Vocational Rehabilitation Grant Opportunities

NC DHHS Notice of Funding Availability

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Date of this notice: 04/01/2021

Working Title of the funding program: Impartial Hearing Officers

Purpose: The purpose of this Request for Applications is to solicit applications from qualified individuals to serve as Impartial Hearing Officers through a personal services contract with the NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (NC DVRS) and NC Division of Services for the Blind (NC DBS) and Independent Living (IL) program. 

Impartial Hearing Officers are being recruited to conduct impartial hearings for the NC DVRS, NC DBS and IL as part of the client appeals process. These hearings are required by state administrative code (10A NCAC 63F/89B) and federal law (C.F.R. 361.57). 

Description: Impartial Hearing Officers conduct impartial hearings as a part of the client appeals process. Applicants or eligible clients of NC DVRS, NC DSB  and IL (individuals with disabilities) have the right to request an impartial hearing should they disagree with a decision or determination made by NC DVRS, NC DSB and IL staff. The Impartial Hearing Officer must conduct a hearing in the county of the appellant’s residence within the timeframes outlined by state and federal regulations and must produce a hearing decision. The Impartial Hearing Officer is responsible for: (1) the administration of oaths and affirmations; (2) recognition of speakers/witnesses; (3) admission of evidence; (4) prevention of repetitious presentations; and (5) general professional management of the hearing.

Contracted Impartial Hearing Officers are compensated for actual time spent in research and communications to prepare for the hearing; actual time spent in conducting the hearing; and actual time spent in producing the hearing decision.  Rate of compensation is $60.00 per hour for non-attorneys and $75.00 per hour for attorneys. In addition, contracted Impartial Hearing Officers are compensated for approved travel/lodging at the current state rates and other pre-approved actual expenses incurred in association with a hearing.  NC DVRS currently receives requests for appeals hearings approximately seven times per year. Contracted Impartial Hearing Officers are selected for service randomly from a list maintained by the NC DVRS.    

Eligibility: An applicant’s application and resume will be reviewed by an evaluation team to determine the applicant’s skills, abilities, and experience with administrative reviews and/or appeals proceedings and the applicant’s knowledge of the public Vocational Rehabilitation, Services for the Blind, Independent Living programs and related laws, policies, and state plans. A qualified applicant is an individual who:

  • is not an employee of the Division or other public state or Federal agency (other than an administrative law judge, hearing examiner, employee of a State office of mediators, or an employee of an institution of higher learning)
  • has not been in regular employment of the Division or DHHS administration within 5 years prior to his or her participation in an impartial hearing;
  • has been trained in effective mediation techniques consistent with State-approved or State-recognized certification;
  • is not a member of the State Rehabilitation Council;
  • is knowledgeable of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the applicable Federal and State laws, regulations and policies governing the provision of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Individuals awarded contracts must attend a one day training session prior to providing services. In addition to reimbursement for approved travel/lodging at current  state rates, $100 compensation will be given for time spent in training.

Individuals awarded contracts to provide the services described in this publication shall agree to the following:

  • The Contractor agrees that, if the Division determines that some or all of the activities within the scope of this Contract are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, P.L. 104-91, as amended or its implementing regulations, it will comply with the HIPAA requirements and will execute such agreements and practices as the Division may require to ensure compliance.
  • The Contractor agrees to execute the following federal certifications attached to this Agreement: a) Certification Regarding Lobbying; b) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion; c) Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements; and d) Certification Regarding Environmental Tobacco Smoke.
  • As a Contractor under this Personal Services Contract, you are not considered a state employee. You will not receive any of the benefits, leave, retirement credits, or other rights given to state employees under Chapter 126 of the North Carolina General Statutes.  

How to Apply: Interested applicants must submit an application along with a current resume.  Application forms may be requested by mail or email at:

NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
2801 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2801
Attn: Kim Schmidt, Division Appeals Coordinator
Email: kim.schmidt@dhhs.nc.gov

The Division has the right to request a criminal background check prior to contracting with any applicant considered. Applications should be submitted by mail or email to the Division Appeals Coordinator at: 

NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
2801 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2801
Attn: Kim Schmidt, Division Appeals Coordinator
Email: kim.schmidt@dhhs.nc.gov

Deadline for Submission: Applications received by April 30, 2021 will be in consideration for a November 1, 2021 award. Applications received after April  30, 2021 will be considered for a future award date. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. 

