long-term housing and related victimization support services for victims and members of their families following victimization.  The program must have a length of stay policy that is flexible and balances the specific needs of the resident with the program's ability to meet those needs, however, most shelters allow for up to 60 days.   

​Question: Under the scattered site housing model and the subsidized rent structure, can VOCA funding be utilized to pay the full monthly rent amount for survivors who are receiving VOCA eligible services in our program?  Is there a limit of how long the rental assistance can be provided?

Answer: Transitional Housing is described as housing that is provided to victims of crime between emergency and permanent housing designed to promote self-sufficiency and work towards economic stability.  This typically includes a model that includes a sliding scale for rent structure, which is intended for victims receiving this service to work towards self-sufficiency by securing permanent housing and employment.  Please Note- VOCA Recipients must be cognizant that they may be generating program income in the delivery of transitional housing services.  Program income means gross income earned by the subgrantee that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of a PCCD grant award during the period of performance.

If an agency receives program income from the sliding scale rent structure, agencies must report this information in advance and follow the fiscal provisions for program income in the PCCD applicant manual.  If you have additional questions, please contact the Fiscal Department at PCCD at RA-PCCDGrantsMgmt@pa.gov.

The length of stay is anticipated to be between 6 months and 24 months, but should not exceed 30 months.  Agencies providing this services should have a duration of stay policy which is flexible and balances the specific needs and support services to the victim and their family.

 


Question: Is the direct service “Therapy” category only provided by a certified mental health therapist or can some of the defined services be provided by a mental health worker with experience in mental health services?  Or would the non-certified mental health worker’s services fall in individual counseling?

Answer: Under VOCA, therapy is to be delivered by a master’s or doctorate-level clinician who is professionally licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and whose professional scope of practice includes therapy, or a master’s-level clinician who has completed their coursework, is working toward licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and whose professional scope of practice includes therapy, under the supervision of a professionally licensed clinician.  Therapy is separate and distinct from counseling and supportive counseling, which are short-term interventions, which do not require a credentialed staff.    

collapse Question Title : Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) ‎(1)

Question: On page 15, under “Reporting Requirements,” there is a discussion regarding the Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) Software System. Since we are not a current VOCA grantee, we have questions related to ETO. Is this software provided to grantees or must it be purchased and budgeted for in the grant application? Is it available for download? Is training provided on its use?

Answer: ETO is an internet based program that VOCA recipients are required to use for reporting purposes.  Internet based access to ETO is provided to agencies at no cost, so there is no need to budget for this item in your VOCA application.  Successful applicants will receive training on how to use ETO and will also be provided with a user manual.

collapse Question Title : Egrants ‎(1)

​Question: I am hoping you can help me, please.  I'm having trouble accessing the budget page in Egrants.  I've called your help desk and they did everything they could on their end.  I still cannot get into the budget page.  Can I please get some assistance?

Answer: Agencies are required to complete all the information in the Main Summary Information section in Egrants before the Budget Detail can become enabled.  The Applicant agency and the Recipient Agency must be populated/completed before the budget detail will be enable.   Applicants can also contact the Egrants Help Desk at (717) 787-5887 or by email at: RAeGrantsSupport@pa.gov for additional assistance.

collapse Question Title : Eligible Program Activities and Expenses ‎(7)

Question: If maintenance of social media sites and websites, PSAs, training of volunteers, and public presentations to ID victimization and connect victims to services are allowable, can the person/position that performs these duties be funded partially/prorated through VOCA?

Answer: Yes, this is allowable.  It is up to each applicant to describe the work that is being provided by each VOCA funded position as it relates to the proposed project, and justify the need for the position.  The program would need to inform PCCD if there are other funds that support the project and if so, the cost would have to be pro-rated accordingly.
 

Question: Can the design or re-design of brochures describing services be included, or just the printing?  Design of newspaper ads, billboards to advertise direct services, or just the cost of running them?

