FY 2022 Kevin and Avonte Program: Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia
During this webinar, which was held on April 13, 2022, Bureau of Justice Assistance personnel provided information about the FY 2022 The Kevin and Avonte Program: Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities funding opportunity. The presenter discussed the purpose and goals of this funding opportunity; reviewed its eligibility requirements; and addressed frequently asked questions. A Q&A session followed at the end of the presentation.
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon everyone and welcome to today's webinar, “Kevin and Avonte Program: Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities,” hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. At this time, I'd like to introduce today's presenter, Kristie Brackens, Senior Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Kristie?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Thank you Daryl and good afternoon everyone. Again, I'm Kristie Brackens. I'm a Senior Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. And I oversee the grant—the Kevin and Avonte Program here at BJA. So I'm real excited to spend the next couple of moments talking to you all about the Kevin and Avonte Program funding opportunity that is currently available for you all to apply to.
So I'm going to provide you an overview of the—of the program. We're going to go over the two solicitation categories. There are two funding categories that we have in the Kevin and Avonte Program. The application review criteria, I'll talk a little bit about that process, what that looks like and the things that you want to be sure to pay special attention to in your application, then we'll spend a little bit of time reviewing some of the different resources that are available out there to assist grant applicants. And then we'll save about 15 minutes or more at the end, depending on how this goes and technology goes. I've been having a little bit of technology difficulties this morning. So we're going to pray that the technology gods allow this to work for the next hour for questions. So with that, so the Kevin and Avonte Program, just a general overview of the program is one of our programs that really looked at helping loved ones locate—families locate their loved ones who may suffer from Alzheimer's disease or autism or any sort of related conditions that are prone to wandering.
I think you all might have seen in the news recently, I want to say it was in Mobile, Alabama, the other day that a four-year-old little boy went missing and tragedy struck, and he was—he's—he was found in a—in a body of water there. And so when I think about that little boy, and I think about the two boys of this program, Kevin and Avonte is named after—named after, it really speaks to the need for this sort of program. And so, you know, these sorts of incidents, they occur all too often. And so there was legislation that was passed to support the Kevin and Avonte Program to reduce—to reduce the risk of injury or death for individuals with dementia or developmental disabilities. So we provide funding to law enforcement agencies and public safety agencies to implement technologies that help in the tracking of these individuals. But we also want to do some work around proactive programming, how to prevent these things from happening in the beginning and increase safety. So that's pretty much an overview of the program. I spoke briefly about the two boys that the program is named for. And so if we look at the program history, just a little bit about the history of the program, the law, the legislation I referenced before, it was enacted in 2018 and it was to honor the two boys that perished due to wandering. So we have nine-year-old Kevin Curtis Wills who wandered from home and slipped into Iowa's Raccoon River and drowned in 2008. And then we have 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, who wandered away from his school in New York, and was found in the East River in 2014. And so the program is really due to situation— to these two boys and situations that occur as a result of wandering.
So we have, as I mentioned, we have two categories of funding that you're able to apply for under the Kevin and Avonte Program. We have a Proactive Program Category, Category 1. And this is really to help with the design and implementation of proactive programs. You know, we've done some work with our current grantees. We have 14 active sites—actually I take that back, have about 28 active sites. We've done work with our active sites around proactive programming. And one of the things that they tend to stress up that there are lots of things that can be done before an individual that's prone to wandering goes missing. And so we really want to be able to continue to support those types of programs that aim at prevention and aim at education. So we anticipate making seven awards under the Proactive Programs Category for a two-year project period. And the award under this category will be up to $150,000. We look at the eligibility criteria for the Kevin and Avonte Category 1 funds, healthcare agencies are eligible, nonprofit agencies with a 501(c)(3) status are eligible. We will be giving priority to our preference to applications from nonprofit organizations that have experience working in this space. We want to make—we want to be sure if you—if you do have that experience and you—you've worked with this population of folks that that is indicated in your application, particularly in the Capabilities and Competencies section of the application, but nonprofit organizations that have experience working with this population on this particular topic will be given preference in the process.
And then, of course, state or local law enforcement or tribal law enforcement and other public safety agencies are also eligible for the Category 1 Proactive Programs funding. I talked a little bit about the purpose. Some of the things that we want to do is to increase public awareness of persons that are missing. We want to provide prevention and response information. We want to be—we also want to be able to, you know, work on education training, whether that'd be training of caregivers, training of local law enforcement, training of school personnel, or even training, you know, public education campaigns, aimed at training the public so that they may be able to help identify and assist when they spot or bear out and spot an individual who looks as though they may be lost. We also want to look at things that work at establishing a partnership between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
So how do you get the word out there? How do we improve—work to improve police and community relations specifically with this population of folks as well.
