RHY News

Funding Opportunity Announced to Expand Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment and Recovery Services to Adolescent and Transitional Aged Youth and Families

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 Enhancement and Expansion of Treatment and Recovery Services for Adolescents, Transitional Aged Youth, and their Families grant program (Short Title: Youth and Family TREE).  The purpose of this program is to enhance and expand comprehensive treatment, early intervention, and recovery support services for adolescents (ages 12-18), transitional aged youth (ages 16-25), and their families/primary caregivers with substance use disorders (SUD) and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

The Anticipated total funding amount is $14,616,450 for this grant award and at least $5 million will be awarded to federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes/tribal organizations.  SAMHSA anticipates making 27 awards for up to $541,350 per year for a maximum of five years.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, April 10, 2018.  Applicants must send the Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS) to their appropriate State and local health agencies – their Single State Point of Contact.

Eligibility: SAMHSA seeks to further expand access and the geographical distribution, as well as reduce duplication, of its adolescent programs.  Therefore, grant recipients funded under TI-16-006 FY 2016 Cooperative Agreements for Adolescent and Transitional Aged Youth Treatment Implementation and TI-17-002 FY 2017 Cooperative Agreements for Adolescent and Transitional Aged Youth Treatment Implementation are not eligible to apply for this funding opportunity. See the full grant announcement for details.

For program information, contact: Ramon Bonzon, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Division of Services Improvement, SAMHSA,  (240) 276-2975, [email protected]

The full grant opportunity announcement at: https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements/ti-18-010

Missed Opportunities:  Youth Homelessness in America

Voices of Youth Count is an unprecedented initiative to understand, address and prevent youth homelessness. Chapin Hall, using its substantial research and policy assets, has conducted the most comprehensive research to date on youth homelessness, incorporating youth voices to develop achievable solutions. This research creates a foundation on which we can build solutions –effective policies and practices –to end homelessness for young people. Here are some of the findings:

Youth homelessness is a broad and hidden challenge

  • Over a 12-month period, 4.3% of households with 13-17 year-olds reported youth homelessness. This is 1 in 30 youth in America in that age group. This translates to a minimum of 700,000 adolescent minors or the equivalent of over 800 average-sized high schools. About three-quarters of them involved explicit homelessness (including running away or being kicked out) and one-quarter involved couch surfing only.

Youth homelessness involves diverse experiences and circumstances.

  • Nearly three-quarters of the young people who experienced “literal homelessness” (sleeping on the streets, in a car, or in a shelter) also said they had stayed with others while unstably housed.
  • About half of the follow-up interview respondents believed that the youth was unsafe during their experiences of explicit homelessness or couch surfing.
  • Young people struggle with a range of issues: 28% reported having substance use problems, and 66% reported mental health problems.

Prevention and early intervention are essential

  • Half of the youth who experienced homelessness in the past year did so for the first time.
  • This means that it is not enough to respond to the problem; we must get in front of it.
  • This finding was supported by the in-depth interviews that we did in five sites. The majority of the youth interviewed had experiences of housing instability that started in childhood or adolescence.

Youth homelessness affects urban and rural youth at similar levels

  • In predominantly rural counties, 9.2 % of young adults reported any homelessness while, in predominantly urban counties, the prevalence rate was 9.6%.
  • For 13-17 year-olds, household prevalence of any homelessness was 4.4% in predominantly rural counties, and 4.2% in mainly urban counties.
  • Homelessness is just as much of a challenge in rural communities as it is in more urban communities. Of course the number of youth experiencing homelessness in urban and suburban areas is much larger given population density.

