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January 17, 2009    DOL Home > CFBCI   

Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives

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Our Mission

The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI) at the U.S. Department of Labor seeks to empower faith-based and community organizations (FBCO) as these organizations help their neighbors enter, succeed and thrive in the workforce. Read more...

Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Final Report

On January 12, the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) released Innovations in CompassionThe Faith-Based and Community Initiative: A Final Report to the Armies of Compassion. The report details the accomplishments of the President's FBCI through new and creative partnerships with the "armies of compassion" to address needs from addiction and homelessness here at home to HIV/AIDS in Africa. Through these grassroots partnerships, the principles advanced by President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative have impacted the lives of millions battling poverty, disease and other social ills. This report is available at

Grassroots Organizations Partnering with the One-Stop Career Center System: Lessons Learned from the Grantees

This report highlights the lessons learned from Grassroots FBCO grantees and Workforce Investment Boards/One-Stop Career Centers as they partnered with one another to serve Americans in need through the DOL-ETA Grants for Grassroots Organizations Partnering with the One-Stop Career Center System (Grassroots Grants). It highlights some examples of effective partnerships that grantee organizations and One-Stop Career Centers built together to better serve customers. This report is a guide for grassroots FBCOs that seek to establish partnerships with the Workforce Development System to help Americans in need to find and retain employment and then thrive in the workforce.

CFBCI issues two versions of this report here. Part One was developed for Grassroots Faith-Based and Community Organizations (FBCO) seeking to create partnerships with the Workforce Development System. Part Two was developed for Workforce Professionals seeking to create partnerships with FBCOs.

DOL Guidance Clarifying the Effect of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Faith-Based Organizations

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued guidance to clarify the conditions under which the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 allows recipients of DOL financial assistance to maintain their ability to make employment decisions based on religion even when receiving a federal grant under a program whose statute limits those rights.

This guidance, which implements a recent opinion concerning the proper construction of RFRA provided by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), creates a formal process for recipients of DOL financial assistance to seek an exemption under RFRA.

RFRA, as interpreted by DOJ and as implemented by this guidance, ensures that faith-based organizations are able to participate as partners in federal programs to help meet the needs of America's communities and retain the freedom to make employment decisions necessary to preserve their religious identity.

Partnership in Action

Partnership in Action, Examples of Employer/Faith-Based and Community Organization Partnerships provides a series of snapshots of partnerships between employers and faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs). FBCOs bring unique assets to the task of assisting individuals looking for training and employment. This is particularly true with hard-to-serve populations who often need long-term, in-depth assistance to find and retain jobs. Training and support services, however, are only part of the employment equation. FBCOs working with hard-to-serve populations also need expertise in understanding the needs of businesses and shaping their programs to support those needs. Partnership in Action is designed to help FBCOs build better partnerships with employers by offering several different examples of effective collaboration.

Lessons Learned from Grantees: Creating Communities of Hope, Innovation, Productivity, and Prosperity is here

With the need for the workforce system to become more innovative, efficient, and global, there are significant lessons to be learned from workforce investment board (WIBs) and faith-based and community organization (FBCO) grantees who have received funding from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). Lessons Learned from Grantees: Creating Communities of Hope, Innovation, Productivity, and Prosperity shares how WIBs have worked effectively with FBCOs to transform the performance and capacity of the workforce system, communities, and regional economies. It includes a summary of lessons learned, a variety of resources, and access to peers who can answer your questions and provide additional information.

The Employment and Training Administration
Office of Workforce Investment
200 Constitution Ave., NW, Room S-4231
Phone: 202-693-3045
Fax: 202-693-3015

Grant for Mentoring Services to High-Risk Populations

Due Date: Feb 25, 2009   

Contact: For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact Eric Stansbury, Program Manager, at 202-305-1826 or or Bernard Williams, Program Manager, at 202-616-9509 or

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), is pleased to announce that it is seeking applications for funding under its OJJDP FY 09 National Mentoring Programs. This program furthers the Department’s mission by supporting mentoring programs that have a national scope and impact on combating juvenile delinquency, reducing the victimization of children, and improving the juvenile justice system.