Additional things that we hope to do under the program—Proactive Programs is look at some of the protocols that our first responders have, look at some of the protocols that are there in schools that work with this population of kids or even assisted living facilities that work with, you know, the older population who may be suffering from dementia. And, you know, what is the training in place for that—for those staff? What are the protocols that are currently in place for those staff? How can we improve upon those and where they're not, how can we work with these entities to develop those protocols?
And then the notification alert system, there are some jurisdictions that do not have a notification alert system, when it comes to recovering missing individuals with dementia or developmental disabilities. So, we want to work with folks to develop those and operate those and if you have one in place, how can we work with you to enhance it? So these are just some examples of things that we hope to do under the Proactive Programs Category.
Locative Technology is the second category of funding that you can apply for. I tend to see—as I manage this program, I tend to see a lot of law enforcement agencies apply under the Locative Technology Category. But basically, these funds are—this—are—for just—for just that they're used to purchase, develop, or implement a location-based program that helps us to more quickly recover individuals that have—had—that have gone wandering. In years past, folks have used this funding to purchase the unmannered aircraft commonly referred to as drones. Funds can no longer be used to purchase drones at this time. But there are so many other things that, you know, aid in locating individuals that have gone missing and I don't think you'll have trouble developing a program in support of this category. Similar to the Category 1 funding, the awards will be up to $150,000. Again, it's a two-year project period and we anticipate making seven awards under this category as well.
Eligible entities are similar in that they all—their health care agencies, state, local, tribal law enforcement, and public safety agencies, and then American tribal governments that perform public safety activities. You will see that for the Locative Technology Category that nonprofit organizations are not eligible to apply under Category 2, but they are eligible to apply under Category 1.
So I talked about the healthcare agency, the establishment of these partnerships when it comes to getting this locative technology. And so as a part of this program with law enforcement, you have to—you—we encourage you rather, to partner with your healthcare agencies, with your local school districts, to really get this locative technology in the hands of the people that will most benefit from it. And so as you think of your proposals that you would write in response to this category of funding, you want to also make sure that you have letters of support and MOUs in place with those agencies that you partner with to develop this kind of locative technology framework.
Another part, one of the things that we were tasked to do, as a part of the Congressional funding that supports the Kevin and Avonte Program was to develop standards and best practices when it comes to the use of noninvasive or nonpermanent tracking devices. And so for folks that are awarded grant funding, we ask that you participate in helping us to develop those standards. And so you'll be tasked with, you know, participating in working group meetings, things of that nature. You know, we held a working group meeting this past—when is it, April? I want to say it was April. April of last year around this particular topic and looking—talking to our grantees about the things that they were currently doing as far as practices when it comes to locative technology, and even some of the proactive programming. And so that's an ongoing project within BJA, within the Office of Justice Programs. And so we would ask that you be prepared to participate in that as well.
Another area that I wanted to just really lift up for you all, so the funding solicitation is currently available. For this, it's—you can find it, you know, BJA.gov, other funding opportunities for the Kevin and Avonte Program. The things that I just talked about as far as the categories, the goals, the objectives, the different deliverables those things are all filled out in the application. And I find that folks that apply for funding, they're usually pretty good at making sure that—paying very closely at the—I would say what, the first seven pages of the application but then you get into some of the legalese and some of the writing that you're probably thinking to yourself, "This isn't all grant application." And some of it is, of course, language that goes in all of our solicitations for funding. But what I think is a real tool for folks that I find that folks don't always pay as close attention to, as I think they should, is the criteria that we use to score your applications. And so I wanted to just point this out to you all that if you go—when you're looking at the funding opportunity that's out there, for the Kevin and Avonte Program, look at the application criteria and review that and look at the weight that is given to specific areas. So when we—when we look at the Description of the Issue, that's 15% of your application, the Project Design and Implementation is 40% of the—of your—of your application, you know, application for funding for this program. It's a discretionary program. So the applications will be peer reviewed by outside peer reviewers, and they will be scored and they will be ranked. And, you know, decisions about funding will be made based on how well you meet with the—with the application criteria. And so when you look at the different sections, I encourage you to pay close attention to the design of your project. You know, one of the things that is a little bit different if you've applied for this funding in the past, one of the things that's a little bit different this year as compared to previous years, based on a large part on the focus group discussions that we've had with previous grantees is that each category in their project design this year will be asked to describe how you will increase public knowledge and awareness, proactive strategies that reduce wandering and or aid a successful recovery. So whether you're applying for Category 1 or Category 2, you'll be tasked to do that as a part of your project description.