Access the full brief or one pager here: http://voicesofyouthcount.org/brief/national-estimates-of-youth-homelessness/  


OAH Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report

The HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) is pleased to announce the release of the HHS Office of Adolescent Health Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report. The report documents accomplishments and progress made in the past year across the five focus areas of OAH's strategic framework: educating the public and professionals, supporting evidence-based programs and practices, leading through action, promoting multi-sector partnerships, and investing in evaluation and research.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, OAH:

  • Published a supplement in the peer-reviewed Journal of Adolescent Health, sharing results of the communitywide teen pregnancy prevention initiatives project by OAH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Produced videos featuring adolescent health experts for the Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® (TAG) call to action.
  • Reached 213,000 youth through the TPP Program, more than tripling the number served in FY 2016.
  • Revamped its website for easier navigation and access on mobile devices.
  • Increased subscribers to TAG e-updates by 25%, Twitter followers by 12%, and subscribers to OAH e-updates by 9%.

Visit the OAH Mission page to read the report and learn more about OAH's work.


Reminder: RHY-HMIS Data Upload Started November 1, 2017
New Webinar/RHY-HMIS Resources Are Available

Dear RHY grantees,

This is a reminder that the RHY-HMIS data upload period started on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 and ends on November 22, 2017.  Your temporary password was e-mailed to you on October 30 from [email protected]. You are encouraged to upload your data as soon as possible.

The reporting timeframe for RHY-HMIS upload covers activity from October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017.  Requests can be made for technical assistance via the on-line RHYMIS TA Service Desk at www.RHYMISServiceDesk.net. If you have not done so previously, you will be prompted to register (NOTE: this is different from the username and password provided in this email for RHYPoint data uploads) before being able to submit a TA request.

To help grantees with the upload, materials to prepare for the fall 2017 RHY-HMIS upload are now available at: www.rhyttac.net/rhy-hmis. They include:

About the “Uploading Youth Data: How to Collect & Upload RHY Data in HMIS” Webinar

Who should listen: Program and/or other staff from FYSB’s RHY grantee agencies that are responsible for submitting RHY data extracted from HMIS.

Who presented:  The lead presenters are FYSB/HHS staff overseeing the RHY-HMIS program along with RHY-HMIS technical assistance (TA) providers from AIR and Mediware Information Systems.

What it is:  This (under) one-hour webinar will provide an overview on how/what/and why we collect RHY data, expectations for the Fall 2017 upload, RHYPoint login process and data quality reports, and how to access TA. Specifically the webinar will address:

  • Overview of RHY-HMIS data collection to date
  • Review of required tasks for grantees and HMIS vendors
  • October 2017 testing period for HMIS vendors
  • Data Quality (Reports and Best Practices)
  • On-line RHY-HMIS TA Service Desk
  • Demonstration of how to upload data and check for data quality
  • Available RHY-HMIS TA resources

Thank you and good luck with your RHY-HMIS data submission.


HHS Bulletin: The Opioid Epidemic: A Focus on Adolescents

Defining the Issue:
The opioid epidemic affects individuals and communities across the United States in a variety of ways. Opioids are a broad class of drugs that relieve pain and include prescription pain relievers, synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, and heroin. Overall, overdose deaths from heroin and other opioids have increased over the past decade, and the public, private, and nonprofit sectors are working to address the growing epidemic.

The Numbers:
In 2016, 3.6 percent of adolescents ages 12-17 had misused opioids over the past year, a figure that has remained stable over the past decade. However, overdose deaths from opioids for adolescents ages 15-19 increased from 1999 through 2007, declined from 2007-2014, and then began rising again in 2015.

Adolescents at Risk:
All adolescents are at risk for misusing opioids, even those who have not previously used drugs and who disapprove of illegal drug use. In fact, there is a 33 percent increased risk of future opioid misuse if a high school student uses opioids as prescribed by a doctor.

Few adolescents with an opioid use disorder (OUD) receive treatment, and disparities exist. From 2001 to 2014, for insured youth with an OUD, only one in four received treatment. Females were less likely to receive treatment compared to males, and youth who were Hispanic or non-Hispanic black were less likely to receive treatment than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.

Preventing Opioid Misuse:
The fact that the adolescent brain is still growing means that teens are vulnerable to addiction, but the adolescent brain is also ripe for learning healthy habits and behavior.

