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Statewide Network for Youth Peer Support

Grant to a New York Nonprofit for Peer Mentoring
Support for Emotionally Challenged Youth

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New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families

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Grant to a New York nonprofit organization for the development of a statewide youth peer support program. Letters of Intent are due September 22. This grant is part of a statewide program to empower youth with emotional and social challenges towards resiliency in treatment and personal recovery. The selected awardee will support and develop infrastructure on the statewide, regional, and local levels to promote the Youth Peer Support program.

Purpose of the Request for Proposal:

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families, announces the availability of funds for infrastructure development for a Statewide Network for Youth Peer Support. The primary goal of the funding is to support a statewide effort to empower young people towards personal recovery and resiliency in their treatment, to know their rights and to use their voice to influence youth-guided policy and practices. The awardee would promote and provide peer-to-peer mentoring for young people with social and emotional challenges and/or cross system experiences in the children’s service system.

The awardee would work collaboratively with the NYS Office of Mental Health at a State-level to provide input and feedback into agency policy and program development as well as working on the regional and local levels to empower young people and build capacity in their communities to increase youth involvement and peer support activities. This will be accomplished through technical assistance and support to local counties and regions and the development and maintenance of a statewide youth peer support network.


The Office of Mental Health has a long history of supporting youth-driven practices. In 1999, OMH initiated efforts to increase the youth peer voice at the state level with the creation of a Statewide Youth Advisory Council. In 2005, OMH contracted for a Statewide Youth Peer Coordinator to expand youth voice to reflect a wider array of young people at the regional and local level. Since that time, OMH has increased funding and the scope of its efforts to support the development of an infrastructure for a Statewide Network of Youth Peer Support Advocates to:

-Assist in the development of youth guided practices and services as NYS transition to Medicaid Managed Care,

-Help guide providers, local governments, and organizations in empowering youth to become active participants in their own treatment,

-Ensure youth voice is being solicited to inform agency policies and practices, and

-Directly empower and connect young people to a statewide network and engage them in activities that inform state-level policies and the development of programs.

These efforts are particularly vital as Youth Peer Support Services delivered by Youth Peer Advocates (YPAs) evolve into a Medicaid billable service within the proposed State Plan Services. To be successful one of the components that YPAs will require is a network of young people who have self-identified as a consumer o f behavioral health services, special education services or foster the State and Local level to support them.

Applicants will be expected to support, expand capacity and enhance these efforts.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182223

Number of Grants:

One award will be made to the bidder with the highest score.

Estimated Size of Grant:

$550,000 will be available for the first year with a 3% annual increase in years 2-5 of the 5-year contract.

Term of Contract:

The contract is for five (5) years, dependent upon appropriation funding. The anticipated start date is January 1, 2018. OMH reserves the right to change the contract period for the first or second year so that it is more or less than 12 months in order to align the contract dates with OMH’s Upstate contract cycle (January 1 through December 31), or Downstate contract cycle (July 1 through June 30)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible bidders are Statewide, not-for-profit organizations located in New York State, in which youth/peer-oriented services are managed and provided by youth peers. OMH defines youth/peer-run services as those that are led and staffed predominantly by young people, under the age of 30 years old, who have self-identified as a consumer of behavioral health services, special education services or foster care.

The organization must have proven knowledge and expertise in youth peer support and advocacy and have the capacity to fulfill all required activities on a statewide basis as outlined in Section 5 of the RFP.

Disqualification Factors:

Following receipt of a proposal, a preliminary review will be conducted by the Issuing Officer or a designee to assess completeness and verify that all eligibility criteria have been met. Applications that do not meet minimum and mandatory eligibility requirements will be disqualified, specifically:

-Proposals from applicants that do not meet the eligibility criteria as outlined in Section II, 2.6;
-Proposals that do not comply with bid submission and/or required format instructions as specified in Section II, 2.8.

Pre-Application Information:

Organizations interested in responding to the Request for Proposals must submit a Letter of Intent to Bid to the OMH Designated Contract received by September 22, 2017. The Letter of Intent to Bid shall be non-binding.

All questions or requests for clarification concerning the RFP shall be submitted in writing by email to the Issuing Officer. The questions received by the October 6, 2017 deadline will be posted with answers on the OMH website by 5:00 PM on October 20, 2017 and will be limited to addressing only those questions submitted by the deadline.

Key Events / Timeline
-RFP Release: September 8, 2017
-Letter of Intent Due: September 22, 2017
-Deadline for Submission of Questions: October 6, 2017
-Questions and Answers Posted on OMH Website: October 20, 2017
-Proposals Due: November 8, 2017
-Notice of Conditional Award: December 4, 2017
-Contract Start Date: January 1, 2018

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Carol Swiderski, Issuing Officer

New York State Office of Mental Health
Contracts and Claims Unit, 7th Floor
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12229

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York