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FY 2008 RFA Grant Application Information (RFA)

Application Information Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

Request for Applications (RFA)

Circles of Care IV: Infrastructure Development for Children’s Mental Health Systems in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities

(Short Title: Circles of Care)

(Initial Announcement)


Request for Applications (RFA) No. SM-08-012
Posting on March 11, 2008
Receipt date: May 09, 2008
Announcement Type: Initial

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No
.: 93.243

Key Dates:

Application Deadline

Applications are due by May 09, 2008

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2008 for Circles of Care IV: Infrastructure Development for Children’s Mental Health Systems in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities (Short Title: Circles of Care) grants.  The purpose of this program is to provide tribal and urban Indian communities with tools and resources to plan and design a holistic, community-based system of care to support mental health and wellness for their children, youth, and families.  These grants will increase the capacity and effectiveness of behavioral health systems serving AI/AN communities.  As a result, Circles of Care grantees will be equipped to reduce the gap between the need for behavioral health services and the availability and coordination of services for children and families in AI/AN communities.  In FY 2008, SAMHSA/CMHS is especially interested in projects that focus on improving the linkages between primary care and behavioral health.

The Circles of Care grant program draws on the system of care philosophy and principles that are implemented in the SAMHSA Cooperative Agreements for Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (CMHI).  In this grant, a system of care is defined as a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that are organized to meet the challenges of children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families. In a model system of care, families and youth work in partnership with public and private organizations to design mental health services and supports that are effective, that build on the strengths of individuals and that address each person's cultural and linguistic needs.  A system of care helps children, youth and families function better at home, in school, in the community and throughout life.  Community leaders and community members work in partnership with child serving agency directors and staff members to formulate methods to reduce stigma, improve relationships between provider groups, address service capacity issues and increase cultural competence in the overall system: tribal, county, State and federal. 

Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) have been instrumental in some tribal systems of care projects, conducting needs assessments, facilitating strategic planning, and developing and presenting culturally specific wraparound training curricula for providers and community members.  Tribal colleges often utilize distance-learning technology to partner with full universities, to enable students to stay in the community and pursue advanced degrees.  Post-secondary student populations often face emotional/behavioral barriers to course completion such as substance abuse, suicidal behaviors and competing family responsibilities.  These students represent important sources of future providers to their own communities.

Circles of Care is one of SAMHSA’s infrastructure grant programs.  SAMHSA’s infrastructure grants support an array of activities to help the grantee build a solid foundation for delivering and sustaining effective mental health services through a system of care approach.  SAMHSA recognizes that each applicant will start from a unique point in developing infrastructure and will serve populations/communities with specific needs.  Awardees may pursue diverse strategies and methods to achieve their infrastructure development and capacity expansion goals.  Successful applicants will provide a coherent and detailed conceptual “roadmap” of the process by which they have assessed or intend to assess service system needs and plan/implement infrastructure development strategies that meet those needs.  The plan put forward in the grant application must show the linkages among needs, the proposed infrastructure development strategy, and increased system capacity that will implement, enhance and sustain effective programs and services. 

Circles of Care grants are authorized under 520 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.  This announcement addresses Healthy People 2010 focus area 18 (Mental Health and Mental Disorders).


Eligible applicants are State and federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribes, tribal organizations and Tribal colleges and universities.  Tribal organization means the recognized body of any AI/AN Tribe; any legally established organization of American Indians/Alaska Natives which is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by such governing body or which is democratically elected by the adult members of the Indian community to be served by such organization and which includes the maximum participation of American Indians/Alaska Natives in all phases of its activities.  Consortia of tribal organizations are eligible to apply, but each participating entity must indicate its approval.

Prior Circles of Care grantees are ineligible to apply (See Appendix H of this RFA).

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant
Anticipated Total Available Funding: $2,141,000
Anticipated Number of Awards: 7
Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $305,875 per year
Length of Project Period: Up to 3 years

Proposed budgets cannot exceed $305,857 in total costs (direct and indirect) in any year of the proposed project.  Annual continuation awards will depend on the availability of funds, grantee progress in meeting project goals and objectives, timely submission of required data and reports, and compliance with all terms and conditions.  Applicants should be aware that funding for this program is not included in the FY 2009 President’s budget request, and funding beyond FY 2008 is not guaranteed.  SAMHSA is allowing applicants to submit proposals for 2 additional budget years for planning purposes and for technical assistance in sustainability activities. 

Contact Information

For questions on program issues, contact:

R. Andrew Hunt, MSW, LICSW
Child Adolescent and Family Branch
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 6-1054
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1926

For questions on grants management issues, contact:

Gwendolyn Simpson
Office of Program Services, Division of Grants Management     
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 7-1085
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1408

Documents needed to complete a grant application:

Applications that are not submitted on the required application form will be screened out and will not be reviewed.

Download the complete Announcement No. SM-08-012

MS Word Format Download RFA in MS Word format
PDF Format Download RFA in Adobe PDF format

You must respond to the requirements in the RFA in preparing your application.

PHS 5161-1 (revised July 2000): Includes the face page, budget forms and checklist. Applications that are not submitted on the required application form will be screened out and will not be reviewed.

Techical Assistance Webinars

Additional Materials

For further information on the forms and the application process, see Useful Information for Applicants

Additional materials available on this website include:

Last updated: 12/12/2008