National Adult Protective Services Training Center

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National Adult Protective Services Training Center
Opportunity ID
Primary CFDA Number
Funding Opportunity Number
Funding Instrument Type
Cooperative Agreement
Expected Number of Awards Synopsis
Length of Project Periods
24-month project period with two 12-month budget periods
Project Period Expected Duration in Months
Eligibility Category
Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above), subject to any clarification in text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"
Additional Information on Eligibility
Domestic public or private non-profit entities including state and local governments, Indian tribal governments and organizations (American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native American), faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, hospitals, and institutions of higher education.
Foreign entities are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement. Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
Estimated Award Date
Funding Opportunity Description

AOA and The Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services
All people have the right to live their lives with dignity and respect, free from abuse of any kind. Unfortunately, far too many older adults and people with disabilities are abused, neglected or exploited. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is committed to developing systems and programs that prevent abuse from happening, protecting people from abusive situations, and supporting people who have experienced abuse to help them recover. Within ACL and the Administration on Aging (AoA), the Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services (OEJAPS) plans, manages, coordinates, and supports programs that encourage justice, prevent abuse, and provide protection and support to those in need. ACL has committed resources to several important projects designed to meet the goals of coordinating federal elder justice efforts, exploring new prevention and intervention models, and providing up-to-date research and information to professionals and the public. ACL and OEJAPS serve as the federal home for adult protective services, a social services program provided by state and local governments serving older adults and adults with disabilities who need assistance because of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation (adult maltreatment). In all states, APS is charged with receiving and responding to reports of adult maltreatment and working closely with clients and a wide variety of allied professionals to maximize client safety and independence. Additionally, ACL-funded programs in every state provide civil legal counsel and representation to older people with economic or social need in order to preserve their independence, choice, and financial security. These programs are designed to help older people understand their rights, exercise informed decision-making, and benefit from the support and opportunities promised by law.

The Role of APS Workforce Development Initiatives
Workforce development initiatives in the field of adult protective services are critical. A lack of adequate training resources and investment was identified as early as 2002.[1] A March 2011 GAO Report observed that caseloads of adult maltreatment continue to grow, and to grow in complexity, and that program officials have stated it is difficult to maintain adequate staffing levels and training. The GAO Report also noted that APS program funding has not kept pace with program needs, and when overall state funding decreases, training is often the first area to be reduced or eliminated. The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) received seed funding from AOA in FFY 2005 (under Grant No. 90-AM-2792) to begin development of a “train the trainer” model for APS programs and two initial content modules. NAPSA later worked with additional funders to develop a full complement of 23 “Core Competency” modules that identify a minimum set of knowledge and skills for APS workers. However, the consensus opinion of APS workers, administrators, and researchers, as reported to ACL in 2016 and 2020, was that the investment and availability of training for APS programs remained at insufficient levels notwithstanding prior efforts[2], and a 2021 study by Liu & Ross[3] concluded that states should consider how they can increase their ability to provide training to their APS staff.

A goal of ACL and OEJAPS throughout its history of working to advance elder justice and elder rights has been to ensure that the workforce responding to adult maltreatment within both states and tribes has access to evidence-based information to improve performance of the difficult task of working with individuals who have been abuse, neglected, or exploited. While there has been positive movement in understanding how best to meet the needs of those experiencing adult maltreatment, the long-standing issue of recruiting, preparing, and retaining adequate numbers of staff continues to be a problem for APS agencies. ACL and OEJAPS has deployed a multi-pronged approach to building the capacity of the APS workforce, among these are:

State Grants to Enhance Adult Protective Services, demonstration grants to help address gaps and challenges in state APS systems;
Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems, informed by research and input from stakeholders to provide APS administrators information about effective APS practices and policies;
National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS), a data system that collects annually both summary and de-identified case-level data on APS investigations submitted by states;
National APS Technical Assistance Resource Center, which serves as the focal point for ACL’s overall approach to providing technical assistance and guidance to ACL grantees and state APS programs to improve state APS administration and practices;
Research Agenda for Adult Protective Services, providing guidance to researchers, APS programs, and funders on the gaps in knowledge related the practices, efficacy, and outcomes of APS.

