Yes, it’s that time again: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the DFC Support Program. Do you understand the purpose of this grant program? Is your organization an eligible grant applicant? Have you started preparing for the submission requirements? Have you read and re-read the writing requirements in the grant application guidelines? Do you have a strategy in place to apply for this year’s funding or will you have to wait until the next grant funding cycle?
What Is the Purpose of DFC Grant?
The DFC Support Program has two goals:
- Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, public and private nonprofit agencies, and federal, state, local, and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance use among youth 18 years of age and younger.
- Reduce substance use among youth and, over time, reduce substance abuse among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.
Is Your Organization an Eligible Grant Applicant?
Eligible applicants are community-based coalitions addressing youth substance use that have never received a DFC grant; or have previously received a DFC grant, but experienced a lapse in funding; or have concluded the first five-year funding cycle and are applying for a second five-year funding cycle. Applicants must meet all Statutory Eligibility Requirements.
Award Information, Due Dates, and Requirements
- Approximately 70 grants will be awarded ranging up to $125,000 per year for five years.
- Upcoming due date: March 18, 2016.
- Required State-Level Approvals:
- Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)
- Applicants must comply with E.O. 12372 if their state(s) participates. Review process recommendations from the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.
- Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS)/Single State Agency Coordination
- Applicants must send the PHSIS to appropriate state and local health agencies by application deadline. Comments from Single State Agency are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.
- Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)
Applicants Must Utilize SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework:
DFC-funded coalitions are expected to utilize SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) as the planning model to develop long-range plans. The SPF is a five-step evidence-based process for community planning and decision making. Cultural competence and sustainability should be considered throughout all five steps of the process, which includes:
- Assessment: Identify local youth substance use problems and the community conditions that contribute to the specific identified issues.
- Capacity: Mobilize/build capacity to change the conditions and address the youth substance use problems.
- Planning: Develop a logic model, comprehensive 12-month Action Plan, and multi-year Strategic Plan.
- Implementation: Implement action and strategic plans with multiple objectives, strategies, and activities.
- Evaluation: Monitor, sustain, improve, or replace prevention activities, efforts, and strategies.
For more information on SPF, visit www.samhsa.gov/capt/applying-strategic-prevention-framework.
Applicants are Expected to Use Strategies That Will Lead to Community Change:
Such strategies seek to: (1) limit access to substances; (2) change the culture and context within which decisions about substance use are made; and/or (3) shift the consequences associated with youth substance use. Evidence exists that well-conceived and implemented policies at the local, state, and national levels can reduce community level alcohol, tobacco, and other drug problems.
Applicants must participate in the DFC national cross-site evaluation:
DFC grant award recipients are required to participate in the DFC National Cross-Site Evaluation, intended to measure the effectiveness of the DFC Support Program in reducing youth substance use. DFC recipients are required to provide data every two years on core measures for alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs for three grades (6-12).
Do You Have a Strategy Ready to Apply for This Funding This Year?
If you’ve been planning to apply for this grant since last year, you may be ready. However, if you have just learned about this grant and have nothing in place, maybe you need to wait until the next DFC funding cycle. Grant preparedness is a proactive approach to:
- Being registered for grants.gov; have ready access to your log-in information, and running a trial log-in/upload to make sure your own technology and software is compatible with the online e-grant portal.
- Reviewing past NOFAs and knowing what is consistently required year after year when each new NOFA is released.
- Having a planning team or consultant to assist you in grant preparedness for all major grant funding competitions.
- Having partners in place and meetings that have already taken place with all stakeholders before you start working on the grant application package.
- Having 50 percent of the grant application narrative roughed out before the NOFA is even released and having all information for the required forms saved to an electronic file for easy copying and pasting.