ATLANTA (GA) – Georgia’s newest agency has been awarded a $450,000 annual federal grant to improve access to children’s behavioral health care. The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities’ (DBHDD) Office of Medicaid Coordination and Division of Mental Health’s Office of Federally-Funded Programs and Special Initiatives was awarded a joint grant by the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) to improve health care quality and services for children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The grant, totaling $10,993,171, will be distributed over a five-year period to Maryland as the lead state and Georgia and Wyoming as multi-state partners.
“The grant will allow Georgia to partner with these states and the Center for Health Care Strategies to further build a robust service and care management model for youth with emotional disturbances and their families,” said Dawne Morgan, Director of Federal Grants.
The grant enables Georgia to bring in experts that will provide technical assistance and expand access to peer supports services within home and community based settings; improve clinical and functional outcomes for youth; and reduce an inappropriate and costly use of psychiatric and residential treatment. In addition, the funding will allow DBHDD to begin development of a certified family and youth peer specialists program to further build on the successes of the nationally recognized Georgia peer specialist program.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in February that Georgia was one of 18 states awarded a portion of the $100 million in federal grant funds. DBHDD will collaborate with the Department of Community Health (DCH) to execute the plan for Georgia. For more information regarding CHIPRA, please visit http://hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/02/20100222a.html.