(Washington, DC) The DC Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (Trust) today announced awards of six, one-year grants totaling $837,000 to five community-based organizations. The grants will help to strengthen the mental health system of care for children/youth with serious emotional and behavioral needs and their families by supporting direct services, community outreach activities and advocacy training.
The District’s child-serving agencies—DMH, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Court Social Services, Child and Family Services Agency and DC Public Schools—have been collaborating with family and community partners under the leadership of Brenda Donald Walker, Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth, Families and Elders, to build a community-based, family-centered system of care that builds on the strengths of children, youth and their families. Stephen T. Baron, Director of DMH, said, “We are very excited to build rich partnerships with the communities we serve, and we are eager to provide community-based organizations with the tools and support they need to empower DC families to access services and advocate for the care and support they need.”
The Trust will provide grants administration, program monitoring and support training for this initiative. “The Trust has been working with community-based organizations for six years,” said Greg Roberts, President and CEO of the Trust, “and we are very pleased to bring our expertise to such an important project. This system of care will bring high-quality services directly to the communities and families that have such critical need for services.”
The grant awards encompass services in four categories:
- Social Marketing and Training
- Grant will stimulate supports for children/youth with serious emotional and behavioral needs and their families/caregivers as well as create public mental health messages and message channels that help to overcome barriers to accessing needed services and supports for the focus population.
- Positive Nature ($50,000)
- Direct Outreach Services
- Support services help children with serious emotional and behavioral needs and their families cope with the challenges of difficult mental, emotional or behavioral problems. These services and supports include structured and informal outreach activities designed to engage families in the focus population, family support groups, family education and coaching and peer support activities.
- Latin American Youth Center ($100,000)
- Total Family Care Coalition ($100,000)
- Family Centered Advocacy
- By building knowledge of laws, resources, and parents’ rights and responsibilities, families are better equipped to work with agencies and obtain appropriate services for their children.
- Family Advocacy and Support Association ($50,000)
- Total Family Care Coalition ($70,000)
- Family Meeting Orientation/Individualized Youth and Family Plans
- Grant will support recruitment, training and supervision of a cadre of family support workers that will help to implement individualized youth/family plans developed for and by families served through the system of care pilot initiative. Award includes $150,000 of flex funds to support needed, nontraditional services identified by family teams within the pilot population.
- Healthy Family/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council ($467,000)
The grantees represent a diverse group of providers – large and small –as well as strong collaborations that demonstrate the commitment of the organizations to improve the well-being of the District’s youth and families.