February 12, 2015

CADCA Enhances Technical Assistance as DFC Application Process Heats Up

It is grant writing time in coalition offices across the country, as community leaders craft their Drug-Free Communities grant applications. The deadline to submit applications for new DFC funding and DFC mentoring grants is March 18.

CADCA’s National Coalition Institute, which serves as the training and TA branch of the DFC program, has a particular focus on building new coalitions and strengthening the capacity of existing ones to apply for DFC funding. And while CADCA cannot write applications for coalitions, we can help them consider key areas of effective coalition development, from capacity building to comprehensive strategies. CADCA is proud to announce that coalitions have a new Technical Assistance Manager to turn to in Jackie Rhodes.

Rhodes gained valuable experience and skills from her prior role as the Technical Assistance (TA) Task Lead for the National Evaluation of the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program. She provided support to more than 600 DFC grantees annually, which allowed her to gain a deep understanding of the vital work that community coalitions are engaging in to reduce local substance use and abuse problems. During her tenure with the DFC National Evaluation team, Rhodes coordinated and participated in numerous visits to DFC coalition’s nationwide to learn directly from coalition leaders about their experiences implementing prevention strategies.

Rhodes is responsible for the management and enhancement of CADCA’s National Technical Assistance Delivery System. Rhodes facilitates the delivery of intensive, situation-specific technical assistance to coalitions, prevention organizations, state-level prevention leaders, and federal prevention agencies.

“When people find out what I do, they ask, ‘what is technical assistance?’ Then, they want to know if I can help fix their computer. I explain that our version is like tech support, but for your coalition instead of your computer. I am here to help get the bugs out, troubleshoot the problem, and reboot the system with support such as advice, resources, examples, and case studies that are specific to your coalition’s biggest challenges,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes wants coalitions to understand one thing: She is always here to help, so don’t spend too much time working through a problem alone. Instead, just give her a call.

Since the DFC application is well aligned with coalition building, community problem solving and selecting environmental strategies, our new TA Manager can be a valuable resource by providing advice and support to strengthen those specific parts of the application. Also, she is well-versed in the 12 federal eligibility requirements and can provide advice on those as well. If questions arise that fall outside CADCA’s area of expertise such as funding issues, terms and conditions of the grant, Rhodes will direct you to the proper resources like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Department of Grants Management or the DFC Administrator.

For coalitions interested in applying for a DFC grant, please visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/drug-free-communities-support-program.

If you missed ONDCP’s 2015 DFC Applicant Workshops, there are applicant training videos on the ONDCP website. Please visit https://www.tvworldwide.com/events/ondcp/150126/.

SAMHSA has designed a webinar to guide applicants on how to submit a DFC application electronically. The webinar “Submitting Your DFC Grant Application Electronically” is available from 3:30-5 p.m. EST Feb. 19. At the time of the webinar, go to https://1sourceevents.adobeconnect.com/submittingyourdfcgrantapplication/.

You can reach Rhodes at jrhodes@cadca.org or 877-540-2322, Ext. 240.

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