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Relationships, Education, Advancement, and Development for Youth for Life (READY4Life)

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies,
and IHEs for Youth-Oriented Services

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - Office of Family Assistance (OFA)

Deadline Date:

07/01/20 4:30 PM Receipt of Paper Applications; 11:59 PM Electronic Receipt


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, for-profit entities, IHEs, and governmental agencies to provide services that prepare youth for the transition into adulthood. Interested applicants are advised that the registration process can take up to four weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support projects and programs in the areas of healthy marriage and relationship education, parenting skills development, and job and career advancement services.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Family Assistance (OFA) will award grants under the READY4Life FOA to support family strengthening through the provision of services to youth.

Under this FOA, ACF identifies these elements of Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) programming—Relationships, Education, Advancement, and Development—as key ingredients to prepare Youth for Life (READY4Life). Grants will support projects that provide a broad array of healthy marriage promotion services designed to support healthy relationships and marriage, including the value of marriage in future family formation and skills-based healthy relationship and marriage education to youth in high school (grades 9-12), high-school-aged youth (ages 14-17), and/or youth in late adolescence to early adulthood (ages 18-24). 

In order to achieve specified outcomes, applicants are strongly encouraged to provide comprehensive services that help youth build healthy relationship skills (including healthy relationship skills in dating, with peers, with caring adults, in other inter-personal relationships, and, as appropriate, marriage and co-parenting relationship skills), while supporting positive socioemotional development and promoting successful transitions to young adulthood. Where appropriate, projects may also provide services for parenting youth, and for job and career advancement.

ACF is also interested in projects that implement only one specific program model designed for one specific youth service population (e.g., youth in high school or disadvantaged young adults).

Grants awarded will support three of the specified eight activities that are particularly applicable to youth (the titles preceding the activities are intended only as an aid to summarize the activities and elements):

  • Education in High Schools – Education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting.
  • Marriage and Relationship Education/Skills (MRES) – Marriage education, marriage skills, and relationship skills programs that may include parenting skills, financial management, conflict resolution, and job and career advancement.
  • Public Advertising Campaigns – Public advertising campaigns on the value of marriage and the skills needed to increase marital stability and health.

READY4Life represents four critical elements that are essential for successful transition to adulthood. These include the following:

  1. Relationships (interpersonal and romantic partner; relationships with caring adults, friends, and family networks; community and workplace; healthy parent-child relationships; and parenting and co-parenting); 
  2. Employment (job skills, training, and placement); 
  3. Advancement (strategies designed to promote a strategic sequencing of life events—educational attainment, employment career pathway opportunities, and delayed parenting for all—including helping engage youth whose life circumstances caused a diversion from the sequence); and 
  4. Development (physical, emotional, and social). When combined and focused on youth, these elements can help youth become READY to plan, prepare, and pursue the future on their own terms.

ACF is interested in funding a diverse range of projects, from high impact projects, to moderate scope projects, to smaller scope projects. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 190243

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 27

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Award Ceiling: $1,500,000 Per Budget Period
- Award Floor: $500,000 Per Budget Period
- Average Projected Award Amount: $890,000 Per Budget Period

The following sets forth the organizational capacity scopes and commensurate funding levels:

- Large scope services: Funding requests from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000;
- Moderate scope services: Funding requests from $750,000 to $999,999; and
- Smaller scope services: Funding requests from $500,000 to $749,000

Term of Contract:

Length of Project Period: 60-month project period with five 12-month budget periods.

Grants under this FOA will receive 1 year of funding based on currently available funds. ACF intends to continue successful projects through non-competitive continuation applications for a 5-year period, subject to the appropriation of additional funds not contained in the current authorizing legislation. Funding levels for years 2 through 5 will not exceed the amount awarded in year 1 of the project. Continuation funding will be subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress, and a determination that continued funding is in the best interest of the federal government.

