Social Services Research and Demonstration

To promote research and demonstrations related to the prevention and reduction of dependency or the administration and effectiveness of programs related to that purpose.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: In fiscal year 2016, funds were used to support work of the Center for Research on Hispanic Children and Families, the Family Self-Sufficiency Research Consortium including the Family Strengthening Research Scholars, as well as Family Strengthening scholars, both a continuing and a new cohort.

Fiscal Year 2017: We anticipate funding similar types of projects in fiscal year 2017, but adding scholar grants for students working on dissertations in Behavioral Economics.

Fiscal Year 2018: We anticipate funding similar types of projects in fiscal year 2018.

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.

Appropriate ACF Regional Administrator.

(See Appendix IV of the Catalog for ACF Regional Offices.).

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
University Of Maryland, College Park $ 499,514   2021-01-012023-12-31
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology $ 25,000   2021-09-302022-09-29
University Of Iowa, The $ 24,954   2021-09-302022-09-29
University Of North Carolina At Greensboro $ 25,000   2021-09-302022-09-29
University Of Chicago, The $ 25,000   2020-09-302022-09-29
University Of Miami $ 43,230   2020-09-302022-09-29
President And Fellows Of Harvard College $ 49,997   2019-09-302022-09-29
Cornell University $ 50,000   2019-09-302021-09-29
Woodson Center $ 150,000   2019-05-272020-01-15
Child Trends Inc $ 5,362,105   2013-09-302019-03-31

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: We awarded a total of 12 grants in FY 2016, 1 new grants, and 11 non-competing continuations. Fiscal Year 2017: It is anticipated that 6 grants will be rewarded in FY 2017, 4 new grants and 2 non-competing continuations. Fiscal Year 2018: It is anticipated that 10 grants will be rewarded in FY 2018, 3 new, and 7 non-competing continuations.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants and cooperative agreements are awarded for innovative research, demonstrations, and evaluations that are responsive to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) program priorities.

All applications must meet standards of excellence in research, demonstration, or evaluation design.

Construction or the purchase of real estate are not allowable under these grants or contracts.

Further, these funds may not be used to supplement the cost of program operations otherwise capped under the law.

Organizations may not use funds under these grants or contracts to engage in inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instructions, or proselytizing.

In addition, an organization receiving ACF funds shall not, in providing ACF-funded services, discriminate against a program beneficiary or prospective program beneficiary on the basis of religion or religious belief.

Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which include the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, as well as provisions related to nondiscrimination against religious organizations and the ability of religious organizations to maintain their religious character, can be found at either 45 CFR 87.1 or the HHS Web site at partnerships/about/regulations/.

Discretionary funding may be used for contracts, including cooperative agreements, for the cost of research or demonstration projects, or which will aid in effecting coordination and planning between private and public welfare agencies or which will improve the effectiveness of programs carried on or assisted under the Social Security Act or related programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Grants and cooperative agreements may be made to or with governmental entities, colleges, universities, nonprofit and for-profit organizations (if fee is waived), and faith-based and community organizations.

Grants and cooperative agreements cannot be made directly to individuals.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Children, youth, and families, especially low-income families, will benefit.


Applicants must present written evidence of other agencies' willingness to cooperate when the project involves the use of other agencies, facilities, or services. Nonprofit organizations which have not previously received ACF program support must submit proof of nonprofit status. For State and local governments, costs will be determined in accordance with Chapter III Part 300 45 CFR Part 75 and Chapter II Part 200. For other grantees, 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 . 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 excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants will be able to find a synopsis of grant or cooperative agreement opportunities and apply electronically for opportunities via: Applicants will also be able to find the complete text of grant announcements on the ACF web site located at:

Award Procedures

Official notice of approved grant applications is made through issuance of a Notice of Award (NOA). This provides the amount awarded, the purpose of the award, the terms and conditions of the award, the budget period for which support is given, the total project period for which support is contemplated, and the total grantee participation.


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


Social Security Act, Title XI, Section 1110, 42 U.S.C 1310.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 365 days. Generally, solicited grants and cooperative agreements will be acted upon within 120 days.


Appeals are processed in accordance with HHS regulations in 45 CFR Part 16.


Grant extensions and continuations are available if formally applied for and approved. If an application is recommended for approval for 2 or more years, the grantee must submit a formal request for a non-competitive continuation application each year accompanied by a progress report which will be evaluated prior to a recommendation of continuation.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are granted on a 1- to 5-year basis, with support beyond the first year contingent upon acceptable evidence of satisfactory progress, continuing program relevance, and availability of funds. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Post award, our Division of Payment Management will establish an account from which a grantee may draw down awards. For additional information on this process see:

Post Assistance Requirements


No program reports are required.

No cash reports are required.

Grantees are required to submit performance progress reports (ACF-OGM-SF-PPR) throughout the project period.

Performance progress reports are due 30 days after the reporting period.

Final performance reporting reports are due 90 days after the close of the project.

Reporting forms are available at

Grantees will be required to submit financial expenditure reports throughout the project period.

Financial reports are due 30 days after the reporting period.

Final financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.

Grantees use the Financial Status Report (FSR) SF-425 for required financial reporting.

Reporting forms are available at

No performance monitoring is required.


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. All fiscal transactions identifiable to Federal financial assistance are subject to audit by the HHS audit agency, and other Federal officials.


Proper accounting records, identifiable by grant number and including all receipts and expenditures, must be maintained for 3 years in accordance with 45 CFR 75.361. Subsequent to audit, they must be maintained until all questions are resolved, or at the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants) FY 16 $842,073; FY 17 est $849,355; and FY 18 est $250,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range from $17,474 to $100,000; Average being $63,980.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

A variety of guidance on grants can be found at

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Appropriate ACF Regional Administrator. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog for ACF Regional Offices.).

Headquarters Office

Emily Ball Jabbour 26 Federal Plaza, 41st Floor Room 4114, New York, New York 10278 Email: Phone: 212-264-2890 x 273

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Applications may be funded in whole or in part depending on: (1) the ranked order of applicants resulting from competitive review; (2) staff review and consultations; (3) the combination of projects that best meet the information needs of the program; (4) the funds available; and (5) other relevant considerations. Typical criteria include project cost and budget justification, the qualification of the principal investigator and organization, the quality of approach and methodologies employed, and results and the programs objectives and results and benefits expected. Specific criteria for selecting recipients under individual funding announcements under this program are published in

Social Entrepreneurship

Rwanda as Social Entrepreneur Fund Beneficiary

The Republic of Rwanda has been picked as one of the six African countries as beneficiaries for a new fellowship fund program designed at supporting social entrepreneurs in tackling issues on food security.

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