Children’s Justice Act RFP

The deadline for proposal submissions is 11:59pm on November 7th, 2021
Please read the information below to guide your proposal and scope of work.

Thank you for your interest in the CJA program!

Children’s Justice Act (CJA) Task Force is established in accordance with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and will award grants congruent with the taskforce’s federally mandated responsibility to improve:

  • the assessment and investigation of suspected child abuse and neglect cases, including cases of suspected child sexual abuse and exploitation, in a manner that limits additional trauma to the child and the child’s family;
  • the assessment and investigation of cases of suspected child abuse-related fatalities and suspected child neglect-related fatalities;
  • the investigation and prosecution of cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation; and
  • the assessment and investigation of cases involving children with disabilities or serious health-related problems who are suspected victims of child abuse or neglect

CJA will fund projects focused on research, program development/ implementation, or a combination of the two. CJA welcomes a wide array of proposed projects congruent with the mandated responsibility of CJA.

The award ceiling for projects is $110,000. Please note that CJA will allow for an indirect charge no higher than ten (10%) of direct costs. 

Project proposals will be accepted from October 20, 2021 until 11:59 PM on November 7, 2021. Awardees will be notified by December 6, 2021. Project period should occur between January 1, 2022 – May 31, 2022. Projects are expected to be complete and final reports submitted no later than June 15, 2022.     

Award recipients are required to provide monthly check in reports and invoices, quarterly progress reports, as well as a final cumulative report.  In addition, awardees will be required to provide at least one in-person report to the CJA Task Force.

If you have questions about the RFP, please contact Meagan Lederman at  


Any organization may apply for the CJA grant program. The principal investigator (PI) must have a demonstrated ability and appropriate training to carry out the research/program project. The PI must maintain control of the project at all times throughout the award period and is responsible for submitting all required reports to CJA.

If the proposed project includes providing a service to any individual, the individual/entity providing the service must be appropriately credentialed/accredited.


When you enter the submission portal, you will be prompted to complete the Online Application. Once the application is complete, you will be prompted to enter a proposal in the following format:

Proposals submitted to CJA should include:

  1. Proposal Coversheet
  2. Proposal (limited to no more than seven (7) pages [including references] ; limited to no more than five (5) pages for Addendums; All in 11 point Times New Roman), formatted as follows:
  1. Problem Description
  2. Brief Background pertaining to relevant literature
  3. Description of research plan/intervention
  4. Significance of the proposed project
  5. Brief description identifying which of the CJA mandates (see intro paragraph above) your proposal pertains to as well as detail on how the proposed work will meet federal CAPTA requirements (see Areas of Use below).
  1. Copy of evaluation forms/measures
  2. Letters of agreement for all involved agencies/individuals
  3. CVs/Resumes of all involved researchers/service providers
  4. Detailed budget, budget justification, and scope of work. Budget must be submitted using the provided budget template. Download budget template here.

Areas of Use for CJA Grant Funds

  1. investigative, administrative, and judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as cases involving suspected child maltreatment related fatalities and cases involving a potential combination of jurisdictions, such as interstate, Federal-State, and State-Tribal, in a manner which reduces the additional trauma to the child victim and the victim’s family and which also ensures procedural fairness to the accused;

  2. experimental, model, and demonstration programs for testing innovative approaches and techniques which may improve the prompt and successful resolution of civil and criminal court proceedings or enhance the effectiveness of judicial and administrative action in child abuse and neglect cases, particularly child sexual abuse and exploitation cases, including the enhancement of performance of court-appointed attorneys and guardians ad litem for children, and which also ensure procedural fairness to the accused; and

  3. reform of State laws, ordinances, regulations, protocols and procedures to provide comprehensive protection for children from abuse, including sexual abuse and exploitation, while ensuring fairness to all affected persons.

CJA funds should be used for programs to reform State systems and improve the processes by which States respond to cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation and cases of suspected child abuse- or neglect -related fatalities. This will enable States to more effectively address both the child victim and the offender and to limit additional trauma to the child victim.

CJA funds are not designed to support primary prevention programs or treatment services. CJA funds are to be primarily focused on the front-end, intake, assessment, investigative, and prosecutorial phases of child welfare. Projects selected by a State Task Force should be mindful that funds must be spent to support efforts at this point in a child welfare case.

Examples of CJA-supported activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing curricula and conducting training for personnel in law enforcement and child protective services, as well as health and mental health professionals, prosecutors and judges. This may include attention to issues of trafficking and exploitation within child welfare.
  • Providing training and information on the importance of high quality legal representation for parents with child welfare system involvement.
  • Fostering collaboration between the child welfare, legal, and judicial communities to ensure that all parties are held accountable and that reasonable efforts are made to prevent unnecessary family disruption.
  • Evaluating activities such as trainings in order to determine specific outcomes, changes in practice, and any related improvements to the systems handling of cases of child abuse and neglect.
  • Establishing or enhancing child advocacy centers and other multidisciplinary programs to serve child victims and their families in order to minimize trauma.
  • Establishing and supporting local and/or State child fatality review teams, including multidisciplinary training, team development, and annual reporting. This may also include supporting efforts to reduce child fatalities among children with current or previous child welfare involvement.
  • Supporting the enactment of laws to improve system response, including allowing the admission of indirect testimony of children into evidence, making the courtroom setting less intimidating to children, increasing the penalties for sexual offenses against children, requiring mandatory sentencing, shortening the trial process and permitting victims to make statements prior to sentencing.

Children’s Justice Act Request for Proposal Submission Form