The Administration for Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Children's Bureau (CB), announces the availability of competitive grant funds authorized by the Adoption Opportunities Program. The goal of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit proposals for projects that will improve the social and emotional well-being and restore the developmentally appropriate functioning of targeted children and youth in child welfare systems that have mental and behavioral health needs. These grants, in the form of cooperative agreements, are designed to:
- Assist public child welfare agencies, through interagency collaboration, in improving adoption and child well-being outcomes by creating a flexible service array that provides early access to effective mental and behavioral health services that match the needs of children, youth, and families in the service population;
- Support the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated approach to evidence-based or evidence-informed screening and assessment of mental health and behavioral health needs and the use of functional outcome oriented case planning to ensure those needs are met;
- Support service array reconfiguration approaches at the child and systems level that are aligned and responsive to the screening and functional assessment data while simultaneously targeting and de-scaling practices and services that: 1) are not effective; and/or 2) do not meet the assessed needs of the target population;
- Identify factors and strategies associated with successful installation, implementation, and sustainability of service system changes, and;
- Evaluate the effect of implemented system changes on safety, permanency, well-being,,adoption, and cost outcomes for children overall and for particular subgroups.
Grant funds may be used for the process of service transformation and alignment efforts to improve access to appropriate, evidence-based or evidence-informed mental and behavioral health services for the target population and for the larger child welfare population. Activities may include, but are not limited to building collaborative partnerships, screening, assessment, planning, capacity-building, training, installation, implementation, data collection and tracking, evaluation, and dissemination. Successful applicants will design a plan to sustain service transformations within their child welfare service delivery systems. This program is not intended to be used for direct services.
It is anticipated that these will be 60-month projects with five 12-month budget periods; that continuation grant applications will be considered on a non-competitive basis and is subject to the satisfactory progress of the grantee, availability of funds; that a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Federal Government; and that continuation grants will be awarded for one-year budget periods throughout the project.
If the primary applicant responsible for administering the cooperative agreement funded under this FOA is not the state or local child welfare agency, there should be a strong partnership with the state and local child welfare agencies responsibile for administering the child welfare program(s) in the targeted geographical area(s) and courts having jurisdiction over the targeted child welfare population.