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Grants to assist youths in trouble with the law following a traumatic brain injury

Adolescents suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) often face behavioral issues which may cause them to incur difficulties with the law.  Unfortunately, rather than address these behavior and anti-social difficulties, these youths are identified as criminals and become part of the criminal justice system.

The federal government has now recognized the need to address these behavior issues and has targeted funds and grant programs to address the special obstacles faced by incarcerated and about to be incarcerated youth who are at high risk of having and undiagnosed and untreated TBI that interferes with both physical and mental health.

These grants are part of the Presidential New Freedom Initiative to reduce barriers to community living for people with disabilities and to address lack of access of families to the services, advocacy and assistance they need as mandated in The Family Opportunity Act of 2005.

According to an announcement from the offices of Health and Human Services:

“ This initiative ultimately will provide for State systems change that is needed to assure that all high risk youth that are part of a juvenile corrections systems can be identified accurately and receive services that are appropriate for individuals with TBI. The overarching goal of this activity is to treat rather than just incarcerate youth with TBI so that they can ultimately become educated, productive, and contributing members of their communities Specifically, a State or Territory receiving these Targeted Issues in TBI Funds will be able to work across State systems to provide identification, appropriate treatment, including alternative education and training, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and diversion into those State Programs that can provide an environment that will encourage good decision making skills, risk avoidance, and independence. Because TBI is a multi faceted condition, requiring the skills of many professional disciplines, these grants will permit training for all involved professionals, including State Corrections and Probation officers. A careful evaluation of activities and their outcomes will provide much needed data to the field, as well as informing program progress monitoring to allow for program changes as needed. The evaluation of targeted issues grants should be particularly rigorous as they are first Step efforts in expanding knowledge in a particular field of interest in TBI. Core values across all MCHB programs include family-centered care, family professional partnerships and cultural and linguistic competence. These MUST be integrated throughout project policies and activities. MCHB will also require additional data and will provide technical assistance, as needed. Review criteria for all of these issues will be described in the guidance. Although a Letter or Email of Intent is not required, it is encouraged.”

You can link to the full announcement by clicking here.



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