How to Obtain Further Information: Questions may be submitted to the Division Appeals Coordinator at: kim.schmidt@dhhs.nc.gov 

Additional Information is available: Impartial Hearing Officer Application for Community Partnership (ACP 971)
 

NC DHHS Notice of Funding Availability

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Date of this notice:
 April 1, 2021
Program Name:
 Community Rehabilitation Programs

Purpose: According to the 2018 American Community Survey and US Census, approximately 74% of North Carolinians with disabilities of working age are unemployed or underemployed. In State Fiscal Year 2019-2020 the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (the Division) served about 38,997 Division eligible consumers with disabilities who were seeking competitive 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 community based services 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 Application for Community Rehabilitation Partnership (RACRP) is to identify CRPs that can provide quality services in the areas of supported employment and work adjustment services. These services are designed to develop competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.

Supported Employment (SE): Activities include job development/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™:  A fidelity model in which 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. https://www.projectsearch.us/

Work Adjustment Services (WA)

  • Community Based 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 provided only in integrated work settings offering three broad occupational categories of work.  Only approved providers as of March 1, 2021 are eligible for consideration of continued provision of community based work adjustment training. 
  • 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: $26,000,000

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™: In addition to eligibility noted above, 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.

How to Apply:

I. For new Agencies that are not currently considered a Division Approved CRP, 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 a Regional CRP Specialist before beginning the process of becoming an approved CRP vendor by the Division.

Below are steps in the new 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. New CRP applicants must complete the Application for Community Rehabilitation Partnership. 
4. Submit your application and supporting documentation to the CRP application email: dvr.CRPRACRP@dhhs.nc.gov
5. You will be contacted within 30 days for further information regarding the status of your application.
6. Final approval will be determined only after a completed new application packet is received, a satisfactory site review has been conducted for new CRPs, and funds have been identified for contractual agreement.

II. Division Approved CRPs that have a current contract are encouraged to contact the Regional CRP Specialist for any questions regarding the renewal application process. 

1. Review North Carolina’s Community Rehabilitation Program Standards at the following address: “Community Rehabilitation Program Standards”. 
2. If you have any questions about the renewal application, contact a Regional CRP Specialist in your area. 
3. Current CRP providers must complete the Renewal Application for Community Rehabilitation Partnership. 
4. Submit your application and supporting documentation to the application email: dvr.CRPRACRP@dhhs.nc.gov
5. You will be contacted within 30 days for further information regarding the status of your application. 
6. Final approval will be determined only after a completed renewal application packet is received and funds have been identified for contractual agreement.

Deadline for Submission: Applications received by 5:00 pm May 30, 2021 will be in consideration for a November 1, 2021 award. Applications received after 5:00 pm May 30, 2021 will be considered for a future award date. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. 

How to Obtain Further Information

 

NC DHHS Notice of Funding Availability

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Division of Services for the Blind
Date of this notice:
 September 3, 2020
Program Name:
 Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)

Purpose- description of function of the program and reason why it was created: The purpose of this Request for Applications for Community Rehabilitation Partnership (RACRP) is to solicit agencies or organizations to provide pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) in order to increase the Divisions’ capacity for reaching and serving students with disabilities across North Carolina.

Description- Brief statement of nature and scope of the program: Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) are a set of activities defined by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 (Public Law 113-128) 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 Pre-ETS and, for individuals who are eligible for the vocational rehabilitation program, continues with vocational rehabilitation transition and employment services.  The NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NCDVR) and NC Division of Services for the Blind (NCDSB) seek applications from organizations and agencies that will provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities in North Carolina.

Funding Availability: The Divisions will award up to $16 million for approved Pre-ETS 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 RACRP.

Eligibility: As part of their response to the RACRP, eligible applicants must meet minimum qualifications: (1) propose a minimum of two of the five Pre-ETS Required Activities, (2) demonstrate that the organization’s staff have three or more years of related experiences in the specific area of pre-employment transition services for which the Applicant is applying, (3) be registered as a business in the state of NC by the NC Secretary of State, (4) provide evidence that the organization conducts criminal background checks and manages abnormalities in a manner consistent with that outlined in the RACRP, (5) provide a Program Budget for the proposed program, and (6) provide the organization’s most recent audited financial statement.  Eligible applicants will be further evaluated in terms of their organizational capacity, the extent to which their proposed program meets performance requirements, and the financial soundness and stability of the organization and its program proposal.

How to Apply: Agencies that are currently under contract to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) are NOT required to send a complete Pre-ETS Application for Community Rehabilitation Partnership.  However, such agencies must submit a Pre-ETS Renewal Application for Community Rehabilitation Partnership by the deadline in order to have an executed contract in the next renewal cycle.

Deadline for Submission: The deadline for initial awards is 5:00 PM, September 25, 2020. Any applications received after the initial deadline shall be considered on an ongoing basis for future awards based on funding availability.

How to Obtain Further Information: Direct all inquiries concerning this RACRP to dvr.vrPRE-ETSRACRP@dhhs.nc.gov.

