Federal Programs, Technical Assistance, and FundingFederal Programs, Technical Assistance, and Funding

Overview of Federal Programs for Youth

Corporation for National and Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility. The Corporation is a catalyst for change and champions the ideal that every American has skills and talents to contribute. The Corporation is the nation’s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering. Through the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, the Corporation provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to express their patriotism while addressing critical community needs.

The members and volunteers who serve in Corporation programs provide vital assistance to institutions and organizations that serve the public, including national and local nonprofits, schools, faith-based and other community organizations, and public agencies. Drawing on their skills, experience, and concern for others, they provide a wide range of services. These include tutoring at-risk youth, building homes for low-income people, responding to natural disasters, and caring for homebound seniors. In addition, members and volunteers help mobilize other volunteers and build the capacity of local organizations.

Office of National Drug Control Policy

The Office of National Drug Control Policy oversees the implementation of the President’s policies for reducing drug use in America by preventing drug use before it starts, healing America’s drug users, and disrupting the market for illegal drugs by attacking the economic basis of the drug trade.

Drug-Free Communities Support Program
Originally funded by Congress in 1997, the Drug-Free Communities Support Program supports more than 700 drug-free community coalitions across the United States. The program is based on the fundamental idea that local problems need local solutions. Priority is given to tribal applications. The goal of the coalitions is to bring citizens together to prevent and reduce drug, alcohol, and tobacco use among youth. Coalition membership must include youth, parents, businesses, the media, schools, youth organizations, law enforcement, religious or fraternal organizations, civic groups, health care professionals, and state, local, or tribal governmental entities.

High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program
This program provides additional federal resources to local areas to help eliminate or reduce drug trafficking and its harmful consequences. Law enforcement organizations within these programs assess drug-trafficking problems and design specific initiatives to reduce or eliminate the production, manufacture, transportation, distribution, and chronic use of illegal drugs and money laundering. HIDTAs include Native American areas that fall within their regions.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)
The mission of CSREES is to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. CSREES funds research, education, and extension at the state and local levels and provides program leadership in these areas.

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
The Food and Nutrition Service administers the food and nutrition assistance programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FNS provides children and needy families with better access to food and a more healthful diet through its programs and nutrition education efforts.

Rural Development
Community Programs, a division of the Housing and Community Facilities Programs, is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development mission area. Community Programs administers programs designed to develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. These facilities include schools, libraries, child care facilities, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted-living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings, and transportation facilities.

U.S. Department of Education

Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) provides financial assistance for drug and violence prevention activities, as well as activities that promote the health and well-being of students (e.g., character education and elementary and secondary school counseling) in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. Funds are provided to local and state educational agencies, institutions of higher education, the Bureau of Indian Education, tribal colleges, and other public and private nonprofit organizations.

  • Detailed information about funding opportunities available from OSDFS can be accessed at http://www.ed.gov/osdfs.

  • Additional funding information is available through the PreventionED listserv. This listserv contains a newsletter, legislation, and information on grant opportunities available through other federal programs. Access to the listserv is available at http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/listserv/preventioned.html.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) partners with local and state governments, American Indian tribes and Native American communities, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and faith- and community-based organizations to design, administer, and promote programs that strengthen children, families, and communities. ACF also has a strong commitment to supporting initiatives and programs that address the needs, strengths, and abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities, refugees, and individuals in underserved populations.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the nation’s “access agency.” It improves access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. HRSA provides leadership and financial support to health care providers in every state and territory. HRSA grantees provide health care to uninsured people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers, and children, including adolescents. They train health professionals and improve systems of care for rural communities.

The Pathways to Health Professions grant program, administered by the Bureau of Health Professions, supports the continuation and development of innovative, culturally competent approaches that expose and encourage underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students in colleges and universities, community colleges, and elementary, middle, and high schools to pursue careers in health or allied health fields.

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), a program of the Bureau of Health Professions, recruits clinicians for communities in need and provides opportunities and professional experiences to students through its Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs and its SEARCH (Student/Resident Experiences And Rotations in Community Health) Program.

The Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant (Title V, Social Security Act), administered by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), includes, but is not limited to, State Formula Block Grants and Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) grants. The State Formula Block Grant develops service systems for meeting critical challenges in maternal and child health, including promoting the health of children and youth. A large majority of state Maternal and Child Health programs support the position of state adolescent health coordinator.

SPRANS grants support a broad range of innovative strategies, including those that address the health, safety, and well-being of youth. There is periodic turnover in the specific programs funded.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has established a clear vision for its work—a life in the community for everyone. To realize this vision, the agency has sharply focused its mission on building resilience and facilitating recovery for people with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders. SAMHSA is gearing all of its resources—programs, policies, and grants—toward that outcome.

SAMHSA develops programs to improve outcomes for children and youth with and/or at risk for mental, substance use, and/or cooccurring disorders, as well as for their families. This is accomplished by increasing access to a continuum of comprehensive, integrated, and culturally and linguistically competent services and supports that include prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery. SAMHSA supports states’ efforts to develop community-based systems of care and to promote public information initiatives that address critical concerns—from family strengthening and school violence prevention, to help for children.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is committed to providing economically disadvantaged youth and young adults with opportunities to improve their quality of life. Specifically, the Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency Program provides youth living in public housing with access to services and programs such as after-school programs, educational programs, training/conferences, youth leadership programs, employment initiatives, recreational programs, and more. In addition, through the Neighborhood Networks Program, HUD provides funding that supports the establishment of community technology centers that provide programming for youth, such as homework assistance, job training, college preparatory classes, literacy and GED classes, and computer classes.

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

The mission of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is to provide national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP accomplishes this mission by helping communities, states, and tribal jurisdictions develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs. It also helps improve the juvenile justice system's ability to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and provide treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to juveniles and their families.

OJJDP sponsors an array of research, program, and training initiatives; develops priorities and guides federal juvenile justice policy; disseminates information about juvenile justice issues; and provides funding to states to support local programming nationwide. Program areas funded by OJJDP include mentoring, gang prevention, youth courts, reentry, tribal youth, and family strengthening.

OJJDP provides funding to states, territories, localities, and private organizations, including faith-based institutions, through formula or block and discretionary grants.

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration, Division of Youth Services

Workforce Investment Act
The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 enacted a formula-funded youth program serving eligible low-income youth, aged 14–21, who face barriers to employment. Funds for youth services are allocated to states and tribes based on a formula distribution and then distributed to local areas through local workforce investment boards. Eligible service providers prepare youth for employment and/or post-secondary education through strong linkages between academic and occupational learning.

Discretionary Grants
The Youth Division also administers discretionary grants aimed at specific populations of the neediest youth. These grants serve as pilots and demonstrations of new approaches for serving at-risk youth. Discretionary grants provide intensive and comprehensive services.

State Contact Information
State contacts can provide information on state allocation of formula-grant funds, discretionary grants, and local workforce investment boards.