Click to see the modal popup.

FY 2011 Grant Request for Applicationss (RFA)

Planning Grants for Expansion of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families (Short Title: System of Care Expansion Planning Grants)

RFA Webinar for Prospective Applicants
Thursday, April 28, 2011
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Eastern Time
Phone:  1-800-503-2899
Phone Participant Code: 1384349
To register for the Webinar:

Initial Announcement

Request for Applications (RFA) No. SM-11-008
Posting on April 6, 2011
Original Receipt date: June 2, 2011
Announcement Type: Initial

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No.: 93.104

Key Dates

Application Deadline

Applications are due by June 2, 2011.

Intergovernmental Review
(E.O. 12372)

Applicants must comply with E.O. 12372 if their State(s) participates.  Review process recommendations from the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS)/Single State Agency Coordination

Applicants must send the PHSIS to appropriate State and local health agencies by application deadline. Comments from Single State Agency are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2011 for Planning Grants for Expansion of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families (System of Care Expansion Planning Grants).  The purpose of these grants is to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for improving and expanding services provided by systems of care (SOC) for children and youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families.

A “system of care” is an organizational philosophy and framework that involves collaboration across government and private agencies, providers, families, and youth for the purpose of improving access and expanding the array of coordinated community-based, culturally and linguistically competent services and supports for children and youth with a serious emotional disturbance and their families. Since the inception of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (i.e., Children’s Mental Health Initiative or CMHI) in 1992 by an act of Congress, the SOC approach has served as the conceptual and philosophical framework for systemic reform in children’s mental health.

An estimated 4.5 to 6.3 million children and youth in the United States suffer from a serious mental health condition (about 10%) and 20% have a diagnosable mental disorder. Approximately 65% to 80% of these children and youth do not receive the specialty mental health services and supports they need.  In addition, the onset for 50% of adult mental health disorders is by age 14, and for 75% of adults it is age 24, and yet resources are limited for children, youth and their families. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in individuals in the 15-24 year age group and approximately one in five adolescents and young adults experience suicidal ideation every year.

Accumulating research and evaluation results from the CMHI over the last 15 years have demonstrated that, when a SOC approach is implemented and sustained, children, youth and families experience both short and long-term benefits, including: improvement in clinical and functional outcomes, significant reductions in suicide attempts by youth, improvement in school attendance and performance, reduction in contacts with law enforcement, and reduction of reliance on inpatient settings for care.  Data show that caregivers of children served within systems of care experienced reduced strain associated with caring for a child who has a serious mental health condition, more adequate resources, fewer missed days of work, and improvement in overall family functioning.  Research has demonstrated that systems of care have a positive effect on the structure, organization, and availability of services for children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families

The intent of the System of Care Expansion Planning Grants is to build and expand upon the progress achieved in the CMHI program during the last 18 years in addressing the mental health needs of children, youth and families.  SAMHSA expects that these grants will help facilitate State/Tribal wide adoption of the System of Care framework and increase State Medicaid and other third party reimbursement for the System of Care spectrum of services and supports.   Applicants are expected to create comprehensive and sustainable plans for infrastructure, services, and supports that are consistent with the requirements authorized under Section 561 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.  This announcement addresses Healthy People Mental Health and Mental Disorders Topic Area HP 2020.
The SOC Expansion Planning Grants closely align with SAMHSA’s Trauma and Justice and Health Reform Strategic Initiatives by focusing resources on reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on American communities and addressing the behavioral health impacts of trauma through a systematic public health approach.


Eligibility for this program is statutorily limited to public entities such as:
State governments; Indian or tribal organizations (as defined in Section 4[b] and Section 4[c] of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act); Governmental units within political subdivisions of a State, such as a county, city or town; District of Columbia government; and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (now Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands).

The purpose of this RFA is to expand and sustain systems of care, priority will be given to applications that demonstrate the ability to engage in planning activities that reflect the greatest geographic area and that represent the likelihood for extensive and wide-ranging policy and program transformation (i.e., Statewide, territory-wide, and tribal).  A maximum of one award will be made per State, Territory, Indian or Tribal Organization, or the District of Columbia. 

The applicant, whether a state, or a political entity other than a state, must provide evidence of commitment for SOC expansion by including a letter of support from the Governor (or designee), or the commensurate- level tribal, or territorial representative or (designee).  The letter must identify how the applicant will expand efforts to a broader level, and an explanation of how sustainability will be accomplished.  The letter should also provide evidence of support for the SOC approach and demonstrate a commitment to integrating SOC values and principles throughout the State, Territory or Tribal Organization.

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 Tribes or tribal organizations are eligible to apply, but each participating entity must indicate its approval. 

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant
Anticipated Total Available Funding: $14,000,000
Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 46
Anticipated Award Amount: From $300,000 to $800,000
Length of Project Period: 1 year

Proposed budgets cannot exceed $800,000 in total costs for the entire grant period (direct and indirect).  Applicants must provide a narrative justification for the budget amount requested and also how the money will be spent during the 1- year project period.  Higher amounts will only be considered for jurisdictions that have significant population density or large geographic areas. 

Available funding for this program is subject to the enactment of a final budget for FY 2011 or an annualized Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY 2011.  Funding estimates for this announcement are based on potential funding scenarios that reflect an annualized CR at the FY 2010 funding level but do not reflect final conference action on the 2011 budget.  Applicants should be aware that SAMHSA cannot guarantee that sufficient funds will be appropriated to fully fund this program.

These awards will be made as grants

Contact Information

For questions on program issues, contact:

Diane Sondheimer, Deputy Chief
Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 6-1043
Rockville, MD  20857
(240) 276-1922

Gary M. Blau, Ph.D., Chief
Child, Adolescent and Family Branch,Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 6-1045
Rockville, MD  20857
(240) 276-1921

For questions on grants management and budgets 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



2. GRANT Application Package


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: 04/06/2011