Anticipated Project Start Date: 09/30/2020


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Independent school districts
  • Indian housing authorities
  • Local Governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Public housing authorities
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments
  • State governments
  • Community Based Organization

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:

All public and private entities are eligible to apply under this FOA (including, but not limited to, state, territorial, local, and quasi-governmental agencies; Native American tribal governments and tribal organizations; nonprofit organizations; independent school districts; public, private or tribal institutions of higher education; and for-profit entities).

Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible.

Grantee organizations must directly, or through their affiliates or project partners, have a physical presence in a community, city, or county where services are provided. For purposes of this FOA, ACF defines physical presence as a demonstrated ability to provide direct monitoring and oversight of the service provision; staff and facilitator training; and programmatic, legal, and regulatory compliance in the geographic area or areas an applicant proposes to serve.

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible

Participant Eligibility and Target Populations:
Eligible participants are youth in traditional or alternative high schools (grades 9 – 12); highschool-aged youth (ages 14 – 17); and/or youth in late adolescence to early adulthood (ages 18 –24). Projects that are designed to include individuals under age 14 and over age 24 will be deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement. ACF has a particular interest in services targeting the following populations, although participant eligibility is not limited to these populations:
- Youth in, or aging out of, foster care;
- Runaway and homeless youth populations;
- Youth involved in the juvenile justice system;
- Low-income and at-risk youth;
- Parenting youth; and
- Youth attending Title I traditional or alternative high schools (as applicable).

In addition to the prohibition against the use of funds for housing and child support payments, projects also may not be designed to incorporate the provision of other services or costs that are unallowable under this FOA, which include:

- Mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment;
- Developing or implementing an Abstinence Education or Sexual Risk Avoidance Education program; and/or
- Implementing a fee-for-service for proposed activities, which means that program participants must not pay for services received under this FOA.

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions are unallowable.

Construction and the purchase of real property are not allowable activities or expenditures under this grant award.

Pre-Application Information:

- Due Date for Applications: 07/01/2020
- The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 p.m. ET on the due date.
- The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m. ET, on the due date.

ACF requires electronic submission of applications at Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption that will allow the applicant to submit applications in paper format. These paper format applications may be mailed (receipt by 4:30 PM ET) or hand-delivered (between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM ET).

The registration process can take up to four weeks to complete, and includes the following:

- All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number.
- In addition to having a DUNS number, organizations applying online through must register with the System for Award Management (SAM). (Due to the current situation, the ACF is temporarily relaxing the requirement for active SAM registration at the time of application submission. (To read the "Flexibility with SAM REgistration" notice, please see the URL for Full Text below.)
- Applicants must register and create a profile on

As a condition of acceptance of an award under this FOA, all grantees that are asked to participate in a federally led research and/or evaluation effort are required to engage fully and adhere to all research and evaluation protocols established by ACF to be carried out by its designee contractors.

Grantee organizations must attend the entrance conference and biennial peer meetings in Washington, DC. ACF expects to conduct the entrance conference approximately 90 days from the date of grant award. ACF expects to conduct biennial training and technical assistance meetings in the 2nd and 4th years of the project period. The Project Director and Project Manager (i.e., both if neither is at least 90 percent FTE), and up to three additional key staff (as determined by ACF) must attend the biennial meetings.

View this Grant Opportunity on at
For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The electronic application submission package is available at To request a paper application package, and to submit the completed paper application (by mail or hand delivery), use the following address:

Grant Operations Center
ATTN: HHS-2020-ACF-OFA-ZD-1838
1401 Mercantile Lane
Suite 401
Largo, MD 20774
Phone: (855) 776-3895
Email: provides applicants 24/7 support via the Help Desk at the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email

Program Office Contact:
Meghan Heffron
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Family Assistance
3rd floor
330 C St. SW
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 401-6619

Office of Grants Management Contact:
Bridget Shea Westfall
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
3rd floor
330 C St. SW
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 401-5542

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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