Funding will enhance the service delivery system for children, youth with behavioral health needs.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2013)—Kentucky will enter into a $4 million, four-year cooperative agreement with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to enhance services and supports for children and youth with behavioral health needs, and their families, the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (BHDID) announced today.
The cooperative agreement with SAMHSA will support the state’s nationally recognized work in developing and implementing a coordinated, comprehensive service delivery system that involves youth and families at all levels.
“With implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion on the horizon, this award for statewide system of care implementation in Kentucky could not have come at a more opportune time,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. “This funding will support and sustain the provision of and access to behavioral health and related services and supports by making changes in policy, financing, workforce development and service delivery across child-serving agencies. These activities align with the Cabinet’s vision to redesign services to families and children to be more timely, integrated and effective.”

The Kentucky Initiative for Collaborative Change (KICC) will work with established state and regional interagency councils and other key stakeholders to implement policy, administrative and regulatory changes; develop and expand services and supports; create and improve financing strategies; provide training, technical assistance and coaching in evidence-based practices; and generate a support and advocacy base.

This work will yield improvements in; access to a broader array of evidence-based services and supports for children and youth, regardless of how they enter services, transitions between levels of care, and communication between child-serving agencies, all of which will improve behavioral health outcomes for Kentucky’s children, youth and families.

“We are delighted that Kentucky has the opportunity to improve and expand its previous work on system of care implementation for children and youth with behavioral health needs and their families,” said BHDID Commissioner Betsy Dunnigan. “With an emphasis on developing a more comprehensive and effective array of services and supports based in the community, we can realize both improved outcomes and cost savings.”

This is the fourth SAMHSA System of Care award that Kentucky has received since 1998, totaling $29 million. The three previous projects allowed Kentucky the opportunity to improve and expand its system of care by focusing on different populations and geographic areas. This award takes the previous work a step further by supporting statewide expansion of successes from previous efforts, as well as development and implementation of new and effective strategies.

For more information about KICC, please contact the Child, Youth and Family Services Branch within the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health at 502-564-4456.


The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.




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