Promoting Safe and Stable Families

The objectives of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program are: 1) to prevent child maltreatment among families at risk through the provision of supportive family services; 2) to assure children's safety within the home and preserve intact families in which children have been maltreated, when the
family's problems can be addressed effectively; 3) to address the problems of families whose children have been placed in foster care so that reunification may occur in a safe and stable manner; 4) to support adoptive families by providing support services as necessary to that they can make a lifetime commitment to their children.

This is accomplished through issuance of grants to state child welfare agencies, territories, and eligible Indian tribes to serve families at risk or in crisis, to develop or expand and operate coordinated programs of community-based family support services, family preservation services, time-limited reunification services, and adoption promotion and support services.

In addition, a portion of funds is reserved for a separate formula grant for states and territories to support monthly caseworker visits with children who are in foster care.

A small proportion of appropriated funds are reserved for research, evaluation, and technical assistance, which may be awarded competitively through contracts or discretionary grants.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Consult Children's Bureau (CB) Regional Child Welfare Program Manager.

(See Appendix IV of the Catalog for listing.).

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Northern Arapaho Tribe $ 102,836   2019-10-012025-09-30
Children And Families, Connecticut Department Of $ 3,021,860   2019-10-012025-09-30
Health & Human Services, Michigan Department Of $ 15,621,987   2019-10-012025-09-30
Children & Family Services, Illinois Department Of $ 17,448,847   2019-10-012025-09-30
Human Services, Colorado Department Of $ 7,723,580   2019-10-012025-09-30
Children And Families, Kansas Department For $ 4,837,702   2019-10-012025-09-30
Children, Youth & Their Families, Delaware Dept Of Services For $ 1,432,430   2019-10-012025-09-30
Social Services, California Department Of $ 49,100,434   2019-10-012025-09-30
Human Services, Georgia Department Of $ 18,555,327   2019-10-012025-09-30
Human Services, Iowa Department Of $ 5,173,229   2019-10-012025-09-30

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 245 formula grants were awarded to states, territories and tribes. 239 discretionary grants were awarded. Fiscal Year 2017: It is anticipated that 245 formula grants will be awarded to states, territories, and tribes and 239 discretionary grants will be awarded. Fiscal Year 2018: It is anticipated that 245 formula grants will be awarded to states, territories, and tribes and 239 discretionary grants will be awarded.

Uses and Use Restrictions

For the main Promoting Safe and Stable Families Formula Grants, states must spend a significant portion of funds (approximately 20 percent) on each of the service categories of family preservation, family support services, time-limited family reunification services and adoption promotion and support services.

State grantees must limit administrative costs to 10 percent of the Federal funds.

Caseworker visit formula grants: States and territories are required to spend funds to improve the quality of monthly caseworker visits with children in foster care under the responsibility of the state, with an emphasis on improving caseworker decision making on the safety, permanency, and well-being of foster children, and on activities designed to increase retention, recruitment, and training of caseworkers. Discretionary Grants: Grants are awarded for research, evaluation, and technical assistance activities relating to family support, family preservation, time-limited family reunification, and adoption promotion support.

Project funds may not be used for construction.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

(1) Formula Grants: States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas, the U.S.

Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Federally-recognized Indian tribes are eligible applicants.

For caseworker visit funds, only states and territories are eligible applicants.

(2) Discretionary Grants: States, local governments, tribes, public agencies or private agencies or organizations (or combinations of such agencies or organizations) with expertise in providing, evaluating and/or providing technical assistance related to family preservation, family support, time-limited family reunification and adoption promotion and support.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Families and children who need services to assist them to stabilize their lives, strengthen family functioning, prevent out-of-home placement of children, enhance child development and increase competence in parenting abilities, facilitate timely reunification of the child, and promote appropriate adoptions.


Formula Grants: The state agency which administers the social services program under Title XX of the Social Security Act (Social Services Block Grant) must also be the agency which administers the Title IV-B programs. Discretionary Grants: Nonprofit agencies must submit proof of nonprofit status. Applicable costs and administrative procedures will be determined in accordance with 45 CFR Part 75. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Application Procedure (1) Formula Grants: A 5-year agency plan must be submitted. A full plan (every five years) or a plan update is due for submission by June 30th of each year. The plan must be jointly developed by the Secretary and the state or Indian tribe and written after consultation by the agency with appropriate public and non-profit private agencies and community-based organizations. The plan must coordinate the provision of services under Title IV-B with services under other Federal or federally-assisted programs serving the same populations. (2) Discretionary Grants: Announcement of availability of funds is posted on the website and on the ACF website at: Eligible applicants submit applications by specified deadlines.

