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Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Bullying and Safe Relationships Program – Anticipated Request for Applications

The Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health is pleased to announce and anticipated funding opportunity planned for release in summer 2023.

The Bullying Prevention and Safe Relationships (BPSR) Program promotes appropriate relationship development and the reduction of bullying among 12 through 21-year-old CYSHCN, through understanding risk factors and preparing CYSHCN with self-care and self-responsibility supports aimed to decrease future trauma.1 CYSHCN are children who have or are at increased risk of chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and require health related services beyond that required by children generally. The Bureau anticipates funding multiple Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) capable of providing services to the CYSHCN community in out-of-school programs or other community setting.

The BPSR will support positive social-emotional outcomes for youth through two key components: bullying prevention and healthy relationship education. These positive outcomes include improved ability to recognize and manage emotions and improved peer relationships, addressing CYSHCN experiencing a higher risk of abuse and exploitation compared to peers without special health care needs.

National Survey of Children’s Health data from 2020-2021 suggest that, in Pennsylvania, 48.2 percent of CYSHCN ages 6 to 17 experienced bullying at least once in the past year, compared to 20.5 percent of children without special health care needs who experienced bullying. The Arc states that individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) are sexually assaulted at seven times the rate of people without disabilities. CYSHCN have higher rates of exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) than non-CYSHCN; for some CYSHCN, this may reflect a diminished ability to defend themselves against emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, or a greater exposure to multiple caregivers and settings.

Using Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant funding, the Bureau is anticipating the release of an RFA for the CYSHCN BPSR Program in summer of 2023, with an anticipated grant start of January 2024.

Any questions or requests to be added to a notification list can be directed to Joe Warrick (
Upon release, the CYSHCN BPSR Program RFA can be found on the Pennsylvania eMarketplace