California Family Resource Association’s Child Tax Credit Outreach Campaign Mini Grants

The California Family Resource Association (CFRA) awarded $5,000 mini grants funded through the David & Lucille Packard Fund, for CFRA Member FRCs only to conduct Child Tax Credit Outreach (CTCO) through their Family Resource Centers to connect families to the Federal Child Tax Credit (CTC). The timeframe for the implementation of this grant is March 28, 2022, through June 15, 2022.

CFRA is a statewide membership association of organizations that serve children and families. CFRA members pay annual dues to receive CFRA support and resources. The purpose of CFRA is to advocate for the programs, policies, and resources that enable Family Resource Centers (FRCs) to better serve families and communities. CFRA accomplishes this by building the capacity of our member organizations, convening partners for shared learning and planning, and supporting the development of networks and coalitions to achieve greater impact.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) has the potential to be the largest-ever one-year decrease in child poverty in the history of the United States[1]. This historic increase in cash aid to families with young children has already made a big impact, reducing child poverty by 29% in August 2021[2]. However, an estimated 4 million families who are eligible are not receiving these benefits because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not have their information[3]. The importance of the CTC is also demonstrated by a landmark November 2021 study in Pediatrics found that States’ total spending on public benefits was inversely associated with child abuse outcomes. For each additional $1000/person invested, child welfare involvement decreased 4.0% at the 95% confidence level[4].

It is the goal of this funding, referred to as the CTCO, to promote the availability of the Federal CTC through CFRA member agencies and Family Resource Centers to increase the number of families who apply for and receive their CTC.  The 2022 tax season started on January 24, 2022. Families who did not receive the first half of the tax credit can claim the entire amount by filing a tax return. Families who may have missed out on last year’s advance payments can claim up to $3,600 per child through their 2021 tax returns. Families who received the advanced payments can claim up to $1,800 per child. The deadline to file a tax return is April 18, 2022, to receive the second half of the 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). However, families may request an extension, provided that they pay the taxes that are due. Generally, low-income families do not owe taxes, but receive returns. Families who are not required to file, can file anytime during 2022 to receive the 2021 CTC.[5]  As organizers and advocates continue to push for the future of the expanded CTC, it is particularly important to make sure families receive the full benefit of the 2021 expansion and that outreach continues past the April 18, 2022 tax filing deadline

Grant Deliverables

Child Tax Outreach Campaign (CTCO) Once successful CTCO NOFO applicants have been identified, and contracting is completed, CFRA will provide grantees with the following:

  • Outreach materials through Coalition of Human Needs and Partnerships for America’s Children,
  • Webinar information for Child Tax Credit Outreach and training, and
  • Access to Child Tax Credit Outreach Resource Toolkit.

 

Deliverable 1: Child Tax Credit Outreach (CTCO) Campaign grantees will conduct both level 1 and level 2 outreach.

Below are examples of outreach activities that can be funded by this NOFO[1] :

 

Level 1 Outreach Activities: Raising Awareness

  • One-Way: Outreach that provides communication to the community through general methods that do not require a response from individuals.
  • Level 1 outreach includes but is not limited to:
    • Sending mass text messages or emails,
    • Recording phone hold messages or video messages for waiting rooms/office screens,
    • Hanging posters in waiting rooms (posters can be from the IRS, VITA, lightbox materials, etc.),
    • Distributing flyers in backpacks, sent home from school in resources already going out to families,
    • Including CTC related questions to exiting intake forms, and/or
    • Including messages in newsletters or social media.

 

Level 2 Outreach Activities: Expanded Engagement with Families

  • Two-Way: Outreach that requires responses/engagement from community members upon communication of information, providing opportunities to discuss/ask questions.
  • Level 2 outreach includes but is not limited to:
    • Sending text messages to individuals (families send peer to peer texts),
    • Hosting Q&A sessions with a tax specialist, immigration attorney, or other subject matter expert,
    • Helping families schedule VITA appointments,
    • Working with local tax sites and partners to make tax preparation services available, and/or
    • Organizing tax filing or document preparation events.

Deliverable 2: Child Tax Credit Outreach (CTCO) Campaign grantees will attend a minimum of two webinars conducted by the Lightbox Collaborative or CFRA regarding the Child Tax Credit.

Lightbox Collaborative has partnered with the David & Lucille Packard Foundation to develop communication strategies and tools for the Child Tax Credit CTCO.

