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Commissioner Announces Adolescent Substance Abuse Infrastructure Grant

A federal grant totaling nearly $1.2 million has been awarded to DMHMRSAS to improve substance abuse treatment for adolescents in Virginia.   The Office of Child and Family Services applied on behalf of the department for the 3-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).   

The grant will fund 3 new positions, as well as help create a unique system of care across agencies that supports services for youth with a substance use or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder.   The goal is to create an enhanced system that brings together multiple agencies, such as mental health, substance abuse, juvenile justice, child welfare, health and education.  Working together to coordinate funding and treatment resources, the agencies anticipate improved responsiveness to the needs of substance abusing youth and their families. 

The Office of Child and Family Services will create a staff position dedicated to developing adolescent services.  It will also work with the Virginia Commonwealth University in sharing an adolescent substance abuse treatment trainer.   The grant will also fund an administrative support position within the OCFS.  

Significant funds are dedicated, throughout the course of the grant, to train community services board staff in best practice treatment models and Evidenced Based Practices for adolescents.  Training will also be made available for those in child welfare and juvenile justice.

The Department is expected to begin receiving funding this October.  Congratulations go out to Shirley Ricks, Martha Kurgans and the Office of Child and Family Services for their hard work and efforts in securing this grant.

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