In June 2020, ACL’s National APS Technical Assistance Resource Center conducted a study of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on APS programs.[1] Among the program and administration challenges identified by APS programs were:

APS worker physical, health, and mental health safety and well-being
Observation and assessment of clients without being able to make face-to-face visits
Lack of plans and training for responding to a public health emergency (versus natural disaster)
How to efficiently work remotely, often without equipment, infrastructure, or management practices to support remote work
Supporting and interfacing with other community-based organizations in serving APS clients when their resources and capacity were equally hindered.

The Coronavirus Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 include a total of $376 million to support APS clients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. ACL is required to distribute at least $200 million of those funds to state APS programs through formula grants.

Among all 56 state-level APS programs (50 states, DC, and 5 territories), the most identified needed activity is training for APS staff related to improving how they serve APS clients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this universally identified training need, ACL has designated funding to collect, develop, curate, and make widely available e-training for APS workers and administrators to improve and enhance their capacity to serve clients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This activity will be carried out through the establishment of the National APS Training Center (NATC). This funding opportunity is initially for two (2) years.

[1] Teaster, P.B., Roberto, K.A., Hoyt, E., Savla, J., Fua, I., & Kebede, B. (2020). Adult Protective Services Study on the Impact of COVID-19: Findings from State Administrator Survey and Interviews with Local APS Staff. Submitted to the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and carried out under contract No. HHSP 233201500042I.


Target Audience

There are two (2) target audiences for this opportunity. The first audience is direct APS caseworkers who conduct intakes, investigations, and provide limited or on-going case management services to clients. The second audience is state and local APS supervisors responsible for the oversight, management, and support of local APS workers. The primary target audience of the NATC is APS, and future opportunities may target additional sub-sectors under the APS umbrella.

In order to successfully reach its target audiences and achieve its goals for participation and use of NATC tools and resources, the grantee must engage its intended consumers in the development and refinement of its training activities and products. The project will seek feedback from members of its target audience(s) throughout the project period to better understand workforce development needs, inform project activities, review curricula and product-related content, and proposed dissemination strategies. A component of this engagement is to understand the issues around equity, racial justice, and equal opportunity, impacting the people served by APS who are from underrepresented and underserved communities, and ensuring that those experiences inform the training and workforce initiatives carried out under this grant.

Project Activities and Strategies

Knowledge Development and Management
Under this funding opportunity, the NATC will, in a systematic way, collect, develop, curate, store, and manage a training library for APS to address the training needs of APS workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities for Knowledge Development and Management include:

Assessing the current training needs of all 56 state-level APS programs regarding improving and enhancing their work during the COVID-19 pandemic;
Developing a prioritized list of training topics;
Identifying existing evidence-based/informed trainings either in the field of APS;
Identifying gaps in existing training for the prioritized list of topics and proposing a feasible, sound, and swift approach to filling those gaps with evidence-based information;
Collecting, developing, and curating trainings and maintaining in an organized and cost-effective manner.

Distribution & Dissemination
ACL believes the most cost-effective manner to deliver trainings to all 56 state-level APS programs is via an e-learning or learning management platform. In this way, training can be delivered to all staff while minimizing duplication of effort. For this opportunity, the grantee is expected to:

Identify at least three (3) options to acquire a web-based, structured, knowledge-management or e-learning system/platform to store, distribute, and deliver trainings and future workforce development information (if the platform/system does not have existing FedRAMP Authorization to operate, the grantee will work through the process to obtain an Authority to Operate from ACL);
Develop a dissemination strategy and timeline that focuses on key target audiences, for specific purposes, understanding what these target audiences need to know, and effectively getting this information to them;
Produce detailed procedures, materials, and other products about trainings and information available through NATC and how to access;
Ensure all materials and information are compliant with ADA Section 508 standards as published on HHS website to ensure accessibility
Leverage innovative, low-cost, and web-based technologies for storing, disseminating, and delivering APS training and workforce information.


As noted above, there have been some efforts already to support APS workforce development. The NATC grantee is expected to collaborate with other federal and non-federal partners, projects, and efforts that support APS workforce development.

