Children’s Department making $1.9 million available for after-school and summer programmingGrant proposal deadline is Sept. 19
The Delaware Children’s Department is making $1.9 million in grant funding available to community- and faith-based organizations, schools, nonprofit and for-profit agencies and governmental agencies to implement after-school and summer youth prevention programming. The department through its Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services is accepting applications for the funding through Thursday, Sept.19. An informational bidders' conference will be held Sept. 3.
Programs must include evidence-based practices or programs related to preventing youth violence and/or youth suicide. They must also include positive opportunities for youth by using curriculums that are academic, cultural, artistic, agricultural or recreational in nature, and include information on how children will access the program. Successful applicants must also agree to receive training in suicide- and violence-prevention strategies.
In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Jack Markell proposed providing more opportunities for "after-school and summer activities that get kids off the streets and give them exposure to the arts, nature and physical activity." The General Assembly supported his budget request with $2.2 million in funding.
“Children all across our state will benefit from enhanced educational and recreational activities as well as access to additional emotional supports,” said Markell. “These programs improve academic performance, reduce drop-out rates and depression, improve self-control and self-esteem, and prevent risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. They are a vital part of our larger goal to give all of Delaware’s young people a quality education.”
This initiative is an outgrowth of the initial recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the 2012 adolescent suicides in Kent County which pointed to a lack of after-school activities for youth in Kent and Sussex counties.
“These programs will help enhance the overall well-being of Delaware’s children,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, who has championed expanding access to children’s mental health services. “For instance, tutoring programs will keep children on track academically, and arts programs will engage them creatively, both of which we need to help build a stronger future for Delaware.”
This is the second announcement of funding allocated toward after-school and summer prevention programming. In July, the department announced the availability of $200,000 worth of prevention mini grants to put some of the funds to use immediately. Children’s Department Secretary Jennifer Ranji said each initiative builds on the next.
“We are building on and expanding our network of community service providers to create a safety net of resources for children,” said Ranji. “Our goal is to build on their strengths in order to develop stronger, more resilient children who are empowered to envision a hopeful and successful future."
The RFP for After-School and Summer Youth Prevention Programming can be found at www.kids.delaware.gov and at www.bids.delaware.gov under Community Prevention Services. Questions about the RFP should be directed to H. Ryan Bolles, DSCYF procurement administrator, at Herbert.Bolles@state.de.us or 302-633-2701.
The Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance problems, or have been adjudicated delinquent by the courts, as well as prevention services targeted toward all youth. For more information, go to www.kids.delaware.gov.