The RPGs are competitive, targeted grants awarded to Regional Partnerships that provide integrated activities and services that are designed to increase the well-being of, improve permanency outcomes for, and enhance the safety of children who are in an out-of-home placement or at risk of being placed in an out-of-home placement as a result of a parent's or caretaker's substance abuse. Public Law 112-34 removes reference to methamphetamine, including the requirement that gave weight to grant applications focused on methamphetamine.
Since the first round of RPG funding, federal leaders and policy makers have intensified their focus on implementing evidence-based or evidence-informed and trauma informed practices. In response, the second round of RPG partnerships required applicants to propose the use of evidence-based practices and do more to attend to children’s behavioral, emotional, and social functioning, one component of which is addressing the impact of trauma and its effect on the overall functioning of children and families. Per the RPG Round 2 program requirements and this program, grantees will:
- Use evidence-based or evidence-informed programs or strategies that are also traumainformed to provide services to the target populations they select;
- Address child well-being along with the more traditional goals of safety and permanency as part of their selected strategy or program;
- Conduct an evaluation sufficiently rigorous to contribute to the evidence base on service delivery and outcomes associated with their chosen interventions; and,
- Participate in the national cross-site evaluation and collect and report performance and evaluation measures to increase the knowledge that can be gained from the RPG program.
The target population of the grantee should include communities in which there are a number of children in out-of-home placements or who are at risk of being placed in an out-of-home placement due to the substantial impact of substance abuse.
Grantees will collaborate with a wide range of family-serving agencies, including, but not limited to, child welfare agencies, substance abuse treatment providers, mental health agencies, courts, and other service organizations. Collaborations may include the following components:
- routine consultation and interaction with other agencies,
- joint accountability and shared outcomes among agencies in memorandums of agreement/understanding,
- cross training and staff development, and
- processes for communication and information sharing.
Methods of strengthening collaboration include addressing how partners' values and principles help or hinder the collaboration and having agreements about shared costs and budgets.
Grantees implement specific services and activities that increase the well-being, improve permanency outcomes, and enhance safety of children who are in or at risk of being placed in an out-of-home placement as a result of a parent's or caretaker's substance abuse. All grantees select and report on performance indicators to measure improvement of child, adult, and/or family outcomes that align with their proposed program strategies and activities. CB-supported contractors will work with the grantee after the award to assess the fit of program strategies and activities for the identified target population and how the quality of the program services and activities influence the intended outcomes of the grant. Therefore, grantees will work with the CB-supported contractors to make adjustments as needed after award to ensure that the RPG project components are well-defined. By identifying the core components and looking at the implementation of the strategies and activities, ACF expects to better understand the factors associated with the successful implementation and sustaining of program strategies and activities.
On September 28, 2012, ACYF/CB awarded new 5-year RPGs to 17 partnerships in 15 states. ACYF/CB also funded 2-year extension grants to eight of the regional partnership grants funded in 2007.