Rights in Data

Applicants should be fully aware that Under 45 CFR Section 75.322(b), ACL reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use copyrightable works developed (or for which ownership was purchased) under this cooperative agreement for Federal purposes, and to authorize others to do so, including to disseminate the works and findings. The federal government right to such copyrightable works and data are explained further in the HHS Grants Policy Statement. For this funding opportunity, this means that grantees may not withhold from ACL data, information, or materials produced or collected from or by this project, except as protected by privacy laws/regulations. In such instance, the grantee must notify ACL immediately upon discovery that something collected or obtained by this project has privacy restrictions that are not consistent with this policy. By the end of the project period, the grantee must be prepared to turn over to ACL the hosting and management of an operational e-platform in its entirety that includes all materials collected, developed, and curated under this grant.

Please Note: The HHS Grants Policy Statement defines “data” as “recorded information, regardless of the form or media on which it may be recorded, and includes writings, films, sound recordings, pictorial reproductions, drawings, designs or other graphic representations, procedural manuals, forms, diagrams, work flow charts, equipment descriptions, data files, data processing or computer programs (software), statistical records, and other research data.”

ACL also understands that the outcomes and results from this opportunity may be such that the grantee would like to publish an article or report on the project’s results, or disseminate the outcomes and results in some other public way. Per the HHS Grants Policy Statement (January 1, 2007), page II-69: “In general, [grant] recipients own the rights in data resulting from a grant-supported project or program….[A]ny publications, data, or other copyrightable works developed under an HHS grant may be copyrighted without OPDIV prior approval.” That is, grantees under this funding opportunity do not need to seek approval from ACL to publish reports, articles, or other material about their projects.

Planning, Implementation, and Sustainability Phases

As this project is propelled by the needs and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, ACL expects the successful applicant will be one with the ability to balance thoughtful planning with the capacity to meet aggressive project milestones and targets. While revision of implementation strategies may be appropriate later in the project period, ACL expects the NATC grantee to follow the general timeline outlined below for Year-1:

30 days after Notice of Award (NOA): project is fully functioning;
60 days after NOA: initial planning phase complete;
90 days after NOA: implementation phase begins;
4 months after NOA: first on-line learning/training available to users;
10 months after NOA: year 1 assessment/evaluation conducted;
11 months after NOA: deliver Year-1 assessment/evaluation to federal project officer.


Grantee evaluations of their projects facilitate the government in assessing whether programs are effective in producing positive change. ACL is committed to using the most rigorous methods that are appropriate to the evaluation questions and feasible within budget and other constraints. Under this opportunity, the grantee will design and implement a rigorous evaluation using multiple measures to document and determine the effectiveness of their work carrying out the three (3) program activities and strategies listed above.

Evaluations can produce several types of evidence to demonstrate success. A learning organization with a culture of continual improvement requires many types of evidence, including not only evaluation but also descriptive research studies, performance measures, financial and cost data, survey statistics, and approaches to using information, such as regular data-driven reviews of performance and progress. The NATC grantee is expected to employ both qualitative and quantitative methods in its evaluation of process and outcome measures. The grantee will have considerable flexibility to implement an evaluation plan that will contribute to and promote evidence- based strategies, practices, and programs.

[1] Otto, J. M. (2002). Program and administrative issues affecting adult protective services. The Public Policy and Aging Report, 12(2), 3–7.
[2] See: Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems (…) and Research Agenda for Adult Protective Services (…).
[3] Pi-Ju Liu & Leslie Ross (2021) Adult Protective Services Training: A Brief Report on the State of the Nation, Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 33:1, 82-95, DOI: 10.1080/08946566.2020.1845271
[4] Teaster, P.B., Roberto, K.A., Hoyt, E., Savla, J., Fua, I., & Kebede, B. (2020). Adult Protective Services Study on the Impact of COVID-19: Findings from State Administrator Survey and Interviews with Local APS Staff. Submitted to the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and carried out under contract No. HHSP 233201500042I.

Award Ceiling
Award Floor
Due Date for Applications
Date for Informational Conference Call

Last modified on 04/16/2021

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