Answer: Yes, this is allowable.  It is up to each applicant to describe the work that is being provided by each VOCA funded position as it relates to the proposed project, and justify the need for the position.  The program would need to inform PCCD if there are other funds that support the project and if so, the cost would have to be pro-rated accordingly.

Question: Our CAC currently has funding for a victim advocate who delivers core direct service as required by NCA accreditation standards. The funding that supports that position ends in 2018. We have no other funds to support the position but need to continue to provide the services and want to apply for this funding to do that.  The Program Goals, Objectives and Anticipated Impacts of this announcement state that one objective is to 'help agencies maintain their ability to provide core direct services' yet the announcement also says 'Funds for the proposed program may be used for starting new projects, improving existing projects or expanding existing services.' We would be sustaining/maintaining an existing project. Does that meet the parameters of this funding announcement?

Answer: If the applicant can justify the need for their proposed project under one or more of the acceptable goals, objectives and project types then applicants are encouraged to apply.  The continued support of a victim advocate is eligible if justified appropriately under the same parameters.  Please note, this competitive funding is non-sustainable.

Question: We have a survivors of torture program that works with immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers who have experienced torture abroad (we use both the TVRA 1998 and UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) definitions to determine eligibility). Are we eligible to apply for this VOCA funding to serve torture victims as long as they fit the criteria under Appendix "H", Victimization Type: Terrorism: International (on page 43) or are there additional eligibility requirements to provide direct services to these individuals?

Answer: This solicitation is open to all victims of crime.  The federal VOCA guidelines define victims of crime as persons who has suffered physical, sexual, financial, or emotional harm as a result of the commission of a crime.  Individuals relocating to Pennsylvania and are victims of an eligible victimization under VOCA are eligible to receive direct services regardless if the crime occurred in Pennsylvania this includes immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have been victimized abroad.  Please note, there are exceptions to receiving victims compensation assistance please contact the Victims’ Compensation Assistance Program 1-800-233-2339 for eligibility requirements.  Successful applicants are required to determine and track the appropriate victimization type of the individuals they serve utilizing the reporting requirements listed in Appendix “H”.    

Question: Our agency wants to buy a vehicle.  I see Appendix F is a Vehicle Purchase/Lease Cost and Information Form.  Is a Vehicle an allowable expense?  Since the cost is over $5,000 do we have to depreciate it or does the grant reimburse the total expense?

Answer: The purchase of a vehicle is an eligible expense.  Applicants must indicate/demonstrate that the vehicle is essential and necessary to the proposed project.  Applicants must also certify that the vehicle will be used exclusively for VOCA Allowable Activities, or in the alternative, prorate the cost and expenses based on projected actual usage and provide an explanation of how the non-allowable activities will be accounted for.  Applicant must also certify a mileage log will be maintained as supporting documentation for actual amount charged to the grant.

​Question: I just want to clarify—are the *NEW* allowable direct services listed on the VOCA Competitive 2018-2020 solicitation (last fall) eligible this round, even though they are not listed? (For example—peer support, paying of volunteers, public awareness, etc.).

Answer: Yes, the “NEW” allowable direct services that were listed in the previous VOCA Competitive application are still eligible services.  Please review Appendix “B”, VOCA Sample Eligible Program Activities and Expenses, on page 21 of this announcement for more examples of eligible activities and expenses. Please note: paying volunteers is not an eligible expense under VOCA, but the cost of a volunteer coordinator and any recruitment efforts can be considered.

 

Question: Can we include partners in project even if they are not receiving funding (as a consultant or subrecipient) from this grant?  Can we partner with someone who does not meet all of the VOCA eligibility criteria (e.g. a university) as long as they are not receiving VOCA funding as part of our proposal?

