Notice of Funds Available (RFP)

Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities
This notice is not publicly posted.
The application deadline for this notice has expired.

22SC6:  DSP Innovation Fund

Specifications

Posted Applications Due Start Date End Date Amount MatchPoverty Match Council Staff
Nov 15, 2021 Mar 01, 2022 Feb 28, 2023 $25,000.00 $6,250.00$0.00 Kate Brady

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice of Funds Available (NoFA) is to allow for the submission of innovative pilots proposals impacting the shortage of direct service professionals.

Schedule of Events

This Request for Proposals will be governed by the following schedule:
• NoFA Posted in DD Suite- October 15

• Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM via Zoom
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87807874832?pwd=Q3lVcXJ6K1FEZFVUS2drL3VGNnMzUT09
Meeting ID: 878 0787 4832, Passcode: 611589

• Deadline for written Questions – November 9
• Applications Due – November 15
• Staff Application Review - November 15- December 3
• Grants Selection Committee Review - December 6 – 31
• Board Approval – January 15
• Award Recipients Announced – January 17
• Contract Negotiations and Signed Contracts – January 17 – February 15
• Start Date/Work Begins – March 1, 2022

Restrictions on Communication

All questions about this NoFA must be submitted in the following format:
Organization/Individual Name
1. Question
Citation of relevant section of the NoFA
2. Question
Citation of relevant section of the NoFA
Questions must be directed in writing to the Operations & Contracts Director (OCD) Lisa Eaves at: lisa.eaves@gcdd.ga.gov
Questions must include the company name and the referenced NoFA section.
From the issue date of this NoFA until a contractor is selected and the selection is announced, Applicants are not allowed to communicate for any reason with any State staff except through the OCD, or during the Applicants' conference, or as provided by existing work agreement(s). The State reserves the right to reject the proposal of any Applicant violating this provision. All questions concerning this NoFA must be submitted in writing by email to lisa.eaves@gcdd.ga.gov. Only written questions will be accepted. No response other than written will be binding upon the State.

The DD Council

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is one of 56 entities of its type in the United States and territories that report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration for Community Living. It is authorized under Public Law 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000.
The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) makes funds available to fulfill its mission in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its Five-Year Strategic Plan (pdf file). Through its funding, GCDD works to increase the capacities and resources of public and private nonprofit entities and others to develop a comprehensive community system that responds to the choices, capabilities and needs of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The purpose of GCDD grants is to expand best practices and contribute to system-wide changes that support the rights of people with developmental disabilities and their full inclusion as community members. Recipients of GCDD grants are expected to be ongoing partners bringing about change.
Our activities are governed by a 27-member board, appointed by the Governor and comprised of at least 60 percent individuals with developmental disabilities and family members. Other members include policymakers that represent various agencies and organizations having a vested interested in persons with developmental disabilities.

GCDD serves as an advocate for all persons with developmental disabilities. We are charged with creating systems change for people with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing opportunities for independence, inclusion, integration, productivity and self-determination. Activities include public policy research and analysis, reform, project demonstrations, education and training.
The GCDD is a state agency, attached to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) for administrative purposes.

Scope of Work- Request For Proposals

GCDD Mission:
To bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for the wide spectrum of diverse people/persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play, and worship in their communities.

In this 5 Year Strategic Plan we have goals focused on Systems Change, Self-Advocacy, and Diversity

The work we do occurs across a set of methods GCDD values include:
• Capacity Building
• Advocacy
• Public Information
• Equity
• Grant Making

In 2019 GCDD commissioned a white paper titled:
The Direct Support Professional Workforce Crisis:
Challenges, State Approaches, and Opportunities for Georgia
authored by:
Carol Britton Laws, PhD, MSW, FAAIDD Clinical Associate Professor in Disability Studies The Institute on Human Development and Disability/UCEDD College of Family and Consumer Sciences The University of Georgia

