Vocational Rehabilitation Grant Opportunities

NC DHHS Notice of Funding Availability

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Date of this notice:
November 20, 2017
Program Name:
Community Rehabilitation Programs

Purpose: According to the 2016 American Community Survey, NC census, approximately 77% of North Carolinians with disabilities of working age are unemployed or underemployed. In State Fiscal Year 2016 the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (the Division) served over 50,000 consumers with significant or most significant disabilities who were seeking competitive integrated employment.

The goal of these service contracts is to provide assessment and training along with appropriate supports for Division consumers with disabilities to reach successful competitive integrated employment. The Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) will provide services (facility and/or community based) needed to obtain and maintain competitive integrated employment.

CRPs are integral partners in the network of services designed to provide people with disabilities equal opportunity in achieving their highest level of economic and social independence. Service models include:
Supported Employment (SE)

  • Supported Employment
  • Project Search®

Work Adjustment Services (WA)

Description: The objective of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to identify CRPs that can provide quality services in the areas of supported employment and work adjustment services. These services are developed to create competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.

Supported Employment (SE): Activities include job development and placement and intensive job coaching support to foster greater success and independence on the job. Initial activity may include community based supplemental evaluation to determine required supports and vocational direction. Long term vocational support is a required element of supported employment and is not funded by the Division. The vendor is responsible for the provision of long term vocational supports regardless of the funding source.

Project Search®: Activities include transition training and placement services for students with disabilities who have significant intellectual or developmental disabilities. Services are provided in the context of a local, multi-agency collaborative team.

Work Adjustment Services (WA)

  • Work Adjustment Training: Includes activities to improve and increase productivity, attendance, punctuality, ability to work with others, work tolerance, and ability to work under supervision. This service is typically facility based but under certain circumstances and with the approval of the Division, may be community based.
  • Job Development/Placement: Assistance with securing competitive integrated employment that is consistent with the goals of the consumer.
  • Job Coaching: One on one, short term job support with the consumer to ensure successful employment.

Funding Availability: At this time, $27,000,000 is projected to be awarded. The reimbursement rates are established for each service provided. The maximum amount of a single award is dictated by the volume of consumer need within the local community and the availability of funding.

Eligibility: All current and previous awardees must be in good standing with the Division. Applicants are public and private for-profit or non-profit CRPs. Applicants shall be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the Council on Accreditation (COA) or the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). In all models, in lieu of current accreditation or pending approval for accreditation at the time of application, a vendor shall provide evidence of training regarding accreditation before approval as a vendor, or evidence of training regarding accreditation is required within one year of vendor application with accreditation rendered within three years. A copy of the accreditation shall be submitted to the Division. All vendors must have a criminal background policy to provide services. Each CRP shall comply with the accessibility and nondiscrimination standards set forth in federal and state law. The Division may deny funding to and refuse to contract with any CRP which fails to comply with such provisions.

In addition to the above requirements, one of the following two conditions must be true:

  • The CRP shall have a minimum of three years of experience as a service provider in the area of service delivery for which they are seeking approval, or,
  • Key staff providing direct consumer services for the CRP (such as the coordinator of the program) must have a minimum of three years of experience providing services in the area for which the CRP is applying to become an approved vendor.

Once the community rehabilitation program is an approved vendor they shall maintain accreditation in the areas that they are providing service for the Division. A copy of the current accreditation must be submitted to the Division.

Eligibility for Project Search®: Evidence must be provided that indicates the CRP is part of a local, multi-agency collaborative team in which a team member has been licensed or is in the process of being licensed to adhere to Project Search model fidelity. Contact the Program Specialist for Transition and Employment Services for a complete Project Search® application packet.

How to Apply: Please refer to the Community Rehabilitation Services webpage on the Division’s public website to obtain more information to initiate the application process. All prospective CRP providers are required to contact the Regional CRP Specialist before beginning the process of becoming an approved CRP vendor by the Division. Current CRPs are encouraged to contact the Regional CRP Specialist for any questions regarding the renewal application process. Below are steps in the application process:

  1. Review North Carolina’s Community Rehabilitation Program Standards at the following address: “Community Rehabilitation Program Standards”.
  2. Contact a regional CRP specialist to discuss the need for services in your area.
  3. Current CRP providers must complete the Community Rehabilitation Program Renewal Application.
  4. New CRP applicants must complete the Community Rehabilitation Program Vendor Application.
  5. Submit your application and supporting documentation to the CRP specialist in your area.
  6. You will be contacted within 30 days for further information regarding the status of your application.
  7. Final approval will be determined only after a completed new or renewal application packet is received, a satisfactory on-site review has been conducted for new CRPs and funds have been identified for contractual agreement.

Deadline for Submission: Applications received by March 1, 2018 will be in consideration for an October 1, 2018 award. Applications received after March 1, 2018 will be considered for a future award date. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis.

How to Obtain Further Information: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dvrs/employ/rehab.htm


DVRS/DSB RFA 00864 PETS: Pre-Employment Transition Service

DHHS Divisions Issuing Notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Division of Services for the Blind

Date of Notice: September 30, 2016

Program Name: Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS)

Purpose: The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to solicit agencies or organizations to provide pre-employment transition services (PETS) in order to increase the Divisions’ capacity for reaching and serving students with disabilities across North Carolina. 

