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


Funding Announcement - Now Accepting Applications

The Family & Youth Services Bureau is now accepting applications for the Basic Center and Street Outreach Programs. These funding announcements are substantially different from past years. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the requirements carefully.

Basic Center Program (BCP): The purpose of the BCP is to provide an alternative for runaway and homeless youth who might otherwise end up with law enforcement or in the child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems. The programs provide youth up to age 18 with emergency shelter, food, clothing, counseling and referrals for health care. Most basic centers can provide 21 days of shelter for up to 20 youth at a time. Basic centers seek to reunite young people with their families, whenever possible, or to locate appropriate alternative placements.

Application Due Date:  04/13/2015

Read the BCP funding opportunity announcement athttp://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/HHS-2015-ACF-ACYF-CY-0957

Street Outreach Program (SOP): The purpose of the SOP is to provide prevention services to runaway and homeless and street youth who have been subjected to, or are at risk of being subjected to, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation. These services, which are provided in areas where street youth congregate, are designed to assist such youth in making healthy choices regarding where they live and how they behave.

Application Due Date:  04/10/2015

Read the SOP funding opportunity announcement at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/HHS-2015-ACF-ACYF-YO-0956


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.


Help Available to RHY Grantees Beginning to Use HMIS

SNAPS and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) Encourage CoCs to Work with their Local Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Grantees to Help Them Begin to Use HMIS

In the October 14, 2014 SNAPS In Focus: Youth Homelessness (https://www.hudexchange.info/homelessness-assistance/snaps-in-focus/?utm...) message from Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs, Ann Oliva, HUD recognizes that youth have unique developmental needs and our approach to youth homelessness has to do a better job taking these into account. This is true for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), but is also true for communities and for local providers. Both HUD and HHS recognize the need for better data on homeless youth in order to make informed decisions on what works to end youth homelessness.

One of the best ways HUD, HHS, Department of Education, and the other federal partners can work to end youth homelessness is to promote high quality, cross-sector data gathering. This will help federal agencies make informed policy decisions, as well as help each community determine the extent of youth homelessness and how best to assist youth. This strategy also aligns with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) plan. 

To create better data on youth homelessness, HHS and HUD worked together to release unified elements in the 2014 HMIS Data Standards (https://www.hudexchange.info/news/2014-hmis-data-standards-new-resources...) issued earlier this year. HHS' Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) program grantees will be able to use HMIS as the primary source of data entry for reporting back to the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB).

FYSB recently sent a letter to their RHY grantees outlining this partnership and their efforts to foster greater coordination among organizations serving homeless youth. As part of this effort, FYSB is requiring all RHY grantees to begin using their local CoC's HMIS and suggesting that they become active in their local CoC. HUD encourages CoCs to reach out to youth programs in your community and to welcome the RHY grantees into your CoC, if you are not already doing this.

HUD recognizes communities will have questions about this collaboration and what it means for their CoC. HUD suggests you visit the RHY program's website (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/programs/runaway-homeless-youth?utm...) to learn more about the FYSB RHY Act and Resources (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/rhy-act). HUD and its national TA providers are working with FYSB staff to finalize a RHY-HMIS Program Manual that will provide detailed instructions on RHY project set up and additional data collection guidance for the RHY programs. This will be out within the next few weeks. HUD also encourages communities with questions about this new collaboration to submit their questions through the Ask a Question (AAQ) Portal (https://www.hudexchange.info/get-assistance/my-question/) on the HUD Exchange (https://www.hudexchange.info/). On Step 2 of the question submission process, select "HMIS" from the "My question is related to" drop down list. 

HUD and HHS also recognize that RHY grantees have requirements around client confidentiality and data sharing specific to the youth they serve. These issues will be addressed further in the HMIS Privacy and Security Notice, which HUD will release, and communities will have an opportunity to comment on, in 2015. HUD and HHS are also working together with communities who have successfully navigated these issues to develop examples of best practices and hope to release those in early 2015. For now, communities and CoCs are encouraged to work with RHY grantees to be sure they have a seat at the table and to help them understand HUD’s requirements. Communities that need assistance with this should request technical assistance (https://www.hudexchange.info/technical-assistance/) via the HUD Exchange.

RHY grantees who are not sure who the CoC contact is for their community, please visit the About Grantees (https://www.hudexchange.info/grantees/?granteesaction=main.searchresults...) section of the HUD Exchange.

Additional resources on homeless youth:


Human Trafficking: Recognize, Respect and Respond (HTR3) Capacity Building Application

The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is seeking Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) grantees that are interested in a 12-month capacity building effort to provide services to victims/survivors of human trafficking (sex and labor). Selected grantees will partner with organizations with advanced levels of experience providing services to human trafficking victims/survivors and will receive ongoing, agency focused, technical assistance geared to meeting organizational goals on developing human trafficking awareness and intervention services. RHY grantees do not have to currently provide these services to qualify. There are no FUNDS associated with involvement in this effort.

As part of FYSB’s focus on preventing human trafficking and supporting survivors, FYSB has funded the National Safe Place Network to bring its Human Trafficking Recognize, Respect, and Respond (HTR3) Framework to RHY grantees through the Network’s operation of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC).

Please find attached the letter of commitment requirements, sample letter of commitment, and the capacity building application.

All forms, including a letter of support, must be submitted on or before December 15, 2014 for consideration.


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:  

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