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Dane County Department of Human ServicesUnited Way of Dane County

Frequently Asked Questions - "Families Can't Wait" Fund & Grants

1. Who can request a "Families Can't Wait" grant?
Any family currently waiting for services through the Family Support & Resource Center may request a grant.  To be on our waiting list, a family must be a resident of Dane County and have completed the eligibility determination process for our publicly funded programs.  An individual family may apply or a group of several families may join together to make a request.

2. What types of requests can be made to the "Families Can't Wait" Fund?
You can request a grant for any expenses that will make a positive difference in the life of your child who has a disability. Funding is limited, and grants will be approved using the following guidelines for priorities and limitations.

  a. We fund items or services that are one-time in nature or limited in duration until another resource becomes available. We cannot provide assurance to families that funding will be continuous. 
  b. We are a funding source of last resort, and can not pay for items or services that can be paid through Medicaid and private insurance.   
  c. We are not able to make grants for services or items which are considered experimental or restrictive.  We will always support solutions which we believe to be in the best interest of the child.
  d. At least 2 written estimates will be required for architectural modifications.
  e. Supportive documentation may be required depending on the request.

The following types of requests will receive the highest priority:

  • Requests that respond to urgent needs of families in high stress situations, especially  households that have low incomes, are headed by single parents or parents who have disabilities, or have a child at risk of out-of-home placement 
  • Requests for innovative or creative forms of support;  for example, ideas to share resources among families, to promote and strengthen the capacity of extended family and friends to help, to empower and to mentor parents, to address challenges of living in a rural area.  (These are only examples!)  
  • Because the amount of "Families Can't Wait" funding may vary from year to year, we cannot make any assurances that assistance to your family can be continuous or repeated.   Requests for assistance that is of limited duration or will tide you over until another resource becomes available are more likely to be granted.

3. How much money can I request?
We don't like to put upper or lower limits on the size of grants.   We are expecting to receive a number of smaller requests ($100 - $1000) that will allow us to fund some larger proposals (up to $3000/12 months) as well. 

4. How do I request "Families Can't Wait" funding?  Is there a deadline?
It's simple to make a request. Write it down 
on this form and send it in.  Tell us how you would like to use the grant and why it is important to your child and family.  Please don't call us with requests. The written forms will help us know the number and kind of requests that you have. There is no deadline.  We'll accept requests as long as we have funding available.
5. How will grants be made?
A committee of FSRC staff will review requests on a regular basis and contact you for further information.  This team will make funding decisions based on our priorities and criteria listed above.  We will try to make decisions and get back to you within 30 days.  You will be notified if a decision about your request cannot be made within this time period.

6. Where does the money for "Families Can't Wait" grants come from?
In 1999, Family Support & Resource Center began appealing to the Dane County community for funding specifically to help families while they are waiting for support through our publicly funded programs.  The "Families Can't Wait" grants are the result of fund-raising events and generous responses from many local foundations, businesses, and individual donors.

7. What kind of record-keeping or documentation will I have to do if I receive a grant?
Paperwork will be minimal.  If we can grant your request, money will be made available as soon as you have completed all arrangements with the vendor and are ready for payments to be made. 

In order to continue raising "Families Can't Wait" funds, we need to make sure our donors know how important their support is.  It is important that recipients of "Families Can't Wait" funds be willing to provide us with follow-up information on the impact of the grant.

"Families Can't Wait" Grant Request Form
To download a copy of the request form for a Families Can't Wait grant in Microword Word(tm) format, please 
click here  En Espanol.
Submit this completed form via email to: grant


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