Court Improvement Program Grants
Court Improvement Program (CIP) grants are federal funds awarded to each state’s highest court by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to help states assess and evaluate foster care and adoption laws, and improve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for abused and neglected children in the child welfare system.
The Children's Commission business is conducted primarily through its three standing committees – Basic Projects, Training, and Data. Each committee is chaired by a Commissioner and members are drawn from the Commission, Collaborative Council, and others in the child welfare community. Committees oversee and monitor Commission projects, including the work of subcommittees and workgroups.
Grant funds are available to support programs or projects that are designed to improve the court process for child welfare cases that provide for the safety, well-being and permanency needs of children in foster care.
Grant funds are available to support training and education programs that increase child welfare expertise within the legal community or facilitate cross-training opportunities amongst agencies, courts, and other key stakeholders involved in the child welfare system.
Grant funds are available to support data collection and analysis projects that improve the processing of child welfare-related court hearings to ensure safety, permanence, and well-being needs of children are met in a timely and complete manner.
CIP funds are available for personnel devoting time to the project for which grant funds have been awarded. The cost calculation will include the employee's annual salary rate and the percentage of time devoted to the project.
Fringe benefits are based on the applicant's established formula and are only for the percentage of time devoted to the project. It is important to explain what is included in the benefit package and at what percentage.
Reimbursements for travel are available if travel is essential for project personnel in furtherance of the tasks for which the grant funds have been awarded. Reimbursements for travel should follow the Children’s Commission travel guidelines.
Grant funds are available for the purchase of general office supplies and other general office equipment used in support of the project, such as paper, envelopes, pens and pencils and staples, etc.
CIP funds are available for non-expendable equipment which is necessary for the success of the project. Non-expendable items have a unit cost of $1,000 or more and a useful life of one year or more.
Contracted services necessary for the completion of the project for which funds have been awarded are available. A description of the product or service to be procured by contract and a cost estimate is required.
CIP funds are available for items in the "other" category that is necessary for completion of the project. This category contains items not included in the previous categories (e.g. printing, telephone, postage, rent, insurance, space rental, etc.).
CIP Funds awarded may not constitute more than 75% of the total project cost. Therefore, matching contributions of 25% (cash or in-kind) of the total program or project budget is required and must be derived from non-federal resources.
Requests for reimbursement should be submitted within 30 days of the calendar month in which the grant-related expenses are incurred. CIP will reimburse only those costs that are eligible for federal reimbursement, in compliance with 2 CFR 200 (Code of Federal Regulations).
Complete each applicable tab in the Request for Reimbursement form and submit via email, in pdf form, or mail hard copies, with supporting documents, to the Children's Commission. Do not submit the Request for Reimbursement via fax.
The FINAL Request for Reimbursement (RFR) is due no later than November 15 of the grant period.
All payments are disbursed monthly on a reimbursement basis utilizing ACH/Direct Deposit unless otherwise specified. However, should a check be issued it will be made payable to an organizational
Reimbursements can be made to an individual for travel reimbursements or services rendered (i.e. consultant fee).
Upon processing of the required forms, authorized payments from CIP can be made directly to an organization's designated bank account. Direct deposit requires that a recipient have a Texas Identification Number (provided to your organization by the state comptroller) and a Direct Deposit Authorization form on file with the Children's Commission.