TEXAS CHILD CENTERED CARE

Questions and Answers

You've got Questions, We've Got Answers

T3C is a monumental, systemic change for Texas, and while there are lots of opportunities that are part of T3C, we know that the implementation process is iterative.  As ACH Child and Family Services rolls out the Provider Readiness Grants and as DFPS refines the Blueprint, Credentialing Process, and more, we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to raise your questions and get clarification.

Below, you’ll see a Questions and Answers section for the T3C Readiness Building and Operations Grants. As we receive questions about the grants, we’ll post those questions, along with our answers.

You’ll also see contact buttons for the DFPS T3C team, in case you’ve got questions about the Blueprint, Credentialing, or other DFPS T3C-related questions.  At the request of HHSC, we’ve also included a contact button for Child Care Regulation (CCR) in case you’ve got questions about your license or permit types.

We’re always here as a resource and we’re excited to improve our system and services together!

T3C GRANTS

Questions & Answers

As the T3CReady team receives questions about the T3C Readiness Building and Operations Grants at info@t3cready.org, we’ll post the questions and answers here!

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When applying for a grant,  on the section titled “Expense Requests”, the section requires that a grant applicant upload a Spreadsheet for Organization Operating Budget and Project Budget.  Where can the applicant find this spreadsheet? For the budget template, would an applicant input budget information for the current fiscal year (January – December 2024) or the previous fiscal year?

  • The spreadsheet for the Readiness Building grant is located on the T3CReady website Grants page here. You can view the Spreadsheet template for the Building grants here and the spreadsheet template for the Operations grants here. Please note that there are two tabs required to be completed in both templates: a tab for your organization’s operating budget and a tab for your proposed T3C grant project budget.  The organizational operating budget should include information from the current fiscal year, 1/1/2024 through 12/31/2024.
The RFA requests an audited, reviewed or compiled financial statement. What documentation can an applicant submit to fulfill this requirement if they have not been audited? 
  • The applicant can upload a copy of audited, reviewed or compiled financial statements for the most recently ended fiscal year. If not available, please upload your most recently filed Form 990 for non-profits or Form 1120 for for-profits.
Can grant funding be used to cover initial cost of staff added as a requirement for one or more of the packages?
  • As noted in the RFA, “Certain service packages have specific specialized staffing requirements that may warrant the hiring of new staff and associated policies and procedures. Grant funds could be used for salary. Providers would need to have a plan for sustainability until certification.”
If a grant applicant operates multiple locations or businesses under different EIN numbers, can the applicant apply for grants for each business?
  • In FY 2024, a grant applicant can apply for a maximum of One Operations Grants and Two Building Grants. A grant applicant can receive EITHER one Operations Grant or up to two Building grants, depending on available funds.  The intent of the Operations Grants is to issue one per Provider Organization.  If an organization applies for multiple grants under different EINs, that will be taken into consideration when making grant award decisions.
Can you clarify the term of the grants? Do grant recipients need to spend all grant funds by December 2024 or return the funds? Calendar year 2024 of FY 2024? When must the funds be spent? The RFA says “All grant funds must be obligated by December 1, 2024, but the RFA also allows grant funds to be spent on specialized staffing requirements, so will a purchase order with encumbered funds to pay certain costs by December 1, 2024 fulfill this obligation?
  • For Building Readiness Grants, it is anticipated that organizations will have spent the money by December 1, 2024. However, should they be unable to, they can request an extension.  This process will be defined in the grant agreements.

    For Operation Grants, if an organization is unable to obligate the money by December 1, 2024 and spend it by December 31, 2024, applicants will need to have a will need to have a plan for the timeline and include that timeline in their application in the project description or justification tab in the budget document. Should an organization be unable to spend the money according to the timeline, they can request an extension.  This process will be defined in the grant agreements.

    A timeframe for spending will be identified and will be a part of the grant agreements.  Financial record maintenance and documentation requirements will also be included in the grant agreements.