To help prevent opioid misuse, those who care about and for adolescents should:

  • Treat pain cautiously. Adolescents often are initially exposed to opioids through prescriptions; dentist prescriptions account for 31 percent of adolescents’ first exposure to opioids. While the effectiveness of alternative treatment options is still being studied, health care providers should turn to other treatment options before prescribing opioids for acute and chronic pain. The National Institutes for Health has pain information for health professionals, and the Turn the Tide pain treatment toolbox also has a range of resources.

  • Talk with teens in your life about pain treatment and management. Regardless of drug use history, reach out to youth. Building strong relationships with adolescents is the first step to connecting with youth on drug prevention. Collaboration between and within youth-serving sectors and community partnerships present opportunities to reach at-risk and drug-naïve adolescents by increasing the efficiency of care, communicating across providers, and breaking down stigmas. Combining services such as trauma-informed care and psychological support with mentors and peers in the same location also can be an effective way to reach and help youth.

  • Act when you suspect an adolescent or someone close to them is misusing opioids. Signs of opioid misuse include: drowsiness, constipation, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, headaches, sweating, and mood changes, among others. If you are concerned about opioid misuse, call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4345) and consult the directory for opioid treatment programs in your area.

Additional Resources for Stopping and Preventing Opioid Misuse:

  • Follow Best Practices. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Substance Use and Prevention outlines best practices for the health sector to screen, treat, and refer adolescents with substance use issues.

  • Find Research and Resources. The NIH Public-Private Initiative to Address the Opioid Crisis researches “new and improved” approaches to prevent, detect, and reverse overdoses as well as identify nonaddictive treatments for chronic pain. Also, OAH’s Adolescent Health Library has a range of relevant resources on illicit and non-illicit drug use.

  • Utilize Lesson Plans.  Educators can find lesson plans from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that help them inform their students and answer questions about the nature of prescription drug abuse. 

  • Build Relationships. Keeping Youth Drug Free provides parents and caregivers with tips on building strong relationships with adolescents, guidance for tough conversations about substance use, and a list of common drugs and their street names. OAH also has tips on how parents and caregivers can have start these conversations with their teen.

  • Know the Laws. The Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System keeps track of important state laws about prescription drug abuse such as prescription drug monitoring programs, opioid prescribing guidelines, and Good Samaritan overdose prevention laws.


FYSB and the National Runaway Safeline Release Crisis Contacts Report

November is National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM). This month serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting runaway and homeless youth in our communities. This year’s NRPM theme is “Friends Helping Friends.” A “friend” can be a youth, teacher, mentor, youth serving organization, family member, or other caring adult. That person or group of people plays an important role in providing support to the youth or just a listening ear. In support of National Runaway Prevention Month, the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) and the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), the federally funded national communication system for runaway and homeless youth, have released the National Runaway Safeline Crisis Contacts Report. This report provides a snapshot of what thousands of youth in crisis faced during the year. It also reveals trends and describes how the NRS encourages young people to work through their problems before they end up on the street. FYSB and the NRS hope that this data report can assist youth-serving organizations and other key stakeholders better understand the youth who need their assistance.

Click here to view the crisis contacts report: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fysb/nrs_crisis_contacts_report_1.pdf

To learn more about NRPM, please click here: https://www.1800runaway.org/runaway-prevention-month/

ASPE Briefs: Available Research on Prolonged Youth Homelessness

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) has published three briefs gathering data from available research about youth that experience prolonged homelessness.

Factors Associated with Prolonged Youth Homelessness is available here: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/factors-associated-prolonged-youth-homelessness.

This brief aims to summarize factors associated with prolonged episodes of homelessness among youth. While further research is needed to explore cause and effect relationships, available evidence demonstrates these youth experience:

  • Increased involvement in child welfare and criminal justice systems;
  • Higher rates of child maltreatment, substance abuse and mental health challenges; and
  • Greater likelihood of dropping out of school, unemployment and housing instability.

Serious Mental Illness and Prolonged Youth Homelessness can be found here: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/serious-mental-illness-and-prolonged-youth-homelessness.