Eligible Applicants: Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education. Applicants are limited to national organizations, including community and faith-based nonprofit organizations.

Description: This solicitation invites eligible applicants to propose the enhancement or expansion of initiatives that will assist in the development and maturity of community programs to provide mentoring services to high-risk populations that are underserved due to location, shortage of mentors, special physical or mental challenges of the targeted population, or other analogous situations identified by the community in need of mentoring services. OJJDP’s National Mentoring Programs initiative is authorized by the statutes appropriating funds for fiscal year 2009.

Please find the full announcement at  This application must be submitted through For technical assistance with submitting the application, call the Customer Support Hotline at 1-800-518-4726 or send and e-mail to

Compassion Capitol Fund

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Children and Family Services has just released a website on Compassion Capital Fund. This new resource is designed to provide valuable information on increasing the capacity of faith-based and community organizations with a proven track record of serving the needs of at risk and/or low-income families. More information can be found at:


Fasten (Faith and Service Technical Education Network) seeks to meet the needs of faith-based organizations (FBO's) by building their capacity to address community challenges. The organization offers informational resources and networking opportunities for practitioners, philanthropies, and policy makers who seek to collaborate effectively to renew urban communities. Some of Fasten's resources are as follows;

  • Information on free and low-cost items that faith-based nonprofits may be able to access through a variety of organizations and associations.
  • Offers several tool-kits to assist practitioners in designing ,implementing and evaluating new programs,
  • More information can be found at

Reentry Partnerships: A Guide for States & Faith-Based and Community Organizations

The U.S. Department of Labor, Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, in conjunction with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, announce the release of Reentry Partnerships: A Guide for States & Faith-Based and Community Organization. Reentry Partnerships is written for state government officials and representatives of faith-based and community organizations who want to create and sustain collaborative efforts to reduce recidivism and to help people returning to the community from prisons or jails lead productive and law-abiding lives.

$17.3 Million Grant to Help Youth Offenders Announced

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced a three-category, $17.3 million competition through which selected localities will develop strategies to assist youth offenders returning from correctional facilities. These grants are targeted toward serving young people who have never been involved with the adult criminal system. Projects funded through these grants will create a broad variety of services, including employment, educational, mentoring and civic-minded services to better equip young people in becoming effective citizens. More information can be found at:

Directory of Foundation Workforce Grant Opportunities — A Guide for Faith-Based & Community Organizations

Many faith-based and community organizations (FBCO) involved in workforce or economic development face the challenge of locating funding that fits their mission and services. The Directory of Foundation Workforce Development Grant Opportunities booklet is a resource for these organizations looking for funding opportunities for their workforce development or economic development programs. This directory provides a detailed list of private and corporate foundations that provide grant opportunities to FBCOs in order to give community organizations a clear and concise tool to pursue grants. These lists provide a detailed explanation of each grant and contact information to more easily determine eligibility.

Census FBCO Grantwriting Toolkit

The U.S. Census Bureau produced a useful toolkit to assist faith-based and community organizations with obtaining Census information for grant writing and community needs assessment.

Three New Grants Announced from the Department of Justice

Three new grants are being offered from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to help three areas; including transitional housing assistance, legal assistance and enhanced training and services programs. These grants are offered to state and local governments, as well as non-profit faith based and community organizations willing to broaden these existing programs by creating more help in local areas. The Transitional Housing Assistance program focuses on a victim-centered approach to transitional housing. The Legal Assistance provides representation to victims when legal proceedings are the only source of relief. The Enhanced Training programs helps women over 50 who are victims of elder abuse. This program trains these women in current needs to remove barriers against them. All three grants are discretionary grants and applications must go through For more information about these grants:

New Publication: Partnering with Faith-Based and Community Organizations: A Guide for State and Local Officials Administering Federal Block and Formula Grant Funds

The US Department of Health and Human Services – Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has just released Partnering with Faith-Based and Community Organizations: A Guide for State and Local Officials Administering Federal Block and Formula Grant Funds. This new resource is designed to provide practical information for State and local officials, as well as tribes and tribal-serving organizations, on developing and enhancing effective partnerships with faith-based and community organizations (FBCO). It provides a blueprint for effective relationships between FBCOs and local government. See our Publications page for this and other helpful resources.