Description: Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) are a specific set of activities that are defined by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 (Public Law 113-128), and are intended to expose students with disabilities at an early age to self-advocacy, postsecondary training, and employment skills and options.  WIOA requires that the vocational rehabilitation program provide a continuum of services to students and youth which begins with PETS and, for individuals who are eligible for the vocational rehabilitation program, continues with vocational rehabilitation transition services.  The NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NCDVR) and NC Division of Services for the Blind (NCDSB) are seeking applications from eligible organizations and agencies to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities across the state.

Funding Availability: The Divisions will award up to $16 million for approved PETS projects, contingent on funding availability.  The actual number of awards will be dependent on the number of submitted applications that meet the requirements defined in the RFA.

Eligibility: As part of their response to the RFA, eligible applicants must demonstrate that the organization’s direct service staff have three or more years of related experiences in the specific area of pre-employment transition services for which the Applicant is applying.  These related experiences must also be specific to serving individuals with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 21.  Applicants must be registered as a business in the state of NC by the NC Secretary of State.

How to Apply: Please refer to Request for Application Documents below.

Submit response to RFA to:
NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
2801 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2801

Faxed applications will not be accepted.

Deadline for Submission: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Any applications received after the completion of funds shall be considered on an ongoing basis for future awards based on funding availability.

How to Obtain Further Information: Agencies may submit questions regarding the RFA to dvr.vrPETSRFA@dhhs.nc.gov. Questions will only be accepted via email for tracking purposes. Questions will be responded to via email within two weeks to the inquiring party.

Webinar Information: Webinar- Link to QA, PETS RFA QA

Request for Application Documents:
1 PETS RFA 00864 Revised 7.12.17.docx
2 PETS RFA 00864 Appendix C.xlsx
3 PETS RFA 00864 Appendix.xls


Individual Placement and Support/Supported Employment (IPS SE)

DHHS Division Issuing This Notice
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS)

Date of Notice

February 1, 2016

In Federal Fiscal Year 2015-16 the NC DVRS served approximately 43,000 VR program participants under a plan for employment, of which approximately 30% were individuals with SMI/SPMI.   Individuals with SMI/SPMI also accounted for nearly a third of the more than 6,300 individuals exiting the VR program in employment, including 38% of the 1,110 VR program participants exiting in employment with long term vocational supports. The success rate for this population is about 40%, whereas research shows that IPS SE has an employment rate of 55% resulting in long term positive outcomes for those we serve as well as on investment.

Individual Placement and Support-Supported Employment (IPS-SE) is a person-centered, behavioral health service with a focus on employment, that provides assistance in choosing, acquiring, and maintaining competitive paid employment in the community for consumers 18 years and older for whom employment has not been achieved or employment has been interrupted or intermittent.

The goal of these potential contracts is to provide IPS Supported Employment to eligible Division consumers who have a severe mental illness (SMI) or severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) in order to meet their employment goals.  Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) as well as Behavioral Health Organizations will provide services and supports needed to gain and sustain competitive employment.

The objective of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to identify qualified CRPs and/or Behavioral Health Organizations to provide IPS SE services.  IPS SE services help people with severe mental illness work in competitive employment opportunities of their choosing. IPS SE is predicated in eight practice principles: 

  • Focus is on Competitive Employment
  • Eligibility Based on Client Choice
  • Integration of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Services
  • Attention to Worker Preferences
  • Personalized Benefits Counseling
  • Rapid Job Search
  • Systematic Job Development
  • Time unlimited and Individualized Support

Contractors will be evaluated according to a standardized fidelity measure to evaluate the extent to which defining elements of the program model are being implemented.  Contractors shall meet at least fair fidelity within 11 months of receiving a contract with the Division for IPS SE and/or shall maintain at least fair fidelity for the duration of the contract.

Funding Availability

  • Reimbursement has been established for each milestone achieved
  • The maximum amount of a single award is dictated by the volume of consumer need within the Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO) catchment area and the availability of funding
  • IPS SE is a braided funding model.  Support may be provided through the applicable LME/MCO, county or city government, or a federal grant such as from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).

Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be a Division approved IPS SE provider:

  • Any public, private for profit, or private nonprofit organization that has a current contract to provide IPS SE with the LME/MCO, county or city government, or a federal grant; AND HAVE
  • Fulfilled the requirements of the Rules For Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Disabilities, found in 10A NCAC 27G, and provide a current copy of the license if Contractor is a behavioral health organization; or
  • Is a Division approved CRP; and,
  • Submit a completed response to RFA # 00840 for approval.

How to Apply
For a full copy of RFA # 00840, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the NC DVRS Program Specialist for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders at dvr.ips.se.rfa@dhhs.nc.gov

Deadline for Submission
February 29, 2016 will complete the first round of applications for IPS SE.  Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

How to Obtain Further Information
Direct all inquiries concerning the RFA to the NC DVRS Program Specialist for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders at dvr.ips.se.rfa@dhhs.nc.gov.