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Request For Applications – Bullying Prevention & Safe Relationships

Funding opportunity – Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) Bullying Prevention and Safe Relationships (BPSR) Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health is pleased to announce a request for applications for its Bullying Prevention and Safe Relationships program.

The Bullying Prevention and Safe Relationships (BPSR) Program promotes relationship development and the reduction of bullying among 12 through 21-year-old CYSHCN, through understanding risk factors and preparing CYSHCN with 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 PA DOH anticipates funding multiple Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) capable of providing services to CYSHCN in out-of-school programs or other community settings.

The BPSR supports positive social-emotional outcomes for youth through two key components: bullying prevention and healthy relationship education. These positive outcomes include improved ability to manage emotions and 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. 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 PA DOH is soliciting applications for the CYSHCN BPSR Program until September 14, 2023. The CYSHCN BPSR will have a grant term of 30-months, from January 1, 2024 through June 30, 2026. Funding will be provided for up to six awardees.

The CYSHCN BPSR Program RFA can be found on the Pennsylvania eMarketplace: BPSR RFA link PA – eMarketplace; applications will not be accepted after September 14, 2023.
Questions regarding the RFA can be submitted through the Pennsylvania eMarketplace process and during the pre-Application Conference. Responses will be posted as an addendum to the RFA.