The Executive Summary is provided here for background and a full version of the paper can be found on GCDD’s website.
Executive Summary
There is a growing demand for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to support citizens with disabilities in home and community settings. DSPs are staff who are employed to provide a wide range of supportive services to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) on a day-to-day basis, including habilitation, health needs, personal care and hygiene, employment, transportation, recreation, housekeeping and other home management-related supports, so that these individuals can live and work in their communities and lead self-directed, community and social lives. The direct support workforce is one of the fastest growing in America due to population growth, the increased life expectancy among persons with disabilities, the aging of family caregivers, and the mandated movement from institutional to community-based services.
This demand is outpacing the supply of available workers. Vacancy rates and voluntary turnover is high. Low wages and limited benefits, minimal training, ineffective supervision, and few opportunities for career growth, combined with the growing complexity of work, are barriers to creating a stable workforce. The crisis of care in home and community-based service settings is of high concern in Georgia. The annual turnover rate of direct support professionals is 45%. Only 64% of staff stays in their positions for more than one year. The average hourly wage is $10.30 (below the national average of $11.76 and far below the living wage for Georgia for one adult and one child of $22.52). Only 16.3% receive any kind of paid time off, and health insurance is only offered to 43.9%.
The DSP crisis is extremely costly to the human service system and to the individuals who need assistance. People with disabilities were significantly less likely to have most quality of life indicators present when they experienced DSP turnover. The DSP crisis puts people with I/DD who need assistance at great risk of harm, contributes to unreasonably long waiting lists for services, and is leading many people to reconsider more expensive institutional models of segregated care outside their home.
There are a number of approaches states are taking to address this crisis. States are forming in-state partnerships to collaborate with state workforce agencies, trade associations, and educational institutions. Legislatures are advocating for a standard occupational classification for DSPs to improve workforce data collection. Wages and benefits are being evaluated and Medicaid reimbursement rate changes, including cost of living adjustments, wage pass throughs, and value based payments are being implemented. Competency-based training and affiliated credentialing has been found to positively impact staff retention and outcomes for people receiving support. Among many state-level efforts, comprehensive interventions to increase the recruitment and retention of DSPs are being undertaken by Tennessee, Ohio, and New York.
Given the quantity of current national research and innovative strategies implemented by states to address the DSP crisis, there are a number of opportunities for Georgia to consider. These include: 1. the creation of a standard occupational code for DSPs; 2. creation of a state-level task force to address systemic DSP challenges; 3. incentives to innovate recruitment; 4. expansion of nationally accredited competency-based training; 5. development of a career ladder with affiliated wage increases; 6. reassessing Medicaid reimbursement rates to include training costs and wage increases for staff; 7.creation of a public-facing DSP registry; and, 8. establishment of an HCBS Innovation Fund to support pilot studies to address the workforce shortage in Georgia.

The DSP Innovation Fund will serve to allow for the submission of innovative pilots proposed for impacting the shortage of direct service professionals.
**Proposed projects can be small in scale or constitute the full available grant amount.
Potential Impact of proposed projects could include:
• A scalable pilot that has demonstrated viable solutions to DSP recruitment and retention issues
• Advocacy that has generated momentum on changes to state level practices that predict meaningful resolution of some or all of the current DSP hiring and retention barriers.
• Recruiting and/or training materials that address identified need of DSP or the people with disabilities they support

Minimum Qualifications:
• 3 years’ experience working with people with developmental disabilities.
• Capacity for traveling throughout the state with some frequency.
• 1 years’ experience in community-organizing and education of the public on issues critical to marginalized people.

Application Submission & Evaluation

The Applicant must submit a complete application in DD Suite which includes a Project Outline, a Project Work Plan and a Project Budget.

Applications must be submitted online via https://www.ddsuite.org, prior to the published deadline. No hard copies will be accepted. Applicants must have or create a DD Suite user account and an organization account in order to submit an application. Go to https://www.ddsuite.org and click on "HELP TAB" for detailed instructions on creating DD Suite user and organization accounts. (See complete application process and Guide to DD Suite attached)

Additional Submission Requirements:
1) Upload of copy of the Federal W-9 (attached to this NoFA)
2) Two written professional references who can speak to your qualifications and experience. (Upload references to your DD Suite application.)


Each proposal should be prepared simply and economically, avoiding the use of elaborate promotional materials (unless materials have been requested) beyond those sufficient to provide a complete presentation. If supplemental materials are a necessary part of the proposal, the Applicant should reference these materials in the technical proposal, identifying the document(s) and citing the appropriate section and page(s) to be reviewed.
Any proposal received after the due date and time will not be evaluated.

Evaluation Process

The evaluation of proposals received on or before the due date and time will be conducted in the following phases. Any proposal received after the due date and time will not be evaluated.

Administrative Review

The Operations & Contracts Director will screen each proposal. The screening will consist of:
(1) determining if the Applicant is eligible to receive Council funds including determining if the Applicant meets eligibility requirements and is registered to do business in Georgia;
(2) the budget is within the funding limits and includes the required match;
(3) the application is complete and all sections in DD Suite have responses; and,
(4) the required forms are attached.

DD Suite will issue an automatic reply acknowledging receipt of your proposal immediately after successful submission.

There will be no debriefing for applicants who are not selected. All applicants who respond to this NOFA will be notified of the outcome of their application (awarded, application modifications requested, or denied) by email through DD Suite.

Proposal Evaluation

The GCDD Chairperson will appoint a selection committee and may consider individuals other than Council member or advisory members. No one may evaluate proposals in which there is, or there is an appearance of, a conflict of interest. They will recuse themselves from all parts of the grant evaluation and award process.