Something else that is in—that might be a little bit different that you may not be used to seeing from previous years is also looking at solutions that are less restrictive and less intrusive. When it comes to working with this population that is prone to wandering and so, you know, we—with the Locative Technology funding, what are some less restrictive means, what are some intrusive—less intrusive means. We're looking for, you know, projects that do that, that's some of the feedback that we've gotten in the past. We want to look at—looking at projects that really also support families. You know, one of the— some of the feedback we've received in the past, in these working group sessions is that we don't have projects that actually support the caregivers of some of these individuals. And so as you think through your project design, think of some of those unique things that might make your—the work that you're doing there kind of stand out. And speak to some of the emerging issues that are happening around this population in the field.
Hey, my computer's freezing a little bit. So, project design 40%, Capabilities and Competencies, this is really where we're looking at the staff and the resumes of the staff, the people that you're going to bring on board to fulfill the goals of this project. And so I would encourage you to think very closely about that, you know, include resumes, include if—to demonstrate your experience in working with this in the subject area. I would encourage you to include examples of previous projects you've worked on or things in that nature, things—or things of this nature. So that's a good 25% as well, huge percentage of your application is your Capabilities and Competencies.
And then data collection, Performance Measurement, and Budget are both 10%. If you've applied for funding recently, last year, you know, that we've moved to the JustGrants system. There are two application deadlines. It's a two-step process. And so step one of the process is if there's—if there's—if you don't remember anything—let me say this, if you don't remember anything that I said today, remember this, there's—the application process is two steps. Step one, you submit an SF-424 and SF-LLL in Grants.gov. The deadline is May 19, 8:59 p.m. 8:59 p.m. In previous years we've had solicitations closing at 11:59 p.m. and so people think I have till midnight. You don't have till midnight. 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 8:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time is the deadline. So, that's step one, submit your SF-424, SF-LLL by May 19, 8:59 p.m. Step two is where you'll submit your full application with the attachment. And that deadline is May 24th at 8:59 p.m. This is very important because last year was the first time that we had applications being submitted in JustGrants, and we had folks that didn't understand that there were two deadlines and they missed step one and did not— were not able to apply for funding, because they had missed the first step, or they completed step one and didn't realize that they needed to complete step two. So I encourage—so if there's—if there's one take away from this conversation, it is that there are two application deadlines that you want to pay close attention to.
At BJA we have lots of resources available for a grant applicant. So, of course, you have Grants.gov, they provide technical assistance with submitting the SF-424 and SFLLL.
Remember that's what you'll need to submit by May 19th 8:59 p.m. They operate— their customer service is available to you 24 hours a day. Grants.gov is also where you can find other funding opportunities in addition to the Kevin and Avonte funding. This is our grant—this is a grant making season at OJP and across other federal agencies. And so I would also encourage you to look at, you know, other grant opportunities that are out there as well.
JustGrants is where you'll submit your actual full application in response to Kevin and Avonte solicitation. And so, you know, they can provide any technical assistance as it relates to submitting your full application into the JustGrants system. And their hours are listed here, pretty standard, Monday through Friday 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Central Time, Saturday and Sunday 9:00 to 5:00 p.m. So I will encourage you not to wait until May 19th, not to wait until May 24th to submit your applications. I would encourage you to do that as much far in advance as possible.
Then when it comes to questions that you may have about the solicitation itself, you can reach out to the OJP Response Center. There's web chat available, there's email, toll free number you can call. If you have any questions, the Response Center is open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. And so as you're going through the funding solicitation, if there are questions you have, this entity you would reach out to in regards to those questions specific to the funding opportunity. Not about how you entered into JustGrants, not about how you filed the SF-424, but questions specific to the funding solicitation you would go to the OJP Response Center.