Answer: Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other victim service programs or community partners within their proposed area for this solicitation.  Agencies are encouraged to provide Letters of Support, Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s) or other documentation that demonstrates a broad, relevant, local and collaborative approach and/or support for the proposed project.  This can and should include partners where the proposed partners may or may not receive VOCA funding. 

collapse Question Title : Empowerment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (ESQ) ‎(1)

Question: Are we correct in understanding that Child Advocacy Centers are not required to utilize the Empowerment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (ESQ) Survey (page 16), even for victims who are age 14 and older?

Answer:  The ESQ-LF has not been validated to be used on children. Child Advocacy Centers are exempt from the requirement to use the ESQ-LF even on individuals who receive services who are over the age of 14.

collapse Question Title : Fiscal  ‎(13)

Question: If I am a statewide application with multiple projects some that include other statewide entities, am I to submit only one application or should I submit an application per statewide partnership?  Example:  Two state agencies want to partner on a specific grant but both of those agencies also want to come in for additional competitive funding.

Answer: There is no limit to the number of applications that any agency can submit through the Competitive process, however it is recommended that applicants consider submitting one application with a description of each proposed project.  The applicant would also have to must  indicate the pass-through agencies and the amounts that each pass-through agency would be expended expending.  Justification addressing how the budgeted items support the project must be included within each budget category of each individual budget.  

Question: We understand that the total project period is April 1, 2019 through September 30, 2021, but how are the three budget years broken down? Would it be April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020; April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021; and April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021 (with the final “year” being 6 months)?

Answer: The budget year breakdown is up to each individual organization.  The parameters are no year may be more than 52 weeks and the project may not cover more than 30 months or 130 weeks in total, provided the periods are budgeted consistently.

Question: In the budget detail section of the eGrant application, there is an “Attachments” window for each cost category.  I’ve worked with a number of PCCD eGrant applications and not seen this previously.  Are there required attachments for each cost category and, if so, where are these described?

Answer: The are no required attachments for any budget category.  The attachment section is available should a subgrantee want to provide worksheets or documents to supplement the information contained in the Justification and/or Budget Detail.

Question: I'm writing to ensure that my interpretation of the Methods of Procurement is accurate.  Is the organization providing program evaluation and the organization providing equine therapy governed by the micro purchase threshold and the simplified acquisition threshold?

Answer: Yes, all procurements for Consultants are covered by the procurements procedures as outlined in the Procurement Details section of the application. 

Question: When the RFP notes that 25% of funding for the program must come from sources other than VOCA, does the term “program” refer to the agency’s full scope of victims services, or just the areas for which we are requesting funding?

Answer: The 25% of funding refers to the agency as a whole. 

Question: For an organization that has third party billing for some of its services, is it acceptable to request funding for the portion of activities/time which is not billable but reflective of eligible services under VOCA.

Answer: It is acceptable for organizations to request funding for services/activities for which there are no associated third party billing.   

Question: I represent an agency that is currently funded with VOCA monies through 9/30/19.  Can we request just 24 months of funding beginning 10/1/19 through the 2019-2021 Competitive #3 Solicitation?  Am I correct that the full draw-down must be complete by 9/30/21?

Answer: VOCA fiscal reports will need to be submitted for each calendar quarter end included in the project period, even if the expenditures to report for a given quarter is zero. 

Awarded funds under this solicitation must be obligated by the project period end date of 9/30/21, with the final fiscal report, submitted no later than November 29, 2021.

Question: Can I see a previously approved application in order to see how the budget was set up?

Answer: All PCCD grants are available to view in the PA Treasury e-contracts database available on the PA treasury website.  Please click here for the link

Question: ​ How should agencies working together on various projects but all applying separately.  One of the agencies provides transitional housing which will be a part of their grant.  My agency does not provide transitional housing but they have agreed to provide space for my clients in need of those services.  Do I put the cost of transitional housing into my budget or theirs?  There are other projects that we might be collaborating on and just wondering how we navigate our separate grant application. 

