RHY News

National Prevention Week 2015 is May 17-23. Get involved!

A note from Mr. William H. Bentley, Associate Commissioner, Family and Youth Services Bureau and Frances M. Harding, Director at Center for Substance Abuse Prevention:

Dear Colleagues,

This week is National Prevention Week, a time for all of us to focus on behavioral health, the essential role it plays in the overall health of young people and their families, and its importance to our productivity and prosperity as a nation. The Administration for Children and Families’ Family and Youth Services Bureau is a partner with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in supporting National Prevention Week.  During this week, and throughout the year, we encourage you to bring awareness of the behavioral health issues that may be experienced by the children, youth, and families you work with every day. 

The daily health themes of National Prevention Week cover many behavioral health issues, including: tobacco use, underage drinking, excessive alcohol use, opioid and prescription drug misuse, illicit drug use and youth marijuana use, and suicide.  By increasing awareness and educating others about these issues, we will make great strides in overcoming the challenges of youth homelessness, adolescent pregnancy, and domestic violence, and help our nation’s young people and their families lead healthy, productive, and violence-free lives.

In honor of National Prevention Week, community organizations in every U.S. state and many U.S. territories are hosting events (http://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week/community-events) to inform the public about the risks associated with substance use and misuse and ways to promote personal health. State and federal agencies and national organizations are sharing information about actions communities can take to prevent mental or substance use disorders.

I invite you to join us in recognizing National Prevention Week by taking the Prevention Pledge (https://www.facebook.com/samhsa/app_227679917356169) and encouraging the youth and families you work with to do the same. In taking the Pledge, we demonstrate to others that we care and are actively working to advance behavioral health.  I also invite you to take a photo of how you maintain a healthy lifestyle and what inspires you to choose prevention.  Share your photos via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #ChoosePrevention (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ChoosePrevention) to inspire others. Thank you for your commitment to National Prevention Week and the health and well-being of our young people and their families.


William H. Bentley
Associate Commissioner
Family and Youth Services Bureau

Frances M. Harding
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention


FYSB is now accepting applications for the Competitive Abstinence Education Grant Program

The Family & Youth Services Bureau is now accepting applications for the Competitive Abstinence Education Grant Program: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/programs/adolescent-pregnancy-prevention/programs/aegp-competitive.

The purpose of the Competitive Abstinence Education Grant Program is to provide funding for additional tools to address the rates of teen pregnancy among adolescent youth who are at greatest risk of sexually transmitted infections and most likely to bear children out of wedlock. Program plans will focus on the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by delaying initiation of sexual activity and engaging in healthy relationships. Grantees under this program will be expected to develop a targeted and medically accurate approach to reducing teen pregnancies through abstinence education.

Application Due Date: June 24, 2015

Read the Funding Opportunity Announcement here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/HHS-2015-ACF-ACYF-AR-0978.


Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Training and Employment Guidance Letter Now Available

The WIOA was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

The majority of WIOA provisions will become effective on July 1, 2015. In preparation for this date, the Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released a very important WIOA Youth Program Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL), which conveys the vision for a transformed workforce system under WIOA. The guidance letter encourages workforce system leaders and partners, such as those within the FYSB grantee community, to take necessary steps to actively support the full implementation of WIOA. It also offers several action steps which can be acted upon by youth serving program. Further, the guidance letter provides an overview of several upcoming guidance documents and technical assistance opportunities which can help FYSB programs build effective relationships. 

It is FYSB's goal to share as much relevant information about other federal resources impacting our programs as possible. This guidance letter is being sent to states, local workforce areas, and other recipients of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I youth formula funds, who are working to achieve a shared understanding and successful implementation of WIOA youth programs in order to improve the lives of youth.

Please visit the new guidance letter, TEGL 21-14 -- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program Transition, site here: http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=4244


Newly Released Report - Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex

The Urban Institute just released a new groundbreaking report:

Surviving the Streets of New York:
Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex

In the first of a series of reports, 283 LGBTQ youth tell their own powerful stories of being homeless in New York City, interfacing with peers, customers, service providers, law enforcement officials, and criminal justice personnel, and finding ways to survive despite the layers of adversity they face. They also make suggestions regarding the policy options they would like to see, and provide their opinions on what they perceive as harmful or helpful for their lives. Subsequent reports will provide a more in-depth analysis of these youth’s law enforcement and social service experiences.