Other resources for grant applicants, of course, the OJP Funding Resource Center, DOJ Grants Guide, DOJ Grants Financial Management Online Training, one of the things that I would list up for you all consideration is that, you know, the first step in some way is applying for the grant. The second step is getting a grant. The third step is managing the grant once you received it. And the online Financial Grants Management Training is a great resource for folks. And I would encourage you, if you've never completed the Grants Online Financial Management Training, to complete that training because, you know, in some ways, getting the grant is the easy part. Managing the grant after you receive it sometimes can be a lot harder when it comes to recording requirements, accepting your award, special conditions, things of that nature, I would really encourage you to take advantage of the online training. And then, of course, we have just different—the OJP Grant Application Resource Guide, also continue the wealth of information.
There are many ways that you can stay connected to us here at OJP. And so you can, you know, text OJP your email address. You can go on Facebook, Twitter, a lot of our funding opportunities are posted on Facebook and Twitter. In addition to funding opportunities, you'll often see training and technical assistance opportunities. Other things you might see are, you know, success stories or interest stories, stories of interest that are happening in different TF—I mean, excuse me, in different sites, and our—in different projects that we manage and then, of course, the BJA website.
So here's just another quick reference for important contacts, Solicitation Content Assistance, Grants.Gov, and JustGrants. And something as I'm—as I'm talking to you all, something that is not up here and I put it—let me see if I can put it in the chat box for you, is the Kevin and Avonte Program has a umbrella called Home Safe, right? It's funded—Home Safe is what we call the Kevin and Avonte Program. And we actually have IACP is the current TTA provider for the Home Safe—for the Kevin and Avonte Home Safe Program, and there's a website that we've developed for the Kevin and Avonte Program under IACP Home Safe. So, I'm going to put the link to that in the chat here for you all. And so this might also, you know, give you some ideas—more ideas about the program, as you go through the website there's a listing of grantee sites so you can see where we're currently working, the type of project that we're currently working on. In the site, it gives you—as you click on the site information, you can find information about the types of projects that we funded in FY-19 and FY-20 to give you a little bit of insight into the stuff that we're working on as it relates to the Kevin and Avonte Program. There's also information on the different types of training and technical assistance that can be provided under the Kevin and Avonte Program. There's a resource library that has information that you can search as it relates to reducing injury and death of missing individuals with dementia. Excuse me. Excuse me. And developmental disability. So I would encourage you to take a look at the Home Safe website as well. So with that, I'm trying to—I'm trying hard to paste them. I'm not having luck. One second. Let's see.
DARYL FOX: Okay. Thanks for that, Kristie. I'll give you a moment as you do that. And I'll just remind everybody on…
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Yeah. Let me figure out how to…
DARYL FOX: On the call today that the PowerPoint, recording, and transcript will be posted to the BJA website. So if there's something here you want to go back on and look at and reference that will be available approximately seven to ten business days.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: So I just posted the link to the Kevin and Avonte Home Safe website. So again, I encourage you all to visit the website, take a look at it with the type of project that we funded in the past. And with that, I'm happy to answer any questions that you all might have.
DARYL FOX: So the first one coming in, if a law enforcement agency is applying for Category 2 would an entity like the Department of Children and Families qualify as an eligible partner?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Yes.
DARYL FOX: Are there any limitations for the territories in applying?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: No.
DARYL FOX: If you do not have a position filled, how would you share a resume with the job description for this purpose?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Yes. If you—so if you—as far—you try—you would want to use the grant fund to support a position, then yes, then a job description would be—I would encourage you to submit a job description.
DARYL FOX: Can a detailed Letter of Support outlining a partner's duties and responsibilities be submitted in lieu of an MOU? For a lot of agencies, particularly this one, MOU takes months to execute. Only if…
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Yes. Letter of Support or MOUs are fine. Letter of Support will be just fine.
DARYL FOX: Okay. Thanks everybody for those questions. If you do have one in the bottom right side of your screen, just hit the three dots, Q&A and then send it to All Panelists. We have to go through those. While we wait a couple more moments, I just put up this quick reference, important contacts for you to reference if you do have questions about the solicitation itself, OJP Response Center, Grants.gov, or JustGrants here.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Okay. And I also added—I'm sure you all have seen it but I also added to the chat a link to the Kevin and Avonte Funding opportunity on the BJA website.
DARYL FOX: If you can, can one agency apply for grants in both Category 1 and 2?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Yes. But it'd be two separate applications.
DARYL FOX: And then is this currently open or would you expect when this would be open for application?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: It is currently open. It's posted right now on the BJA website. It opened on April 1st.