New Publication: Breakthrough Performance: Ten Emerging Practices of Leading Intermediaries

The White House Faith-based and Community Initiatives office has released a useful publication entitled "Breakthrough Performance: Ten Emerging Practices of Leading Intermediaries" providing information about the value of intermediaries. This publication contains useful chapters on standards and alignment, helpful to any Faith Based and Community Organization looking to implement new intermediary relationships.

It also contains definitions, action planning templates, resources, links, and a bibliography which can prove helpful to any organization or issue. This publication can be found at:

YouthBuild Grant Competition

Background: The YouthBuild program provides education and training to high risk youth, giving them tools to compete in today’s quickly changing job market. This alternative education program provides a path to higher education in addition to tools for immediate work in high demand fields such as construction. The program aims to provide an education for young people who have been in the juvenile justice system, youth aging out of foster care, high school dropouts and other at-risk populations, and immediately uses the vocational tools learned to expand affordable housing in low income communities. This vocational experience strengthens the leadership and learning skills of participating youth to help in future employment. The program is sponsored by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Association, working to give at risk youth concrete tools to achieve sustainable employment.

The Department of Labor will award $47 Million to various community organizations under this program.

The Solicitation closes on January 15th 2009 and can be found at, or Details on a future virtual prospective applicant conference will be posted at

Young Parents Demonstration Grant Competition

Background: Young Parents Demonstration programs provide training in educational and occupational skills aiming to achieve economic self sufficiency within families. The program targets high risk young mothers and fathers as well as expectant mothers ages 16-24. Projects funded will serve young parents in specific categories, including those who are court-involved, in the child welfare or foster care system, homeless, or victims of child abuse. Young Parents Demonstration programs create innovative ways to serve this population, providing vocational skills but also academic work, personal attention and support services. This highly inclusive method of training provides greater stability for young parents while working towards economic self sufficiency. This program is sponsored by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, working to provide substantial skills to young families to achieve personal economic sustainability.

Under this solicitation, the Department of Labor will award $5 million to various entities — including non-profit providers of workforce system services. See the solicitation for further details on eligibility.

The solicitation closes on November 17th, 2008 and can be found at A Webinar for prospective applicants will be held for this grant competition in early November. Access information to this Webinar can be found at

New  Prisoner Reentry Initiative Grants Announced: Limited Competition in 19 Cities

Background: The President's Prisoner Re-entry Initiative (PRI) seeks to strengthen urban communities characterized by large numbers of returning prisoners through an employment-centered program that incorporates mentoring, job training, and other comprehensive transitional services. This program is a joint effort of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Labor (DOL) designed to reduce recidivism by helping inmates find work when they return to their communities.

DOJ recently awarded PRI grants to 19 State correctional agencies to provide pre-release services to prisoners returning to one targeted county within the state.

New Publication: Intermediaries and Faith Based and Community Organizations Working Together

This new publication discusses how intermediaries can help faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) more effectively provide services to communities. Workforce intermediaries play an important role in connecting businesses to jobseekers and incumbent workers. Intermediaries are also able to help FBCOs develop deeper connections with area businesses. This report highlights the key characteristics and effective features of intermediary organizations, as well as strategies intermediaries use to connect FBCOs with businesses. The publication gives a broad overview on different types of intermediaries and how they can help, as well as specific examples of successful partnerships with FBCOs.