Of course, this extensive work could not have been done without the support of our partners and funders: Streetwise and Safe, the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. We cannot thank them enough.

We hope you read these youth’s important stories.

All the best,

Meredith Dank, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
The Urban Institute - Justice Policy Center
2100 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20037

U R B A N   I N S T I T U T E
Justice Policy Center


NSPN Offers Academy for Competent Youth Work Training

National Safe Place Network Offers Academy for Competent Youth Work Training: February 24-26 & March 9-12

National Safe Place Network is pleased to offer Competent Youth Worker Certification through the Academy for Competent Youth Work. The training takes place over the course of seven days in Louisville, Kentucky: February 24-26 and March 9-11 with a test on March 12. Attendance is required at both sessions for certification. To learn more about the Competent Youth Worker Certification, please visit http://cyccb.org/.

Over the past 15 years, workforce studies have documented that: 1) the most important contributor to high quality programming is competent and capable staff; 2) competence in youth work is based on core principles that are present in all practice settings (i.e.: foster care, treatment, juvenile justice, after school, early childhood education, transitional living, housing, employment, community youth services, etc.); 3) professional development occurs in stages over a practitioner's career. Professional development programs need to offer multiple levels  beginning with foundational practice that create a pathway into advanced practice; and 4) workforce members want to be credentialed in a system that is widely recognized, offers employment benefits, and is transferable when changing employment or location.

It has never been clearer that the Child and Youth Care (CYC) profession is multifaceted and requires broadly trained professionals to be competent in many areas. It requires practitioners able to work in a variety of settings; who are skillful in applying core youth care principles and aware of emerging 'best practices'; who can deliver a wide assortment of developmental, health, employment, educational and other supports; who are aware of the services available in the community to support children, youth, and families; and importantly, who remain in the profession long enough to become fully competent practitioners.

The CYC: Basic Course and certifications offered by the CYC Certification Board and CYC Certification Institute are responses from the professional community to address these needs. Professionals will be credentialed by programs that recognize their contributions and competence, and connect them to higher levels of employment and education.

Academy for Competent Youth Work: Training I:  February 24-26, 2015
Academy for Competent Youth Work: Training II:  March 9-11, 2015
Academy for Competent Youth Work: Certification Test: March 12, 2015

Please note: Participants MUST attend both training sessions. If you are unable to attend BOTH sessions, please do not register for this offering. We will make the training available again with different time commitments but we have to offer the first installment of this opportunity as a two-part session on the dates stated above.

Space is limited to 25 registrants.

Registration Fee:
$600 per participant
25% Discount - Licensed Safe Place Agencies
50% Discount - National Safe Place Network Members
FREE - Family and Youth Services Bureau Runaway and Homeless Youth Grantees

Participants are responsible for travel costs, including food, hotel, and transportation. 

To register for these trainings, please click herehttps://nspn.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_189380

Event Location:
Holiday Inn Louisville East
1325 South Hurstbourne Parkway
Louisville, KY 40222

Room Rate: $109/night

For hotel reservations, please call 502.426.2600 and ask for "NSPN Academy for Competent Youth Work" or visit www.hihurstbourne.com and enter block code "NNW" to receive the discounted room rate of $109/night. This rate includes one breakfast per room.


Upcoming Human Trafficking Forum in Region 5

Save the Date - Human Trafficking Forum

Engaging Faith Communities: End Human Trafficking

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in collaboration with the Office of Women’s Health (OWH), and the Global Peace Foundation are pleased to invite you to a Human Trafficking all-day forum to engage the faith-based community.

The event will provide an overview of the federal human trafficking law and national strategy to combat human trafficking and slavery in America. Learn about how to educate your own community and become a catalyst for a broader public awareness, providing direction for all levels of engagement in the efforts to protect families, and end trafficking in our communities.

Where:  Chicago, IL
Metcalfe Federal Building
77 West Jackson Blvd.


Access videos from the 2014 National RHY Grantees Conference here!

Want a recap of the 2014 National RHY Grantees Conference? Feel free to check out the videos below.  