The staffing section states: “Providers would need to have a plan for sustainability until certification”. Does this mean that the grant may pay some salary until certification (and therefore reimbursement) and grant recipients need to develop a plan to pay for this salary of new positions in the time gap between grant salary and reimbursement?
  • Yes, grant funding could pay some salary for positions associated with the T3C service model packages but organizations do need to have a plan to sustain salaries until credentialing occurs.

Can there be any overlap of grant support for new salary and T3C reimbursement for new salary? For example, if a grant recipient plans to contract 16 additional hours for a licensed Physician to support care of 3-4 youth per month in a service package, but, shortly after credentialing, the grant recipient is only serving 1 youth per day with that package.  Can the grant support this transition?

  • Grant funding is considered transition funding to prepare for the packages leading up to credentialing. Once a provider is credentialed and receiving the new daily rates, the daily rates would be the source of payment.

If a grant applicant runs multiple programs and intends to apply to become credentialed in multiple programs, can the applicant include those all of those programs in a grant proposal? For example, all programs utilize an IT system but will be tracking different data for the logic model.  The applicant intends to include data retrieval training for all programs as part of the grant, is this permissible?

  • Yes, funding could support all programs that are related to T3C in this manner.

What is the timeline for expending the T3C readiness operations grant, if awarded? The RFA states that grant funds must be spent by 12/01/24 but not the award date or if funds can be spent  for expenses prior to the award.

  • Here is the timeline for the grants:
    – RFA Release Date:     May 8, 2024
    – Applicant Questions Due (No later than 5 pm Central Time):     May 17, 2024
    – Applications Due (no later than 5 pm Central Time):     May 24, 2024
    – Tentative Award Announcements:     June 17, 2024
    – Anticipated Contract Start Date:     July 1, 2024
    – Anticipated Contract End Date:     December 31, 2024
  • For Operation Grants, if an organization is unable to obligate the money by December 1, 2024 and spend it by December 31, 2024, applicants will need to have a will need to have a plan for the timeline and include that timeline in their application in the project description or justification tab in the budget document. Should an organization be unable to spend the money according to the timeline, they can request an extension.  This process will be defined in the grant agreements.  

    A timeframe for spending will be identified and will be a part of the grant agreements.  Financial record maintenance and documentation requirements will also be included in the grant agreements. 

    Grant funds may not be used for expenses incurred prior to the grant period.

Will provider agencies will be taking on the responsibility of doing the CANS 3.0.  With CANS transitioning from Star Health credentialed assessors to the child welfare system and more frequent assessments than CANS 2.0, would it make sense for CANS assessors to be part of a provider agency? 

  • The current plan (as noted in the DFPS Blueprints is for the CANS assessors to be housed within DFPS and the Single Source Continuum Contractors (SSCCs), not within other child welfare agencies. From the Blueprint:  A new  type of staff, known as the CANS Assessor, will be a part of the placement team for each Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC) or DFPS (in areas that have not yet transitioned to CBC).

Regarding the CANS, the Blueprint says the SSCC’s will have one CANS assessor, but other places it speaks of training for providers on the CANS. Should we include funding to update training on our current assessors?

  • SSCCs and DFPS will be the entities that conduct the CANS 3.0 associated with the placement process.  However, providers may need training for staff to familiarize them with primary models/service packages, CANS 3.0 assessment tool and processes.

Our organization has two operations: a CPA and an RTC. Should we submit an application separately for each of them?

  • Provider organizations that function under multiple license types may only apply for a single for single Operations Grant and/or up to two Building Grants.

Can the grant funds cover expenses for accreditation?

  • While the grants are not meant to cover accreditation fees, some activities associated with becoming accredited may cross over with activities associated with T3C requirements- for example continuous quality improvement policies and processes. Additionally, please note that DFPS will be releasing a grant opportunity associated with accreditation costs in the next several months.

If an agency obtains a grant for FY2024 (operational or building), will they be eligible to apply for the new grants that come out in FY2025?

  • We do not yet know what the requirements, exceptions or disqualifiers for the FY 2025 grants will be.
Our organization is looking to formalize our treatment model. Can you share any guidance?
  • DFPS has provided the following information: At this time, DFPS is not intending to publish a listing of Evidence-informed Treatment Models in the April 2024 T3C System Blueprint. The T3C System is intentionally designed to allow providers flexibility in identifying the Evidence-informed or Evidence-based Treatment Model or Models that best serve as the framework or foundation for the agency or operation’s particular program based on the custom needs of the population served.

Can I request one Readiness Building Grant that covers two of the objectives on the same grant?  Example= $20,000 total request for Changes to policies and procedures AND Data Collection, tracking and reporting.  Or do they have to be separate grant requests?

  • Yes, it is okay to have one grant request that covers two objectives on the same application.

If my daycare offers overnight care will I be able to apply for the T3C grant?

  • You must be a licensed 24-hour residential child care provider, licensed as a Child Placing Agency or General Residential Operation with a contract with DFPS and/or a Single Source Continuum Contractor.  Day Care Operations are not eligible for this grant opportunity.

Do all grant funds need to be expended in “Calendar Year 2024” (i.e. January – December) as has been communicated? Or do all awarded grant funds need to be expended between July 1 2024 and December 31, 2024?

  • Grant funds should be expended between the date of the award and December 2024.  Grant funds cannot be applied retroactively to expenses incurred before the award.

    For Building Readiness Grants, it is anticipated that organizations will have spent the money by December 1, 2024. However, should they be unable to, they can request an extension.  This process will be defined in the grant agreements.

    For Operation Grants, if an organization is unable to obligate the money by December 1, 2024 and spend it by December 31, 2024, applicants will need to have a plan for the timeline and include that timeline in their application in the project description or justification tab in the budget document. Should an organization be unable to spend the money according to the timeline, they can request an extension.  This process will be defined in the grant agreements.

    A timeframe for spending will be identified and will be a part of the grant agreements.  Financial record maintenance and documentation requirements will also be included in the grant agreements.

The language in the T3C Blueprint says you must use a “Licensed Clinician”.  That typically means fully licensed.  Would LPC-Is also count as a “Licensed Clinician” for T3C purposes?

  • This would be permissible as long as they are actively under supervision when seeing and managing the therapeutic needs child, youth, or young adults. The same would apply to provisionally licensed social workers, marriage & family therapists, etc. 

For those community-based organizations providing supplemental (or Add-On) services, i.e. transition services, to GROs/CPAs, is there any financial support?

  • For this particular grant opportunity, a provider has to be a currently licensed GRO or CPA to apply and they have to have a contract with DFPS and/or an SSCC. We do not know of any other T3C related grant opportunities at this time.

For the purpose of the grant – can I get a definition of direct delivery staff?  Would that include mental health professionals?

  • For purposes of the grant, direct delivery refers to caregiver staff included in ratio.
Can funds be used for current staff salaries? 
  • Grant funds should be expended between the date of the award and December 2024.  Grant funds cannot be applied retroactively to expenses incurred before the award.
Can funds be used to support salaries of new staff?
  • Yes, grant funding could pay some salary for positions associated with the T3C service model packages but organizations do need to have a plan to sustain salaries until credentialing occurs.

On the Template T3C Project Budget Excel Sheet, Lines 7-16, are we allowed to edit those categories or are those the categories we have to use?

  • Line 16 includes “Other” and there is a text block for explanation below that where you can explain any “other” expenses as well as in the justification narrative.

Contact DFPS

T3C Questions

If you’ve got technical questions about the Blueprint or T3C structure or requirements, please contact DFPS below. 

Contact HHSC

LICENSING QUESTIONS

HHSC is requesting that these all T3C-related licensing and permit questions be directed to the Minimum Standards mailbox, RCCRStan@hhs.texas.gov, instead of initially to your local licensing representative.   

The staff that handle that email box are familiar with T3C and can help parse the questions, and then direct the Licensing Rep as to what needs to happen for a specific provider.

Contact TACFS T3C Team

HELP IS ON THE WAY...

We’ve got questions, and we know you’ve got them too.  While we can assure you that more info is coming soon, drop us a line if you’ve got a question. 

For questions about T3C Readiness Grants, training opportunities, consultation, and more, please email us!