U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released an effective tool-kit for sustainability ideas and practices for faith-based and community organizations. This kit is very practical and will help organizations aggressively plan for the long-term to keep doing great work in their communities. It covers topics like financial planning, fund devlopment and raising, evaluations and marketing strategies. Also in the kit are templates to help with planning your organization's future.

This is a resource worth reviewing by all. Organizations that may want a brief review or wish to seek out potentially undiscovered strategies could benefit from this tool-kit. Hard copies are not presently availabe but PDF versions are available at the SAMHSA website below.

SAMHSA is an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, created by an act of Congress in 1992. It serves to improve the lives of those with mental and substance abuse disorders.

Access New Equal Treatment Online Training Course

Transforming Partnerships: How to Apply the U.S. Department of Labor's Equal Treatment and Religion-Related Regulations to Public-Private Partnerships is an online training course that provides in-depth training on the equal treatment and religion-related regulations at the U.S. Department of Labor. This course is designed as a training tool primarily for administrators and staff who work in the Workforce Investment System or at faith-based and community organizations.

Renewing Communities, Restoring Hope, and Transforming Lives

Renewing Communities, Restoring Hope, and Transforming Lives publication cover

The work of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Labor stems from a simple conviction: Americans can do better for our neighbors in need when we draw upon the unique strengths of every willing partner.

Renewing Communities, Restoring Hope, and Transforming Lives tells the story of how the Faith-Based and Community Initiative at the U.S. Department of Labor has made a real difference in the lives of more than 150,000 jobseekers, workers, families, vulnerable youth, and communities. As part of DOL’s mission to foster a prepared, competitive, safe, and secure workforce, the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives works with DOL agencies to tap into the unique abilities of faith-based and community organizations in order to help more individuals overcome barriers to employment, find jobs, and stay employed. These collaborative efforts have produced innovative public-private partnerships that decrease unemployment and recidivism among ex-prisoners, increase access to publicly funded employment resources in low-income communities, help homeless veterans find housing and jobs, withdraw and prevent children from entering exploitive child labor around the world, increase workplace safety outreach to Spanish-speaking workers, and much more. Renewing Communities, Restoring Hope, and Transforming Lives covers three main topics: Creating Access to New Opportunities Through Public-Private Partnerships, Faith-Based and Community Organizations: Utilizing Strengths and Building Capacity, and Transforming Lives Through Government Partnerships with Faith-Based and Community Organizations.

This Month's Champion of Compassion

Father's and Families Center (FFC)

Father's and Families Center (FFC)

Father's and Families Center (FFC) is a non-profit organization, based in Indianapolis, IN, that is dedicated to serving low income, unemployed, underemployed, and undereducated young fathers and expectant fathers in the Indianapolis area. FFC's services include employment preparation training, GED preparation studies, employment referrals, as well as pre- and post-job placement counseling. Additionally, FFC partners with One-Stop Career Centers and other organizations in an effort to introduce potential competitors into the labor market and increase job retention.

FFC won competitively-awarded Small Grassroots Grants from the Labor Department in 2006 and 2007. These grants are part of the Department of Labor's efforts to partner existing programs at faith-based and community organizations in order to provide better service to needy people and families.

Father's and Families Center works with many community partners to provide services such as life skills training, employment preparation, on-line job search, entrepreneurship training, and job placement and retention assistance. Through the first two years of services under the grants, FFC has enrolled 519 new participants. FFC has referred 222 clients to the One-Stop Career Center. Fifty-two participants have been placed in post-secondary education or advanced training. 258 participants have been placed in jobs and 167 have kept their jobs for three months, while 124 have maintained employment for six months. The average hourly wage at the time of time placement is $9.13.

Father's and Families Center has been named a "Champion of Compassion" by the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

You can visit the Employment and Training Administration's Prisoner Reentry Initiative page for more information on the PRI, including a map of grantee locations and contact information.


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