DHHS: Infrastructure to Promote the Mental Health of Children, Youth and Families in American Indian/Alaska Natives Communities
The Planning and Developing Infrastructure to Promote the Mental Health of Children, Youth, and Families in American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) Communities (Circles of Care) program seeks to provide tribal and urban Indian communities with tools and resources to plan and design a holistic, evidence and community-based, coordinated system of care to support mental health for children, youth, and families. Grants are intended to increase the capacity and effectiveness of mental health systems serving AI/AN communities. Circles of Care grant recipients will focus on the need to reduce the gap between the need for mental health services and the availability of such services for the target population. The program has a strong emphasis on cross-system collaboration; inclusion of family, youth, and community resources; and cultural approaches.
Circles of Care grant funds must be used primarily to support infrastructure development, including the following types of activities:
- Identify a structure (i.e., advisory boards, workgroups, task force) and process that will provide ongoing guidance to project staff and promote the sense of community ownership.
- Assure that orientation and ongoing training on the systems of care approach is provided to a wide audience for the purpose of workforce development through the life of the grant and beyond.
- Use a community-based process that is culturally appropriate and actively engages community members, key stakeholders, youth, elders, spiritual advisors, and tribal leaders throughout the life of the grant.
- Engage various sectors of the community to participate in the systems of care approach through outreach and educational strategies to sectors such as schools, the faith community, the housing community, and the justice system, in addition to healthcare systems.
- Conduct network development and collaboration activities, including ongoing training, for child and youth service providers, paraprofessionals and other informal support providers such as traditional healers, community natural helpers, youth peer leaders, and family members.
- Implement a community-based system of care model, or “blueprint,” for how child/youth mental health and wellness services and supports will be provided in the community. Use a variety of ongoing consensus-building activities with continuous feedback from the community to develop the model, which should be holistic, community-based, culturally competent, family-driven, and youth-guided across multiple agencies.
- Formalize interagency commitments for collaboration and coordination of services and develop policies, corresponding funding streams, and other strategies for how the system of care model, or “blueprint,” can be put into action.
- Identify an area in which services can be piloted to ensure that the infrastructure being created under this program is useful for its intended purpose. Services such as school-based mental health, educational, vocational, or family support services for children, youth, and families should be piloted.
Amount: A total of $5,492,314 is available to make 17 awards that range up to $310,000 per year for up to 3 years.
Eligibility: Indian tribes and tribal organizations, tribal colleges and universities, consortia of tribes and tribal organizations, and Urban Indian organizations.
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