The Selection Committee may meet twice within 30 days of proposal due date. Before the first meeting, staff will send proposals and the Solicitation Evaluation Form. The first meeting may be either in person or virtual and members will review, rank, and narrow down proposals to the top 2 or 3 for consideration as finalist. Staff will collect and file all completed Solicitation Evaluation Forms.

Using the Solicitation Evaluation Form, members will identify the most critical factors contributing to the value or success of the proposed solutions to the issues identified. Among the criteria used are the following:

1. Does the outline clearly state goals and major activities?
2. Is applicant qualified or experienced to complete the goals and activities?
3. Does the application satisfactorily describe the impact of activities of the project will have on people with developmental disabilities?
4. Is each required goal and outcome addressed? Are the goals and outcomes satisfactory?
5. Does the application adequately describe who will be responsible for each activity and a timeframe for completion?
6. Is the proposed budget consistent with the goals and activities identified in the project?
7. Does the budget justification for each item include how amounts were determined?
8. Does the evaluation plan satisfactorily describe both process and outcomes evaluation approaches?
The criteria are scored by each member of the selection team and a proposal is eligible to receive a maximum of 1000 points. Each criteria is rated either Exceptional (receives full points), Acceptable (receives half points), Not Acceptable (Receives no points). For example, if the criterion Organizational Ability has a maximum points value of 75. An Exceptional Rating gets 75 points, Acceptable gets 37.5 and Not Acceptable gets 0. If there is more than one proposal, only those that have a score of at least 700 (70% ) will have their applications forwarded to the Council’s Grants Selection Committee.

Oral Presentations

GCDD reserves the right to conduct site visits or to invite Applicants to present their proposals between December 6 – 31, 2021 at 2 Peachtree Street, 26th Floor, Suite 246, Atlanta GA 30303 or by video conference (Zoom) virtually during this time.

Financial (Cost) Proposal Evaluation
The Successful Applicant submit a proposed budget for this initiative. The Financial Proposal will provide a 25% match (in-kind or funds) to augment the federal grant. The 25% match may be in the form of matching dollars, and/or in-kind costs, on an annual basis. Match funds must be documented by submitting a Report of Certified or In-Kind costs at each reporting period. The match rate for poverty areas in 10%.
What kind of things can be considered in-kind match?
Your in-kind match may include expenses that are:
• allowable under federal guidelines and GCDD policies;
• necessary for your project;
• not paid by federal funds (ours or those of another agency); and
• not already being used as match for another federal grant.
Some examples include office space, utilities, volunteer time (including members of your Project Advisory Committee), printing costs, consultants (if not paid through the grant), or staff not paid for through the grant.
Applicant should provide a detailed annual plan explaining how it will generate the required match and how much, i.e., the percentage that will be provided. The plan must show in detail what will be done, how it will be done, and what specific commitment the Applicant is willing to make as a match.

NOFA Policies

Rejection of Proposals/Cancellation of NoFA

The State reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, to waive any irregularity or informality in a proposal, and to accept or reject any item or combination of items; when to do so would be to the advantage of the State. It is also within the right of the State to reject proposals that do not contain all the elements and information requested in this document. The State reserves the right to cancel this NoFA at any time. The State will not be liable for any cost/losses incurred by the Applicants throughout this process.

NoFA Amendments

The State reserves the right to amend this NoFA prior to the proposal due date. All amendments and additional information will be posted to http://ddsuite.org Applicants are encouraged to check this website frequently.

Proposal Withdrawal

A submitted proposal may be withdrawn prior to the due date by a written request to the Operations and Contracts Director. A request to withdraw a proposal must be signed by an authorized individual.

Cost for Preparing Proposals

The cost for developing the proposal is the sole responsibility of the Applicant. The State will not provide reimbursement for such costs.



Conflict of Interest

If an Applicant has any existing client relationship that involves the State of Georgia, the Applicant must disclose each relationship.


Reciprocal Preference Law OCGA 50-5-60(b)

For the purposes of evaluation only, Applicants resident in the State of Georgia will be granted the same preference over Applicants resident in another State in the same manner, on the same basis, and to the same extent that preference is granted in awarding bids for the same goods or services by such other State Applicants resident therein over Applicants resident in the State of Georgia. NOTE: For the purposes of this law, the definition of a resident Applicant is one who maintains a place of business with at least one employee inside the State of Georgia. A post office box address will not satisfy this requirement.

ADA Guidelines

The State of Georgia adheres to the guidelines set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Applicants should contact the Operations and Contracts Director at least 48 hours in advance if they require special arrangements when attending the Applicant's Conference. The Georgia Relay Center at 1-800-255-0056 (TDD Only) or 1-800-255-0135 (Voice) will relay messages, in strict confidence, for the speech and hearing impaired.