Grant application period closed.
Caring for Kids: Expanding Dental and Mental Health Services through School-Based Health Centers is an initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ® to support the development of sustainable models of dental and mental health services organized by school-based health centers. This call for proposals is intended to stimulate projects that:
Funded projects should demonstrate effective ways to increase access to dental and mental health programs for underserved populations.
Up to $3.4 million has been made available to support three-year grants under this initiative. Dental health services projects will be eligible for $225,000 over three years; mental health services projects will be eligible for grants ranging from $180,000 to $225,000, depending on whether the projects focus on primary prevention or treatment. Up to 16 projects will be funded under Caring for Kids, including up to six focusing on dental health and up to 10 focusing on mental health.
The health problems of children and youth are not evenly distributed among the US population. Low-income and minority youth experience higher than average rates of illness and death. And the greatest unmet health care needs of these young people continue to be dental and mental health problems. Tooth decay occurs more frequently, is of greater severity and is more likely to go untreated among poor and minority youngsters. Eighty percent of untreated dental disease in permanent teeth is found in about 25 percent of children aged 5-17 years old, mostly among low-income and other vulnerable children.1
Equally important, the US Office of Technology Assessment found that about 70 percent of children and adolescents in need of mental health services received no treatment at all. While mental disorders and mental health problems appear in families of all social classes and backgrounds, there are children who are at greater risk. These children include those born with low-birth weight, who have a family history of mental and addictive disorders, live in multigenerational poverty conditions, or have experienced caregiver separation, abuse or neglect.2
While health care cannot overcome all the consequences of disadvantage, well-delivered preventive and curative services can ameliorate their impact. School-based health centers have become an excellent vehicle for reaching those children at highest risk and with the least access to care because centers are primarily located in schools that serve large numbers of these children.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has invested more than $40 million over 25 years to develop the school-based health center model. Initially responding to adolescent health status and behavior problems across income groups, the Foundation also supported the emergence of school-based health centers as safety net providers for low-income and uninsured children and youth. Caring for Kids continues the Foundation’s support for developing the school-based health center model.
Currently, fewer than 10 percent of school-based health centers have dental health professionals on-site. Caring for Kids encourages school-based health centers to develop and test models for dental services. While a much higher percentage of school-based health centers (60 percent) include mental health professionals on staff, these services have been difficult to fund and not always well integrated with school and community mental health.
Caring for Kids will support the development of sustainable models of dental and mental health services organized by school-based health centers. Up to six dental and up to ten mental health programs will be funded. Dental programs may request up to $75,000 a year for three years for a total of $225,000. Mental health services programs that focus on treatment may request up to $75,000 a year for three years for a total of $225,000; mental health programs that focus on primary prevention may request up to $60,000 a year for a total of $180,000 for three years. Applicants may apply for support for only one model program.
Funded projects should demonstrate effective ways to increase access to dental or mental health programs for underserved populations. The program will fund projects that draw upon one of the following program models to strengthen school-based health centers’ capacity to respond to dental or mental health needs of young people.
Dental Program Models
Mental Health Program Models
All applications should take into account local and state requirements that define practice parameters.
Eligibility and selection criteria
To be eligible, applicant institutions must sponsor at least two school-based health centers, one of which must have provided services for at least two years. Additionally, letters of support are required from the leadership of the sponsoring agency, the host school, parent organizations, and dental and mental health professional organizations.
Eligible applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:
How to apply
Written grant applications, with a narrative of no more than 20 pages are to be mailed to the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools with a postmark dated no later than August 10, 2001. Applicants should submit an original and seven copies to the program office. The narrative should be double-spaced, font size no less than 12 pt, with at least one-inch margins. The narrative should be followed by a summary work plan/timetable outlining tasks to be completed. A budget, following guidelines posted on the Center and Foundation Web sites, www.healthinschools.org and www.rwjf.org respectively, should also be included. The work plan and budget are not included in the 20-page limit.
The grant application narrative should address the following points:
A panel of consultants will help review proposals and site visits may be made to further assess an applicant’s likelihood of success. The quality and completeness of the application will be vital to the selection process. The Foundation does not provide individual critiques of proposals.
All grantees, as a condition of accepting grant funds, will be required to provide data associated with the implementation of the grant initiative. The Foundation may undertake an independent evaluation of the program. All grantees, as a condition of accepting funds, are required to take part in such an evaluation.
Use of grant funds
Grant funds may be used for project staff salaries, consultant fees, a limited amount of equipment and other direct expenses essential to the proposed project. Funds may not be used for construction or renovation of facilities. No more than 10 percent of grant support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation may be directed to activities that occur away from the school campus.
Grantees will be expected to meet Foundation requirements for the submission of annual and final progress and financial reports. The project director and a colleague will be expected to attend an annual meeting that will be scheduled in conjunction with the annual conference of the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care. Project directors will also be asked to provide a written report on the project and its findings, suitable for wide dissemination.
Program direction and technical assistance
Direction and technical assistance for the program will be provided by The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools located in the School of Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University. The program director is Julia Graham Lear, PhD; the deputy director is Annette Ferebee, MPH. Also providing technical assistance will be Nancy Haby Eichner, MUP, senior program manager. At The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, responsible staff include Judith Stavisky, MPH, MEd, senior program officer; Paul Tarini, senior communications officer, Liisa Rand, financial analyst, Paul Jellinek, PhD, vice president, and Dolores Slayton, program assistant.
|June 2001||Request for proposals released.|
|July 2001||Audio conferences on dental health and mental health initiatives.|
|August 10, 2001||Grant applications due.|
|February 2002||Start of grant award period.|
1 US Department of Health and Human Services. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2000.
2 US Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, 1999.