Youth Organization Funding Application Announcement

Release Date: July 24, 2020

The PA Care Partnership, a state-wide System of Care Grant initiative funded by the  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health Services, is pleased to announce the Youth Organization Funding Opportunity for the 2020/2021 fiscal year, through our partner, Youth MOVE PA. Youth MOVE PA will award up to five (5) counties, youth groups, or organizations for the Youth Organization Funding Opportunity in the amount of $10,000.00 each to explore innovative options for providing activities that support youth or young adults with complex behavioral health challenges between the ages of birth-21.  For this funding opportunity, applicants can also consider creating a group for youth/young adults who would want to connect with their peers and learn leadership skills.   

This funding opportunity has been developed in partnership with Youth MOVE PA, the PA Care Partnership, the State Leadership and Management Team (SLMT), and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health Services to improve lives of youth in Pennsylvania.

As part of the funding opportunity, we will have a learning community cohort of the funded sites to share ideas, challenges, and successes to enhance the way that youth and young adult activity planning are delivered.  Those applying and receiving funding must agree to participate in monthly calls to discuss program successes and challenges, data collection efforts, and support the development of a best practice tool to be shared for future use.

The Goals for the Youth Organization Funding opportunity are to:

  • Create a welcoming, inclusive environment in which youth and young adults can collaborate and network with peers outside their own cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic groups.
  • Engage teens via ongoing outreach to schools, other youth-focused organizations, places of worship, government agencies, etc.
  • Involve teens in every step of the planning process, including design, marketing, hosting, and evaluation.
  • Use a flexible, participatory design model to allow teens to modify and adapt activities to meet their needs better.
    • Youth and young adults provide both immediate and long-term feedback for the group or activity facilitator(s). Participation is not limited to formally organized groups or activities but instead includes informal digital interactions as well as face-to-face activities aimed at individuals or groups. An emphasis is placed on encouraging all youth and young adults, not just those who are regular visitors or participants, in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program or activities.
  • Facilitate activities, rather than act as leader and expert. 
  • Enable teens to engage in peer-to-peer learning activities.
  • Create a welcoming, inclusive environment in which teens can collaborate and network with peers outside their own cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic groups.
  • Balance the needs and skills of all youth program participants.
  • Develop interest-based, developmentally appropriate programs that support connected learning.                                                              

For this funding opportunity youth and young adult activity planning is defined as the following:

Youth and young adult activity planning refer to training or activities provided to children/youth and/or young adults, ages 0-21, diagnosed with serious emotional or behavioral challenges so that they receive new knowledge or participate in activities that provide an enriching, positive experience. 

Training and activities may be an essential part of the overall support that youth and young adults may need to help encourage and maintain positive relationships while helping to build self-confidence and self-awareness. Activities should be responsive to the needs of youth and young adults in the specific community.  

Proposals for youth organization funding should focus on the following goals:

  • Develop or expand youth and young adult activity planning with a focus on youth and young adults with complex behavioral health diagnoses.
  • Provide resources to youth and young adults in need of activities or a place to connect with peers.
  • The option to provide or develop training to expand youth and young adults knowledge and skills that enhance, grow, or evolve leadership skills or further understanding of a specific topic related to children and youth (birth-21) with serious emotional disturbances and may have multiple system involvement including: Children and Youth, Juvenile Justice, Education, Drug and Alcohol, Early Intervention Services.

Youth and young adult activity planning do not include:

  • Therapeutic interventions.
  • Crisis interventions for the child/youth.
  • Medical Assistance funded services.
  • The exclusion of organizations based on cultural, ethnic, racial, or socio-economic background.
  • Overnight trips, unsupervised activities, or covering the cost of a building or space.

Youth Organization Funding Opportunity Overview


Entities eligible for the respite funding opportunity are as follows:

  • Youth Organizations that are currently working and contracted to work with the PA Care Partnership Counties (Blair, Carbon, Crawford, Delaware, Greene, Monroe, Pike, Venango, and York Counties), in collaboration with the local System of Care County Leadership Team and System of Care Coordinator.
  • Programs and organizations who currently provide youth and young adult activities within a county or joinder (The applicant must have a letter of support that the County agrees with the approach and requirements of the funding opportunity funding announcement)
  • Youth Organizations may apply who are not currently receiving funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through a current System of Care Grant.


  • Youth Organizations that are being directly funded by a System of Care Grant from the following System of Care Grants ( Behavioral Health Alliance of Rural Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, Luzerne County, Erie County, Beaver County, and Philadelphia County). SAMHSA funding guidelines prohibit counties within Pennsylvania, who are currently involved in a System of Care Grant from applying for and receiving funding.

Proposal Requirements:

  • Proposals that meet the following requirements will be considered for funding:
    • Active input in the creation of the proposal by at least one system partner (County Agency or Provider, Community Partner), one youth, and one family member, with all entities signing off on the submission. 
    • Provided a detailed summary of how the proposal was developed, including how the youth, family, systems, and providers were involved in the creation of the proposal.
    • Describe the population to be served and what will be provided to each community, i.e., direct services, training, etc.
    • Description of the youth organization/group.
    • Rational for funding.
    • Location of the youth organization/group.
    • Timeline to implement the youth organization/group.
    • Funding encumbered by March 31, 2021.
    • How the organization/group will implement the determined approaches.
    • How the youth organization/group will participate in the monthly calls, data collection, etc.
    • How will the youth organization/group will sustain or adapt once the funding opportunity has ended?
    • Contact person that will answer questions regarding the application and that should be notified regarding the funding approval if accepted.

Proposals should not be longer than six (6) pages and should include a budget on how the funding will be utilized

Application Considerations:

  • Innovation around youth and young adults having the ability to commune and develop new skills.
  • Development of a memorandum of understanding between agencies and/or community organizations to provide in-kind or matching funding/support.
  • Utilization of funding for existing or newly funded youth organizations/groups to support improved trauma awareness. 
  • Advertise the youth organization/group opportunity to the identified population.  

Possible Transition language: If a county wanted to consider the seamless transition from youth to young adults utilizing a youth organization/group, this would be considered.

Funding Utilization:

  • Funding can be used for training, development, and provision of youth organization/group
  • Funding cannot be used for renovation or building/office improvements
  • Funding requests should not exceed $10,000 per county
  • Funding must be utilized and encumbered by March 31, 2021.

Application Submission:

  • July 24, 2020 - Release of Youth Organization Funding Opportunity
  • All proposals should be submitted in the template provided in Appendix A, and Appendix B.  A Microsoft Office Word version of the template can also be downloaded directly from this link:
  • Applications are due no later than 4:00 pm Friday, September 4, 2020 (Please note this was corrected from Tuesday, September 4, 2020)
  • Please submit applications to:

Award Notifications:

Notice of award will be sent on or before September 29, 2020. Counties/providers will be notified by email by Youth MOVE PA

Questions about the funding opportunity can be directed to:


Youth and young adult activity planning resources

For information on the PA Care Partnership visit

For information on Youth MOVE PA visit