Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative Evidence-Based and Community-Defined Evidence Practices Round Four: Youth-Driven Programs

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  • Grant
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As part of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI), the CA Dept. of Health Care Services (DHCS), in partnership with the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (Commission), released a Request for Application (RFA) on July 31, 2023, seeking proposals for the fourth round of grant funding totaling up to $50 million to scale youth-driven programs available to children, youth, parents, and caregivers.


Authorized as part of the 2021 Budget Act, the CYBHI is a multi-year, multi-department package of investments that reimagines the systems that support behavioral health (BH) and wellness for all California’s children, youth, and their families. Efforts focus on promoting social and emotional well-being, preventing behavioral health challenges, and providing equitable, appropriate, timely, and accessible services for emerging and existing BH needs for children and youth ages 0-25. The $4.7 billion investment of state General Funds for the CYBHI will improve access to, and the quality of, BH services for all children and youth in California, regardless of payer.

In Round Four, DHCS seeks to scale youth-driven programs to support youth drop-in centers or other youth-driven programs that provide mental health and wellness services to children, youth, parents, and caregivers in California. These programs will be equipped to meet the needs of youth, including mental and behavioral health needs, housing, education and employment support, and linkage to other services.

Specifically, this grant funding round aims to:

· Create and expand youth drop-in centers and/or other youth-driven programs designed with, by and for youth that reduce stigma, embrace mental wellness, increase community connection, and provide access to culturally responsive services.

· Provide a safe space for children and youth to find community, support, and advice.

· Increase early intervention so children and youth with or at high risk for BH conditions can access services before conditions escalate and require higher level care.

· Reduce health disparities by improving equitable access to services for parents, caregivers, and children in California that are culturally and linguistically responsive to the needs of the populations of focus.

Through a Third-Party Administrator, the Commission, DHCS will award grants, totaling up to $50 million to scale youth drop-in centers or other youth driven programs to provide children and youth access to mental health services throughout California. For Round Four, the following EBPs and/or CDEPs will be scaled through competitive grant awards:

· allcove™ model youth drop-in centers4 (Appendix 1 – allcove™ Model Components)

· Other youth-driven programs, which includes but are not limited to:

       o   Drop-in centers for homeless youth

       o   Drop-in centers for LGBTQIA+ youth

       o   Clubhouse model (Young adults with Serious Mental Illness)

       o   Fostering Healthy Futures -Preteen (FHF-P)

       o   Transition to Independence Process (TIP) Model

       o   Peer Respite

       o   Across Ages

DHCS recognizes that the short-listed evidence-based practices may not have been developed or normalized for populations of focus. Additional practices and programs relating to youth drop-in centers or youth-driven programs that are designed with, by, and for youth may be considered eligible for grant funding with the submission of supplementary material.

The RFA for Round Four: Youth-Driven Programs Grants is located on the Commission’s website.  

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Business
  • Individual
  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Eligible entities to submit a proposal may include individual practitioners, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, behavioral health providers, counties, plans, and Tribal entities.

Matching Funding Requirement:

There will be no matching funding for this grant.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
October 27, 2023
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
2 years

Funding Details

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Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State
The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


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