Policy and logistical support to the Office of Community Services 

DSG operated a 4-year, $9.2 million contract from the Office of Community Services (OCS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to provide comprehensive policy and logistical support to six OCS programs. The contract involved the development of self-sufficiency policies, national performance measures, and training and technical assistance that cross-cut human services programs at the federal, state, and community levels. Major activities by grant program are described below.



Assets for Independence (AFI) Program: DSG provided policy advice and logistical assistance to all aspects of AFI program planning and implementation. Specifically, DSG helped OCS staff develop program announcements for AFI grant competitions, assisted in the creation and operation of an AFI management information system for grant tracking and program performance accountability, and assisted in the identification of AFI national performance targets and measures.

Community Services Block Grant Program: Among the foci of DSG assistance to the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG) were 1) improving accountability and performance outcomes among CSBG recipients through Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA), 2) promoting the use of Earned Income Tax Credits among low-income people to enhance stability and self-sufficiency, and 3) helping state authorities and local community action agencies better coordinate services both with and outside their agency to achieve greater self-sufficiency among low-income individuals and families and expanded opportunities for seniors and persons with disabilities to live independently in their communities. DSG assisted administrators of the CSBG program in drafting national performance measures, establishing foci for discretionary training and technical assistance grants, and holding two national series of regional conferences among CSBG state authorities and state associations of community action agencies to conduct strategic planning and improved service outcomes among low-income people being served.

Community Economic Development (CED) Program: DSG helped develop the CED response to the OMB PART process, including the identification of performance measures and targets for the program. DSG provided logistical support and program design for CED training, technical assistance, and evaluation conferences for new grantees for 4 consecutive years (2004–07).

Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals (JOLI) Program: DSG helped the OCS Division of Discretionary Grants establish policies and procedures to improve OCS oversight and management of the JOLI program and provided expert consultation on the supervision of contractors responsible for training and technical assistance to JOLI grantees. DSG provided logistical support for national and regional training and technical assistance meetings for new JOLI grantees (three 3-day events and one 2-day event from 2004 to 2007). DSG also helped OCS establish a data system to track JOLI grantee activities and performance.

Compassion Capital Fund: DSG helped the Compassion Capital Fund (CCF) develop policies and procedures for program operations and accountability and helped prepare the CCF response to the OMB PART process. DSG provided counsel to OCS on how to work with other contractors to assure that CCF discretionary grant recipients received essential training and technical assistance to improve both their ability to compete for OCS and other federal grants and their service outcomes.

Rural Facilities (RF) Program: DSG has assisted OCS in identifying exemplary regional and local water acquisition and waste disposal programs that received planning and implementation support from the RF program. DSG helped develop an overview of the national RF program for use by the OCS Director and other management staff in presentations to other federal agencies and Congress.



For More Information About the OCS project

Contact DSG president Marcia Cohen a mcohen@dsgonline.com or 301.951.0056