2014 National RHY Grantees Conference Recap Video:

Opening Plenary Welcome: 

General Federal Session: 

Grantee Update and Support Overview: 

FYSB Mural Winner Presentation and ARTS Keynote:  

RHYA Anniversary Celebration Video:  

Closing Session / Keynote Video:  

Conference Program:  


Foster Care Youth in RHY Programs - Information Memorandum

Earlier this year, many of you requested guidance on youth who run from foster care and enter an RHY shelter.  Both the Administration on Children and Families' Acting Assistant Secretary, Mark Greenberg, and the Family and Youth Services Bureau's (FYSB) Associate Commissioner, William Bentley heard your voices.  So, in September, Mr. Bentley, issued a letter informing you of the forthcoming guidance and committing FYSB  to working with the Children's Bureau.  We, along with the Children's Bureau, are pleased to provide you with specific guidance on this topic in the form of the attached Information Memorandum (IM).  This IM, titled, "Foster Care Youth in RHY Programs - Information Memorandum," gives guidance on the appropriate provision of services for youth who run away from foster care and come in contact with runaway and homeless youth programs. 

ACF Information Memorandum


FYSB Announces FY2014 Grant Awards for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program

The Family and Youth Services Bureau has announced the recipients of 2014 Grant Awards for the Basic Center Program, Street Outreach Program and the Domestic Victims of Severe Trafficking Program. To review the lists of recipients, please select the applicable link below.

BCP: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/2014-bcp-awards

SOP: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/2014-sop-awards

Human trafficking: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/2014-domestic-victims-severe-trafficking

Look for coming posting for all programs: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/news/rhy-fy2014-grant-awards


Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act with Us!

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act was created to ensure that all RHY have a sense of safety and structure, belonging and membership, self-worth and social contribution, independence and control over one’s life, and closeness in interpersonal relationships. Throughout the last 40 years, this is exactly what RHY Grantees have been providing and we want to celebrate your success!

We are planning to put together a tribute that will highlight some of the wonderful memories you have created since the RHY Act was signed in 1974. We also would like to share what your dreams are for the next 40 years. Your organization can be a part of this celebration by submitting your story.

Here’s how:

  • Gather photographs, letters, drawings and other documents reflecting an extraordinary history of your organization throughout the last 40 years.
    Don’t have these items? That’s ok! Be creative! You can also create a short video to share!
    Note: Images should be formatted as .jpg, .png, .pdf and videos should be formatted to .mov.
    If sharing multiple images, please make sure they are in chronological order by the image name (ex. 1985NSPN.jpg, 2004NSPN.mov – or 1NSPN.jpg, 2NSPN.jpg, 3NSPN.mov, etc.)
    Don’t forget to respect the confidentiality rights for youth currently and previously in care. Confidentiality is a fundamental part of our professional practice that keeps our kids safe!
  • Once you have gathered the materials, you may upload them at: https://nspn.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_170777.
    You may also complete the attached form and forward the completed form and content you would like to share via email to Elizabeth Smith Miller, Communications Coordinator, at [email protected].
  • Please make sure that you also include the organization name, contact name, and phone number along with the submission. Submissions sent via email must also complete and return the attached 40th Anniversary Celebration form. If a form is not received, the email submission will not be utilized.
  • All entries must be received no later than Monday, September 22, 2014.

Not sure what types of information you can share? Here are some ideas and questions to get you started:

  1. Do you have a photo, selfie, drawing, or another document that represents the history of your organization during the past 40 years?
  2. What are your organizations greatest advancements and successes?
  3. What are some of the happiest, funniest, favorite, or most rewarding moments that you, your staff, or the youth have created at your organization?
  4. What are you most proud of?
  5. What traditions have you created and do you still enjoy with staff and youth?
  6. Do you have a long time staff member that would like to highlight his or her time in the RHY field or share their greatest lesson learned during their tenure? Perhaps he or she would like to share words of wisdom for future generations of grantees.
  7. Do you have/know youth that would like to share success stories or how their lives have been impacted in a positive way?
  8. When sitting around discussing the traditions, triumphs, and transformations of the organization and youth served with others, what is the "go to story" or your favorite memory that you share?
  9. Do you have/know a youth that has paid it forward or given back to the community because of services received by your organization?

Be a part of this awesome event; share your stories today!

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