Answer: If collaborating applicants are completing separate applications with separate and unique Grant ID #’s, each applicant should describe in detail the collaboration proposed and consider submitting MOU’s/support letters and/or letters of understanding in order to demonstrate collaboration and/or partnerships within the community/service area.  Applicants would need to submit the proposal with a reasonable and realistic budget for each agency which is applying for funding.  If the proposed partners are submitting separate applications, their budgets should not be included in your application.

Please note that if one of the applications in this scenario is not recommended for funding, that may impact the chances of the other applications receiving funding since the projects are connected.  Another option would be for one agency to act as the lead agency and apply for the total project cost. The other agencies would be pass-through entities within the lead agency’s application.
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Question: Does our whole excel budget have to be inputted line by line on egrants or are we able to upload the entire budget in the attachment section?

Answer: Prospective applicants must input all budget expenses line by line within Egrants.  All grant program expenditures must be categorized into the following standard budget categories: Personnel; Employee Benefits; Travel; Equipment; Supplies and Other Operating Expenses; Consultants; and Other Category.  Applicants can also attach documents in the budget section if necessary, but attachments should only support the budget entry in Egrants and not be a duplication of the budget entry.  Applicants are required to provide a brief narrative of how each cost included in the corresponding Budget category supports the proposed project.

Question: In regards to the minor building adaptations necessary to meet the Department of Justice standards for implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act:

Our shelter has a bathroom that is not fully accessible.  It would take approximately $10,000 to modify the existing bathroom to full accessibility.  Does this qualify under the VOCA competitive solicitation for minor building adaptations.

Answer: Required minor building adaptations necessary to meet the Department of Justice standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or modifications that would improve the program’s ability to provide services to victims are allowable.

Question: Is there a preferred percentage we should use for administrative costs?  We want to make sure we’re doing this correctly as we may be applying as the lead agency and using the funds as a pass through to our sister organizations in the counties we serve.

Answer: Proposed applicants are expected to draft a reasonable and realistic budget.  Since this solicitation is a competitive application, all applications will go through a competitive review and be scored based in part on the proposed activities and the justification of the associated costs to the proposed activities.  Personnel included in Awarded applications are required to maintain time and effort reports for actual time devoted to providing eligible activities associated with the proposed project.

Question: Are there any restrictions on use of staff vs. outside consultants to implement infrastructure and capacity projects?  We are asking as some funders will only allow consultants to work on capacity building projects.

Answer: Proposed Applicants can submit applications which include both staff and/or consultants.  Applicants are to provide a justification which describes how the budgeted items support the project and the VOCA eligible expense within each budget category of each individual budget.  If an applicant decides to include consultants within their budget then the applicable procurement method as outlined in the Procurement Detail section must be followed. 

collapse Question Title : General  ‎(15)

Question: I am trying to make sense of what is best for us to apply for in both the non-competitive and competitive VOCA grants that were just released.  In order for me to best do this I am interested in  understanding better if my current VOCA 2016-2019 or VOCA ending 9/30/20 can be continued for another year by applying for the new VOCA that was released or if I should be writing for something new because the 2016-2019 will be given and extension or continued application. I hope that question even makes sense.         

Answer:  The Non-Competitive VOCA funding announcement totaling $23M is available as an allocation to existing VOCA grants to increase organizational capacity, and infrastructure enhancements.  Each agency's allocation is based on that agency's proportionate share of the total amount of VOCA funds currently awarded.  This announcement is open to all current VOCA recipients from the following three funding solicitations 2016-2019 VOCA Non-Competitive, 2016-2019 VOCA Competitive #1 and 2018-2020 VOCA Competitive #2.  Please Note: this announcement does not serve as continued funding for the 2016-2019 VOCA Non-Competitive Funding scheduled to end June 30, 2019.  Once continued funding for the current non-competitive VOCA recipients is approved by the Victims' Services Advisory Committee (VSAC), OVS will notify current recipients and provide programs with next steps.  This discussion will occur at the next VSAC meeting scheduled for August 2018.  It is up to each agency to decide if it is feasible for them to apply for this newly released Non-Compete funding announcement.  