DARYL FOX: Great. In this slide I put up here are those deadlines for both JustGrants and Grants.gov here. Again, if you want to stay connected here's some links that Kristie mentioned earlier, the BJA's website, there’s social, and also the email updates text to subscribe is available.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: So, you know, I did a really good job and you all don't have any questions or you all just a quiet group.
DARYL FOX: One did come in. Is there an "old style" Budget Detail Worksheet that we can use to prepare for entering our budgets?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: That—there should be one in the app—OJP Application Resources link.
DARYL FOX: This particular person is with the state agency, the training law enforcement on IDD, but they're not considered law enforcement, do we have to apply with the nonprofit in this instance?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Yes. For the training, yes, you would still be able to apply. I don't—I don't want to hold folks but I will stay on here until 1:45, is that good, Daryl? In case anyone wants to ask any more questions. If not, I really appreciate everyone logging in today to hear about this program. I think it's just a great program that we fund here and it's a program that's really, really making a difference. I can tell you that in the two years that I've been working on the program we have—I've received feedback from departments that have used the Locative Technology to actually aid in a successful request recovery and faster recovery of individuals that have gone missing. And for me, if we can at least save one life, this program is a success. And I can tell you we've done more—we've done that on more than one occasion. So I appreciate your interest in the program and I look forward to reviewing your applications.
DARYL FOX: So another couple questions have come in. Can funds be used for employee salary for these programs?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: So, I mean, I would say yes, funds can be used for employee salary. You know, it will all be a part of your budget. We understand that, you know, you have to have someone run a program. The grant is only $150,000. And so, I would—I would caution against, you know, using the bulk of the grant funding for this program for salary, but yes, funds could be used to support that.
DARYL FOX: Can sites currently funded in the previous years of this award apply again? Are there restrictions on when, so?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: No, there aren't restrictions. I would think that if you were currently funded or previously funded, then you would want to demonstrate in your application how this additional funding will help you enhance the work that you were previously funded to do.
DARYL FOX: Yeah. That seems to be end of the questions currently at this time, Kristie.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Okay. So, if you were—if you tell me to end it, we can end it, Daryl. Thank you everyone again so much. I appreciate everyone's attention today. And I—like I said before, I look forward to reviewing your applications. So, thank you. Bye-bye.
DARYL FOX: Actually, one more did come in through the chat here really quickly. As law enforcement agency within a city, would we partner internally with the city? For example, a senior center or after school programs to fulfill the partnership expectations.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: I would say yes, you can partner within the city. You know, if— like, your example here, a senior center, you know, part of the funding is to reduce injury among adults that have dementia. And so I could definitely see partnering with a senior center and after school programs. I guess it would depend on the sort of after school programs, if it's, you know, a program that's geared towards kids with developmental disabilities that are prone to wandering, then yes. I would say yes.
DARYL FOX: And when will the awards be made approximately?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: So all awards will be made by September 30th of this year. We're mandated to have all of our awards out the door by the start of the fiscal year, the project—the project period start date is October 1 for this—for these awards and so September 30th at the very latest.
DARYL FOX: And then the winners would be notified at any particular point in time around that date? Prior?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Prior, yes. So those that are successful will be notified. I can't tell you exactly when. Unfortunately, I wish I could, I can tell you that it will by September 30th. I mean, we—the award decisions, the process, you know, we'll spend—once the award closes, we'll work with the peer reviewers to start reviewing the applications. Once we get the applications, the peer review comments back, and decisions are made as far as who we would like to fund. It's probably like late summer, late summer, early fall. And so that's why, you know, September 30th, I can tell you that anyone that is selected will definitely be notified by September 30th, possibly sooner but by September 30th.
DARYL FOX: If there's a senior center already, a functioning part of the city, can that be used as a partnership? Or would one have to go outside of the city to partner with another entity?
KRISTIE BRACKENS: No. They can do—they can—there's no need to go outside of your city to partner. They can be considered a partnership.
DARYL FOX: Okay. That seems to be the end of the questions at this time.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Great. So thank you again everyone. And, I mean, if you have questions, you know, Daryl put the quick reference information here, but if there are other questions as you start to write your applications that you need assistance with as far as the solicitation content, please reach out.
DARYL FOX: Okay. So on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and our panelists, we want to thank you for joining today's webinar. This will end today's presentation.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Thank you.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.