LightBox Collaborative is hosting biweekly communication workshops every other Wednesday from 11–12:30.

REPORTING AND INVOICE REQUIREMENTS

CFRA has developed a simple tracker spreadsheet to CTCO mini-grant recipients to track and report outreach data monthly  including the following:

  • Type of outreach activity or engagement (Level 1 or Level 2, activities provided);
  • Numbers of individuals reached by each level of outreach activities (total # of individuals reached by Level 1 activities and total # of individuals reached by each type of Level 2 activities);
  • Number of CTC Outreach informational webinars attended by grantee.

Due Dates:
April Report Due 5/5/22
May Report Due 6/6/22
June Report due 6/20/22
Submit all reports to californiafamilyresource@gmail.com

Invoices

Invoices are submitted at the same due date of the reports, and are paid upon receipt of the data tool for the month

FAQ-2022- CTCO Data and Invoices 4.4.22

CTC Mini Grant Data Collection Form 4.4.22

FINAL CTC Outreach invoice template

CTCO Data Collection and Invoice Webinar

CTCO MINI-GRANT INFO SESSION

On March 16, 2022 CFRA hosted a webinar for all member FRCs interested in this CTCO Mini-Grant NOFO. (Attendance was optional and will not affect your application’s status.)

Webinar recording

CTCO MINI-GRANT May Office Hour

On May 5, 2022 CFRA hosted a webinar for all grantees to support implementation, share best practices, and ask questions.

May 2022 Office Hour recording

On June 2, 2022 CFRA hosted a webinar for all grantees to support implementation, share best practices, and ask questions.

June 2022 Office Hour recording

CTCO Webinar with Lightbox Collaborative

On May 20, 2022 CFRA and Lightbox Collaborative hosted a webinar for all grantees to support implementation, share best practices, and ask questions regarding CTC outreach.

The recording from the webinar and the strategy spreadsheet can be found here.

Lightbox Collaborative compiled messaging resources for immigrant families, caregiver/nontraditional families, and military families here.

Don’t forget to visit bit.ly/LightBoxCTCResources where you can find links to national toolkits, navigator resources, etc. This is also where you can find our new toolkit after it’s finalized around June 6.

You may also find it useful to view this navigator training recording from Code for America, the people who created GetCTC.org.

Resources:

Lightbox Collaborative Communications Hub Document

Resources & Tools About the CTC | English & Spanish Downloadables (childtaxcredit.gov)

FINAL CFRA CTC Mini-Grant NOFO 3.9.2022

FAQ-2022- CTCO NOFO-3.16.22

References:

[1] Keshner, A., (2021, September 28). Child tax credit payments are reducing hunger and child poverty. But can families keep banking on them?. MarketWatch. Child tax credit payments are reducing hunger and child poverty. But can families keep banking on them? – MarketWatch

[2] Keshner, A., (2021, September 28). Child tax credit payments are reducing hunger and child poverty. But can families keep banking on them?. MarketWatch. Child tax credit payments are reducing hunger and child poverty. But can families keep banking on them? – MarketWatch

[3] Cox, K., Caines, R., Sherman, A., and Rosenbaum, D. (2021, August 5). State and local child tax credit outreach needed to help lift hardes-tp-reach children out of poverty. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 1.

[4] Puls, H.T., Hall, M., Anderst, J.D., Gurley, T., Perrin, J., Chung, P.J. (2021, November 1). State spending on public benefit programs and child maltreatment. Pediatrics,148(5),1.

[5] Fonseca, A., O’Reilly, C., Weinstein, D., Stein, D., Beebe, J. (2022, January 26). Helping families claim the 2021 expanded child tax credit. Coalition on Human Needs and Partnership for America’s Children. Online.

[6] Fonseca, A., O’Reilly, C., Weinstein, D., Stein, D., Beebe, J. (2022, January 26). Helping families claim the 2021 expanded child tax credit. Coalition on Human Needs and Partnership for America’s Children. Online.

[7] Office of Child Abuse Prevention. (2019, October 2). Welfare and Institutions Code: 18951.

[8] The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2021). 2021 Kids count data book. aecf-2021kidscountdatabook-2021.pdf

[9] ChildTaxCredit.gov. (2022). Sharing Materials About These Tax Benefits. Resources & Tools About the CTC | English & Spanish Downloadables (childtaxcredit.gov).

[10] LightBox Collaborative. (2022). California CTC Communications Hub. California CTC Communications Hub – Google Drive