Additional information is available: Pre-ETS Request for Applications for Community Rehabilitation Partnership (RACRP) #967

 

NC DHHS Notice of Funding Availability

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Date of this notice:
 August 24, 2020
Program Name:
 Comprehensive Employment Support Services for Persons with Brain Injuries

Purpose: The purpose of this Application for Community Partnership (ACP) is to solicit contractors to provide brain injury support services to eligible Division consumers that have been diagnosed with significant brain injuries and those whose injuries impact their ability to pursue successful employment goals. The NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (the Division) has funded brain injury support services through various vendors and formats since the early 1990’s.

Description: In 2015, Division implemented one holistic model that must be followed by all providers under contract with the Division. The Brain Injury Support Services model, otherwise known as BISS, is an outcome-based milestone format service array. The BISS service model is comprehensive in that it serves the consumer from the beginning assessment phase through job placement, closure and extended follow along supports. It is unique in that it incorporates a therapeutic cognitive rehabilitative component that assists the individual toward their goal of successful adjustment to their functional limitations. 

Funding Availability: $2,000,000

Eligibility: The agency or organization shall meet the following criteria in order to apply to be a Division approved BISS Contractor:

  • Minimum 3 years of experience in the provision of services to consumers with significant brain injuries and how such services are comparable to the Division’s Brain Injury Support Services model.
  • Documentation of qualified staff as outlined in Section III, Eligible Applicants Qualification, or the intent to hire such staff that must be an employee of the organization when brain injury support services begin. 
  • A thorough proposed programmatic description of the organizational capabilities for the delivery of brain injury support services as outlined in Section IV, Scope of Services.
  • A detailed description of the organization’s experience in providing employment services similar to the Brain Injury Support Services model.

How to Apply: Contractors that are currently under contract with the NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (the Division) to provide BISS are NOT required to send a complete a new Application for Community Partnerships (ACP). However, such organizations must submit a Renewal Application for Community Partnerships by the deadline indicated in order to have an executed contract in the next renewal cycle effective November 1, 2020.

Deadline for Submission: Applications, subject to the conditions made a part of hereof, will be received until 5:00 p.m., September 1, 2020 for furnishing services described herein. Applications received by the deadline above will be in consideration for a November 1, 2020 award.  Applications received after 5:00 p.m., September 1, 2020 will be considered for a future award date. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis.

How to Obtain Further Information: Direct all inquiries concerning this ACP to: dvr.vrbraininjuryservicesrfa@dhhs.nc.gov

Additional Information is available: REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP (ACP) BI SS #00939

 

NC DHHS Notice of Funding Availability

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Date of this notice:
 May 15, 2020
Program Name:
 Individual Placement and Supports Supported Employment

Purpose: To provide Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services to Division consumers with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) or Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) in order to achieve and sustain gainful employment.  This service is provided primarily by Employment Support Professionals (ESPs) and Employment Peer Mentors (EPMs) who are trained in national research standards that support the vocational needs of individuals and promote community connections and employment success.

Description: Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidenced-based approach to person-centered, behavioral health services with a focus on employment that provides assistance in choosing, acquiring and maintaining competitive paid employment in the community for consumers 18 years or older with a severe mental illness (SMI) and severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) for whom employment has not been achieved or employment has been interrupted or intermittent. Components of the fidelity model include the career profile, job development/job placement, job support, peer support, behavioral health intervention, and follow along supports. 

IPS services are a braided funding service requiring multiple funding resources. The Contractor shall have available funding resources for IPS services from alternate sources, including the Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO), local and county governments, and/or grant funding from a federal agency, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Throughout the term of this contract the Contractor shall have a fully executed contract or grant with an alternate funding source. 

Funding Availability: $12,000,000

Eligibility: The agency or organization shall meet the following criteria in order to apply to be a Division approved IPS SE Contractor:

  • Any public, for profit, or nonprofit organization that has a current contract to provide IPS SE with 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.

How to Apply: Contractors that are currently under contract with the NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (the Division) to provide IPS services are NOT required to send a complete Application for Community Partnerships. However, such organizations must submit a renewal application by the deadline indicated above in order to have an executed contract in the next renewal cycle effective November 1, 2020

Applications, subject to the conditions made a part of hereof, will be received until 5:00 p.m., July 1, 2020 for furnishing services described herein.

Deadline for Submission: Applications will be received until 5:00 p.m., July 1, 2020. Applications received by the deadline above will be in consideration for a November 1, 2020 award.  Applications received after 5:00 p.m., July 1, 2020 will be considered for a future award date. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis.

How to Obtain Further Information: Direct all inquiries concerning this ACP to: Program Specialist for Behavioral Health at dvr.ips.se.rfa@dhhs.nc.gov 

Additional Information is available: REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP (ACP) #00938