This brief considers whether the known intersection between chronic adult homelessness and serious mental illness extends to youth.  While additional research is needed, including the extent to which serious mental illness may contribute to prolonged experiences of homelessness among youth, or vice versa, this brief concludes that:

  • Mental health disorders among youth can increase the risk for homelessness;
  • The more time youth spend on the streets, the greater their likelihood of mental health disorders; and
  • Early interventions for youth with mental health issues may help prevent and address prolonged homelessness among young people.

Interventions for Addressing Prolonged Youth Homelessness is available here: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/interventions-addressing-prolonged-youth-homelessness.

This brief explores evidence of effective interventions to prevent or reduce prolonged youth homelessness.  While additional research is needed, including the extent to which the promising practices that have had success with similar populations effectively translate to youth experiencing prolonged homelessness, ASPE did identify promising interventions.  Those include:

  • Supportive housing;
  • Social Enterprise Intervention;
  • Coordinated Specialty Care; and
  • Functional Family Therapy.

Pretesting a Human Trafficking Screening Tool in the Child Welfare and Runaway and Homeless Youth Systems

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) just released a study report about “pretesting a human trafficking screening tool in Child Welfare and Runaway and Homeless Youth Settings”. This report summarizes findings from a study to develop and pre-test a human trafficking screening tool with 617 youth in runaway and homeless youth (RHY) and child welfare (CW) settings. The tool was found to be accessible, easy to administer, and effective in identifying trafficked youth in these settings, though additional research is needed. Check it out here: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/pretesting-human-trafficking-screening-tool-child-welfare-and-runaway-and-homeless-youth-systems


TLP/MGH: Data Collection Training Webinar

Transitional Living Program/Maternity Group Home: Data Collection Training Webinar

A recording, slide deck, and accompanying materials will be available to grantees after the webinar.

Who should attend:  Program and/or other staff from Family & Youth Services Bureau's (FYSB) Transitional Living Program (TLP) / Maternity Group Home (MGH) grantee agencies that are responsible for collecting data in RHY-HMIS.

Who is presenting:  The lead presenters are FYSB/HHS staff overseeing the RHY-HMIS program along with RHY-HMIS technical assistance (TA) providers from AIR.

What it is:  This webinar presents guidance and instructions on Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY), TLP/MGH data collection. We will look at best practices to help ensure on-going data quality and explore the data standards and requirements for TLP and MGH grantees.

When is it:  Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., EDT

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8558955137581326594


Save the Dates for the 2017 National RHY Grantees Training

The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC) are pleased to announce the 2017 National RHY Grantees Training. The national training will be held in Kansas City, MO., November 14-16, 2017.

The training will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 14, and conclude at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 16.  There will be opportunities to attend additional trainings or attend site visits to local grantees Monday afternoon preceding the conference.  Information about conference registration and site visit reservations will be sent out soon and will be also be available on the www.rhyttac.net.

Organizations receiving FYSB RHY funding are eligible for a stipend of up to a $600 to assist with travel and hotel expenses.


The training will be held at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center.  This hotel is located at 1 East Pershing Rd. Kansas City, MO  64108.

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) has secured a reduced room rate of $169 (based on single/double occupancy) for attendees. To obtain the discounted room rate, grantees must book through the following link no later than the reservation deadline October 20, 2017.

Book your room(s) by October 20, 2017 at: https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/2017NationalFYSBRHYGranteesTraining


In addition to securing a reduced rate for hotel accommodations, NSPN has also partnered with SuperShuttle to offer a reduced transportation fare. After arriving to Kansas City International Airport (MCI), collect your luggage, then check in at the SuperShuttle office located just across from baggage claim inside of the terminal.  You may also download the SuperShuttle app, which allows you to check-in and track your van. The discount code is good for travel in the event area from November 7 - 23, 2017.

SuperShuttle reservations may be made online at: http://group.supershuttle.com/group-page/2017-national-rhy-grantees-training/

Grantees may also make a reservation by phone by calling the reservation center at 1.800.BLUEVAN (258.3826) for a $3 service charge. When making a reservation, grantees must provide the discount code: 43VXS to receive the discounted rate.

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