Question: Are both of these grants designed to be 1 time only funding opportunities? Both state the funding is non-sustainable beyond the funding period.

Answer: Yes, the open 2019-2021 Competitive and Non-Competitive VOCA funding announcements are one-time funding opportunities and are non-sustainable beyond the funding period (4/1/2019-9/30/2021).

Question: Under the Executive Summary, question 1 in the eGrant application, we are asked to “Identify, by name, the agency applying for the competitive VOCA funding” and are allowed up to 1,000 characters. Given the space allotted for this response, is more descriptive information to be provided than the agency name?

Answer: The response to the question is simply requesting the name of the applicant agency.  The characters have been set at 1,000 characters in order to ensure that agencies have enough characters to indicate the agency name.

​Question: In the Executive Summary section of the eGrant application, question #6 asks us to “Identify the victim population(s) to be served through the project” with a limit if 1,000 characters. In the Problem Description section, we are asked to “Please identify the victim population to be served through this project” but the character limit is 1,500 characters. Is there a difference in the response being sought for these two questions?

Answer: In the Executive Summary, the victim population is expected to be briefly described, therefore the character limit is set at 1,000 characters.  A similar question that is listed in the Problem Description is for the proposed applicant to  provide the information and begin the building blocks/justification for the need of the project.  Applicants are encouraged to concisely explain the need for the project within the Problem Description. 

Question: In deciding what to include in our application, we are interested to know whether the last two competitive rounds (2016-2019) and (2018-2021) are renewable. If so, when and what is the process?

If not, is it acceptable to include portions of services (staff, infrastructure) from our 2016-2019 competitive project into the current competitive or non-competitive applications?

Answer: Funding for the current non-competitive VOCA recipients, set to end June 30, 2019, will be discussed at the Victim Services Advisory Committee (VSAC) meeting scheduled for August 14, 2018.  OVS will also be proposing at this VSAC meeting that VSAC authorize a future single application for Competitive/Non-competitive funding announcement which will begin October 1, 2020.  These recommendations are made to address the administrative burden on the field and PCCD created by annual funding announcements.  OVS will notify current recipients and provide programs with the VSAC decisions regarding future funding announcements, as soon as that information is available. 

It is up to the applicant agencies to determine the need for services within the programs service area and to decide whether or not to add the services in either both Non-competitive or Competitive applications.  Each applicant agency would need to describe the need and provide a justification for the services proposed.

Question: Is the non-competitive application designed to focus on the services and infrastructure of the individual agency approved for the allocation, rather than with sub-recipient partners?

Answer: The Non-Competitive application is for the individual applicant agencies, which are listed in the allocation chart.  It is up to the applicant agencies to indicate the need and justify each proposed project. 

 

Question: On page 6 of the Funding Announcement, regarding an organizational component whose principle mission is to provide services to crime victims, it state, “These organizations are eligible if the funds are to be used to expand, or enhance the delivery of crime victim services.” On page 7, the four objectives of the solicitation are listed: 1) maintaining their ability to provide core direct services; 2) allowing programs to implement a broader range of services; 3) expanding or enhancing service provision to previously unserved victim populations; and 4) filling gaps in service delivery to underserved/unserved victim populations. Should this be construed to mean that applicants that are components of a larger organization are limited to addressing only one of these objectives?

Answer: No, you are not required to limit your proposal to just one of the objectives but your proposal must meet at least one of the identified objectives.

Question: Our County previously applied for this funding and the application is still under review.  Should we submit another application for this funding?

Answer:  Previously recommended VOCA 2018-2020 competitive applications that have not been awarded are due to an internal PCCD backlog and should not impact any new competitive applications.  It is up to each applicant to assess the needs of the applicant agency’s service area and submit a proposal which justifies the needs of the applicant agency.  It is also essential that the interested applicants review the solicitation for eligible VOCA services and then submit the application, if necessary. 

Question: Page 5 of the funding announcement notes that applicants can apply for funds in multiple counties but can only submit one applications. Would this also be the case if we are proposing different types of services in each county?

Answer: It is recommended that applicants submit one application and describe how each service is intended to be provided by county within the Project Description and the VOCA Services section of this solicitation.

Question: Our Competitive 1 grant ends in September 2019 – is there any relationship between this Competitive solicitation and either of the first two? (I’m guessing NO from the earlier Q&A I read.)  This is a one-time, non-sustainable competitive solicitation?

Answer: There is no relationship between the Competitive 1 application and the VOCA Competitive #3 solicitation that is currently open.  The funding from this solicitation is non-sustainable. 

Question: The Q&A site is not working. We are not able to access the questions and answers of others?

Answer: Occasionally, PCCD’s website may be down for maintenance.  Currently, the site is up and open for review, please review the following site for access to the Questions and Answers for this solicitation.  Please contact the Egrants Help Desk at 717.787.5887 for additional assistance. 

 

Question: How can we obtain a blank copy of the actual application out of egrants?

Answer: All applications are to be submitted electronically in Egrants.  Once an application has been started and the Title and Brief Project Description fields are entered, applicants can view or print the application (whether sections are complete or not yet started), using the "View Contract” button on the bottom of Summary page. Unfortunately, Egrants does not have the capacity to have blank copy of the open solicitations.  Applicants can also “print screen” from each section of this solicitation, while the application is in draft form.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the funding announcement in PDF form. Once an application is submitted, a completed application can be printed and reviewed.

Question: Three community victim service agencies are planning to apply for funding under VOCA 2019-2021 Competitive Grant with co-applicants serving urban domestic violence and rural domestic violence.  If the three victim services agencies apply together to work on one particular goal, would any of the three agencies be prohibited from applying for this grant for program funding separately under a different goal?  Alternatively, would two of the agencies be allowed to apply for funding cooperatively and contract with a third agency as a provider for rural services in order to allow for an agency to apply for and receive crucial funding for their individual programs?

If neither of these scenarios works, how must local community's three victim services agencies apply to ensure that applications are appropriate for funding while still demonstrating cooperative intent and full coverage of all victims throughout the service area?

Answer: If collaborating applicants are completing separate applications with separate and unique Grant ID #’s, each applicant should describe in detail the collaboration proposed and consider submitting MOU’s/support letters and/or letters of understanding in order to demonstrate collaboration and/or partnerships within the community/service area. Applicants would need to submit the proposal with a reasonable and realistic budget for each agency which is applying for funding. If the proposed partners are submitting separate applications, their budgets should not be included in your application.

Please note that if one of the applications in this scenario is not recommended for funding, that may impact the chances of the other applications receiving funding since the projects are connected. Another option would be for one agency to act as the lead agency and apply for the total project cost. The other agencies would be pass-through entities within the lead agency’s application.

It is up to each prospective applicant to submit proposals that make sense for the applicant agency, the specific funding announcement and for the proposed service area. Applicants can submit a second application with a separate program proposal under a different goal.

Question: Instructions are “applicant must submit only one application.”   Can an applicant submit an application and be included as a subrecipient/subcontractor/consultant on someone else’s application?

Answer: Proposed applicants can submit applications and also be included as consultants/or pass through agencies on other projects/applications for this funding announcement.  The applicant must  indicate the pass-through agencies and the amounts that each pass-through agency would be expending.  Justification addressing how the budgeted items support the project must be included within each budget category of each individual budget. 

If an agency is proposing to be both an applicant and a pass-through/subrecipient in another application, we are recommending you include this information in the project description section of this application. 

Question: This is my first time applying for VOCA Competitive funds and I'd like further explanation concerning how we determine how much we can apply for.  I realize that we will compete with others for a total pool.  Do we take the urban pool of $34.5M and divide by the number of urban counties?  Thank you.

Answer: Applicants are encouraged to apply for a realistic and reasonable budget in relationship to their proposed activities within this application.  There is no specific limit per application, however, all applications will go through a competitive review and be scored based in part on the proposed activities and the justification of logical and realistic costs associated with the proposed activities.

collapse Question Title : Priority Areas ‎(1)

Question: I am writing to inquire about the Access to Telehealth Services priority area.  I’m curious if there is a specific PCCD standard that addresses telehealth services and/or guidance regarding what activities may be allowable under this priority.  For example, does “access” mean transportation to obtain telehealth services or purchasing equipment for survivors to utilize telehealth services?

Answer: Access to telehealth services is broadly referring to the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance victim care/services. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.  For example,  this can refer to a victim of crime located in the rural or remote area which is receiving therapy from a licensed clinical therapist via a tablet or laptop.  PCCD currently does not have a standard for access to telehealth services.  However, telehealth is referring to the manner or format in which an eligible VOCA service is being provided and not a new type of service. 

Please Note: to qualify for a scoring preference, programs must demonstrate that the project includes substantial and meaningful activities devoted to the priority categories. Expenses related to establishing a telehealth option to a VOCA eligible service should be justified in the application in the same manner as any other activity or expense.  

collapse Question Title : VOCA Application Trainings ‎(6)

Question: On page 19 of the funding announcement it states that VOCA application trainings will be made available during the application period. Will these be live, participatory trainings and if so, how do applicants arrange to participate? Or will they be solely limited to recorded trainings? And on what section of the PCCD website will these be posted?

Answer: The VOCA application trainings have not been released yet.  The  trainings will consist of topical recorded webinar trainings which will be accessible for the duration of the funding announcement.  We will notify applicants through this site and in the OVS newsletter once the webinars are published. The production of some of the topical trainings have been delayed, but we expect to have them published on this site by July 31, 2018.  

 

Question: How can I get more information on program income?

Answer: The link below is for a WebEx which describes program income.  The training utilizes specific examples of project income generated at a Child Advocacy Center (CAC).  Projects with the potential for project income may benefit from the training and are encouraged to listen even if your organization is not a CAC. 

Please Note: The federal Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and PCCD strongly discourage the use of third party billing for VOCA covered services.  Third party billing for VOCA covered services will result in program income being generated.  Accounting for program income can be extremely complex and difficult and could result in the reduction of your grant award.  Please refer to the Program Income section of PCCD's Applicant's Manual for additional information.

Click Here for access to the training.

​Question: How can I get more information on the Budget Detail section of this solicitation? 

Answer: Please review the following WebEx and PowerPoint regarding the Budget Detail.   

Budget Detail Section

Budget Detail WebEx Recording

 

 

 

Question: Will there be any trainings on the fiscal requirements for this solicitation?

Answer:  The following WebEx was recently recorded for the fiscal requirements for this funding announcement.  

Please click here for the PPT and click for the Fiscal Requirements training.

​Question: When will the VOCA Application trainings be posted?

Answer: The VOCA application trainings have been recorded in three separate trainings.  Below are the recordings as well as the PowerPoints.

Part 1 Intro to PCCD, OVS and VOCA WebEx

Part 1 Intro to PCCD, OVS and VOCA PPT

Part 2 Competitive Scoring and Egrants Sections WebEx

Part 2 Competitive Scoring and Egrants Sections PPT

Part 3 VOCA NEW Eligible Activities and Services WebEx

Part 3 VOCA NEW Eligible Activities and Services PPT

 

​Question: Is there any information that you can provide for assisting with Egrants?

Answer: Please review the following additional information regarding Egrants:

PCCD Egrants Guide

PCCD Egrants Registering and Managing Grants WebEx

 

 

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