Award Procedures

Formula Grants: Funds will be approved after the agency plan, or annual update is submitted and approved. Discretionary Grants: Applications for funding are reviewed and scored by panels of at least three non-federal subject matter experts. Final funding decisions will be made by Commissioner, ACYF.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Social Security Act, Title IV, Part B, Section Subpart 2.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Formula Grants: The agency plan or its annual update is due June 30 of each year. Approval/disapproval is due September 30 of each year. Discretionary Grants: From three to six months.


Appeals are processed in accordance with Departmental regulations at 45 CFR 16.


Discretionary Grants: Grants are generally available for a 12-, 24-, or 36- month period. Some may be renewed for up to a total of 5 years. Multiple-year projects are funded on an annual basis through submission of a non-competing continuation application. Continuation funding is subject to availability of funds, submission of program and financial reports, and grantee performance.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory Formula: Matching Requirements: Percent: 25%. (1) Formula Grants: State allotments are computed based on the number of children receiving food stamps over a three year rolling average. Allotments to Indian tribes, including tribal consortia are based on a percent set aside of the total appropriation in each fiscal year and computed based on the number of children in the tribe compared to the total number of children in eligible Indian tribes. However, grants will not be made to Indian tribes whose allotment is less than $10,000. Allotments to territories are based on the formula in subpart 1 of Title IV-B. Matching Requirements: FFP is available up to the full allotment at the rate of 75 percent for allowable program expenditures made by the grantee. Grantees must provide a 25 percent match for these expenditures. (2) Discretionary Grants: The funding formula and matching requirements are described in each program announcement. This program has MOE requirements, see funding agency for further details. A MOE requirement is applicable to the formula grants to states. Specifically, states may not use the Federal funds under title IV-B, subpart 2, to supplant Federal or non-Federal funds for existing family preservation and family support services as of 1992 (base year). The discretionary grants component of this program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

(1) Formula Grants: Grants are available for obligation and liquidation in the FY granted and in the subsequent FY. Grant awards will be made quarterly on a fiscal year basis through a letter of credit. An electronic fund transfer system will be used for monthly cash draws from Federal Reserve Banks. (2) Discretionary Grants: Grants are generally available for a 12, 24, or 36- month period. Some may be renewed for up to a total of 5 years. Renewal funding for multiple-year grants is dependent upon grantee performance and availability of funds. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Discretionary grant awards are managed by a payment management system that manages grant payment requests, drawdowns, and disbursements.

Post Assistance Requirements


(1) Formula Grants: After the end of each of the first four fiscal years, the states, territories, and Indian tribes must submit an interim review of progress toward accomplishment of the goals in the state or tribal plan.

After the end of the fifth fiscal year, the states, territories, and Indian tribes must perform a final review of progress toward accomplishment of the goals.

An SF-425 financial status report must be submitted for the funds awarded in each Federal fiscal year (FFY) within three months after the close of the FFY in which the funds were granted (interim report) and again within three months after the close of the subsequent FFY (final report).

Performance monitoring of state agencies is conducted through the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process in accordance with 45 CFR 1355.31 - 1355.37.

(2) Discretionary Grants: Grantees are required to submit semi-annual program reports.

Final reports are due 90 days after completion of the grant.

Grantees are required to submit semi-annual financial reports.

Final financial reports are due 90 days after completion of the grant.

Financial reporting is conducted via the PSC-272 and SF-425.

Discretionary Grants: Progress reports are included in program reports.

Expenditure reports are included in financial reports.

Discretionary grant performance monitoring is described in program reports.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Audits are conducted in accordance with the requirement of 45 CFR Part 75 Subpart F.


(1) Formula Grants: Grantees must develop and maintain records which permit review of expenditures in accordance with the provisions of 45 CFR Part 75. Discretionary Grants: All financial records are to be maintained for 3 years after termination of the project or until audit is completed, whichever comes first.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 16 $59,692,755; FY 17 est $60,000,000; and FY 18 est $60,000,000. (Formula Grants) FY 16 $269,891,000; FY 17 est $270,000,000; and FY 18 est $270,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2016, formula grants for main grant program: states, territories, and tribes ranged from $8,449 to 26,293,182 with an average of $1, 347,892.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

45 CFR 1355 and 45 CFR 1357.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Consult Children's Bureau (CB) Regional Child Welfare Program Manager. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog for listing.).

Headquarters Office

Eileen West, 330 C Street SW, Room 3509B, Washington, District of Columbia 20201 Email: Phone: (202) 205-8438.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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