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Cooperative Agreements for Expansion and Sustainability of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances

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Short Title: System of Care Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements
Modified Announcement Back to the Grants Dashboard

Eligibility requirements have been modified and the page limit for Project Narrative Sections A-E is now 35 pages.

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

NOFO Number: SM-15-009

Posted on Monday, February 09, 2015

Application Due Date: Friday, April 10, 2015

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 93.104

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 purpose of this program is to improve mental health outcomes for children and youth (birth to 21 years of age) with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families.  This program will support the wide scale operation, expansion and integration of the system of care (SOC) approach by creating sustainable infrastructure and services that are required as part of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances (also known as the Children’s Mental Health Initiative or CMHI).

This cooperative agreement will support the provision of mental health and related recovery support services to children and youth with serious emotional disturbances. and those with early signs and symptoms of serious mental illness including first episode psychosis, and their families.

The SOC Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements will build upon progress made in developing comprehensive systems of care across the country by focusing on sustainable financing, cross-agency collaboration, the creation of policy and infrastructure, and the development and implementation of evidence-based and evidence-informed services and supports. Other activities supported will include the implementation of systemic changes, training, and workforce development. 

The Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) provides an excellent example of SAMHSA’s Theory of Change.  Based on data demonstrating improved outcomes for children, youth and families, service system improvements, and a positive return on investment, CMHI has been successful in moving the system of care approach from a demonstration program towards a more wide-scale adoption of the system of care values and principles.  The goal is to continue these efforts to ensure that this approach becomes the primary way in which mental health services for children and youth with SED are delivered throughout the nation. 

The System of Care Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements closely aligns with SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Strategic Initiative.  In addition, this program seeks to address behavioral health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by encouraging the implementation of strategies to decrease the differences in access, service use and outcomes among the racial and ethnic minority populations served.  (See PART II: Appendix G – Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities.)

System of Care (SOC) Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements are authorized under Sections 561-565 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.  This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Mental Health and Mental Disorders Topic Area HP 2020-MHMD.


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 the 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).

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. 

Note: Public entities that are currently receiving funds under the Implementation Cooperative Agreements for the Expansion of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (System of Care Expansion Implementation Cooperative Agreements), RFA SM-12-003 and RFA SM-14-002, are not eligible to apply under this funding announcement.  State governments, Indian or tribal organizations; and Governmental units within political subdivisions of a state which have already received one of the grants are not eligible to apply.

Eligible State applicants for this grant may not choose local jurisdictions that have received an implementation expansion grant previously. If a state applicant submits an application with a local jurisdiction that is already a grantee, this application will be screened out.

Indian or tribal organizations, and governmental units within political subdivisions of a state, may apply as long as they have not received this grant previously. 

If a state applicant identifies a local jurisdiction that has also submitted a separate application, SAMHSA will score both. The highest priority scored application will be awarded should both applications be in the fundable range. 

SAMHSA is limiting eligibility in order to expand the number of states, jurisdictions and localities within a state, political subdivision, tribe, tribal organization or territory that wish to adopt and expand the SOC approach. 

See Appendix II of the RFA for a list of ineligible entities.  

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant

Anticipated Total Available Funding: $45,000,000

Anticipated Number of Awards: 15-45

Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $3,000,000

Length of Project: 4 years

Cost Sharing/Match Required?: Yes

Proposed budgets cannot exceed $3,000,000 for state applicants and $1,000,000 for political subdivisions of states, tribes, tribal organizations, and territories  total costs (direct and indirect) in any year of the proposed project.  

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