Application for Funds

Application for Funds


The purpose of all Court Improvement Programs nationwide is to improve court practice in child abuse and neglect cases so that the three goals of safety, permanence, and well-being for each child are achieved in a fair and timely manner. Well-being is defined by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 as factors that relate to a child’s current and future welfare, most notably the child’s educational achievement and mental and physical health.

Training funds are available to support training and education opportunities that increase child welfare expertise within the legal community or facilitate cross-training opportunities among state and tribal agencies, courts, and other key stakeholders involved in the child welfare system. CIP’s over-arching goal is to improve the dependency court system.


The topics listed below are the areas in which the Children’s Bureau concentrates, and are the categories that Montana CIP requires proposals to address. Proposals can address one or more topics. CIP’s subcommittee will focus on funding trainings or projects related to improving the dependency court system. Applicants must clearly demonstrate a need based on data or evidence that the training or project will improve the dependency court system.

  1. Data collection and analysis, and technology: Data projects include any work with administrative data sets (AFCARS and SACWIS), data dashboards, data reports, fostering court improvement data, case management systems, and data sharing efforts.
  2. Hearing quality: Hearing quality projects include efforts to improve the quality of dependency hearings, including court observation/assessment projects, process improvements, specialty/pilot court projects, projects related to court orders or title IV-E determinations, mediation, or appeals.
  3. Improved timeliness and permanency: Meant to improve the timeliness of case processing or achievement of timely permanency. Includes general timeliness, focus on continuances or appeals, working on permanency goals other than APPLA, or focus on APPLA and older youth.
  4. Quality legal representation: Improvement of representation for parents, youth, or the agency. Might include assessments or analyzing current practice, implementing new practice models, working with law school clinics, or other activities.
  5. Engagement and participation of parties: Centered on youth, parent, foster family, or caregiver engagement, as well as projects related to notice to relatives, limited English proficiency, or other efforts to increase presence and engagement at the hearing.
  6. Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): Enhance state and tribal collaboration, state and tribal court agreements, data collection and analysis of ICWA compliance, or ICWA notice projects.
  7. Well-being of youth: Can focus on education, early childhood development, psychotropic medication, LGBTQ youth, trauma, racial disproportionality/disparity, immigration, etc.
  8. Sex trafficking: Can include work around domestic child sex trafficking, the reasonable and prudent parent standard, runaway youth, focus on normalcy, collaboration with other agencies on this topic, data collection and analysis, data sharing, etc.

Although CIP will consider proposals in the eight categories listed above, CIP’s primary focus is on the following three areas:

  1. Quality legal representation
  2. Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
  3. Improved timeliness and permanency


Eligible applicants:

  • Must be a non-profit organization or unit of government.
  • Must have a nine-digit DUNS number. For more information:
  • Must maintain annual registration in the System Award Management (SAM) database and not be listed on the exclusion list:

Certain types of training are not allowed. Please read the "restrictions" section below.

CASA programs may not apply. CASA program directors and volunteer advocates will be allowed to attend trainings chosen by CAP; CAP will communicate directly with the program directors about the details of the selected trainings.


For FFY 2017 funds, training monies awarded must be spent by September 30, 2018.


September 1, 2017: Notice of funding issued

September 29, 2017: Deadline for receipt of applications

October 19, 2017: Subcommittee meeting to review applications

November 16, 2017: Deadline for return of signed MOU or agreement

Please mail one original and four copies to CAP at the address listed at the end of this application. Please do not email them. Applications must be received no later than September 29, 2017.


  1. Cover sheet/title page

    Include the name, telephone, mailing address, and email address of the applicant and contact person, the program/project title, the organization’s EIN and DUNS numbers, the total amount of funds requested, and the signature of the applicant.

  2. Topic

    Describe the topic your program, project, conference, or training will address. Which of the eight federal CIP categories does it fall into, and why? If it’s a conference, training, or workshop, please submit the agenda or draft agenda with your proposal.

  3. Narrative

    Please explain the problem you are trying to address and provide some data to support your position.
    For example, let’s say you are interested in addressing parental meth or opioid use in abuse and neglect cases and propose a project or training on the topic. How do you know that drug use is really a problem? Do you have any data to support your position? You do not need to conduct an extensive literature search to provide the data, but CIP would like you to cite some statistics or evidence. For example, maybe there’s an article or two in a newspaper or perhaps the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has statistics.

  4. Budget and Budget Narrative

    Provide a detailed budget for each expenditure (printing, postage, publicity, speaker’s fees, travel, lodging, mileage reimbursement, per diem, facility fees, etc.) and describe each proposed expense in narrative form. After the training or project is completed, you must submit receipts for all actual costs before receiving payment. For example, if CIP pays for someone’s airfare, you must provide a receipt for the airfare.

  5. Evaluation

    Who is your target audience? How many people are you expecting to train? What are your intended training outcomes or goals? How will you know whther your training or project was effective?

Please note the following restrictions:

  1. All mileage, per diem, and lodging must be at state rate. Current per diem is $5 for breakfast, $6 for lunch, and $12 for dinner. If meals are provided at a conference or by a hotel, those meals will not be reimbursed.
  2. Speakers or trainers will be paid half of their hourly rate while in travel status.
  3. If traveling by air, speakers or trainers must provide airline receipts.
  4. If lodging is required and approved by CIP, hotel receipts must be provided.
  5. Funds may not be used for food, beverages, or entertainment.
  6. Funds may not be used to send individuals to trainings of their choosing. Only trainings that CIP pays for are allowed. For example, CIP will not allow an attorney to attend a conference at CIP’s expense, nor will it allow CASA program directors or volunteer advocates to attend the National CASA conference at CAP’s expense.
  7. Sign-in sheets for trainings, workshops, and conferences must be provided after the training is completed.


Award amounts are not capped at any specific level, and not all applications will be funded. Applications will be reviewed and assessed on the strength and merit of the project by a subcommittee of CIP’s advisory committee and OCA’s fiscal office.


CIP will notify successful applicants of an award by emailing them an award letter. Payment for approved expenses will be on a reimbursement basis only. Upon completion of the project, the grantee must submit receipts for all fixed expenses, in addition to a final invoice, to the CIP coordinator at the address below.

Grantees must read their contracts carefully and provide any additional paperwork the Supreme Court’s fiscal office requires, including attendance sheets, if appropriate.

For more information or questions, applicants may contact:

Court Improvement Program
Office of the Court Administrator
Montana Supreme Court
301 S. Park Ave.
P.O. Box 203005
Helena, MT 59620-3005

Phone: (406) 841-2957
Fax: (